Factors affecting safety on construction sites, the case of public funded building projects in Makueni District, Kenya
Safety issues have gained vital importance throughout the construction industry. Many construction companies around the world are implementing safety, health, and environmental management systems to reduce injuries, eliminate illness, and to provide a safe working environment in their construction sites. This paper studies the factors affecting safety on building construction sites: the case of public funded project in Makueni District. The research objectives as outlined in the conceptual framework were: to investigate how Personal Protective Equipment (PPE's) affect safety on building construction site, to assess how contractor's safety policy affects safety on building construction sites, to determine how cost of safety affects safety on building construction sites, to examine how enforcement of legal requirements affects safety on building construction sites and to examine how safety training affects safety on building construction sites. The study involved a detailed literature review on the study objectives and site safety in general. The study adopted a case study design and data was collected from a sample of 12 randomly selected sites through; questionnaires, focus group interviews, documents review and observational checklist. A pilot study was done to establish reliability and validity of the research instruments. All the information obtained were treated with confidentiality and used for academic purpose only. The raw data collected were processed through classification, tabulation, and tallying. Thereafter, descriptive statistics (measures of location, measures of central tendencies and measures of dispersion) and relational statistics (correlation) were used to analyze the data. The data has been presented using tables, frequency distribution, bar-graphs and histogram. The study recommends that in order to have safe sites, emphasis should be placed on the following: development of contractors safety policy; costs associated with safety measures, enforcement of legal requirements especially by ministry of labour safety inspectors, training on safety and use of PPE's in that order of priority. The ministry of labour should have enough personnel to visit the construction sites. The newly created National construction authority with the mandate of registering contractors in the industry should include safety measures and records as one of the areas to be checked before registration is granted. Most of the construction workers need training on site safety issues, to this end the proposed establishment of the Occupational Health & Safety Institute under the directorate of occupational health and safety in the ministry of labour to undertake research and training on matters safety should be fast tracked.