Underlying Causes for Risk Taking Behaviour Among Construction Workers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceedingpeer-review


Purpose – This paper will examine the unsafe work practices that are plaguing the construction industry. Statistics show that four out of five of all workplace accidents are attributed to unsafe behaviour. Research studies have sought to understand worker self-protection. For example, it is difficult to make predictions of conditions that influenced worker’s behaviour to act unsafely or safely in a given work situation. It is evident
there is a gap in the literature in this area of research, most notably failing to understand the underlying “why” factors. The aim of the study is to identify and examine the proximate set of contributing factors most likely to have an influence on workers’ decisions about participation in unsafe behaviour.
Design/Methodology/Approach – To perform the study, questionnaires were adopted, and 225
construction workers from 9 construction companies participated in the study.
Findings – Results showed that both underlying organisational factors and individual factors could affect the risk aversion among construction workers. The paper also highlights measures to create a safe work environment to minimise unsafe behaviour among construction workers. Results from the study are important to help organisation to systematically plan for a good working environment.
Research limitations – As the results were based only from the questionnaires, a deeper understanding behind the workers’ responses was not probed.
Practical implications – Construction companies should work at several organisational levels at the
same time. It is necessary to include levels such as individual, group, workplace and management levels, thus taking a systemperspective on risk behaviour and safety.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization
Editors Irene Lill, Emlyn Witt
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-83867-051-1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 26

Publication series

NameEmerald Reach Proceedings Series
ISSN (Electronic)2516-2853

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Work Sciences
  • Construction Management

Free keywords

  • Risk taking
  • Unsafe behaviour
  • Construction workers
  • Underlying causes
  • Management
  • Risk-taking behaviour


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