Design for occupational safety and health: A theoretical framework for organisational capability

Ebenezer Adaku*, Nii Ankrah, Issaka Ndekugri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

For several decades, scholars and practitioners have searched for the underlying causes of occupational safety and health (OSH) incidents on construction projects. One of the insights from the investigations is the fact that the seeds of accidents, fatalities and occupational related ill-health are sown across various design and procurement decisions made during the pre-construction stage of project development. This insight has given rise to the design for occupational safety and health (DfOSH) initiative which has even informed regulations in certain countries, particularly the UK. However, knowledge and understanding of what, specifically, constitutes the organisational capability of design firms of generating designs which are inherently safe is very limited. Hence, this study undertakes a systematic review of prior conceptualisations of organisational capability, carries out contents analyses of the conceptualisations and provides a robust conceptualisation of the construct. The robust conceptualisation underpins the development of a nomological network to operationalise the construct organisational capability in respect of design firms’ ability to ensure design for occupational safety and health (DfOSH). Organisational capability is presented as a multi-dimensional construct that can be operationalised at various levels of specificity. The proposed framework can support the identification of organisational capability gaps that design firms seeking to build their DfOSH capability can address while at the same time assisting project clients to clarify the organisational capability of design firms in the procurement process.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105005
JournalSafety Science
Volume133
Early online date24 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2020, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Funding: This research has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837721.

Keywords

  • Design, construction, occupational safety and health
  • Organisational capability
  • Prevention through design
  • Theoretical framework

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