Benefits and barriers of construction health and safety management (HSM): Perceptions of practitioners within design organisations

Nicholas Chileshe, Emmanuel Dzisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the perceptions of practitioners working within the UK design organisations on the perceived benefits of health and safety management (HSM). It further explores whether these perceptions could be influenced by the external factors such as the length of service in employment, organisation size, and the professional disciplines and educational backgrounds of the respondents. The study proposes the HSM index, an indicator reflecting the level of benefits from HSM approaches within the construction sector. Design/methodology/approach: Using a data triangulation approach involving quantitative and qualitative methods and a KAP (knowledge, attitudes and perceptions) approach, a total of 110 questionnaires were distributed to the practitioners drawn from the small and medium sized design organisations within the UK, of which only 30 were deemed usable, giving a response rate of 27.3 per cent. Findings: The ranking analysis suggest that "safer workplace", "enhanced company reputation", and "decrease in accidents" as the most important benefits arising from deployment of HSM programmes among the practitioners whereas "improved work performance", "increased organisational performance ", and "reduced sickness and absence from work" though least ranked, still attained medium level of benefits. The findings further identified organisational skills as the most desirable for the effective implementation of safety management by project managers. The overall weighted HSM Index of 3.68 implies that the small and medium sized UK constructional related organisations perceive the benefits that arise from the deployment of HSM systems as medium. Originality/value: The findings may help construction practitioners in reviewing decisions factors when they consider implementing HSM during the various stages of the construction process, from feasibility, design, tender and actual construction stage, also for improving their HSM approaches through considerations of the cognitive impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-298
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Construction industry
  • Design organizations
  • Health and safety
  • Health and safety management (HSM)
  • Project performance
  • Small to medium-sized enterprises
  • United Kingdom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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