How Can the Construction Client Improve the Work Environment in the Real Estate and Construction Process? : An Investigation of the Health and Safety Aspects in the Early Phases
Sammanfattning: During the last decade, the Swedish work environment authority (AV) observed a stagnancy of fatal accidents in Sweden. According to statistics, the building industry in Sweden is one of the third largest industries regarding occupational injuries and the industry with the most severe recorded fatal accidents. Scientific contributions have found that efforts and focus on health and safety aspects during the planning and design phases (early phases) could reduce work environment problems in the construction and maintenance phases. The purpose of this study is to explore how the construction client can improve the health and safety aspects in the early phases to enhance the work environment in the construction and maintenance phases. Further, identify the main challenges of health and safety in the early phases to improve the work environment at the construction and maintenance phases. The study has applied qualitative methods, with 13 semi-structured interviews with senior project managers at a public construction client in Sweden. After analyzing the semi-structured interviews, the findings were discussed with an expert panel for further clarifications. This study has identified that health and safety aspects during the planning and design can improve by different measures and methods to ensure a safer work environment in the construction project. It should be a priority for the construction client to be proactive with the health and safety aspects in the early phases. Furthermore, identified the study three main challenges of health and safety aspects. These challenges of health and safety aspects have been identified as crucial to address in the early phases for succeeding in preventing occupational accidents in construction projects. The first identified challenge is the lack of the construction clients' consciousness of their profound responsibilities in the work environment. The second challenge raised is the insufficient work environment competencies of the applied BAS-P and designers in the construction project. The last identified challenge is the lack of safety communication in the construction project, as the transfer meeting between the BAS-P and BAS-U and lessons learned meetings. The portrayed main challenges seem to face both countries inside and outside the EU, as reasoned from the discussion with Åsgård et al. Furthermore, the work environment is essential for commitment, re-evaluation, and improvements in routine activity. Including the construction clients and the involved actors in the construction process to achieve a construction industry with zero accidents and fatalities.
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