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Thesis - A Study of performance measurement of safety systems in construction
The University of New South Wales, Australia, 2006


In Australia, there has been increasing concern for the creation of safe working environments in the construction industry. A recent study by the Royal Commission into the Building and Construction industry (RCBCI) found that the five-year average of fatalities in the industry is 53 deaths per year. The impact of “grief and loss on families is immeasurable” (RCBCI, 2003) The Royal Commission report stated, “The construction industry is one of the highest risk industries in Australia and has an unacceptably high level of workplace fatalities, injuries and disease” (RCBCI, 2003).

Past researchers have attempted various approaches to improve the safety performance in the construction industry. These include measuring safety climate and correlating safety climate and behaviour. Past studies have also found some co-relation between safety climate and behaviour modification.

Performance measures based on Key Performance Indicators (KPI) have been developed to measure safety in construction. Earlier, KPI’s were based on outcome indicators such as accidents, or lost time injury rates (LTI’s) (Trethewy 2003). The outcome indicators are reactive and well after the event. More recently the focus has shifted to positive performance indicators.

Research Problem
No research has been found that looks at performance measurement ‘throughout’ construction project cycle. This study set out to develop a performance measurement framework that is able to provide feedback and drive improvement throughout construction project cycle.

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