To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

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

Hafiz Zahoor (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong) (College of Civil Engineering, National University of Sciences and Technology, Risalpur, Pakistan)
Albert P.C. Chan (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Ran Gao (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Wahyudi P. Utama (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 15 May 2017

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The work described in this paper was fully funded by the International Postgraduate Scholarship of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Grant No. FTE-IPS-RTLF-88011). This paper forms part of the research project entitled “Investigating the relationship between safety climate and safety performance in the construction of multi-storey buildings in Pakistan”, from which other deliverables have been produced with different objectives/scope. The authors wish to acknowledge Mrs Elaine Anson, the English Language Instructor, of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for proofreading the paper. Suggestions made by the interviewees and the respondents of Delphi survey are also gratefully acknowledged.

Citation

Zahoor, H., Chan, A.P.C., Gao, R. and Utama, W.P. (2017), "The factors contributing to construction accidents in Pakistan: Their prioritization using the Delphi technique", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 463-485. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-01-2016-0027

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited