American Society of Civil Engineers

A Framework of Teamwork Attributes Affecting Workers’ Safety

by Panagiotis Mitropoulos, Ph.D., (Associate Professor, Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, San Diego State University, San Diego CA 92182. E-mail: and Babak Memarian, (Research Associate, Dell E. Webb School of Construction, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, 85287. E-mail:
Section: Organizational and Labor Issues, pp. 1400-1409, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Construction Research Congress 2012: Construction Challenges in a Flat World
Abstract: In recent decades, several sectors of the economy (aviation, shipping, power generation, healthcare, etc.) have emphasized teamwork as a key strategy for systematic error management and accident prevention. This study focuses on the role of team processes in the safety of construction work groups. The paper first reviews the key teamwork constructs (cognitive, affective and behavioral attributes of teams) and develops a framework of teamwork attributes that are important for safety. This framework is based on an extensive review of the teamwork literature from several disciplines and sectors. Then, the framework is used to identifies the teamwork challenges in the context of construction operations. Finally the paper provides directions towards systematic improvement of the teamwork processes in construction crews.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Construction management
Personnel management