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Title: Relationship between personality trait and multi-national construction workers safety performance in Saudi Arabia
Authors: Al-Shehri, Yousef
Keywords: Big Five personality
Multi-cultural construction
Safety construction
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: © Yousef Al-Shehri
Abstract: Given the large economic and social costs of work-related accidents and injuries, it is not surprising that organisations strive to reduce them; this creates a need to improve the safety performance of the whole construction industry. Health and Safety statistics in general appear to suggest a levelling off of safety performance across the construction industry as a whole and this implies that improving safety beyond the current level of attainment calls for a radical look at how safety is addressed by the industry. Such a radical approach needs to explore alternatives to current practices in safety improvement. Although it is acknowledged that human factors are involved in 80-90% of work-related accidents and incidents, the focus of safety research in recent years still addresses only organisational and environmental factors, rather than variables at the level of the individual. Occupational personality models suggest that the ability to understand, predict and control incidents could minimize their potential transition into accidents. The safety behaviour of the individual worker forms part of such occupational personality modelling. Understanding the safety behaviour of construction workers should provide opportunities for improvement beyond traditional practices in the quest to improve safety management. The study on which this thesis is based aimed to develop a conceptual framework for improving safety performance on sites. This was achieved by exploring, on the one hand, the relationship between the personality traits of individual workers and their safety behaviour (safety participation, safety compliance and safety motivation), and incident rates on the other. The data for the analysis was drawn from multi-cultural construction workers in Saudi Arabia. The emergence of the Big Five personality model has been widely accepted as a valid and reasonably generalisable taxonomy for personality structure and has been used by numerous researchers as a framework to explore the criterion-related validity of personality in relation to job performance. This study employed the Big Five categorisation of traits to explore the relationship between fundamental dimensions of personality and potential for involvement in accidents and incidents. The principal findings from the study showed a very good level of acceptance by practitioners in Saudi Arabia for the conceptual framework developed for managing safety behaviour. The study also established that some personality traits moderated the effects of safety behaviour for incident rates. In addition, the analysis revealed that individual workers characterised by conscientiousness and openness are least likely to experience incidents, and consequently, accidents and injuries at work. However, individuals characterised by high extraversion, neuroticism and low agreeableness are more likely to be v involved in incidents, and potentially, accidents and injuries. These important findings have significant ramifications for the way safety development and training for construction workers should be addressed in the future. Recommendations from the study culminated in the development of a conceptual framework for improving safety performance which aimed to minimize incidents attributable to the worker. The framework relies on the attitudes and behaviours of employees in proposing mitigation strategies for the construction industry.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
Sponsor: Saudi Goverment
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/18041
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)

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