Conversations about life, health, and safety: social supports for young construction workers’ health and safety

Summary

This project examines the nature of supervisor-worker communication about safety issues, health (mental and physical) and experiences outside work in the NSW construction industry. Supervisor-worker communication and supervisor support have been identified as critical determinants of young construction workers’ experience of injury and ill-health and are key factors in improving injury prevention and health protection practices.

Funded by icare, and in partnership with the Master Builders Association NSW and the Centre for Work Health and Safety NSW, this research will enable industry partners to develop healthy, safe and supportive workplaces for young construction workers, who are identified as a high-risk subgroup of the construction industry’s workforce.

The three-year project utilises a mixed methods approach with three primary goals:

  • To understand the way that supervisors and workers talk about life, health, and safety
  • To identify the characteristics of supportive interaction and supervision of young workers
  • To identify organisational or context-related drivers of conversation failure (e.g. time pressure, lack of support etc).

A randomised controlled trial (RCT) will evaluate three interventions designed to encourage young workers and their supervisors to talk openly about issues of life, health, and safety. The results will inform the development of training and guidance strategies for workplaces taking on young construction workers.

 

Team

  • Helen Lingard
  • Rita Zhang
  • Jack Clarke
  • Lyndall Strazdins (Australian National University) 
  • Christine LaBond (Australian National University) 
  • Tinh Doan (Australian National University) 
  • David Solomon (Master Builders Association NSW)
  • Omesh Jethwani (Master Builders Association NSW) 
  • Skye Buatava (Centre for Work Health and Safety NSW) 
  • Heath Noy (Centre for Work Health and Safety NSW)
  • Daniel Craig (Centre for Work Health and Safety NSW)

Partners

  • icare
  • The Australian National University
  • Master Builder Association NSW
  • Centre for Work Health and Safety NSW

Publications

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.