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Towards an alternative approach to safety in construction

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conference contribution
posted on 22.08.2016, 13:12 by Ellie Harvey, Patrick WatersonPatrick Waterson, Andrew Dainty
Many safety-critical industries are moving away from compliance-based safety measures and looking for solutions incorporating adaptability and resilience. However, there are significant challenges when considering applying such measures to construction. The unique design of projects prevents the development of transferable experience, and the use of subcontracting limits opportunities for long-term investment in workers. This paper contrasts the traits of resilient organisations with the characteristics of the construction industry. It is proposed that construction could become more resilient by incorporating employee-level – as opposed organisation-level – aspects of the ‘Adaptive’ age of safety. Further research is needed to understand how the psychological factors believed to underpin a resilient response to risk can be developed.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Contemporary Ergonomics and Human Factors 2016


HARVEY, E., WATERSON, P. and DAINTY, A.R.J., 2016. Towards an alternative approach to safety in construction. IN: Waterson, P., Sims, R. and Hubbard, E-M. (eds.), Contemporary Ergonomics and Human Factors 2016, Daventry, 19 - 21 April.


© Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This is a conference paper.