Fatal Construction Accidents in Hong Kong

Yat Hung Chiang, Francis Kwan Wah Wong, Shulan Liang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


The construction industry is infamous for its dismal safety records. In Hong Kong, the ratio of fatal accidents per thousand workers increases with the gross value of work performed per worker for a 21-year period between 1995 and 2015. There were more deaths when workers worked more. There has not been any significant drop in construction fatalities. This paper offers a comprehensive analysis of the fatal accidents, including when and how they occurred. Contextual data of fatal incidents in the construction industry of Hong Kong from 2006 to 2015 were collected from local news. The majority of victims were workers aged 45 and above, reflecting acute problems of labor aging and skilled labor shortages, which are issues not only in Hong Kong but throughout the world. Not unexpectedly, most workers died in the hot humid days in summer after working for 2 h in the morning or 1 h after a lunch break. Principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis suggest that more fatal accidents occurred in repair, maintenance, alteration, and addition (RMAA) works from the private sector. Hence, safety governance should be more focused on this particular sector. This is the first study to explore the overall fatalities in Hong Kong construction trades with a focus on the analysis of the relationships between the recorded variables. The findings for Hong Kong provide insight for future research on solutions to reduce accidents in the construction industry around the world.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04017121
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Construction safety
  • Fatal accidents
  • Hong Kong
  • Labor shortage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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