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Assess the safety culture awareness among managers

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    1.0 INTRODUCTION

    Worldwide, construction is one of the most hazardous industries due to its unique nature of the industry (Jannadi and Bu-Khamsin, 2002). Furthermore, construction is often classified as higher and unacceptable injury rates (Charles Y.J. Cheah, 2007). It is needed to implement safety and health program in construction industry to reduce the injury rates and fatality rates. Safety and health issue have gained a wide attention in worldwide at construction sites.

    Construction is a high hazard industry that comprises a wide range of activities involving construction, clearance, alteration, and repair. Examples include residential construction, bridge erection, roadway paving, excavations, demolitions, and large scale painting jobs. Construction workers engage in many activities that may expose them to serious hazards, such as falling from rooftops, unguarded machinery, hit by falling object, being struck by heavy construction equipment, slip and fall, electrocutions, silica dust, and asbestos. In order to reduce the accident that happens at construction site, there should have an awareness of safety culture among employees. Awareness of safety culture need to be derived to all employees before the day their start working.

    The safety and health problem in Malaysia construction industry has a very poor record compared to other industries. The statistics of accident by industry in the year 2011 showed that fatal accident in construction industry is the highest with 51 death cases compared to 2429 number of accidents by other industry. This statistics proves that safety status in construction site is at a critical condition. The Malaysia government has formulate a number of legal requirements such as Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 (OSHA 1994) and Factories and Machinery Act 1967 (FMA 1967) to decrease the annual accident and fatality rate but the accident rates are still at an unacceptable level. To increase the current safety issue, safety culture awareness need to be established in between employees and employer.

    1.2 ORGANIZATION OVERVIEW

    1.2.1 Company corporate profile
    The present research will be conduct at The Boss Service Suites, maiden project by the Hotwer Development Sdn Bhd. Hotwer Development Sdn Bhd was established in year 2008 to venture into property development in line with the Founder’s vision to develop and build iconic buildings. The company has a vision to improve, upgrade and enhance the real estate value through these developments. Hotwer stands for Hotel Tower as the maiden project is a Serviced Suite development. Ground works and inception of this maiden venture began in 2009 with the acquisition and planning for a prime land located at the gateway into Klang town. Statutory approvals were all obtained in 2010 and physical works began in the same year. Official launch held in 2011 saw tremendous sales reaching almost 100%. Physical works are currently in full swing and the entire project when completed in 2013 will be the focus of the property development circle and pride of the Company. The company mission is to strive to create a branding in our products that will far surpass industry expectation.

    1.2.2 Organization Chart

    1.2.2.1 Chairman

    Dato’ Yusli bin Mohamed Yusoff, 52 year old, graduated with a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Essex (United Kingdom) in 1981. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, England & Wales, the MIA, the Malaysian Institute of Certified Accountants as well as an Honorary Member of the Institute of Internal Auditors Malaysia.

    He began his career with Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co London and since held various key positions in a number of public listed and private companies in Malaysia, providing him with experience in property and infrastructure development, telecommunications, engineering and merchant banking. His career in stock broking commenced in 2000, when he was appointed the CEO of CIMB Securities Sdn Bhd. He also served as the Chairman of Association of Stock Broking Companies Malaysia from 2003 to 2004.

    He was the former Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Bursa Malaysia and a Director of its group of Companies. He also sits on the Capital Market Development Fund Board and is an executive committee member of the Financial Reporting Foundation of Malaysia and Malaysian Accounting Standards Board.

    1.2.2.2 Chief Executive Officer

    Chew Yem Sing is a witty entrepreneur with a big vision. Prior to the inception of this Organization, Chew Yem Sing was very active in the building hardware industry. His involvement was via Earth Mover Industry Sdn Bhd, a manufacturer and exporter of industrial plastic sheets. He was very active in its day to day operation for 5 years to prior venturing into property development. His maiden venture into property development is The Boss Serviced Suites in Klang. The business model and the development concept were mooted by Chew Yem Sing. He also played a major role in conceptualizing the design and facade of this unique and iconic looking
    building.

    Today as the CEO, his role in the Organization is operation driven. His involvement in Sales & Marketing has greatly helped in the sales and in addition to other areas of the Organization’s operations. As a great advocator of ‘Branding’ he has created a niche product and also branded the Organization as a young and innovative corporate set-up.

    1.2.2.3 Managing Director

    Dato’ Edmond Chew Kar Chong (as he is widely known) came on board the Organization at the onset and has lent his critical business accruement and financial assistance during the initial set-up period. His many years as being an entrepreneur are an asset to the Organization in its infancy stage.

    In his personal capacity, Dato’ Edmond is the Principal of Goodnite Sdn Bhd, Goodnite Enterprise (M) Sdn Bhd, Good Foam Industries Sdn Bhd and Casanova Industries (M) Sdn Bhd. All related Companies producing Goodnite brand of mattresses and its related products. They are among the top producers of mattresses in this Country.

    1.2.2.4 Executive Director

    Quah Chee Hui is carries with him many years of experience in the property development and construction industry. Throughout the many years of experience he has in property development, he has established a good rapport and networking support from related quarters e.g. solicitors, consultants and contractors.

    His involvement in property development started since 1996 through some ventures mainly in Klang and Shah Alam. The Companies he has jointly established for these property development projects are Metro Sehati Sdn Bhd, Suez Domain Sdn Bhd, Iktimetro Sdn Bhd, Uni Dynasty Holdings Sdn Bhd, Dynasty United Sdn Bhd and Xia Jia Development Sdn Bhd. These developments are mainly light industrial buildings, terrace houses, semi detached houses,
    shop offices and apartments. Quah Chee Hui is appointment as the Executive Director brings new dynamism to the Organization as he spearheads the Project Department.

    1.2.2.5 General Manager

    Ong Beng Khoon graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from the National University of Singapore in 1990, he returned to Malaysia in year 1993 after a short stint of employment in Singapore.

    Since his return, he has been in property development having worked for Bolton Berhad and later on as the General Manager for Titijaya Group of Companies. Having been exposed to property development for some 20 years, he has experience in development projects of various natures from industrial, residential, commercial, high rise, hypermarkets, to turnkey projects.

    Ong Beng Khoon’s experiences are indeed valuable for the Organization as it undertakes to build its maiden project – an iconic 28-storey serviced suite cum retail building in Klang called The Boss Serviced Suites.

    1.3 AFFILIATED PARTNERS

    1.3.1 Goodnite Sdn Bhd
    The Goodnite brand was established in 1989 with one mission in mind – to offer better, healthier sleep to Customers with its mattresses. Goodnite believes that a good-night sleep is the key to healthier living.

    The Goodnite name is recognized for its sleeping assurance, which makes Goodnite a trusted name for generations.

    Today, the Organization has established itself as one of the top three leading bedding manufacturers in Malaysia. Goodnite focuses in investing in the industry’s best technology to help Customers achieve better, quality sleep. Its commitment, quality and service have been the driving force
    behind its star-studded line-up of mattresses and other bedding products.

    1.3.2 The Boss Management Sdn Bhd

    The Boss Management Sdn Bhd Is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hotwer Development Sdn. Bhd.

    The Boss Management Sdn. Bhd. is a Property Management Company specializing in managing and providing hospitality services. It was founded with the aim of providing hotel management services. Through the collaboration with Hotwer Development Sdn. Bhd. via the Boss Serviced Suites, it hopes to build a foundation of managing a full-fledged boutique hotel.

    1.4 PROJECT OVERVIEW

    1.4.1 Project Profile

    The Boss Serviced Suites is the latest addition to the fast paced modernization of the royal capital of Selangor, Klang. The future tallest & iconic building is poised to be the centre of vibrant life and commercial activities. The Boss is a 28 storey contemporary building incorporating 377 units of service suites, 3 storey retail and F&B podium.

    The Boss will be your choice location for formal and informal meetings, a wide variety of culinary delights, and the most modern retail therapy or spa indulgences. Each suite at The Boss comes complete with modern furnishings which are functional, convenient and opulent. With tourism on the rise for Klang, The Boss will be the accommodation of choice for visitors both from neighboring states as well as countries. Purchasers looking for a golden opportunity to invest in a home that offers occasional stays and yet be assured of healthy investments returns need not look any further.

    Being in the heart of Klang city and connected by main road networks, The Boss is within easy reach of Westport Malaysia and Northport, Malaysia’s largest logistics hubs. With steady economic development, many new local and
    foreign logistic and trading companies will take root in and around Klang. Upon completion, The Boss will cater to thousands of business travelers and functions annually, and will play an essential part to Klang city’s business in the future.

    1.4.2 Project Team

    Developer: Hotwer Development Sdn Bhd
    Architect: Akipanel Architects Sdn Bhd
    Civil & Structural Engineer: Setia Runding Sdn Bhd
    Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Perunding MNE-Mexergy
    Quantity Surveyor: CNH Jurukur Bahan
    Land Surveyor: Jurukur Generasi
    Town Planner: Berkat Consult
    Landscape Architect: MLA Landscape Architects Sdn Bhd
    Interior Designer: Harris Haus Sdn Bhd
    Piling Contractor: Peck Chiew Piling (M) Sdn Bhd
    Main Contractor: Superforte Construction Sdn Bhd

    2.0 OBJECTIVE OF THE RESEARCH

    This research is undertaken because of the importance of safety culture at the workplace with the main intent to assess how employees perceive safety culture at their workplace, and to provide recommendations for improving the site safety at project currently under construction. Especially, the objectives of the present research are as followings: To determine the level of safety culture among managers, supervisors, and workers in the construction site. To determine the factor which contribute to safety culture.

    To determine the current safety measures in the construction site. To recommend opinion for improve safety culture awareness among employees in the construction site.

    3.0 PROBLEM STATEMENT

    The construction industry is an important sector in any national economy, especially regarding its employment potential. But accidents, incidents, injuries, and fatalities continue to occur unabated on construction sites around the world at consistently high rates (Hinze, 1997). The construction industry tends to have a low awareness of the long-term benefits of safety practices, while the tendering process often gives little attention to safety, resulting in cost and corner cutting (Biggs et al, 2005). This is due to the diverse and complex nature of work tasks, trades and nature of construction workplace. Construction sites can be dangerous to contractors and subcontractors if they fail to meet the safety standards. Many studies have been done on safety at construction site, and many causes are said to contribute to accidents at the workplace such as falling from heights, falling materials, exposure to chemical substances, heavy lefts during formwork, and accident involving personnel unsafe act.

    4.0 LITERATURE REVIEW

    This study was conducted principally to study the safety culture in The Boss Service Suites construction site. Specifically, this study was to achieve these related objectives: (a) to identify the level of safety culture awareness among employees in the construction site; (b) to identify factors which contribute to safety culture; and to recommend ideas for improve the safety culture awareness among employees at work. To achieve these objectives, the study was conducted among managers, supervisors, and workers in a construction site in Klang, Selangor. Data for the study were collected through questionnaires.

    4.1 A REVIEW OF CONCEPTS AND THEORIES OF SAFETY CULTURE

    The concept of safety culture promotes universal understanding of the accident phenomenon since it helps clarify people’s perception of safety and behavior related to safety. Safety culture is a term used to describe the way in which safety is managed in the workplace, and often reflects “the attitudes, beliefs, perceptions and values that employees share in relation
    to safety” (Cox and Cox, 1991). Building a safety culture on so many diversities is not an easy task. But it had been proven that companies with good safety and health cultures have employees with positive patterns of attitude towards safety and health practices. Companies need to gather safety related information, measure safety performance and bring people together to learn how to work more safely. Glendon and McKenna (1995); Caborn (2005) also identified four critical indicators of safety culture. They are:

    i. Good organizational learning, whereby organizations are able to identify and respond appropriately to changes. ii. External factors, including the financial health of the organization, the prevailing economic climate and impact of regulation and how well these are managed. iii. Effective communication, it leads to commonly understood goals and means to achieve them at all levels. iv. Organizational focus upon safety and health, how much time and attention is essentially paid to safety and health.

    Fig 4.1: Gellor’s safety triad.

    4.2 SAFETY TRIAD THEORY
    Gellor investigated a safety triad theory (see Fig 4.1) in which he thought that a “Totally Safety Culture” should maintain a continue monitoring process to three domains which are environment, behavior factors, and person factors. They are dynamic and interactive and the changes in either one factor will eventually impact the other one. Once people choose to act safety, they act themselves into safe thinking and the corresponding behaviors often result in some environment change.

    5.0 METHODOLOGY

    The main objective of this study was to assess and describe safety culture among managers, supervisors, and workers in a construction site. Therefore, to carry out his research, a quantitative method was been used. To achieve the objective, a set of questionnaires was used as the main data collection technique.

    5.1 QUANTITATIVE METHOD

    Quantitative research is empirical research where the data are in form of numbers (Loraine & Christina & Malcolm, 2006). Furthermore, quantitative data is piece of information that can be counted mathematically. Usually gathered by surveys or questionnaires from large numbers of respondents selected randomly. Besides that, secondary data such as census data, government statistics and etc are another type of quantitative data.

    5.1.1 Advantages
    Quantitative research allows the researcher to measure and analyze data. The relationship between an independent and dependent variable is studied in detail. This is advantageous because the researcher is more objective about the findings of the research. Quantitative research can be used to test hypotheses in experiments because of its ability to measure data using statistics. Besides that, the data can be very consistent, precise and reliable. Data collection is usually cost efficient.

    5.1.2 Disadvantages
    The main disadvantage of quantitative research is the context of the study or experiment is ignored. Quantitative research does not study things in a natural setting or discuss the meaning things have for different people as qualitative research does. Another disadvantage is that a large sample of the population must be studied; the larger the sample of people researched, the more statistically accurate the results will be. Quantitative research has another more disadvantage that is difficult to understand context of program activities and the data may not be robust enough to explain complex issues.

    6.0 HYPOTHESIS

    H0: Organizational commitment and communication are positively correlated to accident
    reporting system.

    H1: Organizational commitment and communication are negatively correlated to accident
    reporting system.

    H0: Personal role is positively correlated to workforce’s influence.

    H1: Personal role is negatively correlated to workforce’s influence.

    H0: Personal role is positive correlated to risk taking behavior and obstacles to safe behavior.

    H1: Personal role is negative correlated to risk taking behavior and obstacles to safe behavior.

    7.0 POPULATION AND SAMPLE

    A research population is generally a large collection of individuals or objects that is the main focus of a scientific query. Population is also known as a well-defined collection of individuals or objects known to have similar characteristics. All individuals or objects within a certain population usually have a common, binding characteristic or trait. A sample is simply a subset of the population. The concept of sample arises from the inability of the researchers to test all the individuals in a given population. The sample must be representative of the population from which it was drawn and it must have good size to warrant statistical analysis. The main function of the sample is to allow the researchers to conduct the study to individuals from the population so that the results of their study can be used to derive conclusions that will apply to the entire population. It is much like a give-and-take process. The population “gives” the sample, and then it “takes” conclusions from the results obtained from the sample.

    The population of this study is the employees of a construction site project in Klang, who consist of managers, supervisors, and workers involved in the maiden project of Hotwer Development Sdn Bhd in Klang. 40 samples was
    decided that the data to be collected.

    8.0 DATA COLLECTION

    The data collection technique of this study been used is questionnaires technique. Questionnaires are one of the most widely used social research techniques. The idea of formulating precise written questions, for those whose opinions or experience you are interested in seems such an obvious strategy for finding the answers to the issues that interest you.

    The questionnaire (refer to Appendix A) consisted of one section and ten (10) statements. The section asked questions about safety culture. Table 8.1 summarizes the number of item asked in the questionnaire.

    Table 8.1: Items in the questionnaire
    Section
    Variables
    No. of Items
    Section one
    Reporting of accident and near misses
    2

    Workmate’s influence
    3

    Risk taking behavior and some contributory influence
    5

    9.0 DATA ANALYSIS

    Since the present study was interested in describing the level of safety culture awareness, descriptive analyses were used, such as computation of frequencies and percentages. In addition, other analyses were also carried out, for example, a t-test was performed to analyze the differences in gender with respect to perception towards safety culture to enhance further understanding about the safety culture awareness and perception amongst the respondents.

    10.0 RECOMMENDATION FOR PRACTICE

    Based on the finding, a numbers of recommendations that can use by the organization to improve their safety performance in the construction site are offered such as the following:

    Management should prove sufficient training to their employees to create a learning culture in the construction site.

    Employees should be involved in all organizational activities especially related to safety issues at work site.

    The safety committee members should play their roles and responsibilities according to OSHA 1994 in order to improve the effectiveness of the safety and health management system.

    The employer has to ensure an appropriate safe working environment (i.e. proper ventilation, comfortable working space and good housekeeping) to all employees.

    Managers and supervisors staff can launch some safety promotion campaign to raise the workers awareness.

    11.0 CONCLUSION

    The purpose of this study was to assess the awareness level of safety culture among three groups of employees (managers, supervisors and workers) and to identify the current safety culture in the construction site, and provide recommendations for improve safety culture awareness among the three groups of employees in the construction site.

    In general, this study has managed to describe the current practice of safety in the organization under study and hence to offer valuable information to construction practitioners and safety professionals in the direction of cultivating safety culture in the construction site.

    However, these finding are only applicable on construction personnel in The Boss Service Suites project site.

    REFERENCE

    [1] Jannadi, O.A. and Bu-Khamsin, M.S. (2002). Safety factors considered by industrial contractors in Saudi Arabia. Building and Environment, 37(5): 539–547. [2] Y.J.Cheah, C. (2007). Construction Safety and Health Factors at the Industry Level: The Case of Singapore. Construction in Developing Countries , 12. [3] Bakri, R.M. Zin, M.S. Misnan, and A.H. Mohammed., “Occupational safety and Health (OSH) Management Systems: Towards Development of Safety and Health Culture,” In the Proceedings of the 6th Asia-Pacific Structural Engineering and Construction Conference (APSEC 2006), 2006. [4] Hinze, J. W. (1997). Construction Safety. Columbus, Ohio: Prentice Hall. 1-6. [5] Biggs, H.C., Sheahan, V.L. dan Dingsdag, D.P. (2005). A Study of Construction Site Safety Culture and Implications for Safe and Responsive Workplaces, The Australian Journal of Reheabilitation Counselling, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 1-8. [6] Loraine Blaxter, Christina Hughes and Malcolm Tight. (2006). How to Research (3rd ed.). Two Penn Plaza, New York, USA: Open University Press. [7] Malaysia (1994). Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994. Act 514. [8] Malaysia (1967). Factories and Machinery Act 1967. Act 139. [9] Tonya Smith-Jackson, Sharnnia Artis,
    Yu-Hsiu Hung, Hyung Nam Kim, Caleb Hughes, Brian Kleiner and Alicia Nolden. (2011). Safety Critical Incidents Among Small Construction Contractors: A Prospective Case Study. The Open Occupational Health & Safety Journal , 39-47. [10] Council, O. S. (2001, September). A Survey of Safety Culture in Hong Kong Construction Industry. 1-15.

    [11] Caborn, J. (2005). News From The ILO: ILO World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2005, IOHA Newsletter, January 2005, Vol. 13, No. 1, Geneva: International Labour Office. [12] Glendon, A.I dan McKenna, E.F. (1995). Human Safety and Risk Management, London: Chapman and Hall. [13] Cox, S. &. (1991). The structure of employee attitudes to safety. a European example Work and Stress , 5, 93-106. [14] Gellor, E. (2001). The psychology of safety handbook. New York: Lewis Publishers.

    APPENDIX A
    Questionnaire
    INSTRUCTION: Please read carefully before answering the questions. Personal information
    1. Gender (Male/Female):

    2. Occupation:

    SECTION ONE: Please read the question carefully before circle the answer. Scale: 1. Strongly Disagree. 2. Disagree. 3. Neither Agree or Disagree. 4. Agree. 5. Strongly Agree.

    1
    Accidents and incidents that happen here are always reported. 1
    2
    3
    4
    5

    2
    Near misses are consistently reported, investigated and reviewed at my
    workplace. 1
    2
    3
    4
    5

    3
    All the people who work in my team are fully committed to safety. 1
    2
    3
    4
    5

    4
    My workmates react strongly against people who break safety procedures or rules. 1
    2
    3
    4
    5

    5
    Most employees in my work group would not feel comfortable if their work practices were observed by their workmates. 1
    2
    3
    4
    5

    6
    Some of the workforces pay little attention to safety.
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5

    7
    Some people have a poor understanding of the risks associated with their work. 1
    2
    3
    4
    5

    8
    Not all the safety procedures/ instructions/ rules are strictly followed by people. 1
    2
    3
    4
    5

    9
    People are sometimes pressured to work unsafely by their colleagues. 1
    2
    3
    4
    5

    10
    People who work in your company sometimes take risks at work which you could not take yourself. 1
    2
    3
    4
    5

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