Critical factors for the use or non-use of personal protective equipment amongst construction workers

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Original languageEnglish
Article number104663
Journal / PublicationSafety Science
Online published18 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


This study used a qualitative approach to explore the attitudes and experiences of construction workers towards the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and examine the underlying reasons why construction workers use or avoid the use of PPE at work. Sixty face-to-face individual interviews with Hong Kong construction workers were conducted to collect qualitative data. Data were analysed using a three-stage coding approach to develop a grounded theory model. The grounded theory model proposes that the use and non-use of PPE amongst construction workers are affected by factors in personal, technological and environmental contexts. These factors include accident experience, attitude towards using PPE, habituation, risk perception, safety consciousness, safety knowledge, outcome expectations, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, social influence, safety management system (e.g. safety incentives, safety–offence points system, safety rules, safety supervision and safety training), time pressure and workplace conditions (i.e. PPE availability and workplace limitation). Some practical recommendations for increasing the use of PPE amongst construction workers are discussed on the basis of the findings of this study.

Research Area(s)

  • Construction workers, Personal protective equipment, Attitudes, Barriers, Facilitators, Individual interviews