Public Administration Project Topics

The Role of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) System in Preventing Accident Among Construction Workers





Background of the study

The world of work has changed dramatically. Globalization affects the structure of workplaces, the way work is performed, and occupational safety and health (OSH). Despite great strides in improving OSH during the past century, an estimated 317 million nonfatal occupational injuries and 321,000 occupational fatalities occur globally each year, that is, 151 workers sustain a work-related accident every 15 seconds (ILO 2013a). Poor workplace safety and health place a substantial economic burden on individuals, employers, and society. Estimates from the International Social Security Association (ISSA) suggest that costs associated with nonfatal workplace accidents alone equal approximately 4 percent of world gross domestic product (GDP) each year.

Although virtually every job entails some risk for injury, the magnitude of risk varies widely across jobs, sectors, geographic regions, and individuals. Occupational injury rates have been rising in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), but declining in high-income countries (HICs), although the effect of globalization has been mixed. The steady decline in Australia, North America, and Western Europe is due, at least in part, to the export of labor-intensive and often more dangerous industrial production to regions where salaries are lower, workplace regulations are less stringent, and working conditions are generally poorer. However, in HICs the number of small firms and informal sector jobs has grown markedly. These firms and jobs are underserved by OSH regulations and enforcement; are difficult to reach with traditional OSH services; and have greater, but largely hidden, risk for accident and injury.

According to Ezenwa (2011), on any construction site, appropriate Health and Safety methods should be considered and used that will reduce or eliminate risk to death or injury. In Nigeria, the first effort in regulating and controlling Health and Safety at work was the Factories Act of 1958, but unfortunately there is lack of provisions for the enforcement of Health and Safety standards in construction industry. This Act was repealed in 1987 and replaced with the Factories Decree No. 16 and Workman’s Compensation Decree No. 17. Both were signed into law on June12, 1987, but became effective in 1990. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity is responsible forthe enforcement of the safety and welfare regulations in Nigeria. However, the Ministry charged with the enforcement of these laws has not been effective in identifying violators probably due to inadequate funding as well as lack of basic resources and training. Also, a safety oversight of other enterprises, particularly construction sites and non-factory works, was neglected. The labour decree does not provide workers with the right to remove themselves from dangerous work situations without loss of employment.

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 Statement of research problem

With the high rate of accident on construction workers in nigeria there is need to examine the role of occupational safety and health(OSH) system and how they prevent accident among construction workers. These workers have been exposed to accident because there not enough safety instrument to use, site managers buy sub-standard equipment for them, the laws that have been put in place to protect construction workers are been manipulated or not implemented.


Objectives of the study

The primary objective of this study is to examine the role of occupational safety and health(OSH) system in preventing accident among construction workers, hence the study seeks to:

1. Examing the role occupational safety and health system play in preventing accident among construction workers.

2. Examing the role occupational safety and health system play in protecting construction workers.

3.Examine how occupational safety and health system can be further  improved upon to reduce accident among construction workers

Research questions

The following questions guide this study:

1.        What are the  roles of  occupational safety and health system among construction workers ?

2.        What are the factors affecting occupational safety and health system in protecting construction workers?

3.         How has occupational safety and health system  improved in reducing accident among construction workers?

 Significance of the study

The study is considered significance for the following reasons.

l  It will shed more exposure to the role of occupational safety and health system in preventing accidents among construction workers.

l  The study will be of help to government ,ministries of health, construction companies and  academia

l  It will also serve as a guide to future researchers who may want to further elaborate on this  similar study.

  Scope of the study

This study focuses on the role of occupational safety and health(OSH)system in preventing accidents among construction workers. Further more,it will show how occupational safety and health has assisted in preventing accidents among construction workers and as such, this study will be delimited to julius berger Nigeria plc.

   Limitations of the study

During the course of this study challenges encountered were that of:

Financial constraint, as  the researcher could not shuttle between his place of settlement and the julius berger headquaters in abuja, as much as it wanted to, also, in getting relevant materials  and  in printing them. Furthermore, not enough time as the resercher had to give attention to other academic activities in the school.

  Operational definition of terms

occupational safety and health: this can be said to be a multidisciplinry field concerned with the safety, health, and welfare workers.

Construction workers: these are people who are involved in the manual labour of the physical construction.



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