Potential difficulties in applying the Pay for Safety Scheme (PFSS) in construction projects

Tracy N.Y. Choi, Wai Ming Chan, Ping Chuen Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Since 1996, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has introduced the Pay for Safety Scheme (PFSS) to the public works construction contracts to uplift their safety performance. However, the adoption of PFSS has also encountered some difficulties that merit considerable attention. This paper purports to provide a concise review of the prevailing application of PFSS in Hong Kong in general, and to explore the potential difficulties associated with PFSS in particular. By means of an empirical questionnaire survey geared towards industrial practitioners with extensive direct hands-on PFSS experience, their opinions were solicited, analyzed and compared between the client group and contractor group of respondents. The three most significant difficulties in implementing PFSS were found to be: (1) "Plenty of paperwork required for certifying payment to contractor"; (2) "Complicated contract documents and lengthy assessment process"; and (3) "Over-tight project schedule requiring rush jobs". The output of this research study is particularly essential in assisting the contracting parties to mitigate the avoidable hindrances when embarking on PFSS. It has also generated valuable insights into developing effective recommendations for alleviating the barriers to PFSS success for future construction projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012


  • Construction industry
  • Difficulties
  • Hong Kong
  • Pay for Safety Scheme (PFSS)
  • Safety performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Law


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