The Immediate and Underlying Causes of Occupational Accidents and Illnesses in the Malaysian Housing Construction Industry in Pulau Pinang.

Mohd Hafiidz Jaafar1*, Kadir Arifin2, Kadaruddin Aiyub2, Mohamad Shaharudin Samsurijan3, Widad Fadhullah1 and Mohamad Firdaus Bin Samsudin3

School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia1

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia2

School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia3

Page 97 – 117   |   Vol. 8 No. 1 2023   |    Available online on 30 Jun 2023


Malaysian economy depends heavily on the contribution of the construction industry. This sector contributes to high occupational fatalities in Malaysia. Immediate (human and worksite) and underlying (management and external) causes contribute to occupational accidents and illnesses. The study’s main aim is to analyse local construction personnel’s perspective on the causes (immediate and underlying) of Malaysian construction accidents and illnesses. 13 housing projects were selected in Pulau Pinang. A survey questionnaire supported by in-depth interviews was conducted. The immediate causes comprising human and worksite elements were perceived as most significant, with mean values of 3.45 and 3.58, respectively. Significant correlations between the two-level of causes (immediate and underlying) are registered in the study. The effect on construction accidents and illnesses derived from underlying causes is not as obvious as the impact of human and worksite elements.


construction safety; safety risk assessment; safety management.

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Human Factors & Ergonomics Journal (HFEJ), eISSN: 2590-3705  is the official Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Malaysia.  The journal is published on a biannual basis. HFEJ aims to address current research in the field of Ergonomics in addition to the broad coverage of cognitive ergonomics, user experience, physical ergonomics and others such as transportation, industrial design and industrial engineering. HFEJ is a member of, and subscribes to the principles of the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics), as such we only accept original work.