Study compares approaches for leading indicator incentive program

January 16, 2013

Boston – Safety inspections can be used for a leading indicator incentive program in construction, and the reward threshold should be based on the median monthly score of projects under one owner, concludes a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health.

To evaluate different approaches for determining the inspection score necessary to receive an incentive, researchers grouped safety inspection data from 65 projects at Harvard five different ways – by owner, general contractor, project, trade and subcontractor. They then applied the scores to data from completed projects.

Under the owner-based approach, employees reached the reward level about one-third of the time, making it the most competitive but still attainable threshold, according to the study.

Researchers cautioned against incentive programs in which the threshold score would change from month to month, such as the project-based approach, or in which the score would be different for different groups, such as the trade or subcontractor-based approach.

The study was published in the January issue of the journal Safety Science.