This research used a combination of focus groups and detailed study of 100 construction accidents, using an ergonomics systems approach, to identify where safety is compromised and why. Drawing together the findings, an accident modal has been proposed, illustrating the hierarchy of influences in construction accidents. The modal describes how accidents arise from a failure in the interaction between the work team, workplace, equipment and materials. These immediate accident circumstances are affected by shaping factors, whereby the actions, behaviour, capabilities and communication of the work team are affected by their attitudes, motivations, knowledge, skills, supervision, health and fatigue. The workplace is affected by site constraints, work scheduling and housekeeping. Concludes that achieving a sustained improvement in safety in the industry will require concerted efforts directed at all levels in the influence hierarchy.
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