Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering

First Advisor

Matthew Hallowell

Second Advisor

Keith Molenaar

Third Advisor

Paul Chinowsky


The current construction safety and health management strategy is informal and safety program elements are selected without consistency across the industry. This is especially true for small construction companies who typically operate with a limited safety and health management budget. To guide these small construction firms, this study develops a tool to maximize the effectiveness of their current safety program. This study uses the Delphi method to gain consensus among thirteen experts in the field of construction safety and health. The experts quantify the interrelationships of the following highly-effective safety program elements: emergency response planning; first aid facilities; frequent safety inspections; job hazard analysis; project based safety incentives; record keeping and accident analysis; safety and health committees; safety and health orientation; site-specific safety manager; site-specific safety plan; subcontractor selections and compliance; substance abuse programs; training and regular safety meetings; upper management support; and worker participation and involvement. The interrelationships that are quantified determine the percent increase each safety program element has on the effectiveness of the other safety program elements. Through this cross-impact analysis a decision support system is developed that will help construction managers select the most effective safety program elements for their present safety program.