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Building construction sites are most times very hazardous due to the bulk and types of materials and equipment employed towards the realization of building project. To this effect, various forms of accidents abound at various stages of construction and in various operations. This project work aims at investigation and evaluation, the response of construction firms/managers to health safety and welfare requirements on building construction sites in Imo State. Different methods such as survey approaches using questionnaire, site visitation and interview were adopted to realize the aims of this work. The method of data collection and analysis adopted are the statistical table (percentage) and bar-chart respectively. The results of their finding indicates that most of the construction firms and contractors in Imo State do not abide to the statutory regulations governing safety at work, while most of them do not consider the need to educate and train workers on safety practices. This work reveals the causes of site accidents and has suggested the remedial measures to be adopted. These methods include among others abiding to; the health and employing professional on building sites. With this building industry Imo State will be free from accidents and hazards.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Health and safety is an important issue in construction works. A building construction site is a construction site where major construction activities take place, requiring the issue of health and safety to be taken into serious considerations. Hazards on building construction sites need to be defined and eliminated through effective health and safety measures.
Hazards as one of the characteristics nature of work on a construction site raises the issue of health and safety on building construction site as one of the numerous problems facing the building industry in Imo State. This problem may have directly or indirectly or negatively affected both human and material resources and may have also brought about perpetual agony and hardship to various families that are victimized by fatal industrial hazards.
Health, as defined by oxford dictionary of current English is the state of being free from illness or injury; a person’s mental or physical condition.
Webster’s dictionary of English language puts it that health is the state of fitness of the body or mind, it is the general condition of the body or mind with reference soundness and vigor.
Safety as defined by the Oxford dictionary of current English is the condition of being safe While Webster’s encyclopedia dictionary of English language defined “Safety” as the condition of being safe from risk or danger. It is the quality of averting or not causing injury, danger or loss.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Most building construction workers are exposed to some hazards through enormous power tools, falling of construction materials, defective scaffolding and electrical defaults. The building construction sites in Imo State harbor a greater number of quacks and unformed labourers and contractors who do not care about the health, safety and welfare of their workers. Moreover, these contractors are not registered with the government and the contractors registering body. These groups of contractors only seek for their own individual welfare and they are abound mostly in rural areas of Imo State and go mostly for minor building works whose contracts are most cases initiated orally. These quack contractors are predominantly, illiterates but comprise experienced operators who are retired to retrench in the civil service construction firms and their apprentices.
According to Eze (1990) to affect the health and safety measures on building construction sites, the associated hazards must be recognized and monitored with the view to adopting adequate and satisfactory protection measures to safeguard the lives of workers.
Accidents that occur during construction and demolition activities result in injury, mostly to employees on site. Accidents can occur even before works begin during survey and investigatory phase of a project and after works have been completed, because of faulty design or construction causing death or injury to those engaged on maintenance work and to members of the public.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of this project research is to critically examine and report on measures to be adopted to ensure that health and safety are regularly and adequately maintained on building construction sites in Imo State. The efforts of management staff in giving instruction to subordinates and setting down rules which should be monitored for strict compliance on the part of construction firms and operatives on building construction sites to be improved in Imo State.
1. To assess the awareness of construction personnel on safety provisions in the various contract forms and regulations used in Imo State.
2. To ascertain the extent of implementation of the safety provision contained in in the construction industry, description of the general problems inherent, circumstances that allowed accident events to occur and the lessons that should be learnt to improve health and safety in the construction
3. To assess the level of implementation of the of health and safety regulations in construction industry
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be of immense importance to the construction companies in not only Imo State but other states as well and in Nigeria as a whole. This is because the study will open their eyes to the various measures that can be used to ascertain the various causes of hazards, their effects and solutions to their when it occurs on the building construction sites.
This project will help to reduce the bad reputation and perception of Nigeria construction industry, mostly in Imo State in particular as a result of shoddy performance during project execution and repair.
The health and safety of workers on construction sites in Imo State has to be monitored form time to time during construction to minimize or prevent injuries to persons during constructions processes.
The study will be significant to students who might wish to use it as a basis for further research. It will serve as a spring board form which further research might take-off. The data already gathered and documented in this project will serve as a source of information to students.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
For the purpose of this research work, the researcher has formulated the following research questions and the question will be answered in the cause of the study:
1. What is the level of awareness of construction personnel on safety provisions in the various contract forms and regulations used in Imo State?
2. What is the extent of implementation of the safety provision contained in in the construction industry, description of the general problems inherent, circumstances that allowed accident events to occur and the lessons that should be learnt to improve health and safety in the construction?
3. What is the level of implementation of the of health and safety regulations in construction industry?
1.6 SCOPE AND DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY SCOPE
The scope of this work is to critically study and reveal the various accidents that occur frequently on site and also suggest the possible remedy to check same on building site in Imo State.
This project work covers the followings areas:
1. The problems of health and safety on building construction sites, considered from many perspectives, in a view to maintain a reasonably high standard of health and safety on building sites.
2. The duties of management in the issue of health and safety of workers on the building sites, with particular emphasis and references to building construction sites. It discuses and consequently educating the uninformed in construction, the need to imbibe safe working practices to reduce risk of accidents and generally enhance good health and welfare of personnel on the construction sites.
3. The examination of the effects of non-compliance to safety regulations and causes of the non-compliance
4. It recommends where appropriate the possible solution to the problems
Due to the economy, the research study is limited to evaluate health and safety on building construction site, using Imo State as a case study. The researcher is compelled to limit it to this, due to time and financial constraint.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
HEALTH: The Oxford dictionary of current English language defines health as the state of being free form illness or injury; a person’s mental or physical condition.
Collins gem English language dictionary defines health as the state of soundness of the body. It is the condition of the body.
Webster’s Encyclopedia dictionary of English language put it that “health” is the state of fitness of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor.
SAFETY: The Oxford dictionary of current English language defines safety as the condition of being safe.
Webster’s encyclopedia dictionary of English language defines safety as the conditions of being safe from risk or danger. It is the quality of averting or not causing injury, danger or loss.
SCAFFOLD: Scaffolding is a kind of undulating ladder which is used as a temporary elevated frame work for the supporting of materials and workers during a construction work, specifically for buildings and other kinds of larger structures. Scaffolding is ideally suitable for construction sites, as they are adjustable in height, giving the workers an ability to stand on them have the capacity to hold many materials and persons.
MANAGEMENT: H.R. Light (1968 – 1971) in his book “the nature of management” defines management as the body of knowledge about managing. He went further to describe management as the process of planning, organizing, directly, and coordinating men, materials, machines and money so as to secure the optimum achievement of objectives.
Koontz and O’Donnel (1976) in their book, “management”: “a system and contingency analysis of managerial function” describes management as a field of study which used a body of knowledge in the co-ordination of human and material resources for the attainment of set organizational goals or in accomplishment of set objectives.
In its simplest form, management is the process of getting things done whereby a suitable environment is created or designed for effort to be organized to accomplish desired goals.
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