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The major purpose of this study was how to use good planning of construction activities to achieve safety, good health, control and prevention of accidents on building construction sites.
The population of the study consisted mostly of big construction firms in Anambra State, especially Awka and Onitsha that have had more than 5 years of active construction activities. The sample for the study was 10 reputable construction firms; five from Awka and 5 from Onitsha; which were drawn using simple random sampling. Five research questions and two hypotheses were formulated, which guided the study. A 13-item structured questionnaire was developed, for data collection. Frequency count/percentages and weighted mean (likert scale) were used to answer the research questions, while Chi-square was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. It. Was concluded among others that:
(1) The nature of construction accidents is so diverse and widespread; that if not well confronted can lead to serious and extensive consequences. (2) For effective construction accident prevention and control, monitoring and enforcement instruments are necessary. Based on the findings and the conclusions drawn from the study, recommendations were made.
1.0 CHAPTER ONE
The construction industry by the nature of its activities provides opportunities for varied range of people to achieve their livelihood there from, through engagement with the different trades that abound in it.
In the course of these engagements, human errors do occur, which often lead to accidents with safety and health implications.
It is in the light of the issues involved with construction planning, safety, health and accidents of construction projects that this project topic is undertaken as a pro - active attempt to use good planning of construction activities to achieve safety, good health, control and prevention of accidents on sites, as an integrated approach to project delivery.
It is an attempt that uses good construction planning approach as a means to achieve the end of site good health, safety, prevention and control of accidents on sites. The means and end when well ingrained in the psyche of stake holders in the built environment, with their attendant benefits, will be tools to be cherished by all involved.
Planning is therefore described as an arrangement for doing or using something, considered or worked out in advance. Looking at the entire gamut of planning construction work Nash (1970) stated that: “the best methods
for carrying out the work which is to be done on a structure should be carefully
thought out before the work begins. This is very important as hasty decisions
may be very costly later on”. On the other hand, Howarth (1972) submitted
that: “A planned sequence of operations, and a well deployed labour force,
should result in good production control. This means that with proper planning,
and a system of prepared progress, the greatest possible use can be made of
men, materials and plant. Work control should prevent wasted time, and allow
the fore man to deal more adequately with supervision”.
However, looking at the other aspect of this project topic - accidents prevention and control – it may be axiomatic to say that the word accident is a common denominator in any human undertaking, especially wherever safety is taken for granted.
Taking cognizance of the construction industry’s accidents statistics and the reality they portray give one the goose flesh and the urge that urgent remedial approach is needed.
Howarth (1972) stated inter-alia: “For years, there has been an annual average of over 40,000 reportable accidents and over 200 killed, with higher percentages than in all other industries. Building workers suffer over three accidents for every 100,000 hours worked…. Accident in the industry cost the
country millions of pounds a year in: (1) the need of score of hospital beds per day (ii) a drain on medical staff and services; (iii) a drain on union and insurance company funds and (iv) a loss of thousand of man days to production.”
1.2 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The concept of housing delivery entails design and construction phases. The nitty –gritty of this delivery centers on the construction stage or building production management stage.
It is at this stage that the production planning and management take center stage for the actual production of what has been designed.
The concept of planning is as old as man and has never disappointed its adherents; hence going by the popular dictum: “He, who fails to plan, plans to fail.” It is in this wise that the specter of poorly managed production processes, resulting in the state of accidents on sites with unpleasant implications of-cost and losses has become a glaring area calling for critical examination of how good production planning processes can be synthesized with effective accident prevention and control approach to achieve the goals of building production management.
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Building production management, as a professionally scheduled duty entails high standard of practice, competence, knowledge, and analytical mind to be able to fuse all the intricate factors associated with successful project delivery to clients’ satisfaction and the economy.
The process of successful project delivery is encumbered with planning, health and safety factors, which need to be collectively addressed in the course of production processes for cost effective delivery.
In the course of construction, accidents sometimes occur which affect not only the work men, but also the project itself leading to cost and time overruns, litigation/compensation claims, project abandonment with consequential financial losses, and other unforeseen developments.
The construction site is often a chaotic place with an incredibly high amount of action taking place. Workers and machines move about in a frenzy, with every one focused on the task at hand. In such an environment, construction accidents can and do take place.
Statistics indicate that nearly 1000 construction workers are killed each year while on the job. Many of the deaths or injuries that result from these jobs can and should be prevented.
Some of the most common types of construction accidents include: construction site falls, crane accidents, scaffolding accidents, workers being run-over by operating equipment, electrical accidents, trench collapses, fires and explosions, and welding accidents. Each of these mishaps can be equally tragic and equally deadly, and each of these accidents can be completely avoided
1.4 AIM AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The aim of the study is how to use good planning of construction activities to achieve safety, good health, control and prevention of accidents on building construction sites with the following objectives:
To identify health and safety problems associated with building construction industry.
To find out factors that lead to health and safety problems
To investigate how to avoid accidents in the building construction industry.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY:
It is the desire and expectation of every developer to accomplish any development project without much hitch or draw backs. When an integrated approach of good production planning and accidents preventive mechanism is adopted, the out come is quality assurance of the project delivery process.
It is an outcome so much desired by all stakeholders. The problem had always been: who bells the cat? Who initiates the process that challenges the status quo of practices that are inimical to the common and collective good?
This study will equally provide the following benefits:
It will lead to more harmonious work environment.
It will show safer and healthier ways to carry out site work.
It will show how good site planning can lessen site accidents.
It will lead to savings in the use of human and material resources. It will be a factor to arrest cost and time overruns of projects
Its adoption will save the following costs
I. The need of scores of hospital beds per day
II. The drain on medical staff and services.
III. The drain on union and insurance company funds IV. The loss of thousands of man-days to production.
The following null hypothesis was formulated for the study to be tested at 0.05 level of significance;
HO: The observance of safety and health procedures do not significantly control the rate and nature of accidents on construction sites
HI: The observance of safety and health procedures do significantly control the rate and nature of accidents on constructions sites.
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