Work at height fatalities in the repair, maintenance, alteration, and addition works

Ping Chuen Chan, Kwan Wah Wong, Wai Ming Chan, Chi Ho Michael Yam, Albert W.K. Kwok, Edmond W.M. Lam, Esther Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


Hong Kong's construction industry has shown significant improvement in safety performance since the turn of the century. The number of industrial accidents in the construction industry has decreased from 11,925 in 2000 to 3,833 in 2004, which is an encouraging drop of almost 68%. However, the category "fall of person from height" has always represented a large proportion of the industrial accidents, particularly fatal accidents. In 2004, fall of person from height represented just over 47% of the total number of fatal accidents in the construction industry. The statistics show that although the overall number of accidents has dropped immensely, the same does not apply for fall from height accidents. According to statistics provided by the Labor Dept. of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, there were a total of 22 fatal industrial accidents associated with fall of persons from height in repair, maintenance, alteration, and addition works during 2000-2004. When analyzing these case studies, 12 common factors were identified for analyzing these case studies and strategies were suggested to prevent recurrence of similar accidents in each case. The top five strategies were: (1) provide and maintain a safe system of work; (2) provide a suitable working platform; (3) (tier) provide safety information/training/instruction/supervision; (4) (tier) provide suitable fall arresting system/anchorage; and (5) maintain safe workplace.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-535
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2008


  • Construction industry
  • Fatalities
  • Hong Kong
  • Occupational safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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