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Allison, L and Kaminsky, J (2017) Safety Communication Networks: Females in Small Work Crews. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 143(08).
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: Safety; Construction; Communication; Gender; Female; Social networks; Labor and personnel issues;
- ISBN/ISSN: 0733-9364
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0001344
Construction workers experience one of the highest workplace injury and fatality rates in the United States. Recent research has shown that worker demographics such as language affect safety communication in small work crews. Noting the lack of gender diversity among construction workers, this research extends this past work by exploring how gender impacts work crew safety communication using social network analysis (SNA). The data, collected in transportation construction work zones in Washington State, show females have significantly (
) lower amounts of in-degree (incoming ties) and in-closeness (distance for information to travel) than males in mixed-gender crews. Furthermore, mixed-gender crews have lower formal density and higher informal density than all-male crews. Practically speaking, this research shows that mixed-gender crews have different safety communication patterns than the more homogenous all-male crews. In order to understand the specific connections between the communication patterns and crew safety performance, safety professionals should track incidents, near misses, and hazards at the crew level. Furthermore, to create more cohesive safety communication, project managers, superintendents, and supervisors should foster communication cultures that are inclusive of all members.