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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020221

Impacts of Lean Construction on Safety Systems: A System Dynamics Approach

1
School of Management Science and Engineering, Tianjin University of Finance & Economics, Tianjin 300222, China
2
School of Management, Guangzhou University, Guangdong 510006, China
3
College of Public Administration, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
4
Department of Construction Management, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, Nanchang 330013, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 November 2018 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Safety, Health, and Wellbeing in Construction)
PDF [640 KB, uploaded 14 January 2019]

Abstract

Lean construction has been viewed as an effective management approach for reducing the occurrence of no-value or destructive activities, such as wasting resources and safety-related accidents. However, few studies have systematically addressed how and to what extent lean construction practices influence construction safety. To bridge this gap, a conceptual model is developed and validated using a system dynamics approach. The construction system in this model comprises four sub-systems (i.e., environment system, equipment system, management system, and employee system). Data were collected from 448 projects in China. Simulations were conducted to determine the correlations between five types of lean tools and the four construction sub-systems. The results show that: (a) 5S management has significant positive impacts on the control of key locations and facilities at construction sites, and contributes to the mitigation of environmental impacts; (b) visual management can significantly improve safety compliance and safety management; (c) just-in-time management has significantly positive influences on the safety facilities layout and formulation of the safety plan; and (d) the Last Planner® System and conference management are effective in improving safety training and the implementation of the safety plan. These findings provide new insights into the use of lean construction for improving construction safety through the implementation of a targeted lean approach.
Keywords: lean construction; safety system; system dynamics; construction projects lean construction; safety system; system dynamics; construction projects
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Wu, X.; Yuan, H.; Wang, G.; Li, S.; Wu, G. Impacts of Lean Construction on Safety Systems: A System Dynamics Approach. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 221.

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