Problem: The present study describes a response to eight tragic deaths over an eighteen month times span on a fast track construction project on the largest commercial development project in U.S. history.
Methods: Four versions of a survey were distributed to workers, foremen, superintendents, and senior management. In addition to standard Likert-scale safety climate scale items, an open-ended item was included at the end of the survey.
Results: Safety climate perceptions differed by job level. Specifically, management perceived a more positive safety climate as compared to workers. Content analysis of the open-ended item was used to identify important safety and health concerns which might have been overlooked with the qualitative portion of the survey.
Discussion: The surveys were conducted to understand workforce issues of concern with the aim of improving site safety conditions. Such efforts can require minimal investment of resources and time and result in critical feedback for developing interventions affecting organizational structure, management processes, and communication.
Summary: The most important lesson learned was that gauging differences in perception about site safety can provide critical feedback at all levels of a construction organization.
Impact on the industry: Implementation of multi-level organizational perception surveys can identify major safety issues of concern. Feedback, if acted upon, can potentially result in fewer injuries and fatal events.
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