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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/33643

Title: An exploration into the implications of the ‘compensation culture’ on construction safety
Authors: Oswald, David
Sherratt, F.
Smith, Simon D.
Dainty, Andrew R.J.
Keywords: Compensation culture
Safety
Applied ethnography
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: © Elsevier
Citation: OSWALD, D. ... et al, 2018. An exploration into the implications of the ‘compensation culture’ on construction safety. Safety Science, 109, pp.294-302.
Abstract: In UK society there has been a growing perception that unjustified, frivolous or fraudulent legal claims are being made following safety accidents or incidents, in what has become known as a ‘compensation culture’. Participant observation of construction practice during a three year period enabled the unpacking of the complexity of the compensation culture as manifested on a large construction project (+£500 m) in the UK, and revealed associated implications for safety management. The wider social perception a compensation culture exists in UK society was also found to being the case in the more narrow setting of this construction site, as making fraudulent compensation claims against their own organisations was a socially acceptable behaviour within some front-line workgroups. The organisation recognised this and took numerous steps to protect themselves from potential liability; which was unhelpful for safety, as actions were more about managing potential claims, than managing safety. This study demonstrates that the way H&S is viewed in a wider social context can influence the way H&S is managed in organisations, has provided deeper socio-cultural understanding into the complexity of safety practices, and raises important questions about our research approaches, which have traditionally focused in positivist roots, and have been unable to holistically capture social aspects that influence safety.
Description: This paper is closed access until 26 December 2019.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1016/j.ssci.2018.06.009
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/33643
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2018.06.009
ISSN: 0925-7535
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)

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