An assessment of health and safety standards implementation on building construction sites in Zambia

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Phiri, John
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The University of Zambia
Over the last decade, construction in Zambia has become one of the fastest growing industry. This is evident by funds allocated to the industry in the national budget since 2010 averaging 18 % per annum. Despite this fact, the health and safety level on the construction sites lags behind and the industry is known to be among the most dangerous to work in. The aim of the study was to develop an OHS Framework that would enhance effective implementation of health and safety standards on building construction sites in Zambia. This was achieved by assessing the health and safety of workers on building construction sites of the randomly selected projects and also by reviewing the government institutions and regulators mandated with the responsibilities of enforcing of health and safety standards. Purposive sampling techniques was used to obtained appropriate respondents in government institutions and regulators from were in - depth information was collected by using semi - structured interview. Questionnaires surveys was prepared and administered to workers on construction sites. Data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics and other appropriate social statistical methods. The study identified: inadequacy of health and safety standards, which included failure by construction companies to prepare company safety policies, failure to constitute safety committees and to conduct health and safety inspections and training. It was also established that there is weakness in legislation and regulations, duplication in OHS Acts, and overlapping in institutional functions. The study further, revealed that Zambia had not formulated a Comprehensive National Policy on OHS in spite of the matter being a cross – cutting issue. Also lack of adequate funding and inadequate manpower in the field of OHS was revealed. The findings from the research was analyzed and interpreted and an OHS Framework was developed that suite Zambia scenario to enhance effective implementation of health and safety standards of workers on building construction sites in Zambia. The research proposed the finalization of the preparation of the Comprehensive OHS Policy and as long term measure, the research proposed for the establishment of the National OHS Authority to oversee the management and implementation of OHS programs in Zambia.
Construction industry--Safety measures--Zambia , Building sites--Safety measures--Zambia