Reducing Construction Accidents—Top Management's Role

by Raymond E. Levitt, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Cambridge, Mass.,
Henry W. Parker, (F.ASCE), Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Stanford Univ., Stanford, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 3, Pg. 465-478

Document Type: Journal Paper


A study of the policies and practices used by top managers in construction firms has demonstrated that top managers, by their own actions, can significantly reduce accident costs in their companies. Data were collected from a questionnaire survey, an in-depth study of one company, and face-to-face interviews with top managers and safety directors in 23 construction firms. Data from the interviews were analyzed using each company's workmen's compensation insurance experience modification rate as a measure of safety. From the analysis, guidelines were developed which can be used by top managers who want to reduce accidents in their own companies. The data indicate that top managers should know about accident rates on individual projects, and use this knowledge in decisions about salary and promotion of field managers. They should use their cost reporting system to encourage safety, and should insist on orientation of newly hired workers, and detailed work-planning at the job level.

Subject Headings: Managers | Construction management | Occupational safety | Construction companies | Information management | Accidents | Construction costs | Data collection

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