Author: Hon, Ka Hung
Title: Relationships between safety climate and safety performance of repair, maintenance, minor alteration and addition (RMAA) works
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2012
Subject: Construction industry -- Safety measures.
Building -- Safety measures.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Building and Real Estate
Pages: xiv, 226 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
Abstract: Repair, maintenance, minor alteration, and addition (RMAA) works are playing an increasingly important role in the construction industry of developed economies. Research on the safety performance of RMAA works, however, has been limited. A sharp increase in the percentage of accidents on RMAA worksites has been noted in Hong Kong, from 17.9% in 1998 to 51.3% in 2008. Even more shockingly, the RMAA sector accounted for 66.7% of all fatalities in the construction industry in 2010. Unsafe behavior is considered one of the key causes of accidents. Thus, the organizational factors that influence individual safety behavior at work continue to be the focus of many studies. The safety climate, which reflects the true priority of safety in an organization, has drawn much attention. The present study aims to examine the relationships between the safety climate of RMAA works and safety performance. Its objectives are to examine the safety problems and practices of RMAA works; identify the safety climate factors of RMAA works; scrutinize the relationships between the safety climate and the safety performance of RMAA works; examine how demographic variables affect the levels of safety climate; and recommend strategies for improving safety of RMAA works. A sequential mixed methods research design is adopted, employing both qualitative and quantitative research strategies. Data are collected through interviews, Delphi surveys and questionnaire surveys.
In the current study, the major causes of RMAA accidents and the difficulties of implementing safety practices of RMAA works have been unveiled. The safety climate factors of RMAA works which encapsulate 22 variables are derived by exploratory factor analysis and validated by confirmatory factor analysis. The three key RMAA safety climate factors are found to be: (1) management commitment to occupational health and safety and employee involvement, applicability of safety rules and practices; and (3) responsibility for health and safety. After testing and validation by running a structural equation modeling analysis separately on two equal halves of the data, the structural equation model of safety climate and safety performance of RMAA works shows that safety climate is positively related to safety participation and safety compliance, but negatively related to injuries. Safety climate is a valid construct for explaining and predicting safety performance. Strategies for improving the safety of RMAA works are proposed. The safety awareness of RMAA workers needs to be raised. RMAA subcontractors with good track records of safety performance should be selected for bidding. The safety of RMAA works should be promoted. The current study sheds light on how to further enhance construction safety. It contributes to filling the research gap arising from limited safety studies in the RMAA sector, a sector of rising importance. The discovery of the three key RMAA safety climate factors enables industry practitioners to assess the safety climate level of their RMAA projects, and to identify any management and system deficiencies. The model revealing the causal relationship between safety climate and safety performance of RMAA works should be useful for safety professionals in the industry to measure, monitor, and improve safety performance. Finally, recommendations are also offered for various stakeholders to improve the safety of the RMAA sector.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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