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: 1.83). 08/2010; 48(7):894-901. DOI: 10.1016/j.ssci.2010.03.013


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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    • "Anumba et al. 2006). Hon et al. (2010) mentioned that the accident ratio of repair, maintenance, and alteration and additional works in the Hong Kong construction industry compared to new builds have significantly increased from 17.9% in 1998 to 50.1% in 2007. Also, fatal cases from these works in 2010 accounted for 66.7% of the total number of fatal cases in construction in Hong Kong (Hon et al. 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: Adaptive-retrofit projects (ARPs) are associated with dire health and safety (H&S) issues which are fragmented and scattered in the existing literature on retrofitting, refurbishment, renovation, rehabilitation, and repair and maintenance work (5R+M). To effectively guide the safe execution of ARPs, these fragmented and scattered issues together with their mitigation measures need to be identified and consolidated into a single unified coherent insight. Therefore this paper, as part of an ongoing PhD research on ARPs in Ghana, reviews academic literature to identify and compile a comprehensive list of the H&S issues with their mitigation measures for ARPs. After performing electronic database literature searches and subsequent critical examination of the literature obtained, thirty-six (36) health and safety issues/challenges and twenty-six seven (27) mitigation measures relating to execution of ARPs were identified. These findings provide a sound preliminary basis for further empirical studies towards the development of a coherent and unified guidance for the safe execution of ARPs in Ghana while taking into account local conditions that could also induce additional H&S issues which may not be apparent in the extant literature.
    31st Annual ARCOM Conference, Lincoln; 09/2015
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    • "Like refurbishment work, repairs and maintenance share similar attributes and are also hazardous operations responsible for 43% of construction accidents in the UK (Anumba et al., 2004). Indeed, as indicated by Hon et al. (2010), the accident ratio of 4R+M to the construction of new buildings (NB) has significantly increased from 17.9% in 1998 to 50.1% in 2007 in Hong Kong. Comparatively, fatal cases from 4R+M works in 2010 increased to 66.7%, while nonfatalities accounted for 44.7% in 2011 (Hon et al., 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: Adaptive-Retrofit Projects (ARPs) face the challenge of wide-adoption due to health and safety (H&S) issues surrounding ARPs. In developing countries like Ghana, this challenge exists alongside other challenges such as outdated and inadequate H&S legislation which do not provide adequate guidance for the safe execution of new builds let alone ARPs. As ARPs are mostly executed in confined areas, are characterized by: uncertain structural integrity of the buildings or structures concerned; hazardous and toxic substances (which are difficult to observe and evaluate); and highly labour intensive activities, the health, safety and wellbeing of workers on ARPs generally tend to be more difficult to manage. In the context of the Ghanaian construction industry, safe management of ARPs is even more serious given the numerous problems and challenges the industry faces. As ARPs become common in Ghana, fatal and non-fatal accidents are likely to occur and even escalate further. Therefore, providing some guidance to help manage the H&S issues regarding ARPs will help to protect workers from accidents/injuries and thereby also encourage wider adaption of older buildings in Ghana. To this end, this study through a review of H&S literature makes the case for research to be undertaken to develop guidance framework for managing H&S on ARPs in Ghana. The study also proposes the Delphi method as being a suitable method of inquiry to be used in undertaking the research. It is envisaged that embarking on this research would help bridge the gap of the dearth of literature on H&S management on ARPs especially in the context of developing countries.
    ARCOM Doctoral Workshop, Health, Safety and Wellbeing, University of Edinburgh; 02/2015
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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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    ABSTRACT: Risk management (RM) should be implemented in construction projects to assure the achievement of project objectives, regardless of project size. This study aims to investigate RM in small projects in Singapore in terms of status, barriers and impact of RM on project performance. To achieve the objectives, a questionnaire survey was conducted and data were collected from 668 projects submitted by 34 companies. The analysis results indicated a relatively low level of RM implementation in small projects, and that “lack of time”, “lack of budget”, “low profit margin”, and “not economical” were prominent barriers. Also, the results reported the positive correlation between RM implementation and improvement in quality, cost and schedule performance of small projects, respectively. The findings of this study can provide an in-depth understanding of RM in small projects in Singapore and make benefits of RM convincing to the participants of small projects.
    International Journal of Project Management 02/2013; 32(1):116-124. DOI:10.1016/j.ijproman.2013.01.007 · 2.44 Impact Factor
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