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Causes and Effects of Accident at Construction Site: A Study for the Construction Industry in Bangladesh

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Accident at construction site has shaped a horrific figure of death for every year in Bangladesh. This study aims to identify and rank the causes and effects of accident at construction projects in Bangladesh. The study also discusses the characteristics of top-ranking causes and effects. Various direct and indirect linkage of top causes and effects are also analyzed in this study. A widespread literature review and interviews with experts take place to identify the causes and effects of construction accident and design the questionnaire. The questionnaire-based survey was used to elicit the perception of construction professionals towards causes and effects of accident at construction site. This study has identified 77 causes under 14 major groups and 22 effects of accident and ranked them based on Relative Importance Index (RII). The top 5 causes of accident are: unaware of safety-related issue, lack of personal protective equipment, lack of safety hazards eliminating design, unfit equipment, and lack of knowledge and training on equipment respectively. The major 5 effects of accident are: loss of human lives, demotivation of workers/reduce morale, conflict with workers, loss of productivity of project, and delay in work progress respectively. This study will help the project participants and authorities to know and understand the various characteristics and linkage of causes and effects of construction accidents to improve the safety management in the Bangladeshi construction industry. It contributes to the body of knowledge, as it reveals for the first time the causes and effects of accident in the Bangladeshi construction industry.
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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY
Vol. 10 No. 2 (2019) 18-40
© Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia Publisher’s Office
IJSCET
http://penerbit.uthm.edu.my/ojs/index.php/ijscet
ISSN : 2180-3242 e-ISSN : 2600-7959
International
Journal of
Sustainable
Construction
Engineering and
Technology
*Corresponding author: ashakilmondol@gmail.com
2019 UTHM Publisher. All rights reserved.
penerbit.uthm.edu.my/ojs/index.php/ijscet
18
Causes and Effects of Accident at Construction Site:
A Study for the Construction Industry in Bangladesh
Shakil Ahmed1
1Dept. of Building Engineering and Construction Management,
KUET, Khulna, BANGLADESH
*Corresponding Author
DOI: https://doi.org/10.30880/ijscet.2019.10.02.003
Received 19 June 2019; Accepted 23 November 2019; Available online 31 December 2019
1. Introduction
Construction industry is one of the most hazardous industries in the world because of its unique nature. The
construction projects are being experienced troubles by many risks, uncertainties, complexities due to frequently
happened accident in construction project (Sousa, Almeida, & Dias, 2014). The developing countries are the extreme
victim of construction accidents because they have no strict regulation or no strict practicing of construction safety
where both authorities and employees don’t aware of construction safety issue (Biswas, Bhattacharya, & Bhattacharya,
2017). But most of the developed countries are trying to reduce the horrific damages and losses from construction
accidents by preventing, eliminating and bypassing the possible accidents in construction projects. Bangladesh has one
of the most accident-prone construction industry among all the developing countries of the world (Ahmed, Islam,
Hoque, & Hossain, 2018). The Bangladeshi construction industry experiences more death, injury, physical damage of
properties, risks and complexity than other countries in the world due to lack of effective safety management which
Abstract: Accident at construction site has shaped a horrific figure of death for every year in Bangladesh. This
study aims to identify and rank the causes and effects of accident at construction projects in Bangladesh. The study
also discusses the characteristics of top-ranking causes and effects. Various direct and indirect linkage of top
causes and effects are also analyzed in this study. A widespread literature review and interviews with experts take
place to identify the causes and effects of construction accident and design the questionnaire. The questionnaire-
based survey was used to elicit the perception of construction professionals towards causes and effects of accident
at construction site. This study has identified 77 causes under 14 major groups and 22 effects of accident and
ranked them based on Relative Importance Index (RII). The top 5 causes of accident are: unaware of safety-related
issue, lack of personal protective equipment, lack of safety hazards eliminating design, unfit equipment, and lack
of knowledge and training on equipment respectively. The major 5 effects of accident are: loss of human lives,
demotivation of workers/reduce morale, conflict with workers, loss of productivity of project, and delay in work
progress respectively. This study will help the project participants and authorities to know and understand the
various characteristics and linkage of causes and effects of construction accidents to improve the safety
management in the Bangladeshi construction industry. It contributes to the body of knowledge, as it reveals for the
first time the causes and effects of accident in the Bangladeshi construction industry.
Keywords: Bangladesh, accident, construction project, causes, effects
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
leads the horrific figure of accident and fatality rate (Islam, Razwanul, & Mahmud, 2017). This proves that the
concerning level of construction safety practice in Bangladesh.
Every year, an average of 150 persons died and thousands of people get injured due to the accidents in construction
sites in Bangladesh (Ahmed, Sobuz, & Haque, 2018). In 2017, the Bangladeshi construction industry faced about 179
deaths due to accident and the figure of deaths was 145 and 172 in 2016 and 2015 respectively (Ahmed, Houqe, &
Sobuz, 2017; Ahmed, Islam, et al., 2018). Just in 2017, construction accident in Bangladesh takes life 15 time’s higher
than Singapore, 6 times higher than Britain, 8 times greater than Japan and 8 times higher than North Carolina State,
USA (HSE, 2017; Kearney, Balanay, & Mannarino, 2017; Muralidhar, Ahasan, & Khan, 2017; Sadarangani, Lim, &
Vasoo, 2017). This scenario of accident means that a vulnerable level of safety regulations and practices are exist in the
Bangladeshi construction project. High officials from OSHE Bangladesh said in a newspaper (K. Hasan, 2018) that
“accident in construction project is the topmost serious issue for the Bangladeshi construction. It is considered as the
main barrier of innovation and development of the construction industry in Bangladesh. It brings so many complexities
in many ways. It is bad, it is really bad for the Bangladeshi construction industry and the effects of accident is
consequential to the project”. Construction accident is the mother of others many problems and complexities in
construction project. Failure of adoption and assurance of construction safety against accident in construction project
has affected the project negatively. It is the main cause of project delay (Aziz & Abdel-Hakam, 2016; Burr, 2016),
affecting the quality of construction work (Larsen, Shen, Lindhard, & Brunoe, 2015; Rumane, 2016; Zeng, Tam, &
Tam, 2015), decreasing the labor productivity (Hiyassat, Hiyari, & Sweis, 2016; Sveikauskas, Rowe, Mildenberger,
Price, & Young, 2016), cost overrun of the project (Jadhav, Desai, & Gupta, 2016; Shehu, Endut, Akintoye, & Holt,
2014), arising dispute between stakeholders (Gunduz, Birgonul, & Ozdemir, 2016), affecting the psychology of worker
negatively (Fung, Tam, Sing, Tang, & Ogunlana, 2016; Leung, Liang, & Olomolaiye, 2015). It shows a clear picture
that the Bangladeshi construction industry is not going with good progress due to many issues but the prime one is
accident in the recent years. Experts said that there are 80% of construction projects experience injuries and death from
accidents in Bangladesh during the whole construction period (Ahmed, Sobuz, et al., 2018). The consequences of these
accidents go far beyond for construction project which experienced such accident.
Today, it is a basic right of every worker to work a safe and accident-free workplace. Other countries in the world
started working to reduce the accident rate in the construction industry and they had shown success in various ways to
reduce or even eliminate accidents in the construction projects. But Bangladesh is backward from them. Bangladesh
has to work with this issue seriously to reduce the accident rate and improve the construction industry with modern
technologies and strategies by understanding the reasons and effects of accident. Numerous examinations have
demonstrated that a fairly large percentage of fatal accident at construction project could have been eliminated,
reduced, or avoided if straightforward safety systems would have been applied at the sites and the employees would
have been trained and made aware of the safety hazards present in the particular site. A comprehensive safety program
has to be designed for these. To prevent and control accident at construction project based on the causes which are
responsible for the accident become the first step in this process. Bong et al., (2015) indicate that when a designer
knows and understands the accident elements and consequences in details, he/she provides the best design to ensure
safety. So if the real scenario behind the accident comes to light, it will be easier for the authority to take effective
necessary steps to improve the safety program and reduce the accident rate in Bangladesh. For this, at first, it is
necessary to find out the reason behind construction accident and effects arise due to this accident in Bangladesh. To
assist the authority and reveal impact of the accident, the main purpose of this study is to investigate, identify and
analyze the causes and effects of accidents in the construction project in Bangladesh. In this study, causes and effects
are discussed and distributed in categories to investigate the characteristics and direct and indirect linkages of causes
and effects. This study may help the authorities and project executives to know and understand about the causes and
effects of accidents in the construction project in Bangladesh. This study could make aware the authorities and
stakeholders that what a huge adverse impact the accidents have on construction project and which are the reason
behind the accident. It may guide the potential readers that can play a vital role to decrease the accident rate and assist
the stakeholders to introduce the accident-free construction project with an effective safety management system. This
study is unique in the way that it is the only research which digging out the causes and effects of accident. Actually,
this study is the first which is bring construction accident in light in Bangladesh.
2. Current Status of Accident at Construction Industry in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is facing accident issue in the construction industry for many years. A huge number of workers and
other staffs get injured and died every year. Shakil et al. ( 2018) revealed the statistics of death numbers of victims of
the construction accident in Bangladesh for 2006-2017 in Table 1.
From Table 1, the Bangladeshi construction industry faced 1861 deaths from 2006 to 2017. These are only the
registered deaths at the police station or got newspaper coverage. There are many construction accidents and fatalities
in Bangladesh which didn’t get registered or covered by the newspapers (Report, 2017). Considering this, Table 1
doesn’t represent the exact numbers of death but an estimated number of fatalities. The majority (31.43%) of total death
is for electro-caution at the construction site and the number is 585 persons. Fall from height is another dominant direct
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
20
cause for 483 deaths at construction sites (25.95%) for 2006-2017. Collapsing building’s parts is responsible for
another 169 numbers of death (9.08%) which is shown in Table 1. Crushed by objects and suffocation with poisonous
gas are responsible for 166 (8.92%) and 165 (8.87%) deaths of construction employees in the Bangladeshi construction
industry. Earth collapse and hit by falling objects are other two causes of 129 (6.93%) and 57 (3.06%) persons death.
About 3.44% of total death was for the “others” type causes. Rest 2.31% means 43 persons died due to entangled with
machine and road accident at the construction site. The highest numbers of death 183 and 179 persons happened in
2011 and 2017. In 2012 and 2013, an equal number of death (175 persons) were experienced in the Bangladeshi
construction industry. The similar numbers of death (145 persons) were experienced in 2016 and 2019. Comparatively
fewer numbers of death were experienced by the Bangladeshi construction industry in 2008, 2007 and 2006 with the
death numbers of less than 140 persons per year.
Table 1 shows the increasing rate of fatalities due to construction accident with time. And from this table, it is not
difficult to say that the Bangladeshi construction industry will experience a horrific amount of fatalities in near future.
The many complexities and devastating events will arise in the construction project which turns this country’s largest
industry to a dangerous one. So proper treatment of construction accident in Bangladesh is very important to do a better
future even present of construction industry. And the study could be the initiation of these if authorities know and
understand the contributions of it.
Table 1 - Statistic of Death Numbers Due to the Construction Accident in Bangladesh from 2006-17
Year
Electro-caution
Fall from height
Crushed by object
Earth collapse
Suffocation with
poisonous gas
Building/Wall/Roof
collapse
Entangled with
machine
Hit by falling object
Road accident
others
Total (persons)
2006
32
23
12
7
9
16
1
11
2
5
118
2007
41
31
17
11
7
13
0
5
0
3
128
2008
44
31
12
12
15
10
2
5
3
4
138
2009
39
32
14
10
14
21
0
6
2
7
145
2010
45
38
8
12
14
16
1
1
0
3
138
2011
65
56
13
14
13
12
0
0
5
5
183
2012
63
52
16
3
20
8
0
2
2
9
175
2013
52
46
19
19
17
13
1
2
5
1
175
2014
56
44
17
10
18
12
0
3
3
2
165
2015
51
43
13
11
11
17
3
11
2
10
172
2016
42
42
10
9
14
13
2
3
2
8
145
2017
55
45
15
11
13
18
2
8
5
7
179
Total
585
483
166
129
165
169
12
57
31
64
1861
%
31.43
25.95
8.92
6.93
8.87
9.08
0.64
3.06
1.67
3.44
100
3. Background Study
Construction industry has encountered the highest number of fatal accidents among many industries in the world
(Albert & Hallowell, 2012). Thus, studying the causes and effects of accidents in construction projects has gained
importance to researchers in recent years although there is no research conducted before on the topic for the
Bangladeshi construction industry. Therefore, many studies have been conducted in this area of research in different
parts of the world. Few of them are discussed below.
Cheng and Wu (2013) analyzed the characteristics of construction accidents in small projects in Taiwan using
descriptive statistics and correlation coefficients. They discovered that the most critical causes of accidents are careless
acts about the implementation of safety measures at project sites, followed by insufficient safety training for novice
workers, absence of competent health and safety professionals, improper attention from the authority to safety issue and
lack of safety awareness. In Malaysia, Hamid (2008) identified a good number of causes of accidents at his research.
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
The main causes of accidents are revealed such as unsafe equipment, job sites condition, and unique nature of industry,
unsafe method, poor management, poor safety policies and personal protective equipment, poor site management and
equipment failure. Priyadarshani et al. (2013) developed a safety assessment framework for the construction industry in
Sri Lanka. According to their study, lack of commitment of management, lack of safety measures, and negligence of
individuals to respond the proper safety practices and unskilled workers are the most important factors leading to
accidents at sites. Work at high elevation, poor site management, equipment failure, lack of skill and experience of
executive and lack of worker training are the important causes which work behind construction accident in the United
Arab Emirates (Al-Kaabi & Hadipriono, 2003). Uduakobonge et al. (2016) revealed the major causes of construction
accident in Nigeria and those were lack of safety measures while handling materials/objects and lifting
materials/objects, slips, trip on object, operating damaged equipment, striking by moving objects/machine/equipment,
caving in of excavations and falling from height. Haslam et al. (Haslam, 2005) illustrate that accidents occur as a result
of poor interaction among workers or work-teams (worker behavior), workplace (poor housekeeping and material
storing) and materials/equipment (PPE) that originate due to insufficiency in the construction design and process,
project and risk management, customer/owner and economic effects, or safety education and training. Ogwueleka
(Ogwueleka, 2013a) conducted a comprehensive literature review to analyze the causes of construction accident and
pointed out as the most influencing factors were management commitment, safety awareness of top management/
project managers, errors in judgment or carelessness, expert knowledge or training, poor machinery and safety
management practices/ procedure/ review. Tsang et al. (2017) identified three types of accident-related factors
including working conditions, environmental factors and management actions in construction site.
Udo (2016) explored the 21 effects of construction accidents in the Nigerian construction industry. Some the
highest ranked effects in this study are demotivation of workers, negative impact on the reputation of firms, enhancing
the project cost, damages to plant/equipment and payment for settlement of injury/death claims. Kadiri et al., (2014)
determined some of the effects on construction project due to the consequences of accident at construction sites. The
most significant effects are time loss of schedule, reputation loss of firm, the psychology of workers negatively affected
and cost of medical expense. Okolie and Okoye (2012) mentioned many effects that make the project more complex
and faulty. Some of the top effects are human fatalities, de-motivation of workers, disruption of site activities, delay
project progress and affection overall project cost and productivity. Mthalane et al (2008) identified a large number of
effects of construction accidents on construction project. The high ranked effects are loss of productivity, disruption of
current work, training cost for replacement, damages to plant/equipment/completed work, costs of workman’s
compensation, payments for settlements of injury or death claims, and legal fees for defense against claims. In Ireland,
Hrymak and Perezgonzalez (2007) showed a wide range of negative effects due to the accidents in terms of monetary
and non-monetary loss to employer. Some of the identified effects in this study are salary costs for replacement staff or
overtime payments, production and productivity losses, retaining costs, personal injury claim compensation, repair cost,
quality failure and dispute and litigation. Li and Poon (2009) expressed that there was an excessive number of court
cases in Hong Kong with respect to worker’s compensation for non-fatal construction accidents. Others effects in Hong
Kong construction industry are time loss of schedule, conflicts and legal issues, worker psychology. Trinh et al. (2018)
revealed that quality of construction works highly interrelated with the construction accident. Schedule loss of time and
cost overrun are another result of construction accident. The accident also bring out the variation in project and
dissatisfaction of clients.
Some other researches also have been done research significantly with the topic causes and effects of construction
accidents such as for Pakistan (Zahoor et al., 2016), India (Tiwary & Gangopadhyay, 2011), Kuwait (Al-Humaidi &
Tan, 2010), Turkey (Ulubeyli, Kazaz, & Er, 2014), South Korea (Yoon et al., 2013), Spain (Arquillos, Romero, &
Gibb, 2012) and others (Behm & Schneller, 2013; Gibb, Lingard, Behm, & Cooke, 2014; Hollnagel, 2016). Al this
study revealed the causes and effects of accident and discussed them with their local aspect.
4. Research Objectives
The main objectives of this study are as follows:
To identify the causes and effects of accident in the Bangladeshi construction industry; and
To establish and prioritize the principal causes and effects which have dominating influence in the
Bangladeshi construction industry.
The achievement of these objectives in this study will help relevant stakeholders in the Bangladesh construction
industry to understand the reasons and caliber of accident and develop appropriate solutions to overcome these curse
events. The quantitative methodology that comprises a survey method of data collection and the application of
statistical techniques to analyze the data was used to achieve the objectives. In addition, this research represents a
platform that would allow performing further contributions related to accident at construction sites in Bangladesh.
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
22
5. Materials and Methods
The primary objective of this study is to identify and prioritize the causes and effects of construction accidents in
the Bangladeshi construction industry. To perform this study a wide literature review for designing a questionnaire and
questionnaire survey method to collect data are used. This research method was used because of its ability to collect an
extensive range of agreement from individuals, to deal with a large number of respondents, to have better
generalizability of the results. Figure 1 illustrates the method and process of this study.
Fig. 1 - Research Methodology Flowchart
5.1 Questionnaire Design
To identify the causes and effects of construction accidents in Bangladesh, a wide literature review was conducted
for sorting out a rough list. After that, an open discussion was held with an experts panel (the panel consist of
government officials, high officials from NGO, executive of labour organization, experienced contractor, engineers,
project managers, university professors and university students) of 8 construction professionals to identify the causes
and effects which are reasonable for the aspect of Bangladeshi construction industry. Based on the expert’s
recommendations, total 77 causes were identified under 14 major groups for the construction accident in Bangladesh
and 22 effects of construction accident were finalized to design the questionnaire.
A questionnaire survey was used to elicit the level of agreement of owners, consultants, labours and contractors
towards the causes and effects of accidents in the construction projects in Bangladesh. The questionnaire was designed
with three major parts. Part I is about the background information of the respondents. Where respondent were asked to
answers about the organizational and individual characteristics. The identified 77 causes under 14 major groups of
causes are presented in part II. Part III contain the 22 effects of accident in the Bangladeshi construction industry. The
respondents were asked to indicate their level of agreement with the 41 challenges in the Bangladeshi construction
industry context. To collecting feedback of the respondents, a five-point Likert Scale was used to measure the
agreement and disagreement level of the respondents. The five-point scale represents the points as: 1 not important, 2
slightly important, 3 moderately important, 4 very important and 5 extremely important. There are many studies
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
(Abdelhadi, Dulaimi, & Bajracharya, 2018; Abusafiya & Suliman, 2017; Barua, 2013; Sambasivan & Soon, 2007) of
questionnaire survey conducted by Likert scale and it is considered as the best measuring tool in the case of
questionnaire survey of same context (Rowley, 2014).
5.2 Data Collection
Industry-wide data collection is very important to identify the causes and effects of construction industry and to
cover the thoughts of a wide range of construction professionals and organizations in Bangladesh. The necessary data
were collected through the questionnaire survey among the construction workers by visiting construction sites, labor
unions, construction companies, and government agencies and so on. In total 147 questionnaires were distributed as
follows: 44 to workers, 27 to owners, 41 to consultants and 35 to contractors. About 108 questionnaires (73.5%) were
returned as follows: 32 from workers, 23 from owners, 28 from consultants, and 25 from contractors as respondents.
Authors concentrated on IEB, IAB, REHAB and INSUB to select the potential respondents. The Institute of Engineers
Bangladesh (IEB) is the largest professional association of the country with Civil Engineers, Building Engineers and
Construction Manager. The IAB - Institute of Architects Bangladesh is the professional association of architects in
Bangladesh. The Real Estate & Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) another largest platform of construction
companies and firms with a good organizational set up (high managerial level, including experienced professionals).
The Imarat Nirman Sramik Union Bangladesh (INSUB) (in English, Building construction worker association
Bangladesh) is the country’s only organization which work for the right, safety and others issues of workers in
Bangladesh.
5.3 Data Analysis
The collected data was analyzed by using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) software with version
23 and Microsoft Excel Worksheet 2016. SPSS is used for performing the reliability test of the collected data. The
output of data analysis is introduced using graphs and tables for further discussion and interpretation in this study. The
Relative Important Index (RII) is used to analyze the main response to the causes and effects of construction accident in
Bangladesh. Cronbach’s Alpha test is used to performing a validation test of the collected data.
Relative Important Index: The Relative Important Index (RII) was used for the determination of the rank between
the causes and effect, and prioritize the principles variables. The RII value is range from 0 to 1. A higher value
indicates a higher degree of impact and pervasiveness of the causes and effects. The RII was used to determine owners,
consultants, labours and contractors perceptions towards the identified causes and effects. The five-point Likert Scale
ranged from 1 (not important) to 5 (extremely important) was adopted and transformed to the relative importance index
(RII) for each variable. An equation express below was used to determine the value of RII for each variables. Equation
1 is used in many research for the determination of impotency and relative rank (Hamid, Singh, & Arzmi, 2014;
Ogwueleka, 2013b; Le-Hoai, Lee, & Lee, 2008).
Relative Importance Index (RII) = (1)
In the above (1) equation ‘W’ is the weighting given to each factor by the respondents (ranging from 1 to 5), ‘A’ is the
highest weight (i.e. 5 in this case), and ‘N’ is the total number of respondents in this study (i.e. 108 in this study).
Data Reliability Test: The required data for analysis of causes and effects of construction accident was collected
independently from various respondents with various organizational and individual characteristics. So it is necessarily
important to check the reliability and validity of the independently collected data. Cronbach Alpha was used as a most
common test of the reliability for the case where multiple Likert questions are in the questionnaire. Cronbach’s Alpha is
used to measure the internal consistency of identified challenges used in this survey. Its value ranges from 0 to 1. A
higher value indicates a higher degree of consistency among the items (Z. Zhou, Yang Miang Goh, and Qiming Li. ,
2015). George et al. (2016) and Pallant (2016) indicate that “α ≥ 0.7” is acceptable, but values of “α > 0.8” are more
preferable. In this study, the Cronbach’s Alpha test is conducted by the software of Statistical Package for the Social
Science (SPSS 23). Table 2.1 and Table 2.2 represent the Cronbach’s Alpha test result for this study.
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
24
Table 2.1: Case Processing Summary
Case
N
%
Valid
108
100
Includeda
0
0
Total
108
100
a Listwise deletion based on all variables in the procedure.
Table 2.2: Reliability Statistics for the Collected Data
Cronbach’s Alpha, α
Cronbach’s Alpha Based on
Standardized items
N of
items
0.886
≥ 0.7
108
From Table 2.2, the Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient is determined 0.886 whereas the acceptable limit is 0.7. The
collected data are excellent for the high stakes testing and some advance test results are generated from this data
validly.
6. Results
6.1 Background Information of Respondents
Table 3 shows the respondents profile based on the organizational and individual characteristics. Among the
respondents of this study, 89 respondents are male and 19 respondents are female which represents the 82 percent and
18 percent of total respondents. The majority 34 percent respondents are more than 40 years old while following 29
percent respondents are less than 20 old, 23 percent are 31-40 years range, and remaining 14 percent are 21-30 year old.
Regarding the organizational characteristics of respondents, 21 percent working in developing organizations and
individual owners, 26 percent are involved in consulting organizations, 23 percent are involved in contracting
organizations, and 30 are involved in labour based organizations.
Table 3 - Background Information of the Respondents
Demographic Characteristics
Frequency
Percentage (%)
Sex
Male
Female
89
19
82
18
Age
≤ 20 years old
21-30 years old
31-40 years old
≥ 40 years old
31
15
25
37
29
14
23
34
Education
Lower Higher Secondary School
Pre-University
Graduate
Post-graduate
42
19
30
17
39
17
28
16
Location
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
Dhaka Division
Rajshahi and Rangpur Division
Chittagong Division
Sylhet Division
Khulna and Barishal Division
28
19
18
15
30
23
18
17
14
28
Type of Organization
Owners
Consultants
Contractors
Workers
23
28
25
32
21
26
23
30
Working Experience
≤ 5 years
5-15 years
15-25 years
≥ 25 years
19
30
23
36
18
28
21
33
Fields of specializations
Building
Roads and Bridge
Electrical and mechanical
others
89
48
22
17
51
27
13
09
In this study, the majority 33 percent of respondents had the working experience of more than 25 years and another
28 percent had working experience in between 5 to 15 years. About 21 percent of respondents mention that they had
15-25 years of working experience, while the rest had experienced less than 5 years (18 percent) in the Bangladeshi
construction industry. A large portion (39 percent) respondents had education qualification which lower higher
secondary school. With graduate level qualification, 28 percent respondents are in this study, while the respondents
with postgraduate and pre-university educational qualification are 16 percent and 17 percent. A large portion about
more than half of the respondents (51 percent) are working in the building projects and 27 percent are working in road
and bridge construction projects. On the other hand, 13 percent respondents are working in electrical and mechanical
department of construction and rest only 9 percent are involved in others department of construction projects in
Bangladesh.
6.2 Analysis of RII of Causes
Table 4 shows the 77 identified causes under 14 major groups of accident at construction site in Bangladesh with
RII and relative rank. The highest ranking (1st) cause is contractor unaware of safety related issue (C35) with RII=
0.686. The 2nd highest ranking cause is lack of personal protective equipment of worker (C41) with the RII=0.674. The
3rd, 4th and 5th highest ranking causes are lack of safety eliminating/ avoiding design (C19), unfit equipment (C54), and
lack of knowledge and training on equipment (C59) with the RII of 0.669, 0.666 and 0.665. Irregular investigation of
consultant (C31) with RII=0.659 and managerial issue “inadequate safety policy” (C62) with RII=0.658 are ranked in
6th and 7th positions in Table 4. The 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th highest ranking causes are worker’s lack of expertise
knowledge or training (C45), unwilling to pay extra cost for safety (C49), unskilled labours (C42), consultant’s
unaware of construction safety (C30), and not-strict operation procedures in contract (C11) with the respective RII
value of 0.657, 0.655, 0.652, 0.645, and 0.644. C36, C68, C21, C55, C18, C58, C4, and C57 are also in the high
ranking causes.
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
26
Table 4 - Summary of RII, SD and Ranking of Causes of Accident in Construction Project
Major
Group
ID
Causes of Accident
RII
SD
Rank
(overall)
Project related
C1
Value of project
0.581
-0.0045
43
C2
Poor Planning/ scheduling of project
0.567
-0.0185
48
C3
Very tight project schedule
0.606
0.0205
26
C4
Type and nature of project
0.625
0.0395
19
C5
Social and communal involvement of project
0.508
-0.0775
71
C6
Financial body (Government or private)
0.456
-0.1295
77
Site Condition
related
C7
Project site conditions (exclude equipment, materials,
weather)
0.567
-0.0185
49
C8
Project site layout/space
0.565
-0.0205
51
C9
Project working environment
(light/noise/hot/cold/wet)
0.594
0.0085
33
C10
Poor housekeeping
0.609
0.0235
23
Contract
related
C11
Not-strict operation procedures in contract
0.644
0.0585
12
C12
Coordination between project participants
0.534
-0.0515
70
C13
Lack of Management commitment in contract
0.557
-0.0285
54
C14
Type of awarding contract
0.543
-0.0425
66
C15
Unclear contract conditions on safety issue
0.585
-0.0005
40
Design
related
C16
Design is not constructible
0.548
-0.0375
61
C17
Incomplete and inconsistency of design document
0.545
-0.0405
65
C18
Safety is not consider when design
0.632
0.0465
17
C19
Lack of safety eliminating/ avoiding design
0.669
0.0835
3
Material
related
C20
Lack of protection in material carrying
0.479
-0.1065
76
C21
Lack of protection in material storage
0.633
0.0475
15
C22
Working with toxic/ hazardous materials
0.558
-0.0275
53
C23
Hazard during transportation
0.603
0.0175
28
C24
Lack of knowledge about construction materials
0.556
-0.0295
55
Cost -Time
related
C25
Cost overrun reduce the safety cost
0.494
-0.0915
73
C26
Schedule delays and rework in construction project
0.547
-0.0385
62
C27
Short time assign to worker
0.596
0.0105
31
Consultant
related
C28
Lack of Management/ leadership skills
0.595
0.0095
32
C29
Lack of knowledge and experience
0.540
-0.0455
68
C30
Unaware of construction safety
0.645
0.0595
11
C31
irregular investigation
0.659
0.0735
6
C32
Flexible to contractor/worker on safety issue
0.551
-0.0345
60
C33
No interest to change the safety culture
0.593
0.0075
34
Contractor related
C34
Inaccurate or incomplete schedule
0.579
-0.0065
44
C35
Unaware of safety related issue
0.686
0.1005
1
C36
Unwilling to spend safety related cost
0.642
0.0565
13
C37
Lack of skill and experience of site staff
0.536
-0.0495
69
C38
Violating BNBC code/ Bangladesh labour law
0.589
0.0035
38
C39
Reckless action of contractor
0.574
-0.0115
46
Labour
related
C40
Lack of collaboration among labours
0.583
-0.0025
41
C41
Lack of personal protective equipment
0.674
0.0885
2
C42
Unskilled labours
0.652
0.0665
10
C43
Worker empowerment to make decision
0.560
-0.0255
52
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
C44
Poor of education of labourers
0.555
-0.0305
56
C45
Lack of Expertise, knowledge or training
0.657
0.0715
8
C46
Interference with others role
0.543
-0.0425
67
C47
Over time for labours
0.605
0.0195
27
C48
Behaviour of worker
0.610
0.0245
22
Owner relate
C49
Unwilling to pay extra cost for safety
0.655
0.0695
9
C50
Owner’s interference on schedule and process
0.500
-0.0855
72
C51
Owner’s expectations variation
0.483
-0.1025
74
C52
Lack of owner’s emphasis on safety
0.546
-0.0395
64
C53
owner’s late response ( decision making)
0.546
-0.0395
63
Equipment and
Tools related
C54
Unfit equipment
0.666
0.0805
4
C55
Poor equipment maintenance
0.632
0.0465
16
C56
Unused of modern equipment
0.607
0.0215
24
C57
High cost of advanced equipment and tools
0.623
0.0375
20
C58
Improper use of equipment
0.630
0.0445
18
C59
Lack of knowledge and training on equipment
0.665
0.0795
5
Management related
C60
Lack of effective Project supervision
0.607
0.0215
25
C61
Lack of effective Communication
0.588
0.0025
39
C62
Inadequate safety policy
0.658
0.0725
7
C63
Improper auditing system
0.591
0.0055
36
C64
Poor Organization structure
0.582
-0.0035
42
C65
Lack of information flow
0.591
0.0055
35
C66
Lack of technique guide
0.553
-0.0325
58
C67
Lack of teamwork
0.598
0.0125
30
Technology related
C68
Unused of safety control system
0.636
0.0505
14
C69
Unused of schedule system
0.481
-0.1045
75
C70
Unaware to advanced technology for safety
0.568
-0.0175
47
C71
Lack of implementation of BIM
0.612
0.0265
21
C72
Lack of innovation technology
0.575
-0.0105
45
C73
Lack of implement safety control sensor technology
0.551
-0.0345
59
External
related
C74
Act of God
0.555
-0.0305
57
C75
External obstacle/ barrier
0.566
-0.0195
50
C76
Nature of construction
0.590
0.0045
37
C77
Bad weather
0.601
0.0155
29
Table 4 also shows the middle-ranking causes of construction accident in Bangladesh. The most noticeable middle
ranking causes are managerial related causes like project supervision, housekeeping, information and communication,
teamwork, scheduling and planning, organization culture and structure (C28, C10, C60, C61, C63, C65, C67, C1, C2,
C3), project, environment and external related like transportation, weather, site condition and nature (C23, C77, C34,
C38, C9, C75, and C76), material and equipment related like hazardous and toxic material, backdated and faulty
equipment (C22, C24, C23 and C56), technology related (C70, C72, C56 and C71), stakeholders related causes like
skills and training of worker and consultant, overtime, empowerment of staffs, mutual collaboration and reckless
decisions (C48, C47, C27, C39, C40 and C43) which have the moderate level of impact and influence on construction
accident in Bangladesh. The lowest ranking causes in this study are financial body (Government or private) (C6) with
the RII=0.456 and lack of protection in material carrying (C20) with RII= 0.479 which are ranked in 77th and 76th
positions in Table 4. The 75th, 74th, 73th and 72th causes are unused of schedule system (C69), owner’s expectations
variation (C51), cost overrun reduce the safety cost (C25), and owner’s interference on schedule and process (C50)
with the RII of 0.481, 0.483, 0.494, and 0.500 respectively. Lack of technique guide (C66), lack of implement safety
control sensor technology (C73), flexible to contractor/worker on safety issue (C32), design is not constructible (C160,
schedule delays and rework in construction project (C26), owner’s late response (decision making) (C53), lack of
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
28
owner’s emphasis on safety (C52), incomplete and inconsistency of design document (C17), type of awarding contract
(C14), interference with others role (C46), lack of knowledge and experience (C29), lack of skill and experience of site
staff (C37), coordination between project participants (C12), and social and communal involvement of project (C5) are
also the causes in the lowest ranking in Table 4.
Table 5.1 - Summary of High-Ranking Causes for Worker and Contractor Groups of Respondent
Rank
Worker
Contractor
Causes of Accident
Major Group
Causes of Accident
Major Group
1
Not-strict operation procedures in
contract
Contract
Lack of personal protective
equipment
Labour
2
Lack of safety eliminating/
avoiding design
Design
Lack of knowledge and training on
equipment
Equipment and
Tools
3
No interest to change the safety
culture
Consultant
Violating BNBC code/ Bangladesh
labour law
Contractor
4
Unskilled labours
Labour
Inadequate safety policy
Management
5
Unwilling to spend safety related
cost
Contractor
Unwilling to pay extra cost for
safety
Owner
6
irregular investigation
Consultant
Unfit equipment
Equipment
7
Lack of Expertise, knowledge or
training
Labour
Not-strict operation procedures in
contract
Contract
8
Unfit equipment
Equipment and
Tools
High cost of advanced equipment
and tools
Equipment and
Tools
9
Lack of knowledge and
experience
Consultant
Lack of Management/ leadership
skills
Consultant
10
Unaware of safety related issue
Contractor
Unaware of safety related issue
Contractor
Table 5.2 - Summary of High-Ranking Causes for Owner and Consultant Groups of Respondent
Rank
Owner
Consultant
Causes of Accident
Major Group
Causes of Accident
Major Group
1
Inadequate safety policy
Management
Unfit equipment
Equipment and
Tools
2
Unfit equipment
Equipment and
Tools
Unaware of safety related issue
Contractor
3
Lack of teamwork
Management
Lack of knowledge and training
on equipment
Equipment and
Tools
4
Not-strict operation procedures in
contract
Contract
Improper auditing system
Management
5
Unaware of safety related issue
Contractor
Safety is not consider when
design
Design
6
Lack of personal protective
equipment
Labour
Lack of Expertise, knowledge or
training
Labour
7
Lack of knowledge and training
on equipment
Equipment and
Tools
Inadequate safety policy
Management
8
Lack of safety eliminating/
avoiding design
Design
Lack of Management
commitment in contract
Contract
9
Unskilled labours
Labour
Lack of safety eliminating/
avoiding design
Design
10
Safety is not consider when
design
Design
Unskilled labours
Labour
In Table 5.1 and Table 5.2, the highest ranking causes for contractors, consultants, owners and labours groups of
respondent are presented. The 1st and 2nd highest ranking causes for contractors are lack of personal protective
equipment (C41) and lack of knowledge and training on equipment (C59). Not-strict operation procedures in contract
(C11) and lack of safety eliminating/ avoiding design (C19) are ranked in 1st and 2nd positions for the workers. The 1st
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
and 2nd highest ranking causes for consultants are unfit equipment (C54) and lack of knowledge and contractor unaware
of safety related issue (C35), while inadequate safety policy (C62) and unfit equipment (C54) are ranked in 1st and 2nd
highest positions for the owners. Table 6 represents the major groups of causes with RII based ranking for overall and
each respondents groups. Management related causes group is ranked in 1st position and equipment and tools related
group is ranked in 2nd position. Other highest ranking major groups are contractor, consultant and labour related groups
of causes. The lowest ranking major groups are time and cost (14th). Owner (13th) and contract (12th) related major
groups of causes. The management related major group is ranked the 1st position for the respondents of contractor,
consultant and labour, while the equipment and tools related group is ranked in the 1st position for the respondent’s
group of owner. The lowest ranking (14th) cause for the consultants and labours is time and cost related major group.
The contract related group is ranked in the 14th position for the contractors and the external related causes group is
ranked in the 14th position for the owners in Table 6.
Table 6 - Summary of RII Based Ranking of Major Groups of Causes
Major Group
Rank
Overall
Rank
Contractor
Worker
Owner
Consultant
Project related
11
12
11
12
11
Site Condition related
6
8
10
5
8
Contract related
14
9
9
13
12
Design related
9
11
6
11
9
Material related
3
7
8
9
7
Cost & Time related
13
14
13
14
14
Consultant related
5
4
2
6
4
Contractor related
7
2
3
3
3
Labour related
4
6
5
2
5
Owner related
12
13
12
10
13
Equipment and Tools
related
2
5
1
4
2
Management related
1
1
4
1
1
Technology related
8
3
7
8
6
External related
10
10
14
7
10
6.3 Analysis of RII of Effects
Table 7 shows that identified 22 effects of the construction accident in the Bangladesh construction industry. The
highest ranking (1st) effect is loss of human life with the RII= 0.708. The 2nd and 3rd highest ranking effects determined
in this study are demotivation of workers/reduce morale (RII=0.668) and conflict of workers (RII=0.642). Loss of
productivity (4th), delay in work progress (5th), negative impact on reputation of firms (6th), cost of medical
bills/expenses (7th) and loss of opportunity to qualify for future tender (8th) are in high ranking effects in Table 7. The
noticeable middle-ranking effects are loss of opportunity to qualify for future tender, disruption of site operation, cost
of workman compensation, negative effect on psychology of worker, cost of rework/repair, transporting injured
worker(s) to obtain treatment, and payment for settlement of injury/death claims for the Bangladeshi construction
industry. The lowest ranking effects are damages to completed work (21st) with RII=0.486 and damages to
plant/equipment (22nd) with RII=0.483 in Table 7. Other low-ranking effects are cost of cases/litigation (15th), cost of
investigating accident (16th), training cost for replacement worker (17th), cost of rescue operation (18th), project stop
(19th), and increase in project cost (20th) in this study.
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
30
Table 7 - Summary of RII and RII Based Ranking of Effects
Table 8 also reveals the ranking of effects for each respondents group. Demotivation of workers/reduce morale and
delay in work progress are ranked in the 1st and 2nd position for the contractors, while the lowest ranking effects are
damages to completed work (21st) and increase in project cost (22nd). Loss of human life is the highest ranking (1st)
effect for the workers and consultants, meanwhile damages to plant/equipment (22nd) is the lowest ranking for the
groups of respondent. The 2nd highest ranking effect for the workers is negative impact on reputation of firms and for
the consultants is demotivation of workers/reduce morale. Conflict with workers and loss of human life are ranked in
the 1st and 2nd position for the owners, while the lowest ranking effects are payment for settlement of injury/death
claims (21st) and damages to completed work (22nd) in the Bangladeshi construction industry.
6.4 Ishikawa-fishbone Diagram (Cause-effect Diagram)
In this study, identified 77 causes of construction accident under 14 major groups and 22 effects generate a
fishbone diagram in Figure 2 and Figure 3. In this figure (Figure 2), the causes are categorized logically, the correlation
and linkage of each cause can be understood at a glance. And Figure 3 shows the multiple effects against the single
cause (accident at construction site) which is inspired and modified from the Ishikawa diagram concept. These can be a
great way to boost the understanding ability and structural brainstorming about the reasons behind for construction
accident and its effects because it captures all the variable. The fishbone diagram is the best way of this study to
represent the causes and effects of construction accident. The figure helps the reader to understand and know the causes
and effects at a glance without wasting any time. Instead of the 6M of the fishbone diagram format, the author uses a
modified version of the cause-effect diagram in Figure 2. The 14 major groups are structured as the major subcategories
under major six categories. And the seventy-seven (77) causes structured under the fourteen major sub-categories in the
Effects
Contractor
Worker
Owner
Consultant
Overall
RII
Rank
RII
Rank
RII
Rank
RII
Rank
RII
Rank
Loss of human life
0.561
5
0.843
1
0.728
2
0.595
1
0.708
1
Demotivation of workers/reduce
morale
0.637
1
0.714
9
0.683
4
0.561
2
0.668
2
Conflict with workers
0.564
4
0.746
4
0.772
1
0.505
8
0.642
3
Loss of productivity
0.54
9
0.764
3
0.700
3
0.504
9
0.627
4
Delay in work progress
0.601
2
0.738
6
0.673
7
0.521
6
0.623
5
Negative impact on reputation of
firms
0.526
12
0.795
2
0.679
5
0.491
13
0.62
6
Cost of medical bills/expenses
0.541
8
0.695
12
0.651
10
0.527
4
0.617
7
Loss of opportunity to qualify for
future tender
0.558
6
0.689
14
0.654
9
0.523
5
0.601
8
Disruption of site operation
0.555
7
0.734
7
0.676
6
0.518
7
0.6
9
Cost of workman compensation
0.536
11
0.695
13
0.637
12
0.539
3
0.597
10
Negative effect on psychology of
worker
0.513
15
0.633
19
0.655
8
0.479
15
0.595
11
Cost of rework/repair
0.578
3
0.715
8
0.604
17
0.501
10
0.584
12
Transporting injured worker(s) to
obtain treatment
0.537
10
0.659
17
0.631
14
0.5
11
0.584
13
Payment for settlement of
injury/death claims
0.442
20
0.71
10
0.530
21
0.408
21
0.579
14
Cost of cases/litigation
0.521
14
0.678
15
0.621
15
0.491
12
0.57
15
Cost of investigating accident
0.479
19
0.708
11
0.637
13
0.412
20
0.561
16
Training cost for replacement
worker
0.505
16
0.647
18
0.649
11
0.457
18
0.554
17
Cost of rescue operation
0.499
17
0.578
21
0.593
18
0.471
16
0.544
18
Project stop
0.526
13
0.668
16
0.58
19
0.486
14
0.532
19
Increase in project cost
0.435
22
0.741
5
0.611
16
0.447
19
0.491
20
Damages to completed work
0.437
21
0.584
20
0.526
22
0.465
17
0.486
21
Damages to plant/equipment
0.49
18
0.575
22
0.535
20
0.406
22
0.483
22
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
fishbone diagram. Where Figure 3 is a simple cause-effect diagram without any subgroup or category. It is a modified
version of the Ishikawa diagram and in this study, it is named the “effect-flow diagram”.
Fig. 2 - Ishikawa-Fishbone Diagram of Accident at Construction Site
Fig. 3 - Effect-flow Diagram of Construction Accident
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
32
7. Discussion of Results
The objectives of this study is to identify the most suitable causes and effects of construction accident in
Bangladesh and to establish and prioritize them in the available literature regarding the accident in the Bangladeshi
construction industry. The RII based ranking of the variables help to highlight the principles variables to the authorities,
so that the construction industry could be benefited through this study.
7.1 High Ranking Causes
There are some causes identified in this study which are very influencing to occur accident at construction site in
Bangladesh. And these accident bring out a huge amount of death and complexities for each year. The top-ranked
causes are highly liable than other the causes of accident. In Table 8, the high-ranking (top 15) causes from the
different major groups of causes are shown based on their RII value.
Table 8 - Summary of High-ranking Causes of Accident
Causes
Major Group
RII
Rank
Unaware of safety related issue
Contractor
0.686
1
Lack of personal protective equipment
Labour
0.674
2
Lack of safety eliminating/ avoiding design
Design
0.669
3
Unfit equipment
Equipment and Tools
0.666
4
Lack of knowledge and training on equipment
Equipment and Tools
0.665
5
Irregular investigation
Consultant
0.659
6
Inadequate safety policy
Management
0.658
7
Lack of Expertise, knowledge or training
Labour
0.657
8
Unwilling to pay extra cost for safety
Owner
0.655
9
Unskilled labours
Labour
0.652
10
Unaware of construction safety
Consultant
0.645
11
Not-strict operation procedures in contract
Contract
0.644
12
Unwilling to spend safety related cost
Contractor
0.642
13
Unused of safety control system
Technology
0.636
14
Lack of protection in material storage
Material
0.633
15
Table 8 indicates the topmost crucial cause of construction accident in Bangladesh is contractor unaware of safety-
related issue. This cause is also determined as the high ranking causes in developing countries (Beriha, Patnaik,
Mahapatra, & Padhee, 2012; Chong & Low, 2014; Im et al., 2009). Shakil et al. (2018) stated that most of the
contractors don’t know the safety regulations properly and they don’t practice safety policy either. The law
enforcement agencies also not strict about the safety regulation in construction site (Report, 2017). For this, those who
know about safety regulation, they take the opportunity to avoid it to save safety-related cost and those who don’t know
they don’t interest to know and implement it. If authorities make contractor aware of safety regulation and culture, 35%
of accidents can be reduced in Bangladesh (Reaz, 2018). So it the biggest challenge to the authorities to train and
educate contractor with safety effects, advantage, regulation and law. If contractors know about the effects of accident,
death rate of accident, punishment of violating safety regulations and safety culture in their project, a tremendous
change has appeared to the accident scenario in Bangladesh within a few years. The second highest ranking cause is
lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) of worker. Shakil et al. (Ahmed; et al., 2018) show that only 9.35% of
Bangladeshi worker know and practice safety regulation and others don’t. Also, show that just 9.68% of workers use
PPE and rest portion does not use. A large amount of accident can eliminate if workers use PPE properly (Mohd Amir
Shazwan & Ee, 2018). So it is necessary to educate and train workers on construction safety and make the strict and
punishable rule on PPE practice to reduce the accident rate. Not only Bangladesh PPE is important factors to treat to
implement effective safety culture but also in Pakistan (Raheem & Issa, 2016), Spain (Murdoch, 2002), Brazil (Benite
& Cardoso, 2001) and India (Hasan & Jha, 2013). Third and fourth highest ranking causes are lack of safety design and
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
unfit equipment use in the construction work. Hossain et al. (Ahmed, Islam, et al., 2018) reported that contractors and
owners are not interested to develop safety design along with detail drawing of project. Safety design at the planning
and design phase can be the change maker of reducing accident rate. Gambatese et al. (2008) revealed that design plays
a very important and effective role in ensuring safety and prevent construction accident. Respondents report that safety
design does not adopt by the stakeholders due to extra cost for safety design, unaware of safety design, lack of
information about safety design, the uncultured environment of safety design and so on. The unfit equipment is not the
highest ranking causes in Bangladesh, many developing, developed and under-developed countries faced this challenge
(Aulin & Ågren, 2012; Chong & Low, 2014; Gambatese, 1998; Hasan & Jha, 2013). This cause is very much
responsible for the accident of especially workers and technicians. More than 30% of accidents are occurred due to the
unfit equipment at construction site (Bourassa, Gauthier, & Abdul-Nour, 2016). So respective authorities, supervisors
and safety managers have to serious about the proper testing of equipment before the actual work start.
The fifth highest ranked cause is lack of knowledge and training on equipment. As most of the workers and
operators are poor at professional training and safety knowledge in Bangladesh, so this cause is very common and
dominating in the countries which share similar context with Bangladesh (Ahmed, Islam, et al., 2018; Ahmed; et al.,
2018). Endroyo et al. (Endroyo, Yuwono, & Mardapi, 2015) suggested proving training and workshop on equipment
and tools used in construction to avoid fatalities during work especially in developing countries like Bangladesh. The
irregular investigation by consultant and inadequate safety policy adopted by management are determined as 6th and 7th
highest ranking causes. These two causes purely indicate the vulnerable and poor state of management systems in the
Bangladeshi construction project. Irregular investigation and inadequate safety policy are reported many times for the
accident occurring reasons in many studies (Reaz, 2018; Report, 2017; Seizel, 2018). Effective and frequently
investigation is very important in the safety management system and it encourages the workers to follow the safety
regulation and to practice the safety measures in construction site (Enshassi, 2009; Hofmann & Stetzer, 1996).
Appropriate safety management policy is obligatory of any construction organization. On the contrary, a horrific figure
of construction accident is a reprisal for the absence of safety policy (Yiu, Sze, & Chan, 2018). A large portion of
construction accident could be mitigated by implementing appropriate and effective safety management policy in
construction industry (Reason, 2016). Lack of expertise, knowledge or training of worker is another high-ranking cause
in Bangladesh. Shakil et al. (Ahmed, Islam, et al., 2018) pointed out that worker training and skill is the key factor of
any accident-free industry, while unskilled and untrained workers are the key factors of a large amount of construction
accident in Bangladesh. This cause of accident is common in developing countries as their socio-economic context is
similar such as India (Nirmala & Prasad, 2019), Brazil (Benite & Cardoso, 2001), Nigeria (Williams, Hamid, &
Misnan, 2019) and Malaysia (Othman, Majid, Mohamad, Shafiq, & Napiah, 2018). The owner unwilling to pay the
extra cost for safety and unskilled labour also has a high impact on accident at construction site. To spend extra cost for
safety is usually uncommon and unprecedented at low-income country like Bangladesh. Authorities and government
should make conscious owner about the safety policy, accident and its effects on construction project (Winge &
Albrechtsen, 2018). Unskilled worker is the another most important construction issue in Bangladesh (Ahmed, Islam, et
al., 2018). The majority of fatal victims of construction accident are workers, so the lack of skill is increased the
accident rate significantly (Chiang, Wong, & Liang, 2017). Authorities have to deal with the unskilled worker to reduce
the accident at construction site.
Consultant unaware of the safety issue is one of the important causes of construction accident. This cause is
considered as a key factor of influencing accident in many countries like Ghana (Manu, Poghosyan, Agyei, Mahamadu,
& Dziekonski, 2018), UK (Gambatese et al., 2008), UAE (Shibani, Saidani, & Alhajeri, 2013) and China (Yu, Ding,
Zhou, & Luo, 2014). Toole (Michael Toole, 2005) stated that consultants are the principal element of construction
safety management and they have to be trained and killed on safety related issues at construction sites. Not-strict
operation procedures in the contract are a very severe issue in developing and under-developed countries and it plays a
very crucial role in construction accident (Chong & Low, 2014). Not-strict operation procedures in contract which
allows the stakeholders to avoid and bypass the standard safety policy. So this cause has to consider for designing an
effective safety policy. Unwilling to spend safety related cost is usual and common in developing countries to enhance
the rate of construction accident and related fatalities (Aulin & Ågren, 2012; Beriha et al., 2012; Chong & Low, 2014).
Winge et al. (Winge & Albrechtsen, 2018) recommended that an extra budget on construction safety should be
sanctioned in every construction project to reduce the accident and fatalities. Unused safety control system is
considered as a high ranking cause in many studies and has an impact on safety policy of organization (Shibani et al.,
2013; Tam, Zeng, & Deng, 2004). Another high ranking cause is lack of protection in material storage in Table 5. A
large number of accident and fatalities are experienced by the construction industry for inadequate safety at material
storage and carrying periods (Ahmed; et al., 2018). All these causes are extremely responsible for construction accident
in Bangladesh. Table 5.1 and 5.2 are also covered by the above discussion of high ranking causes.
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
34
7.2 High Ranking Major Groups of Causes
Yet above, it is only discussed high ranking causes but not the major groups of causes. In this section, the major
fourteen (14) groups were discussed by the RII and RII based rank.
From Table 6, it is revealed that management related group is ranked the highest position among all groups. So the
contribution of this group to influence the accident is more than other groups. Management related major group is also
determined as the biggest contributor of occurring accident in UAE (Shibani et al., 2013), Hong Kong (Chiang et al.,
2017), Gaza (Enshassi, 2009), China (Yu et al., 2014), Sweden (Aulin & Ågren, 2012) and Malaysia (Chong & Low,
2014). Zhou et al. (Z. Zhou, Yang Miang Goh, and Qiming Li. , 2015) recommended taking measures on management
related causes to reduce the accident rate. The 2nd and 3rd ranking major groups are equipment and tools related and
contractor related. Equipment related group is considered as the highest ranking cause in many studies (Aulin & Ågren,
2012; Benite & Cardoso, 2001; Beriha et al., 2012). Equipment and tools related accidents are common and frequent in
Bangladesh as well as global construction. Tam et al. (Tam et al., 2004) claimed that equipment and tools are the
primary elements of occurring accidents and almost every accident are physically contact with equipment and tools
used in the construction sites. This major group demands more attention of authorities to reduce the accident in
Bangladesh. Contractors are the key personnel of construction safety management. Baxendale et al. (Baxendale, 2000)
stated that contractors play an effective and significant role in safety management and responsible for implementing
safety policy in organizations and project during construction. The contractor related causes are undoubtedly
dominating in construction accident in Bangladesh similarly with global construction (Enshassi, 2009).
The 4th and 5th highest ranking groups are consultant related and labour related causes. Consultant are the primary
element and most responsible person of construction safety management. Consultants are responsible for safety design
and planning, safety supervision, providing training on safety, safety controlling and taking action when necessary (T
Michael Toole, 2005). Many studies (Gambatese, 1998; Murdoch, 2002; T Michael Toole, 2005) revealed that by
ensuring the consultant’s role in safety management, a large amount of accident and fatalities could be reduced. Most
of the victims of accident are workers and site staffs in construction projects (Probst, 2008). Labours are directly liable
for accidents and their responsibility is more than any other project participants (T. Michael. Toole, 2002). This major
group is also a crucial one for developing countries (Raheem & Issa, 2016; Shibani et al., 2013; Winge & Albrechtsen,
2018; Yu et al., 2014). These two major groups of causes are clearly highly responsible for frequent fatal accidents in
the Bangladeshi construction industry. Technology related causes are very important in the modern age of construction.
Lots of technologies are now used in construction safety and the outcome is significantly appreciable and applicable.
Many studies (Guo, 2017; Sun, 2010; Zhang, 2013; Y. Zhou, Ding, L. Y., & Chen, L. J. , 2013) showed that
opportunity, benefits and efficiency of different modern and automation technologies used in construction project.
Bangladesh is used very low to the null amount of technology. For this, accident rate is increasing day by day rather
reducing in the Bangladeshi construction industry.
7.3 High Ranking Effects
As construction accident is the big issue for the Bangladeshi construction industry and various adverse effects in
construction project arise due to the accident. Table 7 reveals the highest ranking effect of construction accident
Bangladesh is loss of human lives. This effect is very crucial in all over the world and global construction experience
more death due to the accident at construction sites (Ofori, 2015). This effect is very crucial and realistic as mentioned
above that every year more than 150 people face death for construction accident on average in Bangladesh (Ahmed; et
al., 2018). Not only Bangladesh but also the loss of human lives is the most critical problem in the global construction
industry. If authorities try to understand what are the effects of the accident? This effect is enough to answer all the
questions. Researcher (Ahmed, Sobuz, et al., 2018) said that the death number in construction sector is more than half
of the total death of occupational accidents in Bangladesh. It also pointed out that workers death have negative impacts
on family, company and project. The second highest ranking effect is demotivation of workers/reduce morale. If any
accident/fatality happen at construction site, it brings extreme negative impacts on the other worker’s psychology
quickly. Many researchers (Demirkesen & Arditi, 2015; Karakhan & Gambatese, 2017) say that this impact makes
worker careless, fearful and anxious, which brings other complex issues like quality, delay, productivity and so on.
Demotivate or low-moral is opposite of encourages confidence, discipline, and willingness to perform the job in the
best possible manner (Chiang et al., 2017). So the Bangladeshi construction industry as well as global construction
industry face suffers more due to this effect of accident. The third highest ranking effect is conflict with workers which
is shown in Table 8. When any accident/fatality take place at construction site, it is obvious in Bangladesh that workers
get angry on the owner or contractor and come to the road (Evans, 2014). At the same time, they call strike on many
issues likes safety, compensation, decrease productivity and so on (Evans, 2014). In many times the conflict goes to the
court/litigation process. This issue is highly responsible for schedule delay and loss of productivity in construction
(Aires, 2010). Chi et al. (Probst, 2008) pointed out that the construction project which faces accident issue definitely
experience cost-overrun due to litigation, conflict and compensation for accident.
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
From Table 7, the fourth and fifth highest ranking effects are loss of productivity and delay in work progress. Loss
of productivity is a key effect of the accident and most of the developing countries are suffering from this effect (Aulin
& Ågren, 2012; Beriha et al., 2012; Chong & Low, 2014). The industry which experienced accident at job site must
face the degradation of productivity and slow production rate which leads the project behind the schedule (Sun, 2010).
It is common to Bangladesh that post-accident project schedule is delayed against the planned schedule (Islam &
Suhariadi, 2018). And this a very serious problem for the Bangladeshi construction industry so far. Negative impact on
reputation of firms is another high ranking effect of accident in Bangladesh. This effect ruins the future of any
reputational construction organization not only Bangladesh but also over the world claimed many researchers (Probst,
2008; Sun, 2010; T. Michael. Toole, 2002). Probst et al. (Probst, 2008) stated that this effect has influence not only the
current project but also on the projects in pipeline or even future projects of the organization. Cost of medical
bills/expenses is determined as the high ranking effect in Table 7. It is the most common effect in any country and
project’s budget suffer a lot for this effect. This effect is one of the causes of cost overrun and conflict between
stakeholders in construction project (Ahmed; et al., 2018; Swuste, 2012). These high ranking effects of construction
accident in Bangladesh have adverse impacts on construction industry directly and indirectly in the monetary and non-
monetary ways.
8. Conclusions
This study was designed to assess the perception of construction professionals regarding the key causes and effects
of construction accident in the Bangladeshi construction industry. By conducting and analyzing a questionnaire survey,
this study identified the key causes and effects of construction accident and prioritize them using RII. The survey was
based on causes and effect of accident extracted from findings research of existing literatures, together with socio-
economic factors specific to Bangladesh context that were identified through interviews with Bangladeshi construction
experts. Cronbach Alpha test was performed to validate the collected data for this study. Because of high rate of
construction accident and fatality, the main purpose of this study is identify the causes and effects of accident at
construction site in Bangladesh. One part of finding of this study demonstrated that there is significant correlation
among accident proneness and workers psychology and health, conflict among stakeholders, compensation and medical
cost, quality failure, schedule delay, loss of productivity, reputation and future of firm and many more. It clearly
represent the huge monetary and non-monetary loss in direct and indirect ways of construction projects. Other part
showed that identified 14 major groups of causes significantly responsible for the large amount of accident in
Bangladesh in directly and indirectly.
Among the 77 causes, contractor unaware of safety related issue is ranked in 1st position, lack of personal
protective equipment of worker is ranked in 2nd position, lack of safety eliminating/ avoiding design and unfit
equipment use in the construction work are 3rd and 4th highest ranking causes of accident in the Bangladeshi
construction industry. Lack of knowledge and training on equipment, irregular investigation by consultant, inadequate
safety policy adopted by management and lack of expertise, knowledge or training of worker are also in high raking
and very impactful causes. The lowest ranking causes are also determined in this study and these are: financial body
(Government or private), lack of protection in material carrying, unused of schedule system, owner’s expectations
variation, cost overrun reduce the safety cost, and owner’s interference on schedule and process. The highest ranking
causes for the contractors are lack of personal protective equipment and lack of knowledge and training on equipment.
Not-strict operation procedures in contract and lack of safety eliminating/ avoiding are the highest ranking cause for the
workers. The highest ranking causes for consultants are unfit equipment and lack of knowledge and contractor unaware
of safety related issue, while inadequate safety policy and unfit equipment causes are highest positions for the owners.
This study also prioritize the major groups of causes. The management related causes group is ranked in 1st
position and equipment and tools related group is ranked in 2nd position. Other highest ranking major groups are
contractor, consultant and labour related groups of causes. The lowest ranking major groups are time and cost, owner
and contract related major groups of causes. Management related major group is ranked in 1st for the contractors,
workers and consultants while equipment and Tools related major group is ranked in 1st for the owners. The lowest
ranking major group is cost & time related major group for the workers and consultants, contract related major group is
for the contractors and external related major group is for the owners.
The study represents the 22 effects of accident which are determined by the RII. The high ranking effects are: loss
of human lives, demotivation of workers/reduce morale, conflict with workers, loss of productivity of project delay in
work progress and negative impact on reputation of firm. Demotivation of workers/reduce morale and delay in work
progress is ranked in the 1st for the contractors, while the lowest ranking effect is increase in project cost. Loss of
human life is the highest ranking effect for the workers and consultants, meanwhile damages to plant/equipment is the
lowest ranking for both groups of respondent. Conflict with workers is ranked in the 1st position for the owners, while
the lowest ranking effect is damages to completed work for the Bangladeshi construction industry.
In addition, the study generates the Ishikawa-Fishbone diagram of causes of accident and Effect-flow diagram of
effects of accident. Both diagrams make causes and effects of accident easy to understand at a glance.
It is mention above that Bangladesh is a very accident prone country among all the developing countries in the
construction sector. A large amount of people die every year for the construction accidents at project site. And
Shakil Ahmed, International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology Vol. 10 No 2 (2019) p. 18-40
36
numerous negative effects are raised due to accident at construction site and project participant suffered lots for these in
Bangladesh (Ahmed, Islam, et al., 2018). This study could help the potential reader, stakeholders and authorities to
know and understand the effects and reasons behind the accident, to understand that what the significance level of
impact of each identified cause and effect is. And to understand what the stakeholders is thinking about causes and
effects. All of these are necessary to reduce the accident rate and increase the success rate of project by designing an
effective safety program considering the causes and effects of accident at construction site in Bangladesh.
Acknowledgement
The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Khulna University of Engineering & Technology (KUET)
(Funding No-KUET/BECM/2018/1323006) and the characterization facilities provided by the Dept. of Building
Engineering and Construction Management.
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... Udo et.al [21] mentioned material lifting, tripping on object, and lack of safety measure while handling materials/object. Ahmed [22] identified and ranked causes and effect of accident at construction project based on Relative Importance Index (RII) in Bangladesh. As regards the models applied, it has been widely described in literature [23][24][25][26]. ...
... This cluster exposes the fact that poor communication in all ramifications from amongst teams mates to supervisor down the line to management communications is highly responsible for many episodic accident. This follows the claim by [22]. introduces a cluster of variables creatively labeled wing back affairs. ...
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... Furthermore, previous research has highlighted that geographical disadvantages such as working in mountainous and river regions significantly affect the possibility of accidents on construction sites [17]. In addition, climate factors such as rain, wind, light levels, and high environmental temperatures have been strongly associated with a surge in both frequency and magnitude of events on construction sites [22]. Common causes of accidents among construction workers include contact with objects -especially cutting or piercing objects-falls, overexertion, exposure to hazardous materials, and electrical shock [23][24][25][26]; often several events are involved [25]. ...
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... Based on previous research by Kaynak et al. [21], Dale et al. [22] and Ahmed [23] that to analyze the factors that influence work accidents can link OHS Management and the Application of OHS Requirements. Then the research by Damaj [24] analyzed the factors of work accidents by conducting ergonomic studies. ...
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The first edition published in 2010. The response was encouraging and many people appreciated a book that was dedicated to quality management in construction projects. Since it published, ISO 9000: 2008 has been revised and ISO 9000: 2015 has published. The new edition will focus on risk-based thinking which must be considered from the beginning and throughout the project life cycle. There are quality-related topics such as Customer Relationship, Supplier Management, Risk Management, Quality Audits, Tools for Construction Projects, and Quality Management that were not covered in the first edition. Furthermore, some figures and tables needed to be updated to make the book more comprehensive.
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