CE3CHS-Health and Safety Management and Culture in Construction

Module Provider: School of Construction Management and Engineering, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Dylan Tutt

Email: d.e.tutt@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Construction projects involve multiple contractors, trades and personnel from diverse backgrounds, who need to temporarily work together in a complex and constantly changing environment. These high levels of organizational, technological and cultural differentiation create substantial challenges for the management of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). In the labour-intensive sector of construction, with a heavy reliance on subcontracting, research indicates that those at the bottom of the contractual chain bear the most significant consequences when things go wrong. This module provides a critical examination of the contemporary OHS landscape, exploring the causes of OHS hazards, introducing risk management and some of the challenges of integrating OHS into construction project management. It encourages students to develop a holistic approach to the management of OHS risks.


This module will help students develop and broaden perspectives on workplace cultures and the critical role of OHS management in construction. It considers the challenges of managing OHS at the interface between project participants, technologies and work practices, and the difficulty of organisational learning in the construction sector. The module aims to develop students’ understanding of the role of health and safety communication in construction and equip them with knowledge of strategies for OHS integration, worker engagement and meaningful consultation between managers and workers. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

At the completion of this module, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • appraise and critically assess different perspectives and understandings of policy makers, industry employers, union groups and researchers on the management of OHS in the construction industry, through engagement with both theory and empirical evidence.

  • assess critically how OHS is spoken about and understood at construction workplaces and in industry rhetoric.

  • explain ways to apply and interpret construction industry legal framework and guidance on the management of OHS. 

  • critically evaluate the use and value of occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMS) and less formal workplace strategies in different project settings.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

An illustrative list of lecture topics is provided below.

SESSION 1.  Introduction: Health and Safety Management and Culture in Construction

SESSION 2.  Occupational Health in Construction: Health like Safety

SESSION 3.  Industry discourses of safety enforcement and engagement.

SESSION 4.  Social and political context to health & safety polic y in construction

SESSION 5.  H&S Communication channels and vulnerable workers

SESSION 6.  International Construction and H&S

SESSION 7.  Basics of risk assessment/management

SESSION 8.  An Introduction to CDM 2015

SESSION 9.  Client’s duties and H&S

SESSION 10.  Hea lth & Safety Culture and Worker Engagement

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module content will be highly research informed, drawing on and engaging with contemporary and ongoing research for IOSH, CITB, CIOB etc., and drawing on research and industry case study material.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 16
Seminars 4
Guided independent study: 80
Total hours by term 100
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Written assignment: 3,500 word essay

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 40% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

Re submission of written assignment: 3,500 word essay

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

  1. Required text books:

  2. Specialist equipment or materials:

  3. Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:

  4. Printing and binding:

  5. Computers and devices with a particular specification:

  6. Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 28 April 2020


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