Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 9

Is Bigger Safer?
In a recent study I conducted of 530 workers
and managers from 48 of the 50 states,
organizational size did not differ in many
aspects regarding job site safety. Across
all organizational sizes, there was a high
level of importance and priority placed on
improving safety levels and rules, continuing to work safely when work falls behind
schedule, providing detailed safety reports
to workers, considering safety when setting
production speed and schedule and giving
safety personnel the power to do their job.
Yet, managers in small companies were
more likely to leave workers in charge of
their own personal safety with little supervision when compared to their mid- and
large-sized counterparts.
Managers, specifically those who adopted
a more autocratic or participatory leadership style, were more likely to prioritize
safety audits and were more likely to belong
to larger organizations. Larger organizations
were also more likely to place a higher
level of importance on requiring each
manager to help improve safety in his/her
department. They were also more likely to
prioritize investment in safety training and
safety-awareness events.
In essence, the research suggests that
larger organizations may place a greater
emphasis on each manager's responsibility
in creating a safer environment because they
have a larger number of workers to maintain.
They were also more likely to have resources
to invest in safety trainings and programs to
ensure their commitment to creating a safe
work environment.
Consequently, larger organizations were
more likely to have safety professionals
who adopted an autocratic leadership
Style, and therefore by nature, were
extremely concerned with following the
rules and regulations.

A New Awareness
Even with an awareness regarding the importance of job site safety,
the construction industry remains both hazardous and dangerous.
While it might seem counterintuitive to look to smaller construction
companies to find the answers regarding how to solve this problem,
smaller businesses are in fact the bridge between outdated modes of
measuring and managing culture and climate of safety and the new
age of construction safety management.
Building upon the idea of company size and its relationship to
culture and climate of safety, the construction jobsite and specifically
those safety issues influenced by leadership styles can be seen as not
resulting from one single safety act or omission. More specifically,
organizational influences, contracts, subcontracts, master agreements,
unsafe supervision, preconditions for unsafe acts and unsafe conditions or a combination of all are where the real issue of understanding
the problem exists. Therefore, smaller companies are fertile ground for
appropriately testing and implementing new safety measurements
and interventions. With fewer employees and less organizational bureaucracy, smaller companies have the ability to adapt to change more
rapidly, resulting in more readily apparent outcomes which in turn,
allow for adjustments to be made in real-time with measurable results
that can later be applied to larger companies.
The construction industry can no longer hide from its own flawed
truth, one that is highlighted by the reality that construction safety
management is systemically defective and as such, the worker is
at risk from the moment he/she steps onto the jobsite. Smaller
companies appear to hold the answers to the difficult questions that
the industry must no longer avoid based on the fact that many of the
traditional means and methods regarding worker safety simply do
not work.

Joshua Estrin, Ph.D, is
a partner with Sarasota,
Fla.-based construction
forensic services firm
Stephen A. Estrin &
Co. Inc., specializing
in construction safety
management. He is also
an adjunct professor at
Columbia University in
New York City. He can
be reached at joshua@
sa-estrin.com.

9

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM

SAFETY

often includes certain expertise and access to
high-level policies and procedures that the
worker may not possess.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - September/October 2017

Contents
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - Cover1
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - Cover2
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 1
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - Contents
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 3
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 4
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 5
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 6
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 7
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 8
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 9
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 10
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 11
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 12
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 13
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 14
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 15
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 16
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 17
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 18
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 19
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 20
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 21
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 22
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 23
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 24
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 25
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 26
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 27
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 28
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 29
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 30
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 31
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 32
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 33
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 34
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 35
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 36
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 37
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 38
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 39
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 40
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 41
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 42
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 43
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 44
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 45
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 46
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 47
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 48
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 49
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 50
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 51
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Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 53
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 54
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 55
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 56
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Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 58
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Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 63
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Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 77
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 78
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 79
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Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 81
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 82
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 83
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 84
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 85
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 86
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 87
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 88
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 89
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 90
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 91
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Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 93
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Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 101
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 102
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 103
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 104
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 105
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 106
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 107
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 108
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 109
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 110
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 111
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 112
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 113
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 114
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 115
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 116
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 117
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 118
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 119
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 120
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 121
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 122
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 123
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 124
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 125
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 126
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 127
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 128
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 129
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 130
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 131
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 132
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 133
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 134
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 135
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 136
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 137
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 138
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 139
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 140
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 141
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 142
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 143
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 144
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 145
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 146
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 147
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 148
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 149
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 150
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 151
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 152
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - Cover3
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - Cover4
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