Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Alarcón L.F., Acuña D., Diethelm S. and Pellicer E. (2016)

Strategies for improving safety performance in construction firms

Revista : Accident Analysis & Prevention
Volumen : 94
Páginas : 107-118
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Over the years many prevention management practices have been implemented to prevent and mitigate accidents at the construction site. However, there is little evidence of the effectiveness of individual or combined practices used by companies to manage occupational health and safety issues. The authors selected a sample of 1,180 construction firms and 221 individual practices applied in these companies to analyze their effectiveness reducing injury rates over a period of four years in Chile. Different methods were used to study this massive database including: visual analyses of graphical information, statistical analyses and classification techniques. Results showed that practices related to safety incentives and rewards are the most effective from the accident rate viewpoint, even though they are seldom used by companies; on the other hand, practices related to accidents and incidents investigation had a slight negative impact on the accident rate because they are frequently used as a reactive measure. In general, the higher the percentage of prevention practices implemented in a strategy, the lower the accident rate. However, the analysis of the combined effect of prevention practices indicated that the choice of the right combination of practices was more important than just the number of practices implemented.