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Choi, B, Ahn, S and Lee, S (2017) Role of Social Norms and Social Identifications in Safety Behavior of Construction Workers. I: Theoretical Model of Safety Behavior under Social Influence. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 143(05).

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Safety management; Safety behavior; Social norms; Social identity; Social influence; Labor and personnel issues;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0733-9364
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0001271
  • Abstract:
    During the last several decades, behavior-based safety (BBS) has drawn a considerable amount of attention in the construction industry. The focus of BBS is on improving construction workers’ safety behavior through feedback and increased self-awareness and motivation. Among the influencing factors of safety behavior, social norm is known to be a powerful mechanism that regulates workers’ safety behavior. However, it is unclear how social norms are developed and through which process social norms influence an individual worker’s safety behavior in construction projects. Additionally, the temporary and contract-based nature of employment in construction projects makes understanding the influence of different social norms on workers’ safety behavior in construction projects especially difficult. Given this background, this paper aims to better understand the process by which different social norms exert control over construction workers’ safety behavior. To achieve this goal, empirical data were collected from 284 workers from eight construction sites in the United States, Korea, and Saudi Arabia using surveys, and the data were analyzed. The results demonstrate that workers’ safety behavior is influenced by perceived management norm, perceived workgroup norm, and personal attitude, and perceived workgroup norm mediates the relationship between perceived management norm and safety behavior. In addition, it is shown that social identification with the project intensifies the relationship between perceived management norm and safety behavior and attenuates the relationship between perceived workgroup norm and safety behavior. These findings contribute to the body of knowledge on construction safety by providing an explicative model for how social norms influence workers’ safety behavior, and suggest that a sociopsychological approach to promote project identity and reinforce favorable social norms in construction workers can be an effective means of improving construction safety.