Improving Safety Communication of Ethnic Minorities in the Construction Industry of Hong Kong

Albert P. C. Chan, Arshad Ali Javed, Francis K. W. Wong, Carol K. H. Hon
  • November 2014, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • DOI: 10.1061/9780784413777.056

Safety communication of ethnic minority workers

What is it about?

The construction workforce in Hong Kong is experiencing a severe aging problem and labour shortage. One initiative to enhance the supply of manpower is to assist ethnic minorities joining the industry. It is foreseeable that the percentage of ethnic minorities in the construction workforce will keep increasing. Statistics show that ethnic minorities are nearly 30% more likely to have work-related injuries than local workers in some developed countries. However, official statistics on the safety of ethnic minorities are not available in Hong Kong. A search in newspaper archive revealed that ethnic minorities in the construction industry of Hong Kong are subjected to a higher fatality rate than local workers, just as is the case in many developed countries. This reflects that the safety of ethnic minorities has not received the attention it rightly deserves. Safety communication has been one of the key factors leading to accidents. Safety communication barriers of ethnic minorities impede them from receiving safety training and acquiring safety information effectively. Research towards improving the safety communication of ethnic minorities in the construction industry of Hong Kong becomes more urgent. This paper provides an initial report on a research project which focuses on improving the safety communication of ethnic minorities in the construction industry of Hong Kong. Quantitative and qualitative research methods - including Social Network Analysis (SNA) - applied in conducting the research are first discussed. Preliminary statistics of construction accidents related to ethnic minorities in Hong Kong are then presented.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/9780784413777.056

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Arshad Ali Javed