Workers’ Perception regarding health and safety (H&S) practices in the Nigerian construction industry

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Kukoyi, P.O.
Smallwood, J.
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Construction projects are reputed for their poor H&S record when compared to other industries. This can be attributed to an uncontrolled working environment, risk, workers’ behaviour in relation to H&S commitment, cultural and religious beliefs, and uncertainties inherent in projects. These expose workers, engaged in productive activities on construction projects, to hazards, and risks, which result in fatalities and other injuries. The aim of this study is to explore the perceptions of workers regarding H&S and how they relate to their behaviour on construction sites. The study employed a largely qualitative research approach. Various construction workers (ironworkers, masons, carpenters, roofers, and electricians) were interviewed on sites in Lagos State, Nigeria. The findings of the study reveal that workers view productive activities on construction sites as hazardous and risky. However, H&S practices are viewed by workers as unimportant. This perception may also be attributed to their socio-economic realities, cultural and religious beliefs, and inadequate training. Therefore, it is vital for the government and stakeholders in the construction industry in Nigeria to establish localised H&S certifications, policies, and awareness through traditional and religious organisations so as to foster commitment to H&S on construction sites. Further research is needed to understand the training needs of workers in the Nigerian construction industry.
Conference paper
Health and safety, Nigeria, Perception, workers
Kukoyi, P.O.; and Smallwood J. (2016). Workers’ Perception regarding health and safety (H&S) practices in the Nigerian construction industry. In A. Windapo (Eds), Proceedings of the 9th CIDB Postgraduate Conference February 2-4, 2016, Cape Town, South Africa.