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Construction Site Safety in Hong Kong – One Country, Two Systems: 7 Years No Change

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An industry-wide agenda, aimed at achieving ZERO FATALITIES, is proposed for the Hong Kong construction industry based on the results of an industry wide research project. The agenda includes the rationale for promoting a culture change throughout the real estate and construction industry and a key element of this is the extension of the Pay for Safety System and a worker engagement initiative in health and safety management. Underpinning this is the elaboration of need to establish and achieve territory-wide safety targets which can be collaboratively set and which are measured in real-time with feedback which promotes organisational learning. These data need to be publically available and the use of proper, exhaustive and sound accident and incident investigation techniques is expounded. The underlying theme of the paper is that no improvement is possible without the adoption of integrated project delivery systems which facilitate the adoption of more relational and collaborative procurement which can be underpinned by the technology provided by BIM.
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Construction Site Safety in Hong Kong One Country,
Two Systems: 7 Years No Change
Steve Rowlinson48
Department of Real Estate and Construction, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong
Abstract
An industry-wide agenda, aimed at achieving ZERO FATALITIES, is proposed for the
Hong Kong construction industry based on the results of an industry wide research
project. The agenda includes the rationale for promoting a culture change throughout the
real estate and construction industry and a key element of this is the extension of the
Pay for Safety System and a worker engagement initiative in health and safety
management. Underpinning this is the elaboration of need to establish and achieve
territory-wide safety targets which can be collaboratively set and which are measured in
real-time with feedback which promotes organisational learning. These data need to be
publically available and the use of proper, exhaustive and sound accident and incident
investigation techniques is expounded. The underlying theme of the paper is that no
improvement is possible without the adoption of integrated project delivery systems
which facilitate the adoption of more relational and collaborative procurement which can
be underpinned by the technology provided by BIM.
Keywords
Safety initiatives, benchmarking, organisational maturity, zero accidents, safety by
design, BIM.
INTRODUCTION
As far as safety in the Hong Kong construction industry is concerned initiatives have
been, in the main, very successful on larger, public projects but a plateau in the
improvement trend has now been reached. In order to further reduce accident rates a
different approach needs to be adopted and the industry as a whole needs to examine
the technologies and procedures required industry wide for further successful accident
rate reduction, specifically, considering OHS issues as part of the design process. More
importantly there is a serious problem in relation to the expected increase in output
within the next two years with the onset of the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTR)
projects. Accident rates can be seen to mirror output in the construction industry and,
hence, we should anticipate a significant increase in the accident rate with the increase
in output. Thus, it is necessary to plan now for the expected upturn - the situation is
URGENT and immediate action is required.
Figure 1 indicates the extent of the OHS problems in the Hong Kong construction
industry. From 2000 to 2004 the accident rate in the Hong Kong construction industry
steadily declined under the weight of a range of safety initiatives. However, from 2006
until the present date the accident rate has plateaued and no improvement has been
achieved in that period (indeed, uncorroborated evidence indicates that it has
deteriorated, particularly in specific sectors of the industry). Thus, 7 years no change.
48 steverowlinson@hku.hk
174
Figure 1. Safety Performance in the Hong Kong Construction Industry
In the Hong Kong construction industry there are currently 3000 accidents per annum;
the cost of these is HK$300,000 per employees compensation (EC) claim. The total cost
of EC claims is HK$ 0.9 billion per annum and there were 27 fatal accidents in the
construction industry in 2008. The industry is described by many as being: Dirty,
Dangerous, Demanding, Damaging and Disruptive. It is this issue that this paper and
research backing it seeks to address by investigating a new agenda for zero accidents in
the construction industry through Safety in Design (SiD). The premise on which
successful implementation of SiD is based is that it must be based on BIM and
supported by relationship management approaches reflected in novel (for Hong Kong)
procurement methods which are collaborative rather than adversarial.
Relationship management approaches, such as alliancing, partnering and New
Engineering Contract (NEC) systems, enhance the abilities of participants in the rapidly
developing disciplines of architectural technology and design management to solve
design problems in a "best for project" manner. This research investigates these
principles as applied to the management of occupational health and safety (OHS) in the
process of design. The interface of people, technologies, policies and processes within a
project environment has to be managed in order to facilitate this safety management
system. The interface of people, technologies, policies and processes within a project
environment has to be managed in order to facilitate this safety management system.
How Safety in Design (SiD) can be implemented to improve project safety performance
through the adoption (and adaptation) of collaborative communication technologies is
being investigated. The framework within which cooperative and collaborative design,
moderated by BIM, can be developed in Hong Kong is being explored. Case studies
have shown that the uptake of BIM is characterised by both proactive and reactive
approaches. BIM operates most effectively within a ‘no blame culture’ where no one
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loses ‘face’, an important cultural concept in Hong Kong. This research thus explores the
framework within which such collaboration can take place. Relationship management
enhances the ability of the rapidly developing disciplines of architectural technology and
design management to solve design problems: this proposal applies this principle to the
management of occupational safety and health (OHS) in the process of design.
The institutionalised “traditional” approach to contract strategy is a constraint on effective
implementation of SiD. These premises are being investigated by way of interviews,
using the critical incident technique method, observation of design in action and by case
studies of live projects. The outcome of this project will be the development of a protocol
for the implementation of SiD in the construction industry. This will be communicated via
a SiD matrix and a generic roadmap for OHS improvement which will have international
significance as it draws together the disparate components of BIM, relationship
management and procurement systems and, hence, SiD. This output will form the basis
for the development of a new, dynamic strategy for achieving zero accidents in the
construction industry.
APPROACH TO SAFETY IN DESIGN
This output will form the basis for the development of a roadmap for implementing SiD
and, so, new, dynamic strategy for achieving a significant reduction in accidents in the
construction industry and will provide a credible, dynamic alternative to the Construction
Design and Management Regulations (CDM) approach. Such an alternative will provide
an OHS focus which is grounded in ICT, characterised by collaborative project
development and focussed on the whole of the project lifecycle. The research and output
of this project will improve the safety awareness of architects, structural and MEP
engineers, indeed all industry participants, and so produce significant benefits to
construction professionals, managers and workers in Hong Kong and internationally. BIM
is increasingly being demanded by clients (such as HKHA, Cathay Pacific, Swire
Properties) and contractors (such as Gammon, Hsin Chong, Balfour Beatty) as a means
of making projects more efficient and so the cost of SiD is, essentially, a marginal cost if
a roadmap and the necessary tools exist.
This research addresses identified shortcomings in the existing OHS management
system in Hong Kong, the issue of 'Safety in Design'. This problem is not unique to Hong
Kong; it has been highlighted in inter alia UK, USA and Australia but, until now,
technology to deal with the problem has not advanced far enough and institutional
barriers, such as procurement systems and bidding procedures, have thwarted attempts
to solve the problem. The fact that risk assessments related to method statements are
now commonplace on Hong Kong projects has undoubtedly contributed to improvements
in safety but the process of involving the client and consultants in the early stages of the
project in considering safety is fraught with difficulty, as the UK has found out (and to a
greater extent the EC with its own model) in attempting to implement the UK
Construction Design and Management Regulations (see, for example, Baxendale and
Jones, 2000 and CIRIA, 1997). The CDM regulations have foundered on an over
reliance on paperwork and failed to stimulate a proactive approach to effective
management of safety in design. In addressing OHS in the Australian construction
industry Lingard (2008) summarized the situation as follows: between 1994 and 2000, 50
construction workers were killed each year as a result of their work, the industry fatality
rate, at 10.4 per 100,000 persons, is similar to the national road toll fatality rate and the
rate of serious injury is 50 percent higher than the all industries average. This poor
performance represents a significant threat to the industry’s social sustainability. Work in
Australia (Lingard et al., 2009) investigates why simplistic design OHS provisions are
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unworkable in the complex, socio-technical process of construction. They state “The
model client framework is the first comprehensive set of tools and resources to support
construction clients to integrate OHS into their procurement and PM processes. The life-
cycle approach ensures that OHS information is transferred throughout the construction
supply chain from the client, through the designer, constructor and ultimately to the end-
user.” This is an area which needs further development and an industry consensus
derived so that an approach to SiD can be effectively implemented. A whole life cycle
view, informed by BIM, can provide the impetus for such an initiative. As an attempt to
address this issue, Cooke et al (2008) describe ToolSHeD, a decision support tool for
health and safety in construction design to help designers integrate the management of
OHS risk in the design process. An Australia-wide initiative was launched by the Federal
Safety Commissioner (2006, 2007) embodying the principles of integration of the whole
project team and the complete lifecycle (see also Godfrey and Lingard, 2007, Lingard
2007 and Lingard et al. 2008 for a discussion of the development process of the
initiative). Hare et al (2006) explored the integration of OHS with planning and reported
“the construction industry tends to be under resourced and under planned in relation to
other industries (Egan, 1998), which can lead to a crisis management approach to
production risk, a feature of construction culture which can impact heavily on health and
safety.” They then cite a counter example of railway possessions which are invariably
smooth running due to their meticulous planning and state the need to develop a model
of construction project management, integrating OHS as a key objective; MTRC can be
seen to be a model client in this way here, currently, in Hong Kong. Pavitt et al (2004)
and Gibb and Pendlebury (2005) also discuss OHS responsibilities of clients and the
concomitant need to integrate all aspects of project planning, as does CIRIA (2000).
However, a protocol has not been developed thus far for the effective combination of
technologies, processes and management systems to deal with this problem on an
industry wide basis, in the main due to lack of appropriate enabling technologies (see, for
example, Kagioglou, 1998 and Kartam, 1997 for examples of early attempts). This
research addresses these issues from the technology, process and integration
standpoints. Design management is an important issue as far as occupational health and
safety performance is concerned. Up to 40 percent of accidents on site could have been
prevented by pre-construction interventions (Gambatese et al., 2009; Gambatese et al.,
2008; Behm, 2006). Hence, an initiative developed in this area will facilitate the more
mature contractors in improving their OHS performance and will filter down through the
system to those less mature and to the subcontractors that they employ. The CDM
regulations in the UK have not fully realized the intended reduction in accidents and so
an alternative approach must be considered: Anderson (2008) provides a TO-DO list of
eight initiatives needed to make them effective. The Model Client Initiative, which was
developed collaboratively by the whole industry in Australia, is one attempt to address
such shortcomings (Lingard et al., 2008). As stated “The model client framework
establishes principles for the management of OHS in construction projects and
establishes processes for client involvement in OHS through the planning, design and
procurement, construction and completion stages of construction projects”. However,
any such initiative in Hong Kong must include facilities management, accessibility and
demolition issues in order to fully address the whole project life cycle and so put design
into its proper place as the facilitator of the use of the constructed building or structure
and not merely a front-end to the process of construction.
Design management alone cannot solve the industry’s OHS problems; much important
work has been done on measuring performance by leading indicators (Dingsdag, 2008),
improving performance by specifying competence (Dingsdag, 2006), use of incentives
(Haines, 2001 and McAffee & Wynn, 1989), worker engagement (Hare and Cameron,
2007), the ageing workforce (Leaviss, 2008 a,b,c), management commitment (Michael et
al., 2005), worker perceptions (O’Toole, 2002) and safety climate (for example Zohar,
177
1980). This range of initiatives only serves to prove that successful OHS management is
a complex issue. However, the range of initiatives and their effectiveness has been
studied by Rowlinson et al. (2008, 2009) and the most important initiative in further
improving OHS performance has been identified as Safety in Design (Rowlinson, 2009).
EXISTING INITIATIVES
Based on the research of Rowlinson et al. (2008, 2009) one can categorise Hong Kong
initiatives into four types. These are: Statutory, based on the Hong Kong Ordinances with
the Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance being an example which introduced
safety management systems to the industry; Financial, which are to do with providing
incentives to safe performance such as the ‘Pay for Safety Scheme' introduced by Works
Bureau contracts in 1994; Procedural, these initiatives are based around processes
which are included in the construction contract and these might include the Housing
Authority PAS Scheme, the Safety Work Cycle and other similar initiatives; Punitive-
administrative, examples of this would be the Works Bureau's approach to safety
performance, whereby contractors who experience serious injuries on their sites are
brought before a committee, who can recommend voluntary suspension from tendering.
The Housing Authority's Superleague might also fall into this category. The research
proposed here goes beyond these static initiatives and proposes a dynamic, proactive,
collaborative initiative based on the power of BIM technology to draw together designers,
suppliers, contractors and other stakeholders as the basis for integrating construction
site OHS into the design process. This is predicated on the use of innovative
procurement systems which facilitate a collaborative approach to the design and
construction process.
Safety management needs to take place at all levels in an organization. For example, at
the worker level training, competence and awareness are important and these are
evident in the green card scheme, the task competence matrix (Rowlinson et al., 2009)
and Hong Kong government trades certification schemes. At the project level, the pay for
safety scheme has been an effective initiative, more so in fact than behaviour
modification initiatives (Lingard, 2002) and partnering for safety (Rowlinson & Matthews,
2005). At the company level the introduction of legislation mandating a safety
management system which is auditable proved very effective initially but has a number
of key weaknesses (Lam, 2001). Outside of the project sponsor or contractor, buy-in of
stakeholders is important in effective project and safety management (Rowlinson, Tuuli &
Koh, 2009). However, despite this range of initiatives, improvement in the Hong Kong
construction industry has stalled (see below). Thus, strategic, industry wide or
institutionalized initiatives are needed. Hare & Cameron (2007) criticize the UK
Construction Design Management Regulations as being ineffective, for various reasons
such as excessive paperwork and the inability to promote competence. They advocate
consideration of the following principles:
ERIC : Eliminate; Reduce; Inform (Control of hazards on site)
BUM Design: Buildability; Usability; Maintainability (lifecycle view of safety)
At the Lighthouse Club Conference 25-26 May, 2009 the author conducted a workshop
which produced the following Agenda for Change in OHS performance and
management, including safety performance targets and a timescale for implementation.
The Agenda was developed during a three and a half hour workshop attended by over
40 people from all sectors of the real estate and construction industry including
participants from contractors, consultants, government, clients and universities. At the
end of the workshop the participants unanimously agreed that ZERO FATALITIES was
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an achievable goal and that the Hong Kong real estate and construction industry should
set a target of:
ZERO FATALITIES by 2020 •
50 percent reduction in fatalities by 2015
The participants also agreed that in order for the target to be achieved the Agenda and
associated initiatives should be lead by Government, Contractors and Clients.These
three key issues were identified as being crucial to the achievement of the goal of ZERO
FATALITIES by 2020:
1. Safety in Design (SiD);
2. Worker engagement;
3. OHS Competence matrix.
An underlying theme running throughout this study has been the need for empowerment
of the industry to manage itself effectively. In order to do this many industry participants
have recognized the need for capability development within individual firms and
development of a sustainable industry. As far as safety is concerned initiatives have
been, in the main, very successful on larger, public projects but a plateau in the
improvement trend has now been reached. In order to further reduce accident rates a
different approach needs to be adopted and the industry as a whole needs to examine
the skills required industry wide for further successful accident rate reduction.
A driver for this research direction came from an assessment of the safety performance
of Hong Kong construction contractors which aimed to evaluate their current safety
performance on four dimensions: implementation and procedures (IP), specific project
objectives (SPO), human resource management (HR) and organisational management
(OM). A web-based self-administered questionnaire to benchmark safety performance
was developed and sent to members of the Hong Kong Construction Association. The
results indicate that the majority of the contractors (74 percent) scored poorly in safety
performance (scores 60 percent) with only one contractor (2 percent) achieving good
safety performance (scores 80 percent). Also, almost all contractors fared badly on the
SPO dimension. The results echo the proposition that performance levels are moderated
by the maturity of the contractor, and that this maturity is reflected in management
systems, attitudes and infrastructure within the organisation. The results were presented
by the research team in a seminar to the members of the Hong Kong Construction
Association. The key issue arising from this benchmarking study was proactiveness in
driving safety issues AT ALL PHASES, which includes the pre-contract phase and
reflects an inability to effectively manage client expectations and focus clients on safety
issues at the outset. The adoption of the traditional procurement system in most cases
was seen as an institutional issue militating against action on specific project objectives
as the contractor is “excluded” from the design phase. This is a strength of the Japanese
system where a safety culture is “endemic” throughout the whole of the industry. The
results show that although the best Hong Kong contractors comply with all legislative and
contractual needs and many go well beyond these they still struggle to influence the
attitudes of major and smaller clients in terms on OH&S both on site and in considering
the whole life cycle of the building or structure. This study deals with the role of the
safety management system within the business.
A study undertaken in Australia identified commonalities and mismatches between the
supply and demand side of the industry (Rowlinson & Cheung, 2008). Hong Kong has a
very different culture to Australia and so what works there is unlikely to work in Hong
Kong without considerable adaptation but the basic premises behind that study are
readily applicable here.
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CULTURE
Culture is a key issue in the institutions and ways of working in all societies and
inevitably leads different societies and jurisdictions to produce their own unique range of
stakeholders and also dissimilar solutions to similar problems (such as Rowlinson Tuuli
& Koh, 2009 and Rowlinson & Cheung, 2008). This is oftimes reflected in unique
institutional frameworks, norms and regulations which guide business, behaviour and
actions. As well as the pervading national culture and individual organizational cultures
which shape the way teams work (see Rowlinson and Cheung, 2008 & Lingard et al,
2007) there also exists a sentient culture in project teams, based around professions
(Walker, 2007), and a key focus of this research, beyond the influence of national and
organisational culture will be the professional dissonance revealed by SiD approaches.
This in turn has lead to the proposal to produce a task-competence SiD matrix for project
participants. At the same time a study of safety effectiveness was conducted and the
most effective safety measures identified in the study were as follows:
Safety management system;
Pay for Safety Scheme;
Performance Assessment Scoring System (PASS);
Automatic Suspension from Tendering System.
Interestingly, these measures included procedures, personnel and threat of punishment
and the safety management system. However, the results varied with size of contractor
and the Safety management system was not reported as effective by the smaller
contractors; perhaps this reflects a lack of maturity in many Hong Kong organizations
which are still focusing on compliance rather than continuous improvement with the more
mature organizations having implemented safety management systems prior to
legislative requirements. It became apparent during the study that a major issue for the
industry was the maturity of organisations. For immature organisations safety
management is seen as compliance as opposed to the continuous improvement
philosophy of the top contractors. BIM and relationship management provide the
opportunity for "maturity development" to move from one country, two systems to a
coherent, safe and respected industry.
FOCUS ON MANAGEMENT AND BEHAVIOUR NOT LEGISLATION
There was an underlying agreement that Hong Kong had enacted sufficient legislation to
deal with safety management and that the industry now needed to focus much more
effectively on management of existing systems rather than the enactment of more
legislation. Indeed, this fits in with the safety effectiveness study results which indicated
that the enactment of safety management legislation was in fact the catalyst for better
management of safety processes within the industry. The focus now needs to be on
implementing more effectively the safety management systems which already exist and
educating the majority of the industry that a compliance approach, based on conforming
with legislation, is not acceptable as an effective approach to safety management. Thus,
it is imperative that a strategy be developed which addresses this issue. Firstly, a
multilevel approach needs to be developed which recognises the excellent performance
of the top contractors and clients and starts to focus attention on the less mature
organisations. To this end it was argued that a practical and systematic approach to
integrating OH&S activities into the management of development projects be developed
specifically for Hong Kong. Both the UK (through the CDM regulations, worker training
initiatives such as the Construction Skills Certification Scheme from HSE) and Australia
(through its very recent Model Client Initiative) have tackled these issues on an industry
180
wide basis, The framework which is developed from this must adopt a whole lifecycle
approach, which the Australian and UK initiatives have failed to do effectively, and
establish Key Process Activities from planning through to the use and maintenance and
demolition of projects. This approach will lead to the development of a Project OH&S
Framework which provides guidance, procedures and eventually a range of existing and
new resource materials including checklists, training courses, self help tools and more.
This should lead to the development of a specification of the roles and responsibilities of
each and every participant in the project process, from client MD downwards, and
include a schedule of competences for each participant and a link to available training
facilities, both in-house and externally.
ROLE OF BIM
The uptake of BIM in construction projects is slow (Rowlinson, Tuuli & Collins, 2009).
The route to the adoption of BIM by major construction clients can be achieved by
highlighting the benefits due to cost savings from less rework, increases in
interoperability and accurate estimation of future facilities management (FM) costs by
utilities consumption modelling. This research makes a case for the study of a Safey in
Design approach driven by BIM implementation; indeed Rowlinson and others were
amongst the pioneers in developing a Design for Safety (DfS) approach using
visulaisation but were to some extent thwarted by the immaturity of the technology (see
Chantawit et al., 2005, Hadikusumo & Rowlinson, 2004 and Rowlinson & Yates, 2003).
The BIM philosophy is as follows (for further detail see Rowlinson, Tuuli & Collins, 2009).
As the development of new materials, construction techniques and technologies, and
architectural ambitions increases the complexity of major construction projects, so too
must the manner in which such projects are conceived and managed. Clients are
beginning to move away from the traditional methods of project management with the
desire to use modern technology effectively. The need to complete projects quickly and
cost effectively and the competence to do this is what will continue to differentiate
companies from one another. In the past, 3D technology had been used to create a
conceptual visualization of a project, but failed to significantly change the traditional
process of construction design and project management. The technology has been
regarded as simply another form of demonstrative artwork with no real on-site application
or practicality and no ethos of cooperation amongst team members to drive its use. BIM
has taken this concept to the next level by using actual engineering and architectural
data to create the 3D models as opposed to creating the models directly with artistic 3D
design software. This allows for a 3D model to be updated by way of changing the
database containing the specifications and not the actual model itself. The model is
simply an end result of the input data. Architects, structural engineers and other team
members can then work independently using the same centralized dataset in a
systematic, collaborative manner. The aim is to create a centralized shared knowledge
resource that contains all the necessary design and operational information about a
project. For example, as a structural engineer updates the model with new specifications,
the architects will be automatically notified of the changes which can then be viewed in
their own formats or as a 3D model. Traditionally, the structural engineers and the
architects would work on separate sets of schematics which would need to be updated
and coordinated as problems are identified, requiring a great deal of organisation and
paperwork.
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Full-text available
Conference Paper
Hong Kong is experiencing a massive increase in construction output. However, the cost of work-related accidents and ill-health in the construction industry account for as much as 8.5% of project costs when social, direct and indirect costs are included. The industry in general is receptive to change and becoming more OHS conscious but the forces driving change in the industry are opposing. The research found that institutional barriers exist to a concerted improvement effort and the best performing contractors, clients, consultants and subcontractors attain standards of excellence comparable with the best in the world but there is a wide range of organizational maturity, and so performance, throughout the industry. In this research study the following issues have been identified where new initiatives need to be developed: Developer attitude: a culture change is required: Client insurance;
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Technical Report
The expected increase in output within the next two years with the onset of the MTR projects presents a serious dilemma. Accident rates mirror output in the construction industry and we should anticipate a significant increase in the accident rate with the increase in output. Thus, it is necessary to plan now for the expected upturn - the situation is URGENT and immediate action is required. The cost of work-related accidents and ill-health in the construction industry account for as much as 8.5% of project costs when social, direct and indirect costs are included. The industry in general is receptive to change and becoming more OHS conscious but the forces driving change in the industry are opposing. Currently, institutional barriers exist to a concerted improvement effort and these need to be addressed and removed. The best performing contractors, clients, consultants and subcontractors attain standards of excellence comparable with the best in the world but there is a wide range of maturity, and so performance, throughout the industry. The following issues have been identified which require new initiatives to be developed.
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Conference Paper
The Hong Kong construction industry is lauded for its high rise buildings over 40 storeys should be an innovative and relationship based industry. However, this is not the case. For example`, the predominant form of procurement in Hong Kong is still design-bid-build (the and by the Chinese culture in which it was situated. Hence, values such as face, harmony and conflict avoidance are also embedded in the industry culture. In such a situation, the issue of stakeholders and their management has been paid scant regard; the government was used to making decisions on development rather than consulting widely and the other major players, the oligarchy of large property developers, adopted a simple, economic approach to their business plans and only over the past few years have issues such as corporate social responsibility reached their boardrooms.
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Article
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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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.
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fields. of Volume 33, Issue 2, Summer 2002, Pages 231-243, programs. of 9 (1977), pp. 168–178.
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Because accidents cost employers $33 billion a year, many organizations have been searching for new approaches to enhancing safety. One of these is the use of positive reinforcement and feedback. This paper reports the findings of 24 studies which have examined the effectiveness of this approach in industry. All studies found that incentives or feedback were successful in improving safety conditions or reducing accidents. The limitations of these studies and avenues for future research are discussed.