Causes of accidents in highway construction projects in Oman

Umar, Tariq, Wamuziri, Sam and Egbu, Charles (2017) Causes of accidents in highway construction projects in Oman. In: The 6th World Construction Symposium : What's New and What's Next in the Built Environment Sustainability Agenda?; 30 Jun - 02 Jul 2017, Colombo Sri Lanka.


Construction workers are three to four times more likely than workers in other sectors to die from accidents at work. Construction is one of the main industries in Oman providing jobs to 18% of the total population and contributing around 10% of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Considering the costs associated with accidents in construction, a model identifying the root causes of accidents is proposed for construction organizations in Oman. The model classifies the accidents in construction mainly arising from main four causes: “Equipment / Materials”, “Workers”, “Environment” and “Management”. The model is applied to a road construction project in Oman to trace the root causes of accidents. It can also be applied to construction projects in other sectors such as building or process plant construction. The results of this investigation reveal that a substantial proportion of accidents (more than 41%) arise from the “Worker”. The Management contribution is 31%, Equipment/Materials contribute 14% to the accidents and the Environment contribution is 12%. These findings are based on accident statistics that occurred on a single road project. Further research is recommended to extend the study to other projects in the construction sector in order to generalize the findings. Knowing the root causes of accidents will help organizations to develop effective strategies to reduce accidents in future projects. Although the frequency distribution of accidents is likely to vary from project to project, understanding the underlying pattern of their causes helps to pinpoint the key areas where resources should be directed in the organizations’ efforts to deliver the goal of zero accidents.

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