Inconsistent, incomplete and incidental: site safety culture from a constructionist perspective

Sherratt, Fred, Farrell, Peter and Noble, Rod (2012) Inconsistent, incomplete and incidental: site safety culture from a constructionist perspective. In: 28th Annual ARCOM Conference, 3-5 September 2012, Edinburgh, UK.

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Safety culture is a common concept within both academia and industry, where large UK contractors have made significant efforts to improve the safety culture and consequently the safety of their sites. Academic research has sought to identify and measure safety culture on sites, however such a quantification of culture is something that may not ultimately be possible. Grounded in social constructionism, this study instead sought to explore and examine safety culture in practice. This epistemology enabled the exploration of culture through the discursive patterns and constructional frameworks that surround safety on sites, themselves constructed through shared social practices and resources. Data was collected from five UK construction projects, all over £20m in value, and included site safety signage, safety talk and various safety documents. Discourse analysis, followed by triangulation of the key themes and representations, revealed considerable variation in the constructions of safety on sites. Safety culture was found to be inconsistent, incomplete and incidental; relating to a variety of different realities in a variety of different contexts. This variation not only has significance for the practices of large contractors in their desire to develop safety culture on sites, but also the direction of further academic research. Recommendations for practice were generated, in order to facilitate further improvements in safety on sites.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: discourse analysis, safety, safety culture, social constructionism
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Mohammed Gohrabian
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2016 15:33
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2022 15:23

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