Development of a safety communication and recognition program for construction

New Solut. 2015 May;25(1):42-58. doi: 10.1177/1048291115569025. Epub 2015 Mar 16.


Leading-indicator-based (e.g., hazard recognition) incentive programs provide an alternative to controversial lagging-indicator-based (e.g., injury rates) programs. We designed a leading-indicator-based safety communication and recognition program that incentivized safe working conditions. The program was piloted for two months on a commercial construction worksite and then redesigned using qualitative interview and focus group data from management and workers. We then ran the redesigned program for six months on the same worksite. Foremen received detailed weekly feedback from safety inspections, and posters displayed worksite and subcontractor safety scores. In the final program design, the whole site, not individual subcontractors, was the unit of analysis and recognition. This received high levels of acceptance from workers, who noted increased levels of site unity and team-building. This pilot program showed that construction workers value solidarity with others on site, demonstrating the importance of health and safety programs that engage all workers through a reliable and consistent communication infrastructure.

Keywords: incentives; leading indicators; program development; safety performance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / prevention & control*
  • Awards and Prizes*
  • Communication*
  • Construction Industry / organization & administration*
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health
  • Safety
  • Safety Management / methods*
  • Workplace / organization & administration*