Interventions to Improve Safety Climate and Ergonomics In Construction SME
Aim 1 of our project explored the effects of participation in general contractors’ safety programs on the safety performance and safety culture of small and medium sized contractors. By studying safety interactions and impacts on small and medium sized subcontractors (SC) working on larger size construction projects, this project addressed interrelated questions posed in the NORA construction safety goals: Can small employers successfully apply flow down safety requirements on large projects? How influential are well run projects for transferring safety skills and practices to small employers? Do changes persist onto other jobs? Do small employers adversely impact project safety performance of other employers?
In Aim 2, we evaluated the effectiveness of incorporating ergonomics into an overall construction safety management system on promoting changes in MSD prevention behaviors. We studied the transition from a standard “Focus Four” safety program to a new “Focus Five” program in a large local general contractor planning to expand its comprehensive safety program to include ergonomics as a standard program element. We expected that safety behaviors related to the prevention of MSD will improve when ergonomics safety assessment and training are incorporated into the overall safety management system of a large GC.
Small- and medium-sized construction companies have high rates of injuries and fatalities, but limited resources for safety and health programs for their workers. This project evaluated the top-down effects of general contractors’ safety requirements on workers in small- and medium-sized companies, and evaluated improvements in prevention of musculoskeletal disorders resulting from integration of ergonomics into an overall construction safety management program.