Objectives To qualitatively explore the impact of a safety communication and recognition program (“B-SAFE”) on safety attitudes and beliefs among construction workers.
Method B-SAFE consisted of weekly, detailed feedback to foremen and workers on safe and unsafe work practices. B-SAFE ran for approximately 5 months on three commercial construction sites in Eastern Massachusetts. Sites were paired with a similar worksite (and same owner or general contractor), and data collection methods were identical at each site. Focus groups and key informant interviews were conducted to qualitatively assess the program’s impact on workers’ perception of site safety. Transcripts of focus groups and key informant interviews were coded and analysed for thematic content using Atlas.ti (V7).
Results At B-SAFE intervention sites, workers noted increased levels of safety awareness, communication, and teamwork, when compared to experiences on-site before the program, and to past worksites. Workers attributed an increase in morale to B-SAFE, noting that increasing safety performance feedback helped to improve safety conditions. One worker stated, “[B-SAFE] increased the level of awareness around safety conditions on-site (...) Instead of cutting corners, we’d do it right.” Workers at sites without B-SAFE noted that the safety level was comparable to past worksites.
Conclusions The B-SAFE program led to many positive changes on-site, including an increase in safety awareness, teambuilding, and collaborative competition. Future quantitative data analysis to evaluate program effectiveness including worker surveys, safety inspections, and injury reports will augment these qualitative results.
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