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Business Management Question
Write a Research Proposal on Safety Management in the Construction Industry.
Business Management Solution
Safety management is a very important aspect of the construction industry known for a high level of injuries and accidents. The construction industry, even in developed countries like the USA and Europe, is well known for the high rates of injuries and fatalities. One in ten construction workers in the US is injured every year (Burger, 2014). Developing countries like South Africa, India, UAE etc. which are seeing a big boom in construction and related activities due to increasing population. The situation in these countries is that safety rules do not usually exist and even if they do, the regulatory bodies are not very successful in implementing them.
Safety management in the construction industry saw its origins in developed countries. These were days where the “safety first” paradigm existed for decades, and scientific rigour was brought to the study of the safety of construction personnel as budgetary pressures were not as severe as they are in today’s fast-paced construction projects. Despite so much attention and importance and scientific study in this area in developed countries, the construction industry continues to have a high rate of accidents and fatalities. The UK reported 79,000 cases of self-reported injuries for the year 2015-16 (HSE, 2017).
This research proposal seeks to look into the aspect of both physical safety as well as mental well being of workers on construction worksites. This research will consider the use of mobile phones technology to ensure both safety and well being of construction workers and help them achieve a good work-life balance.
The construction industry of today suffers from a lack of skilled workers. One of the solutions suggested to remedy this scenario is increasing automation and lowering the dependency on human workers. (Garlick, 2017). This is, of course, a possible solution for the safety woes that have traditionally plagued the construction industry. However, even with increased automation, the demand for highly skilled workers to oversee, operate and conceive new construction projects and strategies will ensure that the construction industry will always depend on human workers for its existence and development and growth (Garlick, 2017).
Young workers who are entering the construction industry belong to a generation that grew up with rapid improvements and revolutions in communication technology. The world moved from large computers that occupied a whole room to mobile technology that today encompasses more computing ability in the palm of the common man on the street through a cell phone. Today’s mobile phones have put into the hands of every person on the planet, more computing, and communication technology than could be conceived of a few decades ago. Therefore the generation of young workers entering the workplace today grew up with technology and communication at their fingertips.
Young workers today want and demand that their information needs be met at the workplace. The belief that mobile phones at construction worksites are a work hazard is slowly being replaced with the view that they are now necessary to attract young workers who cannot conceive of a lifestyle without mobile technology at their fingertips. The construction industry has to acknowledge this changing need of the workforce and look into harnessing the power of this new technology for the benefit of their industry and the workers. The new workers entering the construction workforce are conditioned to absorb information only when it is broken down into bite-sized pieces (Garlick, 2017). Young people learn through interaction with their peers on social media and through video and mobile games. Construction companies need to move to these new formats to create an incentive for young workers to enter the workforce and use new technology for the strengths they will bring to their own industry needs, for example, video games are said to be good for goal setting and strategizing. Embracing change rather than fighting global change seems to be the way forward for the construction industry.