Relationship between Construction Safety and Quality Performance (strong positive correlation between rework and injuries)

More reasons to reduce and eliminate rework!.............. “The research objective was to empirically examine the relationship between construction quality and safety performance for the first time. Data from 32 construction projects of varying size, scope, and location were collected to meet this objective. On the basis of the empirical and opinion-based data analysis, it is evident that there is a correlation between construction safety performance and construction quality. The empirical data suggest two relationships that support this finding: the recordable injury rate is positively correlated to rework, and the first-aid rate is positively correlated to number of defects. The authors conclude that a project with a poor quality performance has a higher likelihood of injuries. The opinion-based data support this finding, showing that there is a relationship between perceived safety on a project and perceived construction quality. Finally, qualitative interview data were used to discover more specifically why a relationship exists and possible management approaches to simultaneous improvement of safety and quality……The most compelling reason for the strong positive correlation between rework and injuries is the fact that rework involves demolition, schedule pressure, and unstable work processes. They also noted that devoting resources to preplanning, allowing the necessary time to complete tasks correctly the first time, encouraging leadership at the workface, and encouraging workers to take pride in their work are all strategies that promote both safety and quality.”

(Relationship between Construction Safety and Quality Performance by Wanberg, Harper, Hallowell, and Rajendran, Journal of Construction Engineering Management, 2013)

May 31, 2016

Denis Leonard has a degree in construction engineering an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in quality management. Denis is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality, a Certified Quality Manager, Auditor, and Six Sigma Black Belt. He has been an Examiner for the Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners a Judge on the International Team Excellence Competition and a Lead Judge on the National Housing Quality Award. A former Professor of Quality at the University of Wisconsin, he has experience as a quality manager in the home building industry as well as construction engineer, site manager, and in training, auditing, and consulting with expertise in strategic and operational quality improvement initiatives. His work has achieved national quality, environmental, and safety management awards for clients. 

Denis is co-author of The Executive Guide to Understanding and Implementing the Baldrige Criteria: Improve Revenue and Create Organizational Excellence.


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