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Andersen, L P S and Grytnes, R (2021) Different ways of perceiving risk and safety on construction sites and implications for safety cooperation. Construction Management and Economics, 39(05), 419–31.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Construction sites; perceptions of safety and risk; safety management; qualitative study; safety rules;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0144-6193
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/01446193.2021.1904516
  • Abstract:
    Construction is a dangerous industry when it comes to workplace injuries, and workers' unsafe behaviour accounts for 80–90% of the injuries. How risk is perceived by individuals and groups affects safety behaviour, and this study examined how different occupational groups on construction sites perceived safety and risk and how these perceptions influenced behaviours and practices related to safety cooperation. Over a period of 4 months, 36 semi-structured interviews and 36 days of observations were carried out with different occupational groups at two construction sites. The results showed that a rational way of perceiving safety and risks was most prominent among project managers, whereas an intuitive way of perceiving safety and risks was prominent among workers. Furthermore, foremen at the two sites voiced a perception of safety and risk that was ‘in between' these two approaches. The results also showed that the differences in perceptions of risk and safety had implications for safety cooperation at the sites which arguably lead to unsafe safety behaviour/practice. Acknowledging and integrating different perceptions of risk and safety could be a valuable starting point for construction safety management and could improve cooperation about safety.