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Safety Initiative Effectiveness in Hong Kong- One Size does not Fit All(2008) CIB DC24446

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Article
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The structural characteristics of the Hong Kong construction industry, most notably its elaborate system of subcontracting and the casual basis on which labour is employed, pose serious problems for safety managers. By international standards, Hong Kong's construction industry performs very badly in the area of safety. Recent work in the UK and Finland highlights the effectiveness of behavioural techniques to improve safety performance on construction sites. Work is currently under way to test these techniques in the Hong Kong construction setting. The structural properties of the Hong Kong construction industry have been taken into consideration and labour commitments to the group and to the organization have been identified for additional consideration in research. It is expected that these variables will intervene in the application of behavioural techniques to determine their effectiveness. This paper investigates the theoretical background to commitment at the group and organizational level and presents a site level research model which is illustrative of the possible effects that group and organization level commitment may be found to have on the use of behavioural techniques.
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In Australia, an average 49 building and construction workers have been killed at work each year since 1997-98. Building/construction workers are more than twice as likely to be killed at work, than the average worker in all Australian industries. The ‘Safer Construction’ project, funded by the CRC-Construction Innovation and led by a task force comprising representatives of construction clients, designers and constructors, developed a Guide to Best Practice for Safer Construction. The Guide, which was informed by research undertaken at RMIT University, Queensland University of Technology and Curtin University, establishes broad principles for the improvement of safety in the industry and provides a ‘roadmap’ for improvement based upon lifecycle stages of a building/construction project. Within each project stage, best practices for the management of safety are identified. Each best practice is defined in terms of the recommended action, its key benefits, desirable outcomes, performance measures and leadership. ‘Safer Construction’ practices are identified from the planning to commissioning stages of a project. The ‘Safer Construction’ project represents the first time that key stakeholder groups in the Australian building/construction industry have worked together to articulate best practice and establish an appropriate basis for allocating (and sharing) responsibility for project safety performance.
Article
The construction industry has a heavy physical workload, which can accelerate the ageing process. In addition natural ageing causes a decline in physical fitness. Incidence of injury and ill-health in the construction industry is high, and can result in early retirement. This has consequences for the industry itself and society as a whole. This study aimed to explore how the use of equipment and design of work process for older construction workers could prevent injuries and ill-health, and how it could assist ageing workers as their physical fitness naturally declines. The study used semi-structured interviews and small focus groups with equipment designers, equipment rental firms, older workers, site managers, and construction health and safety managers. Participants revealed the kinds of equipment currently available to ease the physical burden of construction tasks for older workers. Participants also reported barriers to the use of this equipment. These issues related to individual attitudes, financial implications, organisational structure, and training. In addition, changes in work processes were suggested. Solutions are needed to overcome these barriers to uptake of safe work practice including better provision and design of equipment. Interventions to encourage more frequent use are also required. Design of equipment and interventions designed to promote safe practice should be inclusive. Goals should include the protection of workers before they suffer injuries and ill-health related to a career in construction in order to prevent early retirement from the industry.
Effective worker engagement, CII-HK Conference Never Safe Enough: A Wider Look at Construction Safety and Health
  • B Hare
  • I Cameron
Hare, B. and Cameron I. (2007) Effective worker engagement, CII-HK Conference 2007, Never Safe Enough: A Wider Look at Construction Safety and Health, Hong Kong, 20 th November, 2007.
Strategic promotion of ageing research capacity understanding the older worker in construction
  • J C Leaviess
  • A G F Gibb
  • P D Bust
Leaviess, J.C., Gibb, A.G.F. and Bust, P.D. (2008c) Strategic promotion of ageing research capacity understanding the older worker in construction, Loughborough University, January 2008.
The development of a guide to best practice for safer construction, CII-HK Conference Never Safe Enough: A Wider Look at Construction Safety and Health
  • H Lingard
Lingard, H. (2007) The development of a guide to best practice for safer construction, CII-HK Conference 2007, Never Safe Enough: A Wider Look at Construction Safety and Health, Hong Kong, 20 th November, 2007.