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Agumba, J N and Haupt, T C (2014) The implementation of health and safety practices: Do demographic attributes matter?. Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, 12(04), 530-50.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: implementation; practices; health and safety; demographic attributes
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-04-2014-0024
  • Abstract:
    Purpose – The purpose of this study was to investigate the personnel attributes perception on reliable and valid health and safety (H&S) practices within small- and medium-sized construction enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa. It explores whether these valid and reliable H&S practices could be implemented based on the demographic attributes, namely, years of experience in the construction industry, number of years working in the current organisation and educational level. Design/methodology/approach – A mixed method approach was used to conduct this research, namely, Delphi and questionnaire survey. A structured questionnaire consisting of 31 H&S practices categorised into five major H&S practices was developed from extensive literature review and the participation of 20 purposive sampled H&S experts. Sixteen H&S experts completed four iterations. A convenient sample of 1,450 SMEs was obtained. In total, 228 questionnaires were returned, of which 216 responses were useable for analysis. The data were analysed using exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis to determine the validity, reliability and acceptability of the H&S practices. Finally, one-way ANOVA and t-test were conducted to determine personnel attributes perception on the implementation of the H&S practices. Findings – The five major H&S practices (constructs), namely, upper management commitment and involvement in H&S, employee involvement and empowerment in H&S, project supervision, project H&S planning and communication in H&S and H&S resources and training, were retained as reliable and valid practices of H&S within construction SMEs at project level. One-way ANOVA established no statistical significant difference on the respondents’ perception of the H&S practices. However, t-test revealed statistically significant difference on the respondents’ perception on, upper management commitment and involvement in H&S and H&S resources and training. The respondents with post-matric qualification strongly agreed that upper management are committed and involved in H&S. Originality/value – The findings may help construction SMEs to use these H&S practices to manage H&S in their projects. The SMEs may also consider the level of education of their personnel when implementing H&S practices of upper management and H&S resources and training.