Construction safety and health problems of ethnic minority workers in Hong Kong

Ping Chuen Chan, Francis K.W. Wong, Carol K.H. Hon, Arshad Ali Javed, Sainan Lyu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - With increasing employment of ethnic minority (EM) workers from different nationalities to mitigate the growing demand for a construction workforce, the safety and health problems of these workers have become a significant concern. The purpose of this paper is to identify and rank according to severity the safety and health-related problems confronted by EM construction workers. Design/methodology/approach - Grounded theory approach was employed to construct the main categories and subcategories of the construction safety and health problems of EM workers. A two-round Delphi survey of 18 experts, who are highly experienced in managing EM workers, was conducted to rank the relative severity of the identified safety and health problems. Findings - A total of 14 subcategories and 4 categories of construction safety and health problems of EM workers were identified. Among the 14 subcategories, the most urgent and serious ones were insufficient safety materials and training in their native language, insufficient safety staff from EM origin, and safety communication barriers. In addition, safety and health problems at the corporate and governmental levels are also worth paying attention. Originality/value - This study contributes to the update on the existing body of knowledge on safety and health problems encountered by EM construction workers and revelation of their peculiar situation in Hong Kong. Findings of the study will be of value to various stakeholders in formulating safety and health measures for EM construction workers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)901-919
Number of pages19
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Construction safety and health
  • Construction workers
  • Delphi method
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Hong Kong
  • Safety management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)

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