Understanding the role of local safety groups in managing safety practices between micro construction firms and principal contractors

Emmanuel Aboagye-Nimo, Ani Raiden, Andrew King

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review


Construction projects incorporate the input of a range of tradesmen and different sized firms, ranging from micro to large organisations. Working practices of micro construction firms are carried out in an informal manner while larger organisations tend to adopt more formal on-site management techniques. Many micro firms seek to develop long-term relationships with large principal contractors and a major strain on their relationships stem from the difference in safety management techniques they employ. Faced with a fundamental shift in their style of safety management, workers of micro construction firms must successfully negotiate this challenge. Against this background, records from the Health and Safety Executives show year on year reductions in accident and incident rates in the East Midlands, an indication that the safety practices on projects are being implemented more effectively. Some of this success has been attributed to the efforts of local safety groups, such as Nottinghamshire Occupational Safety and Health Association (NOSHA). As such, it is important that the interdependencies between large principal contractors and micro firms, and the role that safety groups such as NOSHA play in managing this relationship are better understood. This paper presents interviews conducted with some members of NOSHA. This is the first of two phases of empirical work. The roles that the members of the local safety group perform have been found to go beyond simply promoting safety awareness and safety knowledge on site. They have been found to help in conflict resolution among the various construction parties. Such practices help create a harmonious working environment and subsequently lead to long-term working relations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 30th Annual ARCOM Conference
Place of PublicationPortsmouth, UK
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2014
EventProceedings 30th Annual ARCOM Conference - Portsmouth, UK, 1-3 September 2014
Duration: 1 Sept 2014 → …


ConferenceProceedings 30th Annual ARCOM Conference
Period1/09/14 → …

Bibliographical note

Original paper first published by ARCOM as part of Conference Proceedings


  • micro firm
  • informal practice
  • subcontractors
  • safety group


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