Research Projects

IOSH Pictorial Research - Impact of Safety Images on Knowledge and Behaviour

Dr Iain Cameron and Dr Billy Hare have won a new research grant (£100,000) from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) that will test their pictorial safety messages with construction workers with little (or no) understanding of English. The funding will allow them to "establish whether there is evidence that the delivery of hazard information and instruction, using pictorial aids, can be linked with improvement in targeted competencies and behaviours amongst second language workers".

The twelve month study leads on from pioneering work completed last year for CITB-ConstructionSkills in which the team developed hundreds of images to communicate H&S information. This initial work has resulted in a new chapter in the CSkills, industry standard, publication "Construction Site Safety (GE700)".

The new study will measure the longer term impact of using images to convey UK-specific rules and standards of which many workers from outside the UK are unaware. The team plan to implement a series of intervention studies using images to convey specific information during "tool-box-talks" and measure worker knowledge and behaviour.

The study will conclude early 2010 and it is hoped that workers will benefit from the work with an increased awareness of site hazards, site rules, emergency procedures etc., as well as learning safety specific words and phrases for emergency situations. Easily accessible guides to aid communication of H&S informatin will be made available with the aim of improving language and integration of second language workers into the culture of UK construction sites.

IOSH Research & Development: £101,000 (12 month project)

Impact of safety images on knowledge and behaviour: completion due early 2010.

CITBConstruction Skills: £76,000 (9 month project)

Critical Safety Images for Migrant Workers, internal report 2008 and Industry guidance: module F5 of GE700: published 2009.

IOSH R&D Fund: £87,000 (12 month project)

What makes superior H&S performance: 1st research report to be funded by the IOSH R&D fund: for access please go to: http://www.iosh.co.uk/files/funds/Glasgow_RR_full.pdf

IOSH Construction Division: £98,500 (12 month project)

Improving consultation and worker engagement in the construction industry: HSE contract 516: published Dec. 2006, for access please go to: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr516.pdf

HSE Construction Division: £14,000 (6 month project)

Reconciling contractor accident statistics: total value £39,000 GCU share, £14,000 HSE internal report: published 2005.

HSE Construction Division: £95,000 (12 month project)

Factors in Scottish construction accidents (with Bomel and Warwick niversity), total value £200,000: GCU share £95,000, HSE contract 443: published 2006. For document access please go to: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr443.pdf

HSE Construction Division: £97,000 (18 month project)

Integrated gateways: planning our health and safety risk, HSE CRR 263: completed 2004. For document access please go to: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr263.pdf

IOSH Funded Research Project - WHAT MAKES SUPERIOR HEALTH AND SAFETY PERFORMANCE: Investigating the relationship between the provision of professionally competent OSH management resources and superior H&S performance in construction organisations

Does your organisation invest in OSH personnel? If your answer is yes, no or 'kind-of' then we need your help.

We have developed a questionnaire in relation to IOSH funded research 'What makes superior H&S performance'. The research objective is to investigate the relationship between the provision and application of professionally competent Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) personnel and OSH performance in construction organisations. However, we also need data from those who do not employ in-hose OSH personnel for comparison.

The questionnaire should not take long to complete. However, you are best completing it in your office as you will need information from other colleagues. To give you an idea of how long this will take the questions are summarised below:

Q1&2 type of organisation
Q3 age of organisation
Q4 Turnover
Q5 Number of accidents & incidents
Q6 OR 7 Number employed OR Hours worked
Q8/9/10 Detailed information about OSH personnel
Q11 OSH training of line managers
Q12 - Q17 Overview of how OSH is implemented in your organisation
Q18 Financial information to calculate indicative costs (complete as much of this as you can)

The questionnaire should be accompanied with an organisational chart showing OSH reporting lines & function in relation to rest of your organisation. Please download your preferred format from the 3 documents below then send your completed form(s) to b.hare@gcal.ac.uk or fax 0141 331 3696 or post to Dr Billy Hare, Glasgow Caledonian University, BNE, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA.


Questionnaire PRINT for those who prefer to complete by hand
Questionnaire ON SCREEN for those who prefer to complete electronically
Blank Organisational Chart for those who do not have their own organisation's chart to submit

HSE RR302 - A technical guide to the selection and use of fall prevention and arrest equipment


The report describes a study on fall prevention and arrest equipment available to the construction industry. The objectives of the research are to critically appraise:

  • Purlin Trolley Systems
  • Safety Decking
  • Fall Arrest Mats
  • Safety Netting
  • Cable and Track-Based fall arrest systems
  • NASC's SG4:00: The Use of Fall Arrest Equipment when Erecting, Altering and Dismantling Scaffold

There is a large, and increasing, availability and diversity of such equipment and this research has collected data on each of the systems, currently available. The principles of the 'hierarchy of risk control' are important when selecting appropriate safety equipment for working at height; the order of preference being:

  • Prevention - guardrails / barriers / purlin trolleys / safety decking
  • Passive arrest - safety nets / fall arrest mats
  • Active arrest - cable and track-based systems / SG4:00
  • Mitigation of any consequences of an accident

The risk of a fall must, wherever possible, be designed out. If this is not possible, the above hierarchy must be followed in equipment selection. The outcome of this research illustrates good practice, which was derived from interviews with system users, experts in selection and planning of accident protection methods, and observations of live case study sites.

HSE RR263 - Integrated gateways: planning out health & safety risk


Describes an investigation into the integration of health and safety planning within construction project management.

It was widely believed that implementation of the CDM Regulations had lead to a bureaucracy, parallel to, but detached from, normal project management practice and adding little value to the management of construction projects. The research team have engaged in extensive industry consultation, including several group meetings and numerous interviews with experienced practitioners. This has resulted in the development of an integrated Gateway model for construction projects, incorporating the management of health and safety risk. Supporting the model are several tools, designed to be used as levers for the detailed requirements of project planning, communication and control.

HSE RR443 - An analysis of the significant causes of fatal and major injuries in construction in Scotland


This report describes a study to investigate the causes underlying the differences between the accident rate in Scottish construction and construction in the rest of Great Britain. This involved identifying the most significant causes of fatal and major accidents within construction on both sides of the border, including any specific to SMEs, and examining national differences with particular focus on factors that can be influenced by HSE and the construction industry to reduce accident rates.

Analyses were undertaken of the RIDDOR accident data, Labour Force Survey data and notifier surveys. Causal analyses of fatal injury accidents were also undertaken. A range of stakeholders were consulted via interviews and site visits on both sides of the border.

The findings indicate that the most significant factor in explaining the difference in accident rates is the differing occupational make up of Scotland and the rest of Great Britain. There are proportionally many more manual (at risk) workers in Scottish construction than in the rest of Great Britain. As a result, it appears that the overall accident rate is higher in Scotland.

 HSE RR516 An investigation of approaches to worker engagement


The following report was prepared by Glasgow Caledonian University, School of the Built and Natural Environment for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and describes a study of approaches to worker engagement in the construction industry. The study involved an extensive literature review of methods used to engage construction workers in relation to the management of health and safety on site, followed by industry consultation via workshops before developing four packages of intervention strategies to test on several sites. Before and after measures of worker perceptions combined with qualitative interviews found that three approaches successfully improve workers perceptions of worker engagement and the health and safety performance of management. Informal methods of engagement were more successful than written approaches and investment in formal health and safety training resulted in more meaningful discussions. Further research is required in relation to developing tools to measure worker engagement and the impact of foreign language speaking workers.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

Employee Involvement, Consultation and Information Sharing in Health and Safety in Construction  (Click here to download the pdf file)

The objectives of the study were to

         Develop and validate a model of construction work process planning that identifies opportunities for operative involvement and consultation

         Using this model, assess current industry practice in terms of operative involvement and consultation through interviews with contractor personnel and operatives

         Develop and validate a methodology for the assessment of operative capability in the development of work process plans or method statements

         Evaluate operative capability

         Assess contractor and operative attitudes on operative involvement and consultation in terms of opportunity, capability, and motivation.

 The task method statement was selected as the framework for operative involvement.  The process of development, implementation, and improvement of the task method statement was detailed in a model that identified three opportunities for operative involvement: (1) the development of a project specific task method statement; (2) review and modification of the task method statement prior to and during performance of the task; and (3) upon completion of the task n an effort to identify opportunities for improvement.

Interviews with contractor personnel and operatives revealed that there is little involvement of operatives in the development of a work plan as evidenced by the task method statement despite the three opportunities identified in the model.  There is essentially no involvement in the development of the project specific task method statement or in an effort to improve the generic task method statement upon completion of the task.  There is limited operative involvement in the review and modification of the project specific task method statement prior to and during the performance of the task.

Planning simulations were created to use to assess operative capabilities.  The results of these simulations revealed that operatives are capable of being involved in the development, implementation, and improvement of task method statements.  However, the methodology used in the simulations required operatives to participate in a formalized process with which they were unfamiliar.  Discussions with the operatives participating in the simulations found that the operatives were fully capable of addressing tasks, hazards, and risks, but were not accustomed to working with a formal paperwork exercise to do this.

A survey of contractor personnel and operatives was conducted on three projects.  Operatives believed that they were more qualified and motivated to be involved in work planning for health and safety than did contractor personnel.

Updated: 17 August, 2009 | Site editor | Legal