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Safety communication patterns in small work groups – a pilot study using social network analysis
conference contributionposted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by X H Jin, R Villari-Kohlert, Chunlu LiuChunlu Liu, R Yang, P Wu
As a project based industry, construction is portrayed through the short term and transitory nature of the industry. This is one of the factors that have been correlated to the poor safety performance of the construction industry. An essential part of safety performance, however, is the effective safety communication between all parties on construction projects. The construction industry is highly regulated due to its high incidence of work-place accidents. This is especially true of smaller building companies/enterprises where the burden of compliance to safety regulations is most onerous. The majority of current research in this topic area has focused on identifying the high risk components or the causes of increased risks. The literature on safety communication network patterns and its relation to safety performance is nevertheless minimal. Thus, this study takes the opportunity to explore the safety communication issue by analyzing the communications patterns in small workgroups. In a pilot study, through surveys with construction crews that are contributing to active construction projects in Sydney, Australia, patterns of safety communications were identified using social network analysis (SNA). The findings, though preliminary, has identified safety communication network patterns under formal communications and toolbox talks may determine a small group’s safety performance.