Construction Worker Safety and Accident Prevention in Taiwan

  • Y. P. Chang

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Occupational accidents are a prominent global issue, especially in the construction industry which usually has higher rates of workplace injury and death. With the rapid development of buildings and public constructions, the Taiwan construction industry has the highest rates of fatalities, disabilities, and injuries and illnesses among all industries. Besides, as compared to the United Kingdom (UK) the average fatality rate of Taiwan during the decade (2005-2014) was ten times higher, and the number of occupational fatal injuries was three times higher. Although Taiwan has been promoting a variety of programmes to mitigate occupational accidents, unless there is more investment in occupational health and safety (H&S) resources, the H&S management performance will decrease, and the accident rates will even increase. The industry lacks Design for Construction Worker Safety (DCWS) mechanism, an accident analysis framework, and a causation model to provide guidance on effective accident prevention measures. Therefore, the aim of this research is to support the improvement of construction safety in Taiwan by drawing lessons from UK and elsewhere, proposing more effective measures in order to alleviate the accidents continuously to the level in the H&S advanced countries.Several tasks have been conducted in this research for achieving the above aim. UK consistently has one of the lowest rates of fatal injury across the European Union (EU); thus, through comparisons of fatal injury accidents, H&S legislation, and strategies between Taiwan and UK, the vital differences have been drawn, and lessons learned. Then, accident statistical analysis is utilised to identify factors contributing to occupational injuries in Taiwan for making decisions and developing injury prevention strategies. Next, a survey of clients, designers and contractors in both Taiwan and UK has been conducted to identify their opinions on, barriers to, and incentives for boosting DCWS. Finally, combining the findings from each task, an accident causation and influence model (ACIM) is established to demonstrate how and why accidents happen and to provide a tool for developing effective accident prevention strategies.The major findings are as follows: (1) Taiwan has a higher number of deaths and a much higher fatality rate than UK. Fall fatalities in both countries have the highest proportion and show an upward trend. (2) Both countries have similar H&S legal provisions in many aspects. However, Taiwan lacks legislation such as Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM Regulations), which require clients and designers to strictly fulfil the responsibilities of H&S for various project stages. Also, Taiwan lacks specific legal requirements, such as risk assessment, falls prevention under 2 metres height, and H&S duties of workers. (3) The accident entities had high violation rate (over 90%) in installing and adopting “H&S equipment and measures”, which were directly related to the fatal accidents, and in addition they also reached up to 68% to 95% violation rates for implementing H&S management. Consequently, it is not appropriate to attribute the accident responsibility to the labourers’ unsafe acts. (4) The contributing factors, such as “Project type”, “Project jurisdiction”, “Source of injury” and “Unsafe condition” had relatively strong association with each other on the occurrence of fatality accidents and can be utilised to make decisions and develop prevention strategies. (5) Although there still exist barriers to DCWS, and there is relatively a lack of incentives for the promotion of it, the survey suggests there is a future for DCWS in Taiwan. (6) Case studies suggest that ACIM, consisting of the “Originating influences”, “Contributing factors”, and “Occupational Accidents”, can help identify the root causes of accidents and the causation thereof.
Date of Award23 Jan 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
Sponsorsthe Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan)
SupervisorJitendra Agarwal (Supervisor) & Adam J Crewe (Supervisor)


  • DCWS
  • Accident statistics
  • Construction industry
  • Occupational injuries
  • Safety and health management

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