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July 1, 2022

Alignment between Lean Principles and Practices and Worker Safety Behavior

Gambatese, John A.; Pestana, Catarina; Lee, Hyun Woo. (2017). Alignment between Lean Principles and Practices and Worker Safety Behavior. Journal Of Construction Engineering And Management, 143(1).

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Alignment and synergy between the areas of lean construction and safety management are expected because all near misses and injury incidents represent waste from the lean perspective. This paper describes a research study of lean and safety principles and practices with regards to worker behavior and safety practices. Specifically, the study aimed to investigate the extent of alignment between lean construction principles/practices and worker behaviors associated with construction safety. To conduct the study, the researchers used a multistep process involving a comprehensive literature review, document content analyses by an expert panel, and a survey of industry practitioners knowledgeable about lean construction. The findings support the perspective that many similarities exist between the application and impacts of lean and safety principles and practices. Lean practitioners surveyed believe that implementation of the last planner system as a lean practice is most beneficial to the following safety practices: management commitment, preproject planning, and pretask planning. The present study revealed that lean principles and practices can provide a valuable opportunity to further improve construction worker safety; however, the findings show that there is a difference between lean construction and safety management practices, revealing a gap with respect to worker behavior. Understanding and eliminating this gap is important for the industry to realize the full benefit that lean principles and practices can have on worker safety. To do so, the authors suggest expanding lean practices to further directly engage field workers and address worker behavior issues along with carefully communicating the lean message to construction personnel. (C) 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers.


Construction Industry; Injuries; Lean Production; Occupational Safety; Planning; Lean Principles; Lean Construction; Safety Management Practices; Injury Incidents; Worker Behaviors; Construction Safety; Document Content Analysis; Management Commitment; Preproject Planning; Pretask Planning; Construction Worker Safety Behavior; Construction Accident Causality; Risk; Lean Design; Worker Behavior; Safety; Labor And Personnel Issues