Aligning the Sharp End and The Blunt End in Construction Projects: Planning for Safety as Case


  • Trygve J. Steiro Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Lindsay Wagstaff Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Marit Vala Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Eirik Albrechtsen Norwegian University of Science and Technology



construction industry, safety


Purpose: The construction industry is one of the most hazardous work sectors in Norway according to Statistics Norway. The purpose of this study was to study planning at various levels of construction projects, including planning of lifting operations, to assess how safety can be optimised.

Methodology: This qualitative interview study was based on a thorough review of safety literature. Fifteen interviews were conducted with workers in the sharp and blunt end, i.e., close to, or removed from, hazard sources on construction projects. The participants in this study were skilled workers, construction supervisors, and managers.

Findings: The current study found that proactive planning is crucial for safety. The current study also investigated the cruial role of project management as an important factor for safety. It was also identified that project management is a key in setting and maitaining safety in construct projects. However, this is dependent on communication and co- operation and alignment of the sharp end and the blunt end in projects.

Originality: The current study goes into deep in construction projects and demonstrating the importance of close link between planning and execution and identifies prerequistes for good social interaction and thereby taking care of the safety.