Prioritising the safety management elements : A hierarchical analysis for manufacturing enterprises

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-792
Journal / PublicationIndustrial Management and Data Systems
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006


Purpose : The purpose of this paper is to present a hierarchy decision model for assessing the priority of safety management elements in manufacturing enterprises with reference to three major industries (i.e. textile and clothing, electronics, and printing and publishing) in Hong Kong. The identification of core decision criteria and safety management elements were addressed with respect to the effective implementation of safety management systems (SMS) in manufacturing enterprises. Design/methodology/approach : Empirical data were acquired via a conduct of personal interviews with evaluators (i.e. safety personnel, experts and professionals) in industry. Using the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) methodology, a list of seven decision criteria and 13 safety management elements were identified and their relative importance were evaluated. Findings : It was found that the top three criteria for SMS implementation were "client requirement" "insurance company requirement" and "employee requirement". Both "safety organisation" and "safety policy" were the most important safe management elements. Besides, evaluators put greater concerns on "safe person" elements than "safe place" elements. Incorporating the AHP findings, a self-regulatory approach to implementing safety management elements was proposed. Research limitations/implications : The hierarchy decision model would enable manufacturing enterprises to focus their resources on the critical elements at a time, to improve the effectiveness of SMS implementation. Future study could validate the applicability of the model and the self-regulatory approach in large enterprises and small to medium-sized enterprises, separately and collectively. Practical implications : Using the AHP methodology, safety personnel could evaluate the relative importance of decision criteria and safety management elements with respect to the corporate goals, resources and constraints of their respective organisations. Originality/value : The hierarchy decision model presented would enable manufacturing enterprises to determine the relative importance of decision criteria and safety management elements and to establish viable strategies for SMS implementation. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Research Area(s)

  • Analytical hierarchy process, Decision making, Health and safety, Hong Kong, Manufacturing industries