Important Health and Safety Performance Improvement Indicators for Small & Medium Construction Enterprises in South Africa: Eliciting Expert Opinion Using the Delphi Technique

  • JN Agumba
  • TC Haupt
Keywords: Delphi, health and safety, indicators, performance improvement


This study sought to identify and validate a comprehensive set of health and safety (H&S) elements and  leading indicator metrics, in an industry where there has been an over-reliance of lagging indicators such  as accident rates and workers compensation in monitoring H&S performance improvement. The Delphi  approach was used to elicit the opinion of H&S experts on 64 H&S potential leading indicator metrics. The  metrics were  categorized in 10 H&S elements that were considered essential to improve H&S performance. Sixteen experts  completed all four iterative rounds of Delphi and rated each indicator on a 10-point Likert-type scale of  importance, where 1= unimportant and 10= very important. Consensus of the indicator metrics was reached  when measures attracted final scores of; median 9 to 10 and more than 50% of respondents rating the indicator between 9 and 10. Forty-eight indicator metrics were retained after four successive rounds of Delphi.  The limitation was; reliance of a structured questionnaire survey in the first round of Delphi as experts were  not allowed to add any new indicators, until the fourth round. This study contributes to the H&S body of  knowledge where no consensus has been reached pertaining to important H&S culture leading indicator metrics for monitoring H&S performance in construction small and medium enterprises (SMEs) at project level  in South Africa.

Keywords: Delphi, health and safety, indicators, performance improvement


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 1010-2728