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Title: The influence of safety culture on safety performance in Saudi Arabian construction industry
Author: Saad, N. M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 7895
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2016
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Over the past decades, there has been a realisation that safety, within the Saudi construction industry, has been facing challenges. Even though there are good safety practices in many organisations, the industry lacks well publicised legal provisions and standards for employers to use as a means with which they can incrementally develop a safety culture in the workplace, and eventually, improve the safety performance of the industry. This research, therefore, explores and evaluates the influence of current safety culture on safety performance in the Saudi Arabian construction industry. It aims to develop a framework that could be used as a stepwise process for improving safety culture, and positively impact the safety performance in Saudi Arabian construction. The research adopted interpretivism philosophy as the epistemological position and subjectivism as the ontological assumption, which depends on people’s interpretations and their actions. In line with the philosophical stance, the research adopted a deductive reasoning by developing a theory of the issues of safety culture through research questions; and then adopted a research strategy of case study and survey to execute the research. It also adopted a mixed methodology where both qualitative and quantitative methodologies were envisaged to be relevant to the research. The survey approach included semi-structured interviews and questionnaire as techniques. For the questionnaire survey, 135 responses were received from the ranks of managers, engineers, foremen, and labourers in Saudi Arabian construction companies. Using SPSS software, and with the help of the ANOVA test for correlations, the research was able to isolate 29 factors that were associated with commitment to safety procedure, including training and practices. The highest ranked factor was on helping workers secure necessary training in order to avoid accidents and ensure safety. The results from the survey were corroborated by interview results from the three case studies. Using thematic analysis, interview data identified six main factors as components of safety culture in construction organisation in Saudi Arabia. Based on the empirical evidence from the data, the research concludes that the industry, as a whole, has a positive appetite to improve safety culture; and that there is a good realisation that safety performance can only be achieved if there is a good safety culture in the industry. The research also found that even though there is a positive outlook for safety culture, the industry struggles to operationalise it and make it pervasive industry wide. The major reason for weak operationalisation of the safety culture has been the lack of strong framework for consistent implementation of safety practices, which can integrate regulations, standards and best practices from local and international organisations that operate in the Saudi Arabian industry. The value of this research lies in the potential is has to helping stakeholders realise the highly correlation between the safety and organisational culture, and to make a connection with the overall improvements in the productivity of the industry while reducing number of accidents in their work places; hence developing a sound safety culture. The research has a two tiered recommendation, short term and long term recommendations that need to be instituted on a continuous basis. The first tier recommendations relate with the short term improvement in improving commitment to safety practice in order for employees to feel that the safety culture is relevant such as the habit of using PPEs in the workplace is recommended. The second tier recommendation relates to improving the commitment to safety procedures, proper training for construction activities and applying reward management system in the workplace. The two tier recommendations require a regulatory and standards based framework from the industry in order to localise safety culture for improved safety performance in Saudi Arabia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Ministry of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available