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Design of safety management system for developing country based on the perception of safety

Design of safety management system for developing country based on the perception of safety
Muhammad Dawood Idrees
Jung-Yong Kim
Issue Date
Safety of construction workers is always a major concern at construction sites as the construction industry is inherently dangerous with many factors influencing worker safety. The construction industry is considered as one of the risky industry among all industries because of high frequency of work-related injuries and fatalities. The risk of work-related injuries is more than two times therefore the risk of fatalities is five time higher in construction industry than other industries. Improving and promoting safety situation at construction sites is an important phenomenon but workers safety at worksites is always a complicated issue because of unique nature of work, non-repetitive, complicated machinery, work at height, and uncertainty at worksites. These differences affect the worker’s behavior, critical site conditions, and safety management on construction sites, resulting in more accidents than in other industries. In developing countries, construction is considered as the most important industry for contributing to the economy of the country. Pakistan is also a developing country and major construction development is going on across the country and high percentage of workers are employed by this sector weather directly or indirectly. However, most of the times safety is not given importance and it is neglected at construction sites and accidents are not regularly reported to the official department and that is why statistics concerning these accidents are not properly maintained. Accidents occur due to many factors, and psychological factors are one of them. After an extensive literature review, different psychological factors were identified and a hypothetical research model was developed based on psychological factors that could affect workers’ perception of safety. Several studies concluded that psychological factors such as workload, organizational relationships, mental stress, job security, and job satisfaction have significant effects on workers’ safety. However, research on psychological factors that are characteristic of different demographics of workers have been limited. The initial aim of this study is to examine the impact of psychological factors on the perception of worker safety for different groups of workers. A survey instrument was developed and data were collected from seven different construction sites in Pakistan. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was employed to test the hypothetical model for all groups of workers. The results of SEM analysis revealed that all these psychological factors are significantly dominant factors on the perception of safety in all demographics of workers at construction sites. The results of all the hypothesis also confirmed that the psychological factors focused in this study have positive effect on the perception of safety, whether directly and indirectly. After the validation and confirmation of the effect of psychological factors on the perception of safety, these results are used to develop a safety management system with detailed surveillance system for the construction industry with the inclusion of psychological factors as an element of safety management system. A safety management system is developed with the inclusion of psycho-social aspect as elements of SMS in order to evaluate the psychosocial aspects of accidents. This system based upon detailed surveillance system, which is responsible for proper implementation of safety practice at worksites, periodic survey of workers satisfaction with safety, and accident reporting as an element of SMS, the reporting is not just a reporting it should also cover psycho-social causes of the accidents, psychological statements including perception of safety, risk, and hazard should be included in accident reporting and this system should be implemented and effective. It is believed that implementation of SMS will improve the safety performance and help to prevent injuries and accidents at construction sites.
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