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Safety considerations during different stages of a project life cycle in the manufacturing industry

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Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries

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At sites with multiple employers, efficient safety management is essential to ensure safety for both customers and providers. However, implementing effective safety management is challenging, particularly for companies that provide services. Provider companies encounter difficulties managing the safety of service projects for many reasons, including the variety of customers and changes in work environment. Proper preparation and integration of safety into the different project life cycle stages improves safety, but the topic has not received much attention to date. This article discusses the integration of safety considerations into service projects. Material was collected from Finnish manufacturing companies via interviews and a questionnaire. The results show that systematic methods for developing and producing services have not been adopted in the provider companies, but these are often implemented as a result of practical experience. On the other hand, providers and customers both believed that safety is taken into account during different stages of a given service project—safety issues were to some extent taken into account during the tendering and contract stages of a project, and preventive safety measures were commonly implemented during the delivery of services. However, safety performance often was not evaluated after completion of work. For this reason, companies may not have an accurate estimation of each other's safety performance in these types of multi‐employer situations. The results of this study can be used in provider organizations to help systematize safety considerations during service projects and to focus efforts on the most essential points of service project safety management. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.