Towards improved labour standards for construction of minor works in low income countries

A.P. Cotton (WEDC, Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
M. Sohail (WEDC, Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
R.E. Scott (WEDC, Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Publication date: 1 December 2005

Abstract

Purpose

The construction industry is one of the largest employment providers in the developing world. It is also one of the least safe industries, with a high frequency of accidents resulting in financial losses, injuries, disabilities and deaths. Decent working conditions and resulting improved worker satisfaction are key to sustainable productivity in the industry. International standards safeguarding construction workers are abundant and ratified by most low‐income countries. This paper aims to examine if these standards are adequately reflected in contracts for construction works; and if they not, how contract clauses can be improved and put into operation.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on research undertaken in Ghana, India and Zambia from 2000 to 2003, this paper explores the aforementioned points. The paper comprises analysis of contract clauses from the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) and developing country contracts, along with case study findings.

Findings

This paper finds that more legislation is not the urgent issue; incorporating existing legislation into construction contracts and making clauses operational is a priority. This paper identifies practical and cost‐effective procedures for bringing stakeholders together to implement and monitor labour standards, with the aim of contributing to the overall goal of providing “decent work” for all workers in the construction industry.

Originality/value

This paper explores issues around implementing labour standards in construction of minor infrastructure works in low income countries and concludes with suggestions on how best to put contract clauses into operation through a process approach.

Keywords

Citation

Cotton, A., Sohail, M. and Scott, R. (2005), "Towards improved labour standards for construction of minor works in low income countries", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 12 No. 6, pp. 617-632. https://doi.org/10.1108/09699980510634164

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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