266119 Effect of Rating of Management Attitude and Commitment on Injury Rate and Severity in Small and Medium Sized Construction Companies

Monday, October 29, 2012

Katherine Schofield, MEHS, CSP, ARM, CHST , Division of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Bruce H. Alexander, PhD , Regional Injury Prevention Research Center, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Susan G. Gerberich, PhD , MCOHS/RIRRC/CVPC, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Andrew D. Ryan, MS , Reg Inj Prev Res Center/Center Violence Prev and Control, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Background Hazards in the construction industry can be modified by human and organizational elements.

Methods We evaluated worker compensation claims data covering (1,360) construction companies from 2004-2009 to determine association of safety professionals' evaluations of management attitude and commitment to safety on injury rate and severity. Employee hours at-risk and claims were used to determine injury rates. Rating of management attitude was done by safety professionals, employed by the insurance carrier, upon initial visit to member companies. A company had no rating until the initial visit. Based on an evaluation process to characterize hazard control practices of a company, and interactions between the company and safety professional, an attitude and commitment rating was assigned.

Results Rate ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated as a function of injury rate using a Poisson regression model. Generalized estimating equations were used to account for correlated observations within companies. Models include confounding covariates of company size, union status, and trade. Ratings were categorized as: good; poor; and not yet rated. Compared to good, results for these categories, respectively, were RR=0.94 (CI=0.74-1.19) and RR=1.11 (CI=1.03-1.21) for overall injuries, and RR=1.15 (CI=0.85-1.55) and RR=1.13 (CI=0.99-1.28) for lost-time injuries.

Conclusions Our results indicate subjective rating of attitude and commitment from a single visit may not be indicative of injury risk. However, workers were at increased risk of injuries prior to contact with the safety professional. Initial contact by a safety professional may allow for improved procedures to control risk of injury.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
The abstract reader will identify associations between ratings of company management attitude and commitment toward injury prevention, as assessed by an outside safety professional, and injury rate and severity in small and medium sized construction companies. Readers will assess the use of rating of management attitude and commitment as an injury prevention method in this high risk population.

Keywords: Injury Prevention, Occupational Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This is research work for my doctoral dissertation and based on injury prevention in the construction industry. I am a construction safety professional with 7 years of experience, have a master's degree in health and safety, have completed the PhD coursework needed to conduct this research, and am under the guidance of my academic advisor for this work.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.