Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name



Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Mumtaz A. Usmen


Construction safety is an essential aspect of the construction industry and measuring safety performance has been of continuing concern. Most of the preceding studies concentrated on two widely used metrics in industry to evaluate and improve safety performance, EMR and incidence rates. However, it is recognized that these metrics have shortcomings, such as being reactive and not proactive, or representing a macroscopic approach and not microscopic approach, or disregarding the events that lead to accidents and only being result-oriented. Improving safety is one aspect of a research but using an appropriate safety measure is as important. Using these parameters comes with their limitations, and they need to be well understood while drawing conclusions so as not to mislead an owner while comparing companies' safety performance or making a decision to select a safe contractor, the same holds true for the contractor's own management while self-assessing its safety performance and deficiencies.

This study focused on a new safety performance metric by introducing a proactive safety performance measurement system through observed safety violations of OSHA standards. The new metric, site safety performance value (SSPV) was based on OSHA's Gravity Based Penalty (GBP) system and quantified general contractors' site safety performance to measure their ability to comply with OSHA safety rules and regulations. This metric is a leading indicator based on pre-accident driven data. It was also used to develop a new predictive model to evaluate general contractors' safety performance and examine the relationships between the project and company demographics and the proactive safety measure, SSPV, for advancement of construction safety performance. The statistical model constructed can predict future contractor safety performance, and it may contribute to the contractor selection process. The methodology additionally included an investigation of specific construction trades to find out which trades carry the highest risk in terms of safety and impact construction safety performance the most.

The findings of this study can be used by numerous groups including the general contractors, owners, safety professionals and researchers to identify where safety performance can be improved, and determine the significant parameters that could help identify the areas of concern by utilizing a new proactive safety performance evaluation system.