Factors influencing the performance of safety programmes in the Ghanaian construction industry
AbstractAlthough proper safety management in construction is of prime importance, evidence from literature suggests that many developing countries do not consider safety adequately. This article examines the factors that influence the performance of safety management programmes in the Ghanaian Construction Industry. The objectives set to achieve this aim include identifying the safety elements incorporated in the safety programmes of construction firms, and determining the factors that negatively influence the performance of such elements. For objectivity, a quantitative survey was conducted among safety managers of 60 D1 building construction firms located in the Kumasi and Greater Accra regions of Ghana. The questionnaire was structured into three parts, which sought the respondents’ profile, identified the safety elements incorporated in the firms’ safety programmes, and identified the factors that negatively influence the performance of the safety elements. Following a detailed literature review, the respondents were asked to rate 13 elements and 17 factors on a Likert scale. Data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 22. In addition to determining the reliability of the various constructs, the MSs, modes and standard deviations were obtained. The findings revealed that all of the 13 elements were incorporated in the firms’ safety programmes. The key elements identified include ‘providing safety managers on site’; ‘providing written and comprehensive safety and health plans’; ‘introducing project-specific training and regular safety meetings’; ‘providing safety and health orientation training’, and ‘involving employees in safety and evaluation’. The findings further revealed that 16 of the 17 factors negatively influence the performance of the firms’ safety programmes. The identified factors were, among others, ‘insufficient communication of safety programmes’; ‘lack of workers’ self-protection and awareness’; ‘contractors ignoring safety, due to the time pressures of the project schedule’; ‘poor personal attitudes towards safety’, and ‘ineffective laws and lack of enforcement’. Findings from this study should be useful to construction practitioners seeking to improve the safety records of their firms.
Keywords: Safety performance, safety programmes, safety elements, construction
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