Identifying the Non-Traditional Safety Risk Paths of Employees from Chinese International Construction Companies in Africa

C. Jin, B. Li, Zhaoying Ye, Pengcheng Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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In recent years, more and more construction enterprises are expanding into overseas markets, especially in underdeveloped regions such as Africa. Compared to domestic construction projects, international construction projects have been faced with more uncertainties and increased levels of safety risks to the employees in the context of political turmoil, racism, and religious conflict in the host country. This study aims to answer what risk factors contribute to the threat to the safety of overseas employees and how safety risk factors interact, using employees from Chinese international construction companies (CICCs) in Africa as an example. A total of 39 safety risk factors were selected by literature review and case study based on Heinrich’s Domino Theory of Accident Causation. To identify the critical safety risk sources and significant risk paths, a questionnaire survey was conducted among 208 professionals who have participated in construction projects in Africa. Using structural equation modeling (SEM), a total of twelve critical risk paths and five controllable risk sources were identified. The improper behaviors of the CICCs and their employees were shown to have the largest impact on the safety of Chinese employees, through the mediating effect of the criminal offense. This study provides some insights into safety risk management in international construction projects. Meanwhile, the quantitative approach proposed can also be used by other international companies or governments in identifying the safety risk paths of their overseas workers involved in international construction projects.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1990
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Africa
  • Chinese international construction companies
  • Risk paths
  • Risk prevention
  • Risk sources
  • Safety risks


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