Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive show that the UK construction industry has approximately 80 fatalities per year, making the construction industry one of the most dangerous industries when compared to other industries. The reduction of construction accidents in the construction industry has led to the need for thoroughly analysed construction environment information which can be effectively utilised in formulating construction health and safety planning strategies, thus enabling the construction industry meet accident reduction targets. However, existing approaches to information analysis mainly focus on factors within construction health and safety information during analysis and do not shed light on the influencing socio-economic and spatially influenced issues within which the industry’s accident contributory factors are rooted. It is also clear that limitations of information usage in the construction industry are due to the fragmented nature in which health and safety information is availed to practitioners for ultimate utilisation in the construction process. There is, therefore, a need for more appropriate decision-support mechanisms that can take account of spatial contributory factors to accident occurrence. There is also a need for mechanisms that enhance the management, analysis and utilisation construction environment information from varied sources for integration in the construction process. The failure to utilise information from varied sources in the construction industry, means that adequately analysed information is lacking for integration in construction health and safety planning strategy formulation process. This study was initiated as a response to this challenge. This prompted further research into the utilisation of health and safety information and its integration in the construction process. A survey involving 215 construction stakeholders was conducted to establish the limitation and requirements of health and safety in the construction industry. Results derived through qualitative analysis further emphasised the need for enhanced health and safety information analysis and integration for use in decision making. The research explored how the spatial element present in all in construction environment information could be utilised to account for accident contributory factors. This led to the exploration Geographical Information System (GIS), a mechanism that takes into account spatial aspects of bodies of information of the phenomenon being explored, for its potential capabilities in management and analysis of construction environment information. The implementation of the GIS-based system known as Geographical Information System for Accident Prevention (GISAP) is then presented. The evaluation of the system by prospective end-users reveals the limitations and benefits of the system implementation and recommendations made for further research. In conclusion, it was clear from this study that this approach has the potential to provide a quick referencing GIS success that can link, organise, analyse and display accident data and other construction and non construction environment data. This can assist stakeholders in decision making during formulation of construction health and safety strategies. The approach can improve understanding of analyses and can enhance the handling of queries related to accident data and other data. This innovative approach can also offer an extra dimension of safety information management, identify trends and areas for effective accident preventive action and ultimately enable development and directions of future work and to engender wider debate.
Ikpe, Elias Okede (University of Wolverhampton, 2009)
The Health and Safety Executive estimated the annual cost to British employers and other duty holders failing to comply with health and safety requirements to be up to £18 billion. It is estimated that the construction industry contributed £2billion of these appalling statistics. To date, health and safety management is still perceived as being costly and counterproductive in the construction industry. This research investigated the net benefit of accident prevention and explored the relationship between preventative costs and these benefits, with a view to drawing attention to the economic consequences of effective/ineffective management of health and safety by contractors in the UK construction industry. The need to investigate the cost of accident prevention in relation to overall benefits of accident prevention is therefore deemed necessary. A quantitative research methodology was employed in investigating these costs and benefits within the UK construction industry. From the ratio analysis small contractors spend relatively higher proportions of their turnover in total on accident prevention than medium and large contractors, and medium contractors spend a higher proportion of their turnover in total on accident prevention than large contractors. The results also show that medium and small contractors gain relatively higher proportions of their turnover in total as benefits of accident prevention than large contractors. The benefits of accident prevention far outweigh the costs of accident prevention by a ratio approximately 3:1. The relationships between these costs and benefits were examined. The costs of accident prevention were found to be positively and significantly (P < 0.005) associated with benefits of accident prevention. These associations were modelled using simple linear regression, and from these models it can be inferred from the results that the more contractors spend on accident prevention the more they derive benefits of accident prevention, which would improve health and safety performance on construction sites. ii The developed model was subsequently validated using experts and practitioners opinion from the UK construction industry. This developed model should provide good guidance to assist contractors in developing effective and efficient health and safety management for UK construction industry.
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