Using Empirical Data to Identigy Effective Safety Management Strategies in Construction Companies

Luis Fernando Alarcon1, Diego Acuna2 & Sven Diethelm3

1Head and Professor, Department of Construction Engineering and Management, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. E-Mail: lalarcon@ing.puc.cl
2Graduate Researcher, Centro de Excelencia en Gestión de Producción (GEPUC), Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. E-Mail: deacuna@puc.cl
3Manager, Centro de Excelencia en Gestión de Producción (GEPUC), Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. E-Mail: sdiethel@gepuc.cl

Abstract

This paper explores the use of mathematical analyses methods to identify the components of effective management strategies applied by a safety management organization in construction companies. The authors believe that effective methods and strategies are closely related to Lean Construction strategies and one objective of this research was to explore this hypothesis. In Chile, “Safety Mutuals” are nonprofit organizations that provide medical insurance and technical assistance on safety management to companies in all the economic areas. In the last 40 years these institutions have helped to reduce accidents to 1/5th in the Chilean companies. Over the years they have introduced hundreds of methods/practices to prevent and mitigate accidents; however, there is little evidence of the effectiveness of individual or combined methods used in companies to manage safety issues. The authors selected a sample of over 1100 construction firms, and 221 individual methods/practices applied in these companies to analyze their effectiveness in reducing injury rates over a period of 4 years. Different methods were used to analyze a massive database including: visual analysis of graphical information, statistical analyses, and several data mining techniques. A survey to companies was also prepared to complement the data analysis and identify the relationship of safety methods with lean practices but these results are not available yet and will be reported in a future paper. The analysis of safety performance and associated safety practices allowed the identification of trends, individual and combined impacts of practices and the selection of analysis methods that have the potential to support the design of safety management strategies in the near future.

Keywords

Construction, Safety Management, Partnering, Relational Contracting.

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Reference

Alarcon, L.F. , Acuna, D. & Diethelm, S. 2011, 'Using Empirical Data to Identigy Effective Safety Management Strategies in Construction Companies' In:, Rooke, J. & Dave, B., 19th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Lima, Peru, 13-15 Jul 2011.

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