|Managing construction safety in Chinese international contractors' overseas projects : a case in Vietnam
|Chan, Albert (BRE)
|Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Construction industry -- China
Construction industry -- Safety measures
|Department of Building and Real Estate
|xvi, 266 pages : color illustrations
|Chinese international contractors (CICs) play an increasingly important role in the international construction market. Safety management is important for construction companies and projects because of the risky nature of construction. Therefore, conducting a study on construction safety management in CICs' overseas projects is necessary. Safety climate is a hot topic of safety management in recent years. Despite the large number of safety climate studies in the construction industry and the persistent research interest for international construction, there has been rare safety climate study in international construction, let alone in CICs' overseas projects. Participants from various countries and regions are involved in international construction projects, for both management staff and frontline workers. Therefore, construction projects in international contexts may have even more complicated situation than those in domestic contexts. The present research focuses on safety climate research in CICs' overseas projects. Its objectives are to 1) investigate the problems of construction safety management and difficulties of implementing safety practices in CICs' overseas projects; 2) determine the safety climate structure in CICs' overseas projects; 3) investigate the relationship between safety climate and safety performance in CICs' overseas projects; 4) identify the factors affecting safety climate in CICs' overseas projects; and 5) recommend strategies for improving construction safety in CICs' overseas projects. An exploratory sequential mixed methods research design is utilized in this study. A series of research methods containing both qualitative techniques (i.e., document analysis and structured interview) and quantitative techniques (i.e., Delphi survey and questionnaire survey) are used throughout the research process to fulfill the set objectives.
This study has revealed 16 problems of managing construction safety and 16 difficulties of implementing safety practices in CICs' overseas projects from a qualitative perspective. The Delphi survey findings indicate that the three most important safety management problems are: weak safety awareness of local workers, low safety management ability of local subcontractors, and inadequate safety budget; and the three most important difficulties of implementing safety practices are: labor-only subcontracting and complex labor structure, difficulty in enhancing safety awareness of local workers, and high turnover rates of frontline workers. The safety climate factors in CICs' overseas projects include: top management commitment (TMC), supervisors' expectation (SE), coworkers' caring and communication (CCC), and coworkers' role models (CRM). After verifying these four identified safety climate factors in an integrated model by structural equation modeling, TMC is tested to be positively related to SE as well as CCC and CRM significantly. SE can partially mediate the relationship between TMC and CCC and CRM, as well as that between TMC and safety performance. CCC and CRM play a statistically significant partial mediation role in the relationship between TMC and safety performance, and that between SE and safety performance. The hierarchical logistic regression analysis results indicate that nationality, religious belief, and employment mode can partially affect safety climate factors. Strategies for improving construction safety in CICs' overseas projects are recommended based on the practical implications of research findings. The most important strategies include: raise workers' safety awareness, provide safety training and education actively, ensure safety budget, manage subcontractors' safety in-depth and comprehensively, and pay attention to design, technology and equipment safety. This study has several contributions. First, this study contributes to bridge the gaps arising from limited studies regarding construction safety in international construction projects. Second, taking CICs in Vietnam as a case, this study derives safety climate factors and explore the underlying mechanisms of the relationship between safety climate factors and safety performance in CICs' overseas projects. Third, the findings identify the crucial factors affecting safety climate in CICs' overseas projects, which in turn enable practitioners to create a positive safety culture to enhance safety performance in international construction projects.
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