A comparative study on adopting human resource practices for safety management on construction projects in the United States and Singapore

Diana N.C. Lai, Min Liu, Florence Y.Y. Ling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

Good project management outcomes include completing projects to an acceptable level of quality, within budget and on time. As construction accidents may cause project delays, safety management plays an important role in a project's timely completion. This study aims to undertake a comparative study of HR practices adopted for safety management on construction projects in the United States (US) and Singapore and to investigate the relationship between HR practices and construction safety management outcomes (severity and frequency of accidents). The research method included exploratory interviews and industry surveys of contractors in the US and Singapore by email and post. Data were collected using structured questionnaires. Compared to Singapore contractors, the results show that US contractors' project management practices place significantly more emphasis on highlighting organizational safety values to new workers and taking working experience into account during the selection process. On the other hand, Singapore contractors place more emphasis on providing appropriate rest areas for workers. Many HR practices are significantly correlated with safety management outcomes. These include: taking age into consideration during selection process and giving feedback to workers about their unsafe behaviour. It is recommended that project managers adopt relevant HR practices that lead to more effective safety management on construction projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1018-1032
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Volume29
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Construction safety
  • HR practices
  • Safety outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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