Date of Award

8-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Civil Engineering

Advisor

Klotz, Leidy

Committee Member

Piratla , Kaylan

Committee Member

Ross , Brandon

Abstract

Construction work is inherently dangerous. The 2010 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show the construction industry had the most fatal injuries of all industry sectors, 17%. U.S. regulations place the responsibility for construction safety on the construction contractor. However, owners and designers have the potential to affect the safety of the construction workforce. Owners have gotten more involved in promoting the safety and health of construction workers in recent years; however, studies show that the safety and health of the construction workforce is not typically considered by designers.
The Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) - the U.S. Navy's systems command for facility engineering - has initiated several practices to improve construction safety on its projects and has pursued a zero-injury objective for many years, but the efforts focus on the construction contractor. This study's objective was to provide a analysis to present to NAVFAC to consider implementing a program to make construction safety a factor in design decisions. This analysis provides justification, influence factors, and application methods by answering the following questions regarding NAVFAC using the design phase to reduce, or eliminate, construction safety hazards : (1) why, (2) what influences exist, and (3) how will NAVFAC implement?
A systematic literature reviewwas used to perform this study. Three reasons were identified to justify NAVFAC to use the design phase to advance this concept: (1) the viability of another approach, (2) design decisions affect construction safety, and (3) a moral obligation exists. The influences identified for designers to consider construction safety were: (1) designers are resistant, (2) owners influence safety, and (3) project delivery methods. Three stages to apply the concept of using the design phase to consider construction safety were discussed: (1) cultural shift, (2) design suggestions and standards, and (3) systematic methods.
This study contributes to knowledge by providing a panoramic analysis of the concept to consider the safety of the construction worker. Provided this panoramic analysis, the intended audience of this study, NAVFAC, can decide to further develop an implementation plan to have their designers consider the safety and health of the construction workers.

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