Date of Award

Winter 1-1-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering

First Advisor

Matthew. R. Hallowell

Second Advisor

Amy Javernick-Will

Third Advisor

James E. Diekmann

Fourth Advisor

Keith R. Molenaar

Fifth Advisor

Rodolfo Valdes-Vasquez

Abstract

Effective safety communication has been found as a major practice to enhance safety performance. Open discussion from supervisors to employees, immediate feedback and corrections, and implementing a lesson-learned program are examples of practices that help managers to improve on-site safety communication. Yet, safety communication has become more challenging, especially for bi or multi-lingual construction work crews in which Hispanic workers account the majority of the construction workforce in some States. Beside the language barrier, cultural differences have also influenced safety practices for Hispanic workers. This dissertation employs social network analysis approach to quantify and model the weaknesses and potential points of safety communication for small work crews. Additionally, it uses exploratory interview and Photovoice techniques to study safety challenges for Hispanic workers. This dissertation follows a three-journal paper formation. The first paper is an exploratory study that models and quantifies the five safety communication modes of local small construction crews; in addition, it generates visualized networks of communication patterns. The second paper investigates the relationships between personal attributes, communication patterns, and safety performance of 161 participants from 14 different work crews. The third paper proposes research to study and determine the cultural challenge of safety for Hispanic workers. Further, it aims to determine theoretical and practical solutions about existing concerns and issues from Hispanic workers' perspectives.

Share

COinS