Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Management of OSH Across Supply Chain in Construction Industry

Karin Reinhold1 and Marina Järvis2

1Department of Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia.

2Department of Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology, Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences, Estonia.


The construction industry is a high-risk working environment due to the temporary nature of work sites and the numerous hazards involved. Occupational health and safety (OSH) management is complex due to the involvement of multiple stakeholders, particularly subcontractors who may not be clear about their roles and responsibilities. According to the literature, three approaches to address OSH in construction supply chains are mainly used: procurement strategies, industry-level certification schemes, and product-related initiatives. The aim of study was to identify supply chain instruments that are used in a contractor-subcontractor relationship for OSH management in Estonian construction sites. The study collected evidence through document analysis, on-site visits, and semi-structured interviews with key informants of the main contractor, sub-contractors, and stakeholders. The study explores two forms of practices, contractual governance and relational governance, employed by main contractors to improve OSH in Estonian construction sites. Future recommendations for improving OSH in the Estonian construction supply chain include implementing a Code of Conduct, having clear procurement criteria for OSH, and using visualized training methods with artificial intelligence (AI) management elements.

Keywords: Construction safety, Contractual governance, Relational governance, Supply chain.

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