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Researchers evaluate safety training in WA construction industry

Monday, 02 April 2012


Two researchers from the School of Management recently examined the effectiveness of safety induction training in the WA construction industry.

Supported by the Construction Training Fund, Associate Professor Llandis Barratt-Pugh and Dr Susanne Bahn’s project began in 2010 as a pilot study for the commercial construction sector. The research then continued in 2011 as a full study for the housing and civil sectors.

The study focused on investigating the contributions that mandatory safety training had made towards workplace safety in the industry. It explored the training methods and assessments used from 2006 onwards, when the mandatory Construction Induction Training (CIT) program was rolled out in Western Australia.

The CIT is a national training program that aims to ensure the basic safety of all workers in the industry through the completion of an awareness course prior to commencing work on site. Since its inception in WA in 2006, it has been delivered in diverse locations across the state, and in a variety of modes, including online.

Associate Professor Barratt-Pugh and Dr Bahn’s research found that the CIT program had made a strong contribution towards safer work practices in the WA construction industry.

“The findings of our study indicate that the CIT is valued by managers working in the construction industry in WA. There is evidence to suggest that the CIT has raised awareness of safety in the industry and had a positive effect on the safety culture of organisations within the industry. Managers reported that the training was of benefit to their employees, had a measurable benefit to their business, and reduced work-related injury,” said Dr Bahn.

However, the research also found that the online delivery method of the program lacked in quality, and did not effectively assess understanding of site safety. On acceptance of the final research report, the Construction Training Fund acted on the recommendations within and withdrew financial support for online delivery of the CIT program.

More information

For more information, contact Dr Susanne Bahn.

Phone: (61 8) 6304 5392


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