FACTORS AFFECTING IMPLEMENTATION OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY: THE CASE OF MOMBASA COUNTY, KENYA
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This study sought to establish the factors affecting implementation of occupational health
and safety measures in the building construction industry in Kenya with a focus on
Mombasa County. The specific objectives were; To establish the extent to which health and
safety management systems in a building construction company affects implementation of
occupational health and safety measures; To establish the extent to which training and
inductions affects implementation of occupational health and safety measures in building
construction sites; To investigate whether the cost of risk control measures affect
implementation of occupational health and safety measures and lastly; To assess how a
building-project client influences implementation of occupational health and safety
measures in a building project. The research design was a survey descriptive study using
simple random sampling technique and self-administered questionnaires as the main data
collection instrument supplemented by interviews and observations. The study’s target
population was the building construction firms carrying out building construction business
in Mombasa County. Data was collected and analyzed using the SPSS a statistical computer
software for research data. Findings from the study indicate that although 57.6% agree to
have health and safety policy at workplace, only 30% and less have any knowledge about
health and safety management systems. 76.1% of the respondents claim to do training and
induction of their staff. 72.6% of the respondents think providing and maintaining risk
control measures is costly. 46.6% of the respondents think their clients are not responsive
to enforcing health and safety measures in their building projects. 51.8% of the
respondents feel government policy on health and safety in the construction industry is
poor, hence only 45.7% posses a copy of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2007. The
researcher concluded that a number of factors inhibit the implementation of occupational
health and safety measures in the construction industry, among them; Absence of health
and safety management systems, lack or inadequate training and inductions, the high costs
involved in providing and maintaining risk control measures, lack of concern towards
health and safety issues in building project by the clients and the government’s limited
capacity in providing appropriate legal framework and inspectorate personnel to enforce
compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2007. The researcher
recommended that measures be taken to enlighten building contractors about the
importance of health and safety management systems which they should integrate into
their management fibre to help create a health and safety culture in their organizations.
Through awareness forums conducted by professional bodies in partnership with
government departments, building contractors to be encouraged to seek ISO certifications
relevant to health and safety management issues. The government on the other hand
should strengthen the legal, institutional framework and inspectorate activities in order to
enforce compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 2007. Finally, Kenya
being a member country at the International Labour Organization should ratify all
conventions relevant to issues of health and safety in construction works in a bid to
demonstrate its commitment to worker’s health and safety.