An analysis for the causes of accidents of repair, maintenance, alteration and addition works in Hong Kong

Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Safety Science (Impact Factor: 1.67). 08/2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.ssci.2010.03.013

ABSTRACT This study unveils causes of accidents in repair, maintenance, alteration and addition (RMAA) work. RMAA work is playing an increasingly important role in developed societies, including Hong Kong. Safety problems associated with RMAA work in Hong Kong has reached an alarming level. In view of rapid expansion of the RMAA sector and rising proportion of accidents in the construction industry, there is a pressing need to investigate causes of RMAA accidents. Structured interviews were conducted with RMAA contractors to explore causes of accidents in the RMAA sector. A two-round Delphi method with 13 safety experts was subsequently employed to verify the interview findings and rank the relative degree of importance for various causes of accidents. Accidents happen in RMAA work due to intersection of reasons. One of the root causes of accidents in RMAA works is low safety awareness of RMAA workers; however, wider organizational and industrial factors are not negligible. This study sheds light on why accidents happen in the RMAA sector. Only when the factors leading to accidents are identified can effective measures be made.

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    • "Also, in terms of project nature, repair, maintenance, addition and alteration (RMAA) works accounted for 68.0% of all the projects. This was consistent with Hon et al. (2010), which indicated that the RMAA sector constituted a considerable size of the construction market in developed countries and that these projects were mostly done by small contractors. Additionally, projects worth less than $5 million accounted for 89.7% of all the projects performed by the companies, while projects with duration of less than 14 months made up 90.87%, implying that most projects surveyed were small projects. "
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    • "Short duration and scattered location of RMAA works make safety supervision difficult. Risks involved are easily to be undermined because many RMAA works involve seemingly minute tasks and are conducted in occupied buildings (Hon et al., 2010, 2011). Table 1 Gross value of construction work at current market prices (1998–2010). "
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