Associate Professor and Billy Gibbons, Ergonomist
Worker involvement is widely seen as a key factor in improving safety and ergonomic performance. The transient nature of construction sites presents particular challenges to implementing and maintaining such participation. Toolbox meetings, safety committees, and suggestion systems are traditional means of worker involvement but they usually don't achieve the level of worker involvement or ownership of safety sought by contractors pursuing "injury free" workplace cultures. Best Practices Sampling (BPS) was developed as a crew-driven performance management approach to safety on construction sites that builds worker involvement into the daily work of the site. In a facilitated process the crew or work team develops a list of best practices required for safe performance of their work tasks. All crew members then participate in daily collection of samples of practices over a defined period to establish a baseline performance. The crew then identifies critical practices to target for improvement and sets performance goals. Further sampling measures performance over time against the criteria established by the crew. The data obtained is fed back into the process to determine where improvement has been made and which practices continue to need targeting. The process also identifies factors that lie outside of the crew's control and where intervention at other levels of the construction project is necessary. BPS requires management support but is based on maximum worker involvement.The BPS process is hypothesized to improve safety performance by
BPS was implemented on an industrial construction site on a pilot basis with six subcontractors working under a single general contractor Effectiveness of implementation varied among crews and contractors. Important factors included:
A fuller implementation is planned using lessons learned from the pilot. This includes:
The paper will present preliminary findings on implementation and outcomes from this next phase based on worker and subcontractor questionnaires and interviews and participant observation.