Effectiveness of policies and difficulties in improving safety performance of repair, maintenance, minor alteration, and addition works in Hong Kong

Wong Sze Yu Dolphin, Ahmad Assad Mohammad Alshami, Salman Tariq, Vincent Boadu, Saeed Reza Mohandes, Taiwo Ridwan, Tarek Zayed

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The Repair, Maintenance, Minor Alteration, and Addition (RMAA) sector accounted for 50% of all fatalities in the Hong Kong construction industry in 2016. In spite of the different policies launched in recent years, the casualty rate has held constant, raising doubts over the effectiveness of current measures for improving safety performance in RMAA works. Against this backdrop, this study is aimed at identifying and evaluating the 1) effectiveness of prevailing policies; 2) potential difficulties in improving safety performance in Hong Kong; and 3) best ways to improve the safety performance of RMAA. Following an extensive literature review, 15 existing policies and 10 common difficulties are established. Based on the solicitation of experts having rich experience in the area of RMAA, the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) is employed to prioritize the identified policies and Likert-scale-based survey to establish the relative importance of the identified difficulties. The ‘award of encouragement’ is found to be the most effective policy category, whereas the ‘lack of self-regulation of workers’ appeared as the most significant hurdle. In order to further validate the results obtained from the study, a number of interviews using highly experienced professionals were conducted. It is recommended that strategies such as registration of RMAA workers, intensifying monitoring and enforcement, and provision of loan services for safety can overcome the difficulties. The hindsight provided from this study can pave the way for the concerned parties towards improving the occupational safety and health (OSH) of such projects by improving the effective policies concurrently with improving the status quo of critical hampering.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Construction Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • construction safety
  • industrial fatalities
  • RMAA
  • Safety performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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