Safety management in repair, maintenance, minor alteration, and addition works: Knowledge management perspective

Carol K.H. Hon, Ping Chuen Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Safety of repair, maintenance, alteration, and addition (RMAA) works have long been neglected because RMAA works are often minute and only last for a short period of time. With rising importance of the RMAA sector in many developed societies, safety of RMAA works has begun to draw attention. Many RMAA contracting companies are small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that do not have comprehensive safety management systems. Existing safety legislation and regulations for new construction sites are not fully applicable to RMAA works. Instead of relying on explicit and well-established safety systems, tacit safety knowledge plays an extremely important role in RMAA projects. To improve safety of RMAA works, safety knowledge should be better managed. However, safety knowledge is difficult to capture in RMAA works. This study aims to examine safety management practices of RMAA contracting companies to see how safety knowledge of RMAA projects is managed. Findings show that RMAA contracting companies undertaking large-scale RMAA projects have more initiatives of safety management. Safety management of small-scale RMAA works relies heavily on the motivation of site supervisors and self-regulation of workers. Better tacit knowledge management improves safety performance. To enhance safety capability of RMAA contracting companies, a knowledge sharing culture should be cultivated. The government should provide assistance to SMEs to implement proper safety management practices in small-sized projects. Potentials of applying computer software technology in RMAA projects to capture, store, and retrieve safety information should be explored. Employees should be motivated to share safety knowledge by giving proper recognition to those who are willing to share.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04014026
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Hong Kong
  • Knowledge management
  • Repair and maintenance
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Engineering(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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