Establishing the Influence of Owner Practices on Construction Safety in an Operational Excellence Model

Huang Liu, Elyas Jazayeri, Gabriel B. Dadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Often, construction contractors usually consider safety as the sole responsibility of the contractor. Under this prevailing assumption, owners are often excluded and exempted from construction safety issues. However, a growing number of construction safety researchers and practitioners recognize that the owner's engagement in construction safety plays a vital role in safety performance improvement. Although some research efforts were made, the owner's role in construction safety is still heavily under-researched. Operational excellence (OE) is a concept successfully applied for performance improvement in numerous industries. The essence of the OE philosophy is that desirable results stem from predictable behaviors. Operational excellence is defined as doing the right thing, the right way, every time, even when no one is watching. Based on OE, efforts were made to establish an effective model to quantitatively measure and improve owner's impacts on construction safety. This model, entitled the Owner's Role Rating Model, contained six elements that are vital to the owner's engagement in jobsite safety, called critical to safety (CTS). It was unreasonable to assume that all six CTS elements are equally important to the owner's safety role. Therefore, the analytical hierarchy process was applied to determine relative weights for each of the six CTSs through an extensive questionnaire survey. The primary contribution of this research to the body of knowledge is to weight and present a practical and effective model for owners and other construction practitioners, to evaluate the performance of the owner's role in safety, and identify opportunities for improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04017005
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers.


  • Analytical hierarchy process
  • Construction safety
  • Operational excellence
  • Owner's impacts
  • Quantitative methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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