Loading...

Assessment of Safety of Workers at Building Sites in Uganda

Bachelor Thesis 2005 64 Pages

Engineering - Safety Engineering

Excerpt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT

CHAPTER ONE
1.0 INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
1.3 MAIN OBJECTIVE
1.3.1 Specific Objectives
1.4 SCOPE OF STUDY
1.5 METHODOLOGY
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESEARCH
1.7 CONCLUSION

CHAPTER TWO
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 BACKGROUND OF SAFETY
2.2 ACCIDENTS ON BUILDINGS
2.2.1 Recent Occurrences
2.2.2 What Has Been Done
2.3 ACCIDENT
2.3.1 Causes of Accidents
From photo 2 above, it is clear that work is being done in unsafe working ENVIRONMENT IN FOLLOWING WAYS:
2.4 FACTORS WHICH INFLUENCE ACCIDENT CAUSATION
2.4.1 Human factor
2.4.2 Technical factor
2.4.3 Working Environment factor
2.5 ACCIDENT MANAGEMENT STRATEGY
2.5.1 Accident Information System
2.5.2 Practical Purposes of Accident Information System:
2.6 ACCIDENT PREVENTION
2.6.1 Government
2.6.2 Employer
2.6.3 Employee
2.7 PRACTICAL APPROACH TO ACCIDENT PREVENTION
2.8 SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
2.8.1 Definition
2.8.2 Objectives of Safety Management System
2.8.3 Main features of Safety Management systems
2.8.4 Safety Policy
2.8.5 Setting safety goals
2.8.6 Safety information system
2.9 SAFETY PROMOTION
2.9.1 Proactive safety Promotion
2.9.2 Proactive safety promotion tools in common use:
2.9.3 Reactive safety Promotion
2.9.4 Positive Safety Culture
2.10 DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS
2.10.1 Safety
2.10.2 Health
2.10.3 Hazard.
2.10.4 Construction sector
2.10.5 Building codes
2.10.6 Code of practice
2.10.7 Occupational accident
2.10.8 Fatal occupational injury
2.10.9 Non-Fatal occupational injury
2.10.10 Dangerous occurrence

CHAPTER THREE
3.0 METHODOLOGY
3.1 INTRODUCTION
3.2 THE DESCRIPTIVE DATA
3.3 QUANTITATIVE DATA
3.4 METHODS OF DATA COLLECTION
3.4.1 Data Source
3.5 TOOLS USED IN DATA COLLECTION
3.5.1 Questionnaires
3.5.2 Observation
3.5.3 On-spot site assessment
3.5.4 Secondary Data
3.6 DATA PROCESSING AND ANALYSIS
3.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
3.8 CONCLUSION

CHAPTER FOUR
4.0 DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
4.1 INTRODUCTION
4.2 FIELD DATA
4.3 ANALYSIS
4.4 PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
4.4.1 Conclusions of analysis

CHAPTER FIVE
5.0 SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 INTRODUCTION
5.2 Summary of the findings
5.3 RECOMMENDATIONS
5.4 Conclusion

REFERENCES

APPENDICES
APPENDEX I -INTRODUCTION LETTER
APPENDIX II -QUESTIONNAIRE USED IN THE RESEARCH
APPENDIX HI-GENERAL STATISTICAL FREQUENCY TABLE OF RESULTS

ABSTRACT

The building sector is growing very fast and essential to Uganda’s development involving construction of buildings. Workers operate in unsafe environment and accidents are a common occurrence at building sites.

The main objective of the study has been to assess the safety of workers at building sites in Uganda, and arose out of the need to have a safer working environment. Safety and what influences it have been examined and the most effective preventive and mitigation measures, which can be adopted, that are compatible with the practices and technologies available looked at.

The methodology adopted involves; an extensive literature review, collection of data by use of questionnaires, on-spot site checks plus oral interviews at building sites. Data analysis by a suitable statistical program (SPSS) and results presented.

The findings of study are; that the stakeholders are not well trained in safety planning and management yet they have a major role in providing and maintaining a safety at building sites, the protective gear and first aid provided is not sufficient, and awareness plus attitude towards safety at all level is poor.

A safety assessment tool for building sites has been developed, conclusions and recommendations made, which include integrating safety into overall professional training and site management, plus creation of a positive safety culture through behavioral change by all stakeholders. Overall objectives of the study have been achieved.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to acknowledge the efforts of my supervisor Mr.Dan Tindiwensi and co­supervisor Mr. G Mwesige for the guidance and professional assistance they have given me, without it I wouldn’t have gone far.

Special thanks also go to the following: Staff of UNABCEC, in particular Mr. F.X. Mubuuke, Staff in ministry of Gender Labour and Social in Department of Occupational Safety and health in particular Eng William Mukasa and Mr. Oloka, the Commissioner, for allowing me utilize their library, and all contractors who gave me all their time during the field research.

I would like to also wish to acknowledge the support of my parents and fellow students, God bless them all.

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

illustration not visible in this excerpt

LIST OF PHOTOS

Photo.1 Bad behavioral attitudes towards safety on site

Photo.2 Inadequate scalding during building modification on Nakivubo Street

Photo.3 Poor and unstable scaffoldings without guardrails

Photo.4 Adequate scaffoldings on construction of the National Mosque an old Kampala

Photo.5 Adequate shuttering during construction at national mosque in old Kampala

Photo.6 workers without any protective gear

Photo.7 Adequate shuttering during building

Photo.8 Good safety practices- stable working platform

Photo.9 Dangerous construction practices without any hoarding and guardrail

LIST FIGURES

Fig.1 simple model of an accident

Fig.2 A tripartite of accident prevention

Fig.3 The principle of reactive safety promotion

CHAPTER ONE 1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND

Uganda as a developing nation has many projects in the construction industry in order to meet an indispensable desire and need for better facilities. The construction sector is booming and growing very fast with many construction projects involving construction of commercial structures like factories, shopping malls, hotels and residential houses among others. In Kampala district alone, the Kampala city council (KCC) approves an average of 880 building plans per year most of which are implemented.

To implement these projects, there is always need for land, materials, funds and most of all human labour to do the actual construction of these structures. And for the projects to be successfully done within a contracted period, the engaged labour needs to work without much disturbances and harm up to the end of the project, hence prevalence of a safe working environment at construction sites is vital so as to ensure that no or at least minimum accidents and injuries to the workers occur, as this can lead to negative impacts on the projects.

Many construction companies ranging from small to big are involved in provision of services in the construction sector hence a project owner (client) normally has a big sample to choose from thus sets the criteria for selection of a company to engage on his job. Over years, the common trend for selection has been mainly to consider the capital base of the companies, experience in doing similar jobs, personnel and number of jobs done as the priority parameters.

The issue of a company’s record in providing a safe working environment at its construction sites has not been much of selection consideration for jobs yet, it is clearly known that human labour will always be needed on all projects hence the need to have them safe all the time while at work on any project.

1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT

The construction sector in Uganda is growing very fast, however workers at many construction sites, operate in unsafe working environment, hence there is need to make construction sites safe in order to ensure the safety of workers, if the construction sector is to have a sustainable growth and develop.

1.3 MAIN OBJECTIVE

- The general objective is to assess level of safety of workers at building sites in Uganda and find ways how this can be improved.

1.3.1 Specific Objectives

- To assess the level of provision and enforcement of use of safety gear at building sites.
- To assess the safety of the working environment of building sites
- To assess the level of preparedness and responsiveness of contractors to accidents which occur at their building site within their area control.
- To develop a process of determining the level of safety of a building site in Uganda
- To develop a site safety evaluation tool and company classification system based on safety performance and how to use it at pre-qualification stage for a job.

1.4 SCOPE OF STUDY

The study is will be at selected construction sites around Kampala district covering small, medium to big projects and will be limited to on going projects. It will look at the extent to which the safety of the workers is catered for and implemented at various construction sites but, restricted only to safety measures currently in use by companies, the capacity and level of preparedness of companies and sites so as to avoid occurrence of accidents and their responsiveness when they occur at their sites.

1.5 METHODOLOGY

- Comprehensive literature review on already published work from national and international reports, journals and papers so as to develop initial lists of critical areas in regard to safety issues in Uganda’s construction (building) industry.
- Gather data from the field using questionnaires to contractors and workers.
- Oral interview and dialogue with company management, workers at various construction sites.
- Analyze the collected data using SPSS

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESEARCH.

The intended outcome of the research will be to:

- Improve safety awareness among people at the center of influencing the direction of state of affairs in the construction industry.
- This research may also serve as reliable material source to the policy makers when drafting appropriate regulations and enforceable laws to be applied at building sites especially the promised bill to be presented in parliament setting the standards for construction
- Develop a system of determining the safety level of building sites in Uganda, and use “provision of a safe working environment” by a company as an alternative basis for the classification of companies in Uganda. This will be recommended as a major consideration when evaluating bids and awarding projects as opposed to using other parameters like volume of work done, number of projects handled, or working capital of a company. Since a company with a big capital base but with a big likelihood to impair or even cause death to its employees by not providing a safe working environment is after all no good for the sustainable growth and development of the construction sector.

1.7 CONCLUSION

The research is to contribute to strengthen the safety awareness, response, improvement and assessment of safety issues countrywide at building sites.

CHAPTER TWO 2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW

The literature review has been summarized into sections as detailed below.

2.1 BACKGROUND OF SAFETY

The construction sector in Uganda is undergoing irreversible transformations and fast growth which is reflected by a consistent growth of the sector in the last 17 years, with the current growth rate standing at 16.4% which is even higher than the average national economic growth at 6% as per the national budget of 2004/2005.

This fast growth of the sector has seen the spring up of many construction companies and a big shift in the labour force from other sectors into the construction sector. However, the Local Construction Industry (LCI) is weak, undeveloped, not well organized, and faced with many problems ranging from managerial to technical and lack of access to credit facilities.

It is less prepared and has not built enough capacity to effectively receive, handle, organize and cater for the influx of labour force as pertains their welfare, job tenure, health and most especially their safety when at work.

There is also no systematic way in place to assess and determine the safety level of construction sites, let alone a classification system of construction companies based on how safe they run their sites. Besides there is no single unified Body/Authority in place to guide, monitor and regulate the operations of the construction sector especially to enforce the of provision of a safe working environment and the safety of workers at all times on construction sites countrywide as is with other sectors which have agencies to oversee their operations like the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), National Forest Authority (NFA), Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA).

Individuals employed on construction sites in Uganda often find themselves confronted with dangerous, life-threatening working conditions on a daily basis and serious accidents and injuries resulting in personal injury and wrongful death are occurring at alarming frequency at construction sites throughout the country. Although the actual number of all individuals who die or injuries in such accidents is not recorded, there is no doubt that the frequency and severity of construction accidents will increase and prevail unless something is done to check the current unsafe working environment and improve the safety of workers at construction sites.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Photo.1 Bad behavioral attitudes towards safety on site

The worker in the photograph 1 above show bad behavioral attitude towards safety in the following ways:

- The worker is using ladders for a task meant to be done by scaffolding.
- The worker has is relaxing at workplace in a dangerous location and position instead of a restroom.
- There are no guard rails in the place to stop the worker of falling situation.
- The worker has no basic personal protective wear in use.
- The work platform is inadequate as there are very few boards which lead the worker to easily fall through.
- All in all this workers shows little regard to promoting of his own safety while at work.

2.2 ACCIDENTS ON BUILDINGS

2.2.1 Recent Occurrences

Already many site accidents have occurred some fatal. The According to New vision of Sept 1, 2004 a multi-storey building under construction at Bwebajja site 20 kilometers south of Kampala, over 50 workers were buried under rubble. This resulted in the death of 11 workers, and many others were physically impaired and many may never be able to regain their former working capacities.

The ultimate consequences of all this is loss of vital human resource, delays in works and increase in project costs. It is worth noting that it takes a lot of time and resources to train technocrats and impart apprenticeship skills onto these craftsmen and experienced casual labourers. So a loss of any of these lives sets the country and in particular the construction sector many years back, since there are very few of them in our country.

Documented work on construction sites where safety of workers is highly prioritized and enforced has proved to scale down on the number and severity of site accidents worldwide, like in the construction of the former World Trade Center - a multi storey building which had over100 storeys in United States of America, only 4 lives were lost.

In Ugandan, during construction where safety measures were emphasized like in the construction of Kasese Cobalt Company Limited (KCCL) factory in Kasese, the number and severity of site accidents were small as well. It would seem quite difficult to provide a totally safe working environment in the construction industry in Uganda however, as shown by the KCCL experience, a modest safe working environment is achievable which has got striking advantages like easing site management, maximizing utilization of resources, helps in evaluation of growth and performance of the construction sector.

2.2.2 What Has Been Done

Of late, the safety of workers at sites is gaining a lot of credence in Uganda with the minister of housing & communication promising to introduce a bill in parliament setting standards for construction, however prior to that, much needs to be done to gather all the possible data and alternatives that can be adopted to achieve this.

Debates on occupational safety and health have intensified following reports of accidents at construction sites, reviewing existing regulations so as to cater for today’s requirements and strengthen them.

The department of Occupational Safety and Health in Uganda’s ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development recently organized a workshop aimed at sensitizing and bringing forth standing industry guidelines on occupational safety and health in the construction industry. The workshop focused on a number of areas of critical concern to the building and construction sector in Uganda notably:

- Plant and equipment on building and construction sites and statutory requirements;
- Safety policy and Programme in building and construction industry;
- Subsidiary legislation and general occupational safety and health requirements of designers, constructors and managers in the building and construction industry.
- Common injuries and accidents on building and construction sites and how they can be prevented.

Building operations and works of engineering construction (safety and health) specific rules {Section 55 (2) and 60 of the Factories Act, subject to the provisions of sub section (a) of section 5, of the Factories Act provides for a health and safe environment at construction sites. It outlines the need for an organization’s commitment to have the safety and health of its employees at work, above all the broad responsibilities of both the management and the work force.

The subsidiary legislation that applies to the construction industry is the Building operations and works of engineering construction safety and health special rules statutory instrument 198-17 which includes that:” Before any building operations or works of engineering construction begin, the undertaker of works must serve the commissioner of occupational safety and health a written notice of the intentions to carry out works at the site in question within 30 days or in good time before so doing, as per section 8 of the Factories Act."

All concerned parties are beginning to be alert and vigilant about promotion of site safety and in line with this, the Uganda Police on 30 October 2004 impounded 150 bags of suspected fake cement on the market as the use of substandard building materials is partly responsible for site accidents and is thought to be a major contributor to the recent collapse of several buildings under construction in and around Kampala.

The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS)- an authority which standardizes materials in Uganda, on 19 November 2004 acknowledged that the impounded cement is substandard and that it doesn't conform to the standard [US310-1: 2001). That it exhibited unacceptable 2-day compressive strength of value 8.5 MPa against a standard of 10 MPa and thus should subsequently be handed over to UNBS and destroyed.

2.3 ACCIDENT

Accident as a hazardous event is undesirable and occurs unexpected. It is an unplanned occurrence that happens after a sequence of events, the results may lead to:

- Physical harm (injury or death),
- Damage to property,
- Time loss,
- Loss of production,
- Fear and loss of morale among workers.
- Loss of money and other resources,

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Fig.1 simple model of an accident, adapted from

Source: African new letter on occupational health and safety 1999, Vol. 9, pg 75

2.3.1 Causes of Accidents

Accidents do not just happen, they are caused and the causation is a complex issue, hence a lot has to be looked upon on how they happen and how to prevent them. Causation of Accidents may be categorized into three areas, namely

- Human Factor
- Technical factor
- Working Environment factor

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Photo.2 Inadequate scaffolding during a building modification on Nakivubo Street.

From photo 2 above, it is clear that work is being done in unsafe working environment in following ways:

- The scaffolding is inadequate as there is no enough transoms, no guard rails to stop anyone from falling and enough boards to give a safe working platform.
- Ladders are being used for tasks supposed to perform by scaffolding.
- There are no nets to stop both falling objects and workers in case of a falling situation.
- No personal protective wear to minimize the severity of accident in case it occurs.

2.4 FACTORS WHICH INFLUENCE ACCIDENT CAUSATION.

2.4.1 Human factor

The human factor is due to human behavior and attitudes towards safety when at work. The human error and state in which the workers are in may cause an accident. For example accident(s) may occur because the worker(s) is/ are:

- Drunk,
- Tiredness,
- General Laxity behavior about safety,
- Unaware of the presence of such a risk that may lead to an accident,
- Human impairment like poor eye-sight of worker,
- General human error as a person.

2.4.2 Technical factor

The technical factor takes on the technical aspects, which could lead to accident, and these include;

- Bad building designs- those that are prone to accident at construction and maintenance level,
- Inadequate designs of structural elements of the building like columns that can not carry the intended loads etc,
- Poor quality building materials like low quality cement, reinforcement, poor mix ratios etc,
- Misinterpretations of working plan and detail drawings,
- Bad construction methods and practices,
- Incompetent worker-force for implementation of project,

2.4.3 Working Environment factor

Working Environment factor takes on those factors that induce or influence accident causation because of the working situation the workers are exposed to and general condition the surroundings.

It’s important to appreciate that workers are sometimes faced with situations and conditions that are dictated by nature, state of operation and other external influencers. Working environment factors include;

- Working in poor weather,
- Working without personal protective wear,
- Working generally in unsafe environment like emergence repair works on a powerhouse that feeds a theatre of a major hospital, etc.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Photo.3 Poor and unstable scaffoldings without guardrails at a building in old Kampala.

From photo 3 above, it is seen that the scaffolding is poor and unstable in the following ways.

Its does not have the some of standard elemental components like; guard rails, stop nets, strong standards, on work platform, no well secured transoms. Hence it can be dangerous and cause an accident by collapsing when in use.

2.5 ACCIDENT MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

2.5.1 Accident Information System

National Accident Information System should be established which help to provide reliable information for accident monitoring and prevention, it serves:

- To provide accident statistics,
- To give a reliable and valid picture of occupational injuries,
- May be used in establishing the interrelationships between injuries and other economic, social indicators and hidden interactions can be revealed in the societal developments,
- To help safety organizations to monitor safety development and provide interventions in the right areas.

[...]

Details

Pages
64
Year
2005
ISBN (eBook)
9783656420019
ISBN (Book)
9783656420880
File size
4.8 MB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v213613
Institution / College
Makerere University – Department of Civil Engineering
Grade
B
Tags
assessment safety workers building sites uganda

Author

Share

Previous

Title: Assessment of Safety of Workers at Building Sites in Uganda