Health and Safety in Voluntary Sector Construction-Related Activities

  • Crapper, Martin (Principal Investigator)
  • Sherratt, Fred (Principal Investigator)

Project Details


We are investigating Health and Safety in Voluntary Sector construction-related activities. This includes on the one hand, international development projects such as water and sanitation provision in the developing world, where construction, including quite hazardous activities such as trenching, are carried out by gap-year students in conjunction with untrained members of local communities, and on the other hand the UK heritage railway (HR) sector, covering P/W maintenance, new construction eg of stations, but not including train operations.

A social constructionist approach will further understandings of the positioning of health and safety within the volunteer worker sector, and through discourse analysis the most dominant perspectives towards health and safety in this context can be identified.

The majority of data will be obtained through unstructured conversations with volunteers engaged in projects, through which their own constructions of health and safety in their ‘work’ can be explored.

This is a hitherto un-researched area. It is interesting because the motivations and qualifications of persons engaging in such activities on a voluntary basis are different from paid workers engaging in such activities as part of their employment. This is likely to have repercussions in terms of the individuals' responsibility, ownership and management of health and safety as they participate in the activities.

By providing such insights within voluntary work environments, focused interventions can be developed which take into account the difference in workers’ backgrounds and positions, and therefore contribute to improved volunteer worker safety.
Effective start/end date1/07/13 → …


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