Empirical Investigation of Factors Contributing to the Psychological Safety Climate on Construction Sites

Yuzhong Shen*, Tas Yong Koh, Steve Rowlinson, Adrian J. Bridge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Employees' safety climate perceptions dictate their safety behavior because individuals act based on their perceptions of reality. Extensive empirical research in applied psychology has confirmed this relationship. However, rare efforts have been made to investigate the factors contributing to a favorable safety climate in construction research. As an initial effort to address the knowledge gap, this paper examines factors contributing to a psychological safety climate, an operationalization of a safety climate at the individual level, and, hence, the basic element of a safety climate at higher levels. A multiperspective framework of contributors to a psychological safety climate is estimated by a structural equation modeling technique using individual questionnaire responses from a random sample of construction project personnel. The results inform management of three routes to psychological safety climate: a client's proactive involvement in safety management, a workforce-friendly workplace created by the project team, and transformational supervisors' communication about safety matters with the workforce. This paper contributes to the field of construction engineering and management by highlighting a broader contextual influence in a systematic formation of psychological safety climate perceptions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04015038
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


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