Safety training and positive safety attitude formation in the Australian construction industry

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Safety Science, 2019, 113 pp. 233 - 243
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Poor safety is a perennial problem for the construction industry worldwide. While there has been a large amount of research on construction safety training and its importance in developing positive safety attitudes, much of the evidence has been anecdotal. To address this gap in knowledge, this paper presents the results of an attitudinal survey of 228 construction employees from a variety of professional and trade backgrounds operatives in Australia who went through mandatory site safety training. It was found that the training was largely ineffective in changing workers’ safety attitudes. The minor change in safety attitudes that did occur were largely cognitive and behavioural in nature while the affective component of safety attitudes remained virtually unchanged. In other words, construction operatives emerged from the training with a slightly better knowledge of safety risks, a better intention to behave safely but not caring any more about safety as an issue. It was also found that gender, age and education are potential mediators in the safety attitude formation process. It is recommended that when developing safety training programs in the future, more attention should be paid to tailoring programs to the demographic characteristics of the people being trained and to the use of new interactive and immersive technologies and learner-centric andragogical pedagogies.
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