Issues with Senior Workers in Hong Kong Construction Industry: Preliminary Observations and Intervention Opportunities
There is an increasingly larger proportion of workforce 50 years of age or older. This ageing trend is prevalent in the Hong Kong construction industry. The implications of this ageing trend for the construction industry are the decline in workforce productivity due to old age, compromised health, safety, and well-being; and the shortage of workforce. Coupled with various organisational and institutional shortcomings in the industry that lead to unfavourable working environment, these situations not only negatively affect the economic viability of the construction industry but also give rise to other psychosocial problems experienced by the older workers. Despite these situations, we know very little of the conditions older construction workers experience in the construction industry.
There is therefore a need to investigate such issues and propose possible interventions to improve the working conditions of the senior workers. With these objectives, in this paper, we first report the findings of a small scale survey on the care of older workers in Hong Kong construction industry, and second propose potential intervention by combining the findings of the survey and our industry observations of the practices implemented by progressive contracting firms in Hong Kong. The findings reveal that despite the industry under appreciation of the ageing workforce, there are interventions implemented by progressive contracting firms that can potentially provide health and safety protection to the workforce of all ages although these firms are small in number. This article is an extended version of a conference paper that appeared as Koh et al. (2019).