Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Matthew R. Hallowell

Second Advisor

Keith Molenaar

Third Advisor

Paul Goodrum

Abstract

This study focused on the investing practices and perceptions of safety professionals in the construction industry. The objectives of this study were carried out in two separate phases. First, interviews about current investing strategies were conducted on professionals in construction firms. A comparison of the strategies implemented by each of the interviewees showed specific distinctions in eight strategies and were identified as being a proactive, neutral, or reactive investment methods. The interviewees were categorized based on their investment methods and analyzed. A T-test was conducted and showed a difference between the lower Recordable Incident Rate from companies with a majority of proactive investment methods against those companies that didn't have a majority of their investment methods being proactive. In the second phase, a questionnaire with 25 independent scenarios was sent out to analyze how safety professionals responded to different investment scenarios. Each of the scenarios were constructed with three major variables. A safety intervention type (training/program, consultant, tools & equipment, and engineering system), injury severity level (first aid, medical case, lost work time, and fatality), and injury event (various incidents) were given as categories to analyze. Also, each scenario was given a reduction factor (percentage) and an initial cost or future savings expected from the intervention being implemented. The scenarios asked the respondent to choose whether he or she would invest in the scenario (yes or no) or asked the respondent to provide the cost he or she was willing to invest in the program. Utility values were calculated and analyzed based on the responses. An ANOVA analysis was used to determine the differences in the scenario variables. The results showed that each of the three variables had an effect on how much the respondents would give as an investment towards safety. The intervention type variable showed the greatest utility difference among the three variables. A Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test was performed on seven categories within the three variables and two categories from the reduction factor attribute. The results showed that the "Consultant" type, "All Incident" injury event, and reduction values of 100% had an effect on higher utility questionnaire responses.

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