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IJIE 2003 Quality and Safety Management Systems in Construction: Some Insight from Contractors


Safety statistics for construction indicate high fatality and injury rates ... They have an uncanny belief that it's not going to happen to them, and they ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: IJIE 2003 Quality and Safety Management Systems in Construction: Some Insight from Contractors

IJIE 2003Quality and Safety Management Systems
in Construction Some Insight from Contractors
  • Todd W. Loushine, M.S., P.E.
  • Peter Hoonakker, Ph.D.
  • Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Funding provided by CPWR (no. 1020-48)

  • Safety statistics for construction indicate high
    fatality and injury rates
  • Quality research indicates inefficiencies and
    mismanagement are wasting billions of dollars
  • The nature of construction requires the work
    processes to deal with uncertainties, continuous
    changes, and risk
  • We are investigating a new type of management
    system, to deal with the dynamic and uncertain
    nature of construction work

Safety Statistics
  • Construction fatalities account for 22 of the
    U.S. total, while employing only 7 of workforce.
    In comparison, manufacturing employs 15-21 and
    accounts for only 11 of fatalities (BLS, 2003)
  • W.C. premiums cost contractors anywhere from 1.5
    to 6.9 of total project costs (Agarwal
    Everett, 1997)
  • A construction company operating on a 3 profit
    margin would need to increase sales by 333,000
    to pay for a 10,000 injury, such as amputation
    of a finger (Construction Chart Book, 2002)
  • Indirect costs associated with worker medical
    injuries were estimated up to 20.3 times greater
    than direct costs (Hinze Applegate, 1991)

Safety Issues in Construction
Safety Issues in Construction
Cost of Quality in Construction
  • From a quality/productivity standpoint, labor
    typically accounts for 30 of project costs
    (Picard, 2000)
  • Manpower mismanagement and construction delays
    were found to contribute to 40-60 non-productive
    time for onsite work (Jereas et al., 2000)
  • Rework costs up to 12 of total project costs and
    up to 11 of total project work hours (Love et
    al., 1999)
  • Dun Bradstreet data indicate that construction
    business fail at a higher rate than all other
    businesses (Construction Chart Book, 2002)

The Nature of Construction
  • Three primary participants (Carty, 1995)
  • Owner wants something built
  • Designer develops a plan
  • Contractor converts a plan into a product
  • Construction is very complex and non-standardized
    (Rowlinson Walker, 1995)
  • Exposure to weather, dynamic site conditions,
    coordination of multiple parties, etc.
  • 81 of U.S. contractors have less than 9
    employees (Construction Chart book, 2002)

Our Concept Integrate Quality Safety Management
  • Apply traditional safety management (OSHA,
  • Management commitment
  • Employee involvement
  • Hazard identification and control
  • Training and education
  • Accident investigation
  • Program documentation and Review
  • To Quality Management principles (Dean Bowen,
  • Customer-focus
  • Team work
  • Continuous Improvement

Our Basic Research Question
  • Can quality and safety be integrated into a
    management system?

Literature Review
  • Conducted Fall 2001, updated Fall 2003
  • Key search engines ABI inform, WebSPIRS,
    ProQuest, PsychINFO, and Web of Knowledge
  • Key words quality, TQM, quality management,
    safety, safety management, occupational safety,
    construction, and construction industry
  • 18 construction safety articles
  • 26 construction quality articles
  • 2 empirical and 3 theoretical articles on safety
    and quality management

Safety Management Articles
  • Positive effect on safety performance indicators
  • Management commitment (9)
  • Audits/observations (8)
  • Strong safety culture/climate (8)
  • Communication (6)
  • Employee involvement (5)
  • Continuous improvement (4)
  • Safety through Designers (3)
  • Partnerships (1)
  • Training (alone) was not found to improve safety
  • Safety performance comprised of incidence rates,
    EMR, survey response, and observations

Quality Management Articles
  • Positive effect on quality performance
  • TQM, in general (7)
  • Employee empowerment (4)
  • Partnering with subs and suppliers (4)
  • Customer focus (3)
  • Team work (3)
  • Management commitment (3)
  • Communication (2)
  • Continuous improvement (2)
  • Quality performance indicated by cost (budget)
    and time (schedule) growth, number of
    defects/errors, survey response,
    audit/observations, and customer satisfaction

Quality Management Articles
  • Barriers to successful implementation
  • nature of construction
  • poor understanding of customer expectations
  • lack of management commitment/leadership
  • lack of worker empowerment
  • Self-assessment tools, such as ISO 9000, MBNQA,
    and BS 5750 were helpful
  • Also found to improve safety performance in a two

Safety and Quality Management Articles
  • Safety and quality criteria used in
    pre-qualification for hiring subcontractors
  • The complexity of an integrated SQ management
    system requires expertise and resources
  • Based on a survey, quality managers were more
    positive than safety managers about integrating
    quality and safety
  • The Deming approach was applied to safety
    management (theoretical)

Objectives for Interviews
  • The literature review indicated
  • Characteristics of safety programs
  • Safety performance indicators EMR, IR
  • Characteristics of quality programs
  • Quality performance indicators budget and
    schedule growth
  • Safety and quality integration has been given
    minimal attention by researchers
  • We wanted to know what contractors were doing for
    safety and quality, and what they thought about
    integrating quality and safety

  • Interviews (face-to-face and telephone) were
    conducted in the Summer and Fall of 2002.
  • A list of interview candidates was provided by
    the WI ABC, attempted to provide a variety of
    work specialty and contractor size
  • Out of 12 candidates, nine interviews were
  • Semi-structured interview format was used
  • Interviews ran between 30-75 minutes, and were
    tape recorded for transcription

Study Sample
Results - Safety
  • 5 contractors felt that the EMR was the best
    representation of safety performance
  • Safety goals cited varied, zero accidents(6)
    and/or reduction of the EMR(3)
  • Education/training of workers(3), more
    involvement by GC(3), and management
    commitment(2) were cited for safety performance
  • Contractors felt that worker attitude(3) and
    nature of construction(5) were barriers
  • I think the biggest barrier (to safety) is the
    worker himself. They have an uncanny belief that
    its not going to happen to them, and they dont
    need to do it (work safely).

Results - Quality
  • Cited measures for quality how it looks, work
    hours to complete, productivity or efficiency
    rating, meeting schedule deadlines, visual
    inspections, number of building defects, repeat
    business, customer satisfaction rating, and
    cleanliness of jobsite
  • Quality improvement methods reported
    education/training(4), teamwork(2),
    accountability(2), audits(2), and use of
    pre-qualification(1) data for hiring subs
  • Reported barriers to quality improvement
    included worker attitude(4), lack of
    awareness(3), product/supply problems(2), and the
    nature of the construction process(2)
  • Boy, I dont know how you would collect data on
    the quality performance.

Results Quality and Safety
  • Concerning similarities, 2 acknowledged the
    potential benefits (improved productivity,
    happier workers, better business)
  • 6 contractors felt that safety and quality were
    two entirely different issues (and required
    special attention)
  • 3 contractors indicated that a strong safety
    program would probably improve quality
  • You have people that either have their stuff
    together and are doing well, and then those who
    are not following safety are not running a good
    business either.

  • Safety response were similar to the literature
  • Use of EMR IR for safety performance
  • Traditional safety characteristics
  • However, focus on worker
  • Quality responses were not similar to the
  • Varying definition of quality, and metrics
  • Limited acknowledgement of a formal system
  • Similar to safety, focus on worker
  • Integration of quality and safety not well
    understood, limited application

  • Construction is a complex process, involving
    multiple parties (with individual interests) to
    transform a mental concept into a physical
  • The non-standard or unpredictable nature of
    construction increases the variability within the
  • An integrated safety and quality management
    system could help reduce some variability in the
    construction process, however it is not very well
    understood at this time

  • Professors P. Carayon, M.J. Smith, UW-Madison
  • Professor E.A. Kapp, UW-Whitewater
  • WI ABC Safety Director Don Moen
  • CPWR for support
  • Thanks for Listening!
  • For more information or copies of reports,
    contact Todd W. Loushine at twloushine_at_wisc.edu
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