Under-reporting of construction accidents in Sri Lanka

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

20 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)850-868
Journal / PublicationJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


Purpose Under-reporting of occupational accidents is a common problem in many countries. This is mainly because of the shortfalls in accident reporting and recording systems. Construction industry being a hazardous industry, the rate of accidents is higher compared with other industries and apparently a high rate of under-reporting. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the rate of under-reporting, significant reasons for under-reporting and identify the shortcomings in the existing accident reporting system in Sri Lanka in aiming to recommend efficient mechanisms for occupational accident recording and reporting to construction industry. Design/methodology/approach Both secondary and primary data were tapped to gather required data. The secondary data were extracted from the records available in year 2014-2015 at the office of the commissioner for workmen’s compensation and the industrial safety division of the Department of Labor (DoL) to analyze the rate of under-reporting. The primary data were obtained through expert interviews to explore the gaps in reporting system and to identify mechanisms to reduce under-reporting. Findings The findings revealed 80 per cent of construction accidents are under-reported. Eight gaps in the current accident recording and reporting system and key recommendations at organizational and national level for its improvements were identified. Originality/value The findings provide an insight of occupational safety and health (OSH) practices in construction industry and it can be used as an eye opening flash for safety law-makers and practitioners to revisit the existing regulations and practices.

Research Area(s)

  • Construction industry, Accident under-reporting, Construction accidents, Occupational safety and health

Bibliographic Note

Month information for this publication is provided by the author(s) concerned.

Citation Format(s)

Under-reporting of construction accidents in Sri Lanka. / De Silva, Nayanthara ; Rathnayake, Uthpala; Kulasekara, K.M.U.B.
In: Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 16, No. 6, 12.2018, p. 850-868.

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