Occupational health and safety (H&S) is important to the design, construction, maintenance, refurbishment and demolition of buildings and facilities in all branches of industry, business and commerce. H&S issues have been a major consideration in construction. Far too many people get hurt, injured or die even though the situation has improved over recent years. Accident and fatality rates continue to be significantly higher than other industry sectors. Although all parties involved in the construction industry may address their respective responsibilities, the lack of integration between each organization often results in communication problems which jeopardize H&S. Of particular note is the communication during the design phase. All information pertaining to the project must be readily accessible for all parties, to ensure smooth and hitch-free project execution. This research reviews the challenges in the communication of health and safety information in the design phase of construction projects. It characterizes the various aspects of collaborative communications at this stage and highlights the problem area. The research was conducted in the UK based on a combination of qualitative research methods including literature review, interviews and analysis of focus group interviews data. Observations on documentation and interviews are used to investigate the current industry practice. The literature reviews revealed that communication industry is facing challenges with its communication system due to the nature of industry itself. The construction industry is a fragmented and complex industry with too many parties involved in a project. These parties come from various backgrounds and involved in the project in a temporary duration. The parties who become team members must be able to establish a relationship in such a short period of time and create a communication system that enables all of the parties to collaborate and interact with each other.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.