The impact of supervisors’ and site managers’ behaviour on work health and safety in the construction industry

Summary

The supervisory leadership and work health and safety (H&S) communication practices of 20 workgroups engaged in rail construction work were investigated.

A survey of workers was undertaken to examine supervisors’ leadership styles, perceptions of the workgroup H&S climate and self-reported H&S-related behaviour. An analysis of communication network patterns within workgroups was also undertaken. Site-based observations and conversations with supervisors and workers were used to supplement survey data and gain deeper insight into supervisors’ H&S leadership practices and their impact.

The research showed significant variation in supervisors’ leadership style, workgroup H&S climate and workers’ self-reported participation in discretionary H&S activities between workgroups. Further, supervisors’ leadership style was statistically significantly linked to workers’ self-reported H&S behaviour. On-site observation also identified characteristics of supervisory H&S leadership associated with strong and positive safety climates and positive safety outcomes.

Team

  • Helen Lingard
  • Rita Peihua Zhang
  • Payam Pirzadeh
  • David Oswald

Partners

  • Melbourne Metro Rail Authority/Level Crossing Removal Authority

Publications

Peer-reviewed papers/outputs

 

 

 

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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.