Safety climate factors in construction – a literature review

Umar, Tariq (2020) Safety climate factors in construction – a literature review. Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, 18(2), pp. 80-99. ISSN (print) 1477-3996


It is an established fact that a mature safety climate and a rich safety culture contribute to achieving a safe workplace. This paper aims to explore and to make explicit the existing safety climate assessment tools and dimensions and suggests the leading factors that can be used for safety climate assessment in construction. The construction industry and the status of occupational safety and health are firstly discussed in a global context. The concept of safety climate is then discussed with a review of different safety climate factors from the published literature. A qualitative research method was employed to explore the existing safety climate factors. A total of 19 safety climate assessment tools with 103 safety climate factors spanning over a period of 39 years (1980–2019) are discussed. The most prevailing safety climate factors including management commitment, training, employees’ involvement, behaviour, communication, accountability and justice, and leadership are discussed in the paper. It is recommended that the factors discussed in this paper may need to be validated first before they are incorporated in the assessment of the safety climate of a specific construction project and organisation in a country or region.

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