Developing Safety Climate Indicators in a Construction Working Environment

Miaomiao Niu*, Robert M. Leicht, Steve Rowlinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Safety climate has been widely used as a leading indicator of safety performance across multiple high-risk industries, including construction. Despite extensive efforts to measure the safety climate on construction projects, few tools incorporate environmental factors to address construction-industry-specific or project-site-specific indicators. This research focused on identifying the context-specific construction indicators that affect safety climate on construction sites. A literature review was used to develop the framework of safety climate environmental factors of construction sites. Then two focus-group discussions with 17 safety experts were conducted to identify and validate the safety climate factors and indicators specific to the construction context. The results reveal a framework of dynamic and environmental safety climate indicators that could influence on-site safety and be captured through safety climate survey methods. Twenty-five environmental safety climate indicators, across four categories of environmental safety topics not addressed by currently used safety climate tools, were identified by the focus-group discussions. These indicators address the dynamic environment of construction sites and the unique concerns emerging from evolving trade interactions. The results serve to advance the value and application of safety climate assessments to improve proactive approaches for identifying and mitigating safety risks specific to the construction industry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04017019
JournalPractice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


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