The construction industry has experienced a lot of occupational accidents, and construction work is considered one of the most dangerous occupations. In order to reduce the number of occupational injuries from construction, the South Korean government legislated the occupational safety and health expense law, requiring companies to reserve a reasonable budget for safety management activities when budgeting for construction projects. However, safety budgets have not been spent based on the risk of accidents, and a large amount of the safety budget is spent either in the beginning or late stages of construction projects. Various accident risk factors, such as activity types, previous accident records, and the number of workers on a construction site, need to be considered when determining the safety budget. To solve such problems, this study investigated the expenditure trends of occupational safety and health expenses for 10 apartment construction projects in South Korea. This study also proposed an accident risk index that can be incorporated with the project costs, schedule, the number of workers, and historical accident records when budgeting for the safety costs. The results from the case study illustrate the limitations of the current planning strategy for safety expenditures and demonstrate the need for effective safety budgeting for accident prevention. The proposed safety cost expenditure guideline helps safety practitioners when budgeting for the occupational safety and health expenses while considering accident risk and the characteristics of safety cost expenditures in practice. The outcome of this research will contribute to the development of regulations for the budgeting of safety costs and help to prevent occupational injuries by providing a reasonable budget for safety management activities in an apartment construction project.
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