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it affects the members of the working community and also how it affects the people in the neighborhood. Health as defined by Longman’s Dictionary of Contemporary English is a state of being well in body and mind and free from disease while Safety is described by the same dictionary as a condition of being free from danger, harm or risk. Bokinni (2006) on the other hand describe Safety as a control of recognized hazards to attain an acceptable level of risk. Naturally, the effect of construction on Safety, Health and the surrounding environment would vary from particular operations starting with extraction of building materials from quarries and methods by which the extraction is occurring, transportation, preparation of building materials at site and construction of works processes. Health and Safety in Building construction projects should be a major concern for everybody in the construction industry but it is a pity that it in this part of the world especially in Nigeria, enough attention is not been given to the issue. In the Civil and building construction works which involve excavation, and/or demolition, concrete work, painting, roofing, operation of machines, plant and equipment, use of hand tools and many other operations call for attention from
relevant authorities, regulatory bodies, societies, scientists, professionals and businessmen to establish safety and health management programs and laws governing construction works activities. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Health and Safety has not been given enough attention in the construction industry in Nigeria thereby making the workmen on site prone to accident and may not be catered for even after the accident. As a result of this poor attitude it is found necessary to create a solution to the problem encountered in the provision of Health and Safety of workers on site. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY AIM The aim of this study is to identify the importance of Health and Safety in the construction industry OBJECTIVES • To identify the role of Health and Safety in the building construction industry in Nigeria
To emphasize the need a Health and Safety Regulation in the construction industry
• To emphasize the need for a Health and Safety Policy in construction companies
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY From the information that will be gathered, the importance of Health and Safety will be made known to all concerned as far as the Nigerian construction industry is concerned. This study will also show the dangers of not having a Health and Safety Regulation to the decisions makers in the construction in the industry. It will also be useful to the management of construction companies in Nigeria in creating a Health and Safety Plan for workers on their sites. SCOPE AND LIMITATION The study is actually intended to examine the level of Health and Safety that is being provided in the average Nigerian construction site but with special attention to the construction sites inside Yaba College of Technology and this is because of the time constraint experienced. METHODOLOGY OF THE STUDY The information gathered for this study will be obtained from books of distinguished authors, newspaper, professional construction journals, Building Regulations and Codes and the internet. Also structured questionnaire will be administered among site personnels ranging from professionals to non-trade tested artisans and other site operatives. The information gathered will be analyzed in a much later chapter.
LITERATURE REVIEW INTRODUCTION Health and Safety is an inevitable aspect of construction and this is so because the only time an employee will perform his duties is when the employee is in good health and is sure of a safety working condition. This boils to the fact that a worker will perform his duties to the fullest only when he is sure that even when an accident occurs he will be taken good care of. One of the most important things that an employer should provide to his employees is safety even at a low risk site. At sites where heavy machinery is being used; it is certain that the level is higher because of the mechanical movement of parts of such machinery and therefore for the employee that will be monitoring or operating such machinery will be exposed to accidents. In a case like this, it should be known that the level of safety that will be provided will be much more than that of a site where ordinary hand tools are been used. Based on the above, we now understand that the level of Safety and Health protection will be higher nowadays because of the rapid mechanization of the construction industry and the accidents that may occur will definitely be more fatal.
ACCIDENTS ON CONSTRUCTION SITE Accidents are some unpleasant and damaging happenings or occurrence that happens unexpectedly or by chance or by mistake. (Longman’s Dictionary of Contemporary English). Encarta Dictionary also state that accidents are mishap which are unplanned and unfortunate events that result into damage, injury or upset of some kind. Accidents on construction sites cannot be over emphasized; it could happen as a result of a mistake or lack of concentration or even natural disaster. Accidents can occur even when the job to be done is minimal and could be very disastrous. ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION The rationale behind investigation of accidents is to determine the causes of such with a view of preventing a reoccurrence, gather data for use in any criminal or civil proceedings, to enable confirm or refuse of a claim or injuries benefit and paper notifications to be made to enforcing agency. During the investigation of an accident the following should be answered: • What caused the accident • Who was involved in the accident • When did it occur • Whether the person involved was wearing protective clothing
How it could have been prevented
• How it will not re-occur ACCIDENT REPORTING Reporting or recording accidents should be a day-to-day thing as the work progresses. On this note, it makes it important for an accident register book to exist on site in which all types of minor injuries such as bruises, to major accidents like imputing disability and fatal be recorded. Death or dangerous injuries should be reported by the quickest means (usually telephone) and subsequently confirmed in writing as soon as possible. The report should state the date and time of the occurrence, full name and occupation of the injured person, the place of the occurrence and a brief description of the circumstance. Below is a format an accident record and information it contains: Full Name: Occupation: Nature of injury/condition: Place of occurrence: Date and time: Brief description of circumstances: Action taken:
ACCIDENT CONTROL When an accident occur , it only shows that something has gone wrong with one or more process of the job or some elements of carelessness on the part of the workers or an employer has created an unsafe condition of work. Therefore an employer or site supervisor should put in place all necessary prevention or control materials and take control of contributory causes of the accident. The employer or site supervisor should also know the physical and mental state of the workers to be sure of the safety level of the site. In ascertaining a reasonable safety control level, the site supervisor should put into consideration the following: 1. Supervisor safety analysis -job hazard analysis -enforcement of safety rules -adequate safety knowledge -promotion of employee participation in safety -development of safety working condition 2. Mental condition of worker 3. Physical condition of worker Other measures of accident control as explained by Bokinni (2006) are highlighted below:
The work environment 1. All floors should be clean, not slippery and free from debris 2. Stairs, gangways and loading bays should be adequately guarded and maintained 3. Adequate illumination for workspace 4. Holes, edges and opening should be adequately protected. 5. Display of standard warning signs where hazard exists 6. Materials and components should be stacked correctly 7. Projecting objects or obstacles should be adequately protected. Protective clothing Provision of protective clothing and equipments are as well important. For safety purpose, workers on a construction site should be adequately protected using the following clothing or \ and equipments • safety helmets • safety boots • welding shields • vision goggles • waist safety belts for ladders • Industrial gloves.
green welder’s gauntlet
• dust mask • Ear defenders. E.t.c
FIRST AID Microsoft Encarta Dictionary, (2008) defines First aid as an immediate skilled treatment given to a victim of an injury or accident before the service of an expert is at hand. For the safety purposes on a construction site a first aid box with all required materials must be present. A well enlightened person about safety should be place in charge of the first aid box to administer treatment in case of accident. A record of accidents and causes should be kept by the person in charge of the box to ensure such does not re-occur and materials administered should be recorded as well. STEPS IN ADMINISTRATING FIRST AID i. ii. iii. Diagnosis of the accident Treatment Removal of casualties to their homes or hospital
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY IN CONSTRUCTION SITES. Occupational Health is the promotion and maintenance of the higher degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations.
At the construction workplaces the workers are exposed to hazards of occupational diseases and injuries and the adverse effects of excessively long hours of work. Machines, plants and other sophisticated construction equipment posse danger to the operators, who in most cases do not have prior skills for operating such machines or plants. Occupational health services should be concerning with the preventive measures laid down to guide the employers the workers and their representatives on the requirements for a safe healthy working environment. A worker should be assigned duties in relation to his physical and mental health and skills. Further, employers should have complete control over their employees and therefore ensure adherence to safety practices. The company must comply with all provisions of safety and health regulations that pertain to the construction works itself. OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAMMES Safety program on a project is set by the prime contractor’s project manager who maps out a program of safety measures commensurate with the size of the project and the conditions and hazards peculiar to it.(Mwombeki, 2005). Programs for construction safety as stated by Mwombeki include:
Adequate first aid facilities and trained personnel and Safety committee comprising of key personnel –supervisors, safety personnel and company doctor.
Disaster control programs, which should be maintained by the in-charge who is a qualified personnel.
• Crew leaders who hold brief meetings with workers under their supervisor at least once a week to discuss the safety operation of their crew and workers, and specific problems (held after the safety committee meeting)
• Safety instructions given to all new workers as part their introduction • Special mass safety meetings called by the project engineer (all workers attend this meeting) • Safety devices designed to prevent injury and accidents during building and road construction works. • Management and supervisors visit the workers and inspect the works and participate in the safety programs periodically. • Evaluation and review of programs as required by changing conditions to address new problems that may arise.
OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME According to Bamishile (2004) the programme’s main objectives are listed as follows - To secure the health, safety and welfare of all those who work or visit the work site. - To protect persons other than persons listed above against risk to health and safety arising out of, or in connection with the activities of persons working on the site. - To control the admission into the atmosphere of noxions or offensive substance. - To control the keeping and use of explosion or highly flammable or otherwise dangerous substance. - To control the use on site of substance that may be hazardous to health.
HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY This a legislative instrument put in place to ensure that at all times , the safest and healthiest working conditions is provide at a work site using measures of international standard. It also states the responsibilities at the top management to the general to the general workforce.
SAFETY ARRANGEMENTS OF THE POLICY.
The management will make known all the risk and health hazard as far as the construction site is concerned.
- The management of the firm will ensure a qualitative training of personnel as regards safety on site.
The maintenance manager / safety manager will identify the main hazards on the construction site and set additional rules and regulation.
In the case of accidents, the procedure laid down for accident reporting will be followed and the result of accident analysis will be available to management and the health and safety committee.
HEALTH AND SAFETY TRAINING In order to promote safety awareness on maintenance site, the operators of the site at all levels should be trained for the safety and health on site. This training programme are to be arranged at least once every month and must be compulsory for all site operators. The issues to be treated are listed below; -Causes of accidents -Cost of accidents -Accident preventions -Health and safety regulations -Duties and responsibilities of participants
-Emergency procedures -Machine and equipment testing, inspection and maintenance TOOLS USED IN HEALTH AND SAFETY ADMINISTRATION - Health and safety register - Health and safety briefing sessions - Minutes of meeting of health and safety committee. - Dates and names of participants of health and training programme. HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEE This is a committee that ensures a reduced level of risks to health and safety on site and it comprises of:
1. 2. 3.
SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER - Chairman/ Safety manager. PROJECT MANAGER – Secretary PROJECT SUPERVISOR – Member
4. SCAFFOLD SUPERVISOR – Member
CONSTRUCTION PROCCESS IN THE PROVISION OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY. CLIENT: The client being the owner and the overall employer should ensure that the site is in accordance with the provisions of the national building code and also ensure that the contractor’s company operates a reliable health and safety policy. CONTRACTOR: The responsibility of the contractor in the provision of occupational health and safety as stated by the occupational health and safety act are stated below:
provide equipment, materials and protective devices, and shall maintain them in good condition and ensure that they are used as prescribed;
ensure the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace;
provide information, instruction, and supervision to employees to protect their health or their safety;
ensure that when appointing supervisors, they are competent with respect to their responsibilities;
afford assistance and co-operation to the Occupational Health and Safety Committee or any of its members in discharging their responsibilities;
provide the Occupational Health and Safety Committee with the results of reports prepared respecting occupational health and safety;
advise workers of the results of occupational health and safety reports; safeguard workers from undue exposure to biological, chemical or physical agents as prescribed ;
provide workers with written instructions as to the measures and procedures to be taken for the protection of employees, where prescribed in the;
carry out training programs for employees, supervisors and committee members as may be prescribed.
EMPLOYEES: The employee’s responsibility in the provision of occupational health and safety on construction site as stated in the occupational and health act are as stated below.
work in compliance with the provisions of all health and safety procedures and instructions;
use or wear the equipment, protective devices or clothing that the employers requires to be used or worn and report to their supervisors the absence of or
defect in any equipment or protective device of which they are aware and which may endanger themselves or other employees;
report to the appropriate supervisory staff all known health and safety hazards;
not use or operate any equipment, machine, device or thing or work in a manner that endangers themselves or other employees and not remove or make ineffective any protective device required by the regulation or by the contractor, without providing an adequate temporary protective device; when the need for removing the protective device has ceased, the original protective device shall be reinstalled immediately;
not engage in any prank, contest, feat of strength, unnecessary running or rough and boisterous conduct or otherwise endanger their co-workers or themselves;
report accidents and incidents and investigate such reports and further actions.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY The data used for the research was gathered through the use of structured questionnaire divided into 2 parts; part 1 asks questions on the personal data of the respondent and professional experience of the respondent. Part 2 consists of – questions to be answered considering the subject topic.
SAMPLING POPULATION A total of 15 questionnaires were distributed equally among the 3 sites and randomly distributed among the operatives on each site. All questionnaires were collected and treated and the result will be displayed later in this research. DATA ANALYSIS The data collected are analyzed per question and are therefore tabulated below: Question 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 a 4 11 0 6 13 7 12 6 10 b 8 4 10 9 2 5 3 9 5 c 3 3 3 d 2 0
Question 10 is an open ended question and it was observed that majority of the company involved took good care of the accident victims.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION In conclusion, it was derived from the above analysis that the average Nigerian man is not proactive in the case of occupational health and safety, rather he will wait till the danger occurs before seeking solution. On this note the following recommendations are made
1. All the parties involved in the production of buildings should understand that they all are to provide occupational health and safety. 2. Construction companies should have a good health and safety policy. 3. Construction companies should hold regular health and safety training. 4. All site operatives should know and be aware of their safety rights. 5. It must be mandatory for all site operatives to put on protective clothing. 6. All construction sites must have a well equipped first aid box.
All construction sites must have an up to date accident register.
8. Every construction company must have a dependable health and safety committee.
Accident should be prevented instead of treated.
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