Relationships among safety climate, safety behavior, and safety outcomes for ethnic minority construction workers

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

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)


In many countries, it is common practice to attract and employ ethnic minority (EM) or migrant workers in the construction industry. This primarily occurs in order to alleviate the labor shortage caused by an aging workforce with a lack of new entrants. Statistics show that EM construction workers are more likely to have occupational fatal and nonfatal injuries than their local counterparts; however, the mechanism underlying accidents and injuries in this vulnerable population has been rarely examined. This study aims to investigate relationships among safety climate, safety behavior, and safety outcomes for EM construction workers. To this end, a theoretical research model was developed based on a comprehensive review of the current literature. In total, 289 valid questionnaires were collected face-to-face from 223 Nepalese construction workers and 56 Pakistani construction workers working on 15 construction sites in Hong Kong. Structural equation modelling was employed to validate the constructs and test the hypothesized model. Results show that there were significant positive relationships between safety climate and safety behaviors, and significant negative relationships between safety behaviors and safety outcomes for EM construction workers. This research contributes to the literature regarding EM workers by providing empirical evidence of the mechanisms by which safety climate affects safety behaviors and outcomes. It also provides insights in order to help the key stakeholders formulate safety strategies for EM workers in many areas where numerous EM workers are employed, such as in the U.S., the UK, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Middle East.

Original languageEnglish
Article number484
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2018


  • Construction safety and health
  • Ethnic minority construction workers
  • Safety behavior
  • Safety climate
  • Safety outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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