Working in construction is known to be dangerous work, but there has been little research on construction safety climate across countries.

In a new paper in the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, “Comparative Analysis of Safety Climate in the Chinese, Australian, and Indonesian Construction Industries,” by Martin Loosemore, Riza Yosia Sunindijo, and Shang Zhang, the authors use a standardized tool to compare the safety climate in the Chinese, Australian, and Indonesian construction industries. Check out the abstract below, or read the full report, which focuses on similarities and differences in the three countries while identifying the high and low safety climate factors.


Poor safety is a perennial problem for the construction industry worldwide. The concept of safety climate has been strongly linked to safety performance, yet inconsistent methodologies make international comparisons problematic. In addressing this gap in research, a comparative safety climate survey of 515 construction operatives and managers in Australia, Indonesia, and China is presented using a standardized tool. The results highlight interesting similarities and differences between safety climate in each country and question taken-for-granted assumptions that safety climate in countries with relatively mature regulatory structures like Australia are more positive than in less developed countries like Indonesia and China. Results also highlight the intermediating effects of factors such as management commitment and cultural differences in shaping safety climate. Highlighting the potential value of theories of new institutionalism and cultural and ethical relativism, the paper concludes by raising important new practical, theoretical, and methodological questions about the merits and challenges of making international comparisons of safety climate, even when using standardized measurement tools.

Read the full paper in the ASCE Library.