A study of building procurement process as a potential tool to enhance safety practice in the construction industry
, PhD thesis, University of Salford.
Building procurement involves many different parties and resources. It is very common that
requires project participants involved to work within budget, on time and according to quality
prescribed as well as they must work safely. Sadly, safety aspects have been insufficient and
lacking in many construction projects around the globe. However, as time progresses, safety
is now becoming the fundamental measure of project performance. Hence, this research is an
exploratory and explanatory investigation of how to enhance the implementation of
construction safety practice throughout procurement process. As we speak, improvement of
safety in construction is not only treated as technical aspects, but also as an organisational and
managerial aspect as well.
Firstly, the premise of this research is to show that client leadership and commitment as well
as project team integration within the whole procurement process will influence safety
practice in the construction industry. Secondly, the context of this research is drawn on the
underlying theories of building procurement and construction safety. Therefore, thirdly, the
primary objective of this research is to study how the procurement process acts as a potential
tool to enhance safety practice in the construction industry. A framework developed for this
research was based on procurement systems and accident causation theories as well as the
The current theories of accident causation suggest that improved safety in construction must
start since in the beginning of project procurement process while integrating client and project
participants toward synergy to mitigate any factors undermining safety in downstream
A case study strategy in two different countries, the UK and Malaysia, was selected as this
provided justification of how procurement and people involved practising safety. The case
study objects were undertaken by design and built and traditional procurement method.
Different level of safety maturity is the justification of the countries selected. It was also
intended to investigate lessons learned from the UK safety practice that can be used to
improve the Malaysian construction industry. Multiple sources of information, data and
evidence from 2 of the UK cases and 2 of the Malaysian cases were investigated through
semi-structured interviews and questionnaire surveys.
In this research, three propositions were explored. The first is that improved procurement
process, the client leadership for better safety policy in the procurement process and team
integration throughout project procurement process can enhance health and safety practice.
The findings are presented as data comparisons and analytical generalisations, from both intra
case and cross case analyses as well as questionnaires. The main results show that
procurement process with better client leadership and commitment as well as stronger project
team integration can enhance safety practice in the construction industry.
This research suggests that improving safety in construction is not only in the hand of
construction companies but also any other project participants right from beginning of project
procurement throughout project implementation. It is also suggested that Malaysia may take
more attempts to persuade clients and client's project team to deal with safety issues seriously
long before construction project commencing on site.
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