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Title: Knowledge Management for Safety Culture - An Integrated Framework for Construction Industry
Authors: Deepak, M. D.
Supervisors: Mahesh, Gangadhar
Keywords: Department of Civil Engineering;Safety;safety culture;knowledge;knowledge management;construction industry
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal
Abstract: There has been a growing concern among researchers and practitioners on improving occupational health and safety in construction industry. In order to understand and improve occupational health and safety, many researchers and practitioners are utilizing the construct of safety culture. Considering the working nature of construction industry is mainly through projects that are transitional, knowledge and experience are generally lost when a project nears completion. Unfortunately, the transitory nature of work within the industry frequently hinders an organization’s attempt to develop and maintain a good safety culture. Also, lack of knowledge management strategies in safety-related issues causes loss in the knowledge that is gained in the project. These missed opportunities for learning trigger reoccurrence of accidents and this accident repetition phenomenon can be mitigated by effective implementation of knowledge management strategies in construction projects. However, there is dearth of studies on knowledge management strategies to prevent reoccurrence of accidents and thereby improve safety culture in construction industry. Harnessing the power of knowledge management is important for minimizing accidents occurring at construction projects. Up until now, there has been no study that focuses on the influence of knowledge management as a key dimension to improve safety culture in construction industry. Moreover, from review of literature, knowledge dimension was found to be a neglected dimension in developing overall safety culture in construction industry. Therefore, the aim of this study is to identify and assess key factors that affect knowledge-based safety culture in construction industry. The study first developed a conceptual framework with underlying factors that affect knowledge-based safety culture in construction industry. A questionnaire survey was formulated after identifying 69 influencing factors from a thorough literature review. In total, 210 valid responses were obtained from key stakeholders operating in Indian construction industry. Data collected from the survey responses were analyzed to assess the measurement scale by determining the reliability and validity of the survey instrument. The developed survey instrument provides a pragmatic approach for construction project managers to evaluate the effectiveness of their safety management practices and identify the effort needed for improvement of safety.Results suggest that the survey instrument appears to be a reliable, valid and sensitive instrument that will contribute in examining the effect of key factors that influence the importance of knowledge dimension towards developing safety culture in the construction industry. Further, the causal relationship between knowledge-based safety culture dimensions is determined by conducting Partial Least Square Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM). Results indicate that all safety culture constructs including the neglected knowledge dimension are effective in explaining the overall safety culture of construction industry. Understanding the relationship among the key factors that impact knowledge-based safety culture is important for assessing cultural aspects of the work system. For continuous monitoring and reviewing safety culture in any organization, an assessment framework is a prerequisite. To achieve this, results of the questionnaire survey are used to develop an assessment framework using critical knowledge-based safety culture factors. Different case scenarios were considered to validate the assessment framework. Through this analytical framework, safety culture scores can be computed and the assessed scores can facilitate benchmarking. This will help in determining the strengths and weaknesses of safety management practices and thereby encourage organizations to improve in these areas. The outcome of this research could be utilized to configure targeted safety practices and enhance overall safety performance of construction industry. Also, this research can contribute to the promotion of safety theory in Indian construction industry and provide practical implications for construction enterprises when they engage in improving safety conditions in their organizations.
Appears in Collections:1. Ph.D Theses

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