Student Research: Daniel Gregory Peek

MS, , 1994
Faculty Advisor: Stanley H. Freeman

An Observational Technique for Assessment of Safety Performance on Construction Sites


Statistics compiled by the National Safety Council (NSC) and the US Bureaur of Labor Statistics indicate that the construction industry is one of the most hazardous to work in. The annual accident data state that of the approximately 5.9 million workers in the construction industry there were 1,300 deaths and 300,000 disabling injuries in 1992. Construction ranked third for death rates att 22 per 100,000 workers. In comparison, manufacturing had a death rate of 3 per 100,000 with a workforce of about 18.2 million. Even the US average across all industry was only 7 deaths per 100,000 workers, still 3 times lower than construction. Only mining and agriculture had higher rates: 29 and 37 per 100,000 respectively.

The historically poor safety record in the construction idustry as well as an increasing interest in the safety field has made the industry ripe for study. The prevalence of hazardous conditions and the necessity of management control and responsibility presents the opportunity to study safety on the construction site. There are presently difficulties with current methods of evaluating safety performance.

The study for this thesis project attempts to acquire the knowledge to be able to answer the following question through four objectives which follow: Can a reliable and accurate method be developed which allows for the observational assessment of safety hazards on construction sites?

The first objective is to determine if differences exist in teRMS of the proportion of hazards present on the three sites of study. Given that a hazard is present, the second objective is to determine if there are differences in the protection of hazards between the sites. The third objective is to test whether the method can provide the same results when used repeatedly on one site. Finally, given the ubiquitous changes on a construction site, the fourth objective is to determine if objective 1 varies over time.

Taken from the beginning of thesis.