The antecedents and development of unsafety

Smith, Simon and Sherratt, Fred and Oswald, David (2017) The antecedents and development of unsafety. ICE Journal of Management, Procurement and Law. ISSN 1751-4304

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The concepts of unsafe acts and unsafe conditions within incident and accident reporting processes are well established, and both play a part in safety, as seen in highly complex accident causation models. Nevertheless, a systematic understanding of the development of unsafety to its manifestation as incidents is yet to emerge. Drawing on a large dataset of nearly 4,000 Safety Observation Reports from a large infrastructure construction project, investigation of the way in which incidents are categorised is explored and then, via content analysis of a purposive sample of individual reports, the reality of how the acts and conditions develop, combine and interrelate is evaluated. Findings revealed significant inconsistency in the application of the categorisations of 'act' or 'condition', and utilisation of the process to apportion individual blame through 'unsafe acts'. It can be suggested that within a construction context there are relatively few precursors that produce unsafe acts or conditions, and focusing on these in practice would provide greater insights, enhancing utility without adding significant complexity. Further understanding of how the development of unsafety takes place would enable management to better use reporting data, such as Safety Observation Reports, in the development and implementation of focused interventions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: health and safety, safety and hazards, knowledge management
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology
Depositing User: Fred Sherratt
Date Deposited: 22 May 2017 11:26
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2018 01:02

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