Factors inhibiting the implementation of occupational health and safety in the Ghanaian Construction Industry

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Health and safety continues to be a priority issue for those working and managing the construction industry across the world due to the critical and aggravating menace of occupational hazards and accidents plaguing the industry. This research seeks to make contributions to the body of knowledge by identifying critical factors militating against occupational health and safety (OHS) in the Ghanaian Construction Industry. The study was limited to some selected (32) construction firms in Kumasi. A sample of 100 respondents was selected using non-probability sampling method. The findings of the study were analyzed and presented using both descriptive and inferential statistical methods. Inferential statistical method was mainly used to extract the critical factors, which were compared with the findings from descriptive statistical method. Conclusions and recommendations were made towards the accomplishment of the research objectives. This study revealed that, the critical factors inhibiting the implementation of occupational health and safety includes: disorganized and transient workforce, Temporary nature of construction projects, fixed cost of project, unavailability and insufficient OHS policy, little priority given to OHS and poor commitment of managers and workers to OHS. The study concluded that poor health and safety performance of the Ghanaian Construction Industry is due to behavioral issues of negligence and/ or carelessness on the part of construction managers and workers. It is recommended that construction managers should create an awareness on OHS; Make provision for regular health services; Ensure adherence to regulations and standards of OHS; Make provision for personal protective equipment and enforce the utilization of them and undertake a risk assessment on health and safety periodically. These measures will go a long way to promote Occupational health and safety in the Ghanaian construction industry.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Building Technology, College of Art and Built Environment, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Degree of Master of Science in Construction Management.