University receives US$500,000 for construction fatality research

Monday, 29 March, 2010

RMIT University has been awarded a US$S500,000 (A$556,000) research grant from the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to tackle the construction industry's alarming injury and fatality rate.

The NIOSH grant will help fund RMIT University's partnership with the Virginia Tech Centre for Innovation in Construction Safety & Health Research on the project ‘From finger pointing to lifesaving: A supply-chain approach to construction occupational health and safety’.

Construction is a high-risk industry, with a rate of 7.8 compensated fatalities per 100,000 employees, compared with 2.5 in other industries.

The head of RMIT’s School of Property Construction and Project Management, Professor Ron Wakefield, said the project will investigate “how organisations are managing safety on site and how they are involving clients across the board in the actual safety of the project.

“Our research aims to identify, examine and evaluate ways to better integrate OHS into project decision-making, throughout the project life cycle.”

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