Top 4 Causes of Unsafe Construction Workforce Behavior

Real time decision-making in construction can be challenging because of the many uncertainties in the building construction process. Normal situations can escalate to become serious risks in the blink of an eye. Establishing an environment that adapts to changing circumstances on the jobsite, with open communication channels and empowerment of workforce members will set the stage for proper situational awareness in construction project settings.

However, situational awareness is only as accurate as personal perception of a given situation.

Construction workforce situational awareness is often further reduced in times of high workload or when they are under pressure to get a job function done with tight time constraints. It is these times that situational awareness is needed most to reduce exposure to incidents or near misses.

What influences unsafe worker behavior? Here are the top four causes: 

  1. Taking shortcuts often occurs as a result from employees caving to “pressure from management to get a job done quickly.”
  2. Insufficient communication often leaves employees with incomplete instructions regarding a task. Lacking information,
    employees may not recognize an existing or potential hazard and become exposed.
  3. Poor housekeeping is a strong indicator for an employer with low quality or safety standards.
  4. Incomplete planning or poor project preplanning can result in employees with inadequate training and is typically indicative of management focusing on “progress first” as opposed to “safety first.”


Cultural Based Safety™ is the next generation of safety solutions. In recognition of the fact that human behaviors are the preventable cause of most accidents, cultural based safety principles build upon the behavioral based model and integrate an environment where behavioral change is accepted and embraced. These behavioral and cultural principles will protect each worker personally from injury.

If you are involved in construction operations, learn more about Cultural Based Safety™ and how it can prevent accidents and save lives by clicking this link.



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