Occupational Health and Safety Issues Involving Casual Workers on Building Construction Sites in Ghana, A Kumasi Study

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The term “casual workers” refers to individuals who are engaged on temporary basis to work for a period of time not exceeding six (6) months, and whose remunerations are calculated and paid on daily basis. Typically of many construction economies, this type of employment has increased over the years with its accompanying occupational health and safety issues. Interestingly, very little research on occupational health and safety of casual workers in the Ghanaian construction industry has been done. The objective of this study is to establish the health and safety practices with a view of proposing a framework for evaluating health and safety on construction sites. Using purposive sampling technique, 100 questionnaires were distributed to contractors, project engineers, project managers, foremen and casual workers. Seventy-five were retrieved. Twenty out of the seventy-five were found to be too badly completed to be useful for the analysis and were therefore discarded. This brought the responses effectively to fifty-five, representing a response rate of 55%. The data was analysed using descriptive statistics, scale ranking, chi-squared () test and one sample statistics of importance. The findings indicate that 60% of building contractors in the Kumasi Metropolis do not provide welfare facilities and safety materials to casual workers. The findings also indicate that first-aid equipments, safe drinking water, sanitary facilities, provision of personal protection equipment (PPE) and training of casual workers on safety procedures, were the measures needed for addressing the occupational health and safety issues confronting casual workers on construction sites. It is recommended that Safety Officers from Ghana Labour office should liaise with the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing and in conjunction with the Association of Civil Engineering and Building Contractors, regularly visit construction sites to ensure the enforcement of laws governing the provision of welfare facilities and safety materials, employment, and rights of casual workers It is also recommended that contractors should be encouraged to set up Human Resource and Safety Departments for the purpose of executing iii safety education campaigns and training programmes to all casual workers. It is further suggested that five to ten minutes each morning be apportioned to briefing on health and safety to all workers, including casual workers, before commencement of work, to inculcate in them safety awareness, and improving safety on construction sites.
A Thesis Presented to the Department of Building Technology Faculty of Architecture and Building Technology Collage of Architecture and Planning Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the degree of Master of Science In Construction Management Programme.