Investigating the current application and exploring the future development of Pay for Safety Scheme (PFSS) in Hong Kong construction industry

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Investigating the current application and exploring the future development of Pay for Safety Scheme (PFSS) in Hong Kong construction industry

 

Author: Choi, Nga Yee
Title: Investigating the current application and exploring the future development of Pay for Safety Scheme (PFSS) in Hong Kong construction industry
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2012
Subject: Building sites -- China -- Hong Kong -- Safety measures.
Construction industry -- Safety measures -- China -- Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Building and Real Estate
Pages: xviii, 210 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2615836
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/6950
Abstract: Safety has always been a prime concern within the construction industry of many countries. With the purpose of improving the prevailing safety performance of the Hong Kong construction industry, the Pay for Safety Scheme (PFSS) has been launched in the public sector since 1996 to enhance safety awareness by taking the contractor's pricing for safety items out from the consideration of competitive bidding. This research aims to explore the current application and future development of PFSS within the Hong Kong construction industry. The research study will focus on how PFSS can be effectively applied in the public sector, extending the application of PFSS in the private sector, as well as the feasibility of introducing PFSS downstream to subcontractors. An empirical questionnaire survey was launched to solicit the opinions of various safety practitioners on the benefits, difficulties, limitations and recommendations on implementing PFSS in Hong Kong. A five-level data analysis framework was applied to analyze the survey results. The respondents were divided into two main groups (i.e. client group vs contractor group) for comparison of different perspectives on the implementation of PFSS. It was found that the industrial practitioners generally agreed that PFSS is effective for implementation within the Hong Kong construction industry. Both the client group and contractor group ranked "Increased safety training" and "Enhanced safety awareness" as the two most significant benefits of PFSS. Moreover, the industrial practitioners encountered some difficulties during the implementation of PFSS in their projects. Both the client group and contractor group ranked "Plenty of paperwork required for certifying payment to contractor" and "Complicated contract documents and lengthy assessment process" as the two most challenging difficulties associated with PFSS. After determining the key difficulties in applying PFSS, some major limitations of PFSS were identified and improvement measures were recommended to facilitate the smooth implementation of PFSS in future.
A series of eight structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with relevant senior safety practitioners from large-scale leading main contractors in Hong Kong. The interviewees were invited to illustrate various forms of safety incentive schemes or measures currently implemented at subcontractor level, to provide their opinions on the feasibility of extending PFSS downstream to subcontractors and to recommend possible payable safety items for subcontractors. The interview findings revealed that monetary award, peer recognition and certificate of appreciation are the common forms of safety incentive measures offered to frontline workers for achieving better safety performance. Most of the interviewees also demonstrated positive attitude towards extending PFSS for subcontractors. Some possible payable safety items were recommended by the interviewees. It was indicated that additional safety measures for high-risk operations include the identification of high-risk operations (e.g. major falsework erection, tower crane installation and operation, tunnelling work, etc) and the implementation of corresponding safety measures, as well as pre-task training in high-risk processes, would be the most useful safety items for consideration. Other recommended safety items encompass additional safety measures (e.g. "double shackle" safety belts and elevator working platform), provision of welfare facilities and workers uniforms. All these interview results have provided essential pointers for the application of various safety incentive schemes or measures at subcontractor level, implementation of PFSS for subcontractors and determination of suitable payable safety items for inclusion. The research findings are expected to provide a critical review of applying PFSS in both the public sector and private sector regarding its benefits, difficulties, limitations and possible recommendations for successful implementation of PFSS. By consolidating the opinions from different key project stakeholders, the research results have generated some valuable insights into the future development of PFSS, have encouraged a wider application of PFSS in the private sector and have facilitated the implementation of PFSS for subcontractors in near future. It is also expected to allow decision makers to have a clearer insight in determining the appropriate payable safety items for PFSS and PFSS for subcontractors, as well as the optimal budget of contract sum allocated for the payable safety items in tender pricing by both main contractor and subcontractor organizations at an early stage of project development, and to investigate whether and how the site accidents can be mitigated via PFSS.

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