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Mitigating the health and safety influence of subcontracting in construction: The approach of main contractors

Manu, P., Ankrah, N., Proverbs, D. and Suresh, S. (2013). Mitigating the health and safety influence of subcontracting in construction: The approach of main contractors. International Journal of Project Management, 31(7), pp. 1017-1026. doi: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2012.11.011

Abstract

Subcontracting is noted for its adverse health and safety (H&S) influence in construction. Using interviews with five of the top 20 UK contractors and one medium-sized contractor, this study explored how main contractors manage the H&S influence of subcontracting with a focus on their in-house measures. Some in-house measures found are: restricting the layers of subcontractors on projects; working with a regular chain of subcontractors; implementing a H&S reward scheme for subcontractors; and insisting on non-working subcontractor foremen who have direct responsibility for the safety of workers in their trade. These measures appear to be influenced by clients, industry peer groups, and the moral justification for occupational H&S, and they offer inter-organisational learning opportunities for contractors in devising measures to mitigate the H&S influence of subcontracting. These findings should also allay concerns that removing some of the legislative hurdles in connection with on-going red tape debate will result in poorer H&S.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Health and safety, construction, procurement, subcontracting
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering > Engineering
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/2635
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