Literature review: Improving health and safety in the construction industry through cultural transformation

Natalie Carol Skeepers, Charles Mbohwa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The construction industry require a different approach to their management of health and safety in the workplace from the functional hierarchical line management approaches adopted to connecting with employees on floor level who are executing projects. The study suggests a cultural transformation approach in creating safety as a value, rather than a priority. Organisations that successfully create high performing committed employees who share the same culture and values that aligned to improving safety performance and reducing potential workplace disasters. Although no universal definition of corporate culture exists, it appears to reflect shared behaviours, beliefs, attitudes, values, organisational goals, functions and procedures. Organisational or corporate culture seems to be the only glue that holds together common values of improving the health and safety performance. Leaders think about the future all the time, they are also responsible constructing a culture in the workplace that promotes safer workplaces and influencing employees to work safer. These principles and characteristics of effective leadership reflect contemporary beliefs and behaviors based on the fact that today's leaders recognise the need to define a vision and mission for success, build trust, share power in effective ways, develop positive relationships, lead by serving first, and build a sense of community within the organisations they support. The ultimate benefit for the employee is that they are actively engaged, engerised, confident about their organisation's health and safety strategy, changes that are occurring, rather than confused and resigned. Employees know what they are supposed to be doing and how that relates to the tasks to that of their colleagues.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication6th International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management in Kuala Lumpur, IEOM 2016
PublisherIEOM Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780985549749, 9780985549756
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventIEOM Detroit Conference, IEOM 2016 - Southfield, United States
Duration: 23 Sept 201625 Sept 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management
ISSN (Electronic)2169-8767


ConferenceIEOM Detroit Conference, IEOM 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Cultural transformation
  • Leadership behaviour
  • Safety culture
  • Safety performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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