n Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa - Important health and safety performance improvement indicators for small & medium construction enterprises in South Africa : eliciting expert opinion using the Delphi Technique

Volume 26, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1010-2728



This study sought to identify and validate a comprehensive set of health and safety (H&S) elements and leading indicator metrics, in an industry where there has been an over-reliance of lagging indicators such as accident rates and workers compensation in monitoring H&S performance improvement. The Delphi approach was used to elicit the opinion of H&S experts on 64 H&S potential leading indicator metrics. The metrics were categorized in 10 H&S elements that were considered essential to improve H&S performance. Sixteen experts completed all four iterative rounds of Delphi and rated each indicator on a 10-point Likert-type scale of importance, where 1=unimportant and 10=very important. Consensus of the indicator metrics was reached when measures attracted final scores of; median 9 to 10 and more than 50% of respondents rating the indicator between 9 and 10. Forty-eight indicator metrics were retained after four successive rounds of Delphi. The limitation was; reliance of a structured questionnaire survey in the first round of Delphi as experts were not allowed to add any new indicators, until the fourth round. This study contributes to the H&S body of knowledge where no consensus has been reached pertaining to important H&S culture leading indicator metrics for monitoring H&S performance in construction small and medium enterprises (SMEs) at project level in South Africa.

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