Developing guidelines for achieving standard labour outputs for concrete works in the Ghanaian construction industry

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The construction industry is considered as capital intensive industry and driven by its major resources such as Labour, Materials, Plant and Tools. These resources must be properly planned before initiating a project. Out of those resources mentioned, the one considered under this study is labour. Many projects in Ghana and over the world have suffered from delays of projects and unreasonable cost overruns due to several factors which spans from non-achievement of standard labour output during construction stages and unrealistic duration during planning stages. This research was aimed at developing guidelines to achieve standard labour outputs used for concrete works in the Ghanaian Construction Industry and to establish an innovative way of measuring output during construction for effective and efficient labour output. It specifically studied the standard labour output to concrete works currently achieved on site by the contractors, the challenges faced in achieving these outputs and recommended guidelines to effectively achieve improved outputs. The study was done on a selection of 40 Contractors involved in the construction of buildings and other civil works in Greater Accra Region of Ghana. Data generated from the survey was further analyzed using descriptive statistics (percentages, tables etc.) and relative importance index (RII). The research was able to identify three highly important practices to serve as a guideline in achieving standard labour outputs for concrete production and delivery which include; continuous flow of materials, setting target for workers and increasing crew size in complex formworks. The study also found out that, most contractors in Ghana find it difficult in achieving the standard labour output due to numerous challenges. The study was able to establish that, low wages, changing of crew members, equipment breakdown, complexity nature of formwork and in-competent supervisors were the five major challenges to non-achievement of standard labour output faced by contractors in Ghana during concrete works. However, proximity to materials, morale and attitude of workers, poor co-ordination of work and materials and tools shortage were the least challenges to achieving standard labour output in Ghana. It was recommended that contractors should constantly study the guidelines identified in this study to maximize their labour output during concrete works on site, attend refresher courses to equip themselves with effective management of labour, development of work pack ticket which is a sheet of paper designed by the site engineer outlining all the works to be carried out the following day including targets set and discussing set targets with workmen before activities are carried out.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Building Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Degree of Master of Science in Construction Management.
Guidelines, Standrad labour output, Challenges, Ghana