A causal model of the influence of pre-construction decision-making on accident causation

Patrick A. Manu*, Nii A. Ankrah, Suresh Subashini, David Proverbs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


Health and safety studies have shown that pre-construction decision-making has a significant influence on health and safety outcomes of construction projects. In order to mitigate accidents on projects, project participants involved in pre-construction decision-making need to know and understand accident causal factors, especially, those factors that emanate from their decisions. Among such causal factors are construction project features such as the nature of project, construction method, site restriction, project duration, procurement system, design complexity, level of construction, and subcontracting. Through a critical examination of health and safety literature in the construction industry, this chapter reveals that these construction project features largely emanate from the client's brief, design decisions, and project management decisions at the pre-construction stage and contribute to accident causation. It is subsequently revealed that construction project features contribute to accident causation through the introduction of proximal accident causal factors into the construction stage and that the extent of their contribution is influenced by the prevalence of the proximal factors within the construction project features. Beyond these insights, the chapter also sheds light on the process by which construction project features contribute to accident causation by advancing a model, which provides insights about the complex and multi-causal nature of the accident causal phenomenon of construction project features. Drawing on the influence of pre-construction decision-making on health and safety, it is recommended that project clients, designers, and planners whose decisions determine construction project features ought to liaise with one another and take into account the accident causal influence of construction project features during pre-construction decision-making. Doing this would contribute towards achieving safer projects and a safer construction industry.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Compendium of International Real Estate and Construction Issues
PublisherNova Science Publishers Inc
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781624170843
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013


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