The factors contributing to construction accidents in Pakistan: Their prioritization using the Delphi technique

Hafiz Zahoor, Ping Chuen Chan, Ran Gao, Wahyudi P. Utama

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The highest number of accidents in proportion to the employment rate is found in construction industry among all industries in Pakistan. The purpose of this paper is to identify and prioritize the contributory factors of accident causation that can significantly reduce the rate of accident in the construction industry. Design/methodology/approach: In total, 32 contributory factors of accident causation were identified through a triangulation strategy comprising eight face-to-face semi-structured interviews with the academic and industry experts coupled with a comprehensive literature review. Delphi survey was then conducted among the four respondent groups (clients, contractors, safety official and academia) to prioritize these factors. A consensus was achieved among the respondent groups after conducting two rounds of Delphi survey. Finally, the results were validated using the technique of inter-rater agreement (IRA) analysis. Findings: All the shortlisted accident causation factors were graded as "important" to "extremely important". Moreover, a "moderate" to "strong level" agreement was developed among the respondent groups. The three most significant factors were highlighted as "poor enforcement of safety rules and regulations by the Government agencies", "insufficient allocation of safety budget and safety incentives by the client", and "insufficient provision of safety training and resources by the contractor". Practical implications: The findings will help the key stakeholders to prioritize their energies towards achieving zero accident in the construction industry. Moreover, addition of academic experts as one of the respondent groups will enhance the linkages between the academia and the industry practitioners. Originality/value: Besides highlighting the underlying causes of construction accidents in Pakistan, a detailed methodology is presented in this study for the analysis and validation of the Delphi survey data, which can be extrapolated in other regions and industries for elements prioritization. The findings of the study can also be generalized for other developing countries having similar work environment. The results validation through the use of IRA analysis is an addition to the field of construction safety research. The study also authenticates the applicability of IRA analysis to assess the agreement level among the respondents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-485
Number of pages23
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Construction accidents
  • Contributory factors
  • Delphi survey
  • Developing countries
  • Inter-rater agreement analysis
  • Pakistan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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