Safety leadership defined within the Australian construction industry

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Publication details

Daniel, L 2015, 'Safety leadership defined within the Australian construction industry', Construction Economics and Building, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 1-15.

Article available on Open Access

Peer Reviewed



This research explores the tenets of safety leadership within the Australian construction environment. The scope of this research aims to establish a universal definition of safety leadership and how it differs from other leadership disciplines. The literature review into this topic was governed by the parent disciplines of Safety and Leadership. Gaps were identified in the literature that indicated safety leadership is not a well-defined concept and much of the work into safety leadership has been borrowed from other schools of leadership. An exploratory research methodology was utilised which rooted the research into the post-positivist methodology. There were twenty interviews conducted for this research, with participants coming from various leadership positions across multiple construction projects around Australia. Findings detailed a saturation of data that allowed for an empirical definition towards safety leadership to be established. As a person’s scope of responsibility increases, their view of safety leadership becomes synonymous with leadership; although differences do exist. These differences were attributed to the importance of demonstrating safety and working within the legal framework of Australian construction projects. It is proposed that this research offers a substantial contribution to knowledge, based upon a well-defined definition into safety leadership.