Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Safety Sciences

First Advisor

Christopher A. Janicak, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Wanda D. Minnick, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Helmut Paschold, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study was to: examine whether safety criteria commonly applied in general industry for contractor selection is actually valued by steel industry safety professionals; identify if criteria commonly used for the selection of construction contractors, but infrequently observed for general industry contractor safety prequalification, is valued by steel industry safety professionals; and to understand how steel industry safety professionals value the services of third party contractor safety prequalification services. To accomplish these objectives, safety professionals employed by Steel Manufacturers Association member companies were surveyed. Survey respondents’ current job position, steel industry years of experience, predominant steel industry background, and number of major contractor accidents observed were compared to eight contractor criteria: injury history, reputation, employee training and certification, financial stability, liability and regulatory history, written safety programs, work capacity and related work experience. Likert scales were used. Results indicate respondents highly value each of the contractor prequalification criteria provided, but show highly differentiated preferences when asked to rank their importance. Contractor injury history, employee training and certification, capacity to complete the work safely, and liability and regulatory history were most highly ranked. Written safety programs, a common component of contractor safety prequalification practices were third lowest in importance. With limited exceptions, the independent variables of respondent role, years of steel industry safety experience, predominant background and number of accidents observed were not significant in determining priority given to the eight criteria. Respondents believe a combination of internal resource and third-party service provider resource is preferred for facilitating contractor safety prequalification. Third party service providers are most valued by respondents for reduction of administrative burden, greater expertise and efficiency benefits. Respondents acknowledge contractor written programs and self-reported loss data are largely not verified at their contractors’ place of business or work location. This study is significant given the scarcity of general industry contractor safety prequalification research. This study will serve as a baseline measurement of existing contractor safety selection factors valued by steel manufacturing industry safety professionals, thereby providing an empirical foundation on which future research may expound.