Development of a roadmap for occupational health, safety and wellbeing in the hong kong construction industry: An institutional analysis

Steve Rowlinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review


The industrial accident rate in Hong Kong has steadily declined over the past 20 years, but has plateaued over the past 5 years and worryingly the fatality rate has been flat for over 15 years. This clearly highlights a level of under reporting of accidents in that normally accidents and fatalities are in a roughly constant proportion to one another. This is corroborated by informal discussions with the insurance industry. Using an institutional analysis approach to the study, the research team has drawn the conclusion that institutional, contractual and policy factors adversely affect Hong Kong’s OHSW statistics. This paper highlights the fact that many of these factors are not under Hong Kong contractor’s control. However, there is always opportunity to improve performance and a series of potential initiatives are proposed that target industry-wide issues. An overarching issue for a company is the balance between the systems it operates and the culture within which it operates. A key issue in project-based organisations is to operate with rigid flexibility throughout the business. The goal is rigid conformance to safety standards but flexibility in how these standards are achieved. This characteristic is typical of high reliability organisations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th World Construction Symposium, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 8-10 November 2019
Subtitle of host publicationTowards a smart, sustainable and resilient built environment
EditorsY. G. Sandanayake , S. Gunatilake, K.G.A.S. Waidyasekara
PublisherCeylon Institute of Builders
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event8th World Construction Symposium, WCS 2019 - Colombo, Sri Lanka
Duration: 8 Nov 201910 Nov 2019

Publication series

NameWorld Construction Symposium
ISSN (Print)2362-0935


Conference8th World Construction Symposium, WCS 2019
Country/TerritorySri Lanka


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