Safety professionals' perceptions to risk assessment of Hong Kong construction industry
Student thesis: Master's Thesis
With the enactment of the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Safety Management) Regulation on 1st April 2002, it reaffirmed the primary responsibility of safety at work resting with those who create the risks and those who work with such risks. In this regard, risk assessment becomes a critical task which forms an integral part of safety management system. Since the safety professionals are the key decision makers dealing with project safety and risk assessment in the construction industry, their perceptions of safety risk would directly affect the reliability of risk assessment. However, there appears to be a lack of legislated mandatory ‘risk assessment’ training courses offered to the safety professionals to strengthen their risk assessment techniques in the Hong Kong construction industry. Their capabilities to carry out risk assessment, thus, are unknown and the reliability of the risk assessment becomes fragile and problematic. Besides, the related references / resources are too simple and they may not be sufficient for the safety professionals to carry out reliable risk assessments on sites. The safety professionals generally tend to heavily rely on their own past experiences to make subjective decisions on risk assessment without systematic decision making. Indeed, understanding of the underlying principles of risk assessment is significant. This research highlights the need for more emphasis being put on risk assessment. The safety professionals’ beliefs of risk assessment and their perceptions towards risk assessment, including their recognitions of possible accident causes, the degree of differentiations on their perceptions of risk levels of different trades of works, recognitions of the occurrence of different types of accidents, and their inter-relationships with safety performance in terms of accident rates will also be explored. By analyzing the results, the deficiencies of the current general practice for risk assessment can be sorted out. Besides, a ‘Risk Evaluation Model’ (REM) prioritizing the risk levels of different trades of works which cause different types of site accident due to various accident causes will also be developed with the suggested systematic accident recording techniques which are recommended to be implemented in the construction industry at both project level and organizational level. This Model not only act as a useful supplementary guideline of risk assessment for the construction safety professionals, but also assists them to pinpoint the potential risks on site for the construction workers under respective trades of works through safety trainings and education. It, in turn, arouses their awareness on safety risk. As the ‘REM’ can clearly show the potential accident causes leading to different types of accident by trade of works, it helps the concerned safety professionals and parties to plan effective accident prevention measures with reference to the priority of the risk levels.
- Construction industry, Building sites, China, Safety consultants, Attitudes, Hong Kong, Risk management, Risk assessment, Safety measures