An investigation of accident prevention practices in the Zambian construction industry: a case study for Lusaka.

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Kamwale, Charity
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The University of Zambia
The construction industry plays a vital role in the development of the Zambian economy. With the growth of the construction industry is a corresponding need for the maintenance and securing of health and safety in a bid to minimize and reduce accidents in the construction industry. Zambia’s overriding policy goals through the Ministry of labor and social security, Occupational Safety and Health Services Department, is to promote and enforce occupational health and safety standards at place of work to ensure a healthy and safe working environment. Despite the policy in place, the construction sector is still considered to be one of the most hazardous sectors. The aim of this study is to develop a framework that ensures the effective application of accident prevention practices in the Zambian construction industry. The study also targets to identify the accident prevention practices and mechanisms employed in Zambian construction industry and to establish the extent to which they are applied. The study adopted the mixed method approach in which both semi-structured interviews and survey questionnaire were adopted for primary data collection. Interviewees and respondents to the questionnaires were construction company stakeholders who included project engineers, site engineers, clerk of works, safety officers, project managers, artisans and general workers. The sample size for the questionnaire was 109 computed at 95% confidence level with a 5% confidence interval. The qualitative data was analyzed using thematic analysis while the analysis of quantitative data included use of descriptive statistics and One-Sample t-test. The key result of the study was the identification of accident preventive practices which included safety training and induction, provision and proper use of PPE, provision of safe and healthy working environments, safety inspections and enforcement. The study found that the accident prevention practices employed in the construction industry are to some extent adequately effective but there is need for improvement if the industry is to be deemed less hazardous. Finally, a model framework was developed to ensure the effective application of accident prevention.
Thesis of Master of Engineering in Construction Management.