The impact of macroeconomic and industrial fluctuation on fatalities of construction workers in China

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

9 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-158
Journal / PublicationJournal of Safety Research
Online published2 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


Objective: This study explores the relationship between fluctuation in economic and industrial development and work-related fatalities of Chinese construction workers. Methods: The data for work-related fatalities in housing and civil engineering in China from 1996 to 2016 were tested for fluctuation and trends of both general economic and industry-specific indicators using the Engle-Granger cointegration analysis and the augmented Granger Causality test the with modified Wald method. Results: Both the long-run equilibrium associations and short-run dynamic interactions between construction safety and macroeconomic development in China were determined. According to the estimates, fatalities in the construction industry appeared to be more significantly associated with changes in the gross output value of the industry, and the improvement in the workers' efficiency also contributed to the decline of fatalities. It initially revealed that the changes in growth rate, instead of growth itself, had a more significant influence on construction safety in China, while a marginal decreasing trend of positive effects exerted by the growth can be expected with the gradual maturity of the industry. Significance: The application of econometrical methods explored an untapped data source for gaining an insight into the underlying rules of occurrence of construction fatalities, thus strengthening the body of knowledge of construction safety by providing a new research perspective that some safety indicators can be treated as the macro-level socioeconomic index. Practical applications: The findings reminded policymakers and practitioners to be aware of potential challenges from the slowing or even declining trend facing the industry in the near future, and offered a reference to relevant authorities for establishing a more targeted and effective governance strategy.

Research Area(s)

  • China, Cointegration analysis, Construction fatalities, Granger causality, Macroeconomic fluctuation