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An appraisal of the barriers to client involvement in health and safety in Nigeria’s construction industry

Nnedinma Umeokafor (Department of the Built Environment, University of Greenwich, London, UK)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Article publication date: 7 August 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of a study that identified and assessed the barriers to client involvement in health and safety (H&S) in the Nigerian construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

On the basis of literature review and a pilot study, structured questionnaires were designed and administered to clients and their representatives in ongoing construction projects in Nigeria. Descriptive and inferential statistics were then adopted while analysing the data.

Findings

The research reveals that the major barriers to client involvement in H&S in Nigeria’s construction industry focus on the gaps created by lack of H&S legislation in specifying client roles and responsibilities in H&S, trust and confidence in the supply chain, low levels of awareness at various levels, procurement issues, the attitudes of the various members of the project team and resource-related issues. In total, 20 barriers to client involvement in H&S were identified and assessed.

Practical implications

Policy makers will find the study beneficial as it provides a good understanding of the issues to address while making policies that seek to involve the client in H&S in Nigeria.

Originality/value

While the findings offer insight on the barriers to client involvement in H&S in Nigeria’s construction industry, the study also contributes to the discourse in developing countries. The paper recommends transparent steps in procurement, H&S legislation that factors in economic incentives and community and financial institutions contributions to involving clients in H&S. The study is the first attempt to investigate the barriers to client involvement in construction H&S in Nigeria, contributing to the dearth of H&S literature in Nigeria.

Keywords

Citation

Umeokafor, N. (2017), "An appraisal of the barriers to client involvement in health and safety in Nigeria’s construction industry", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 471-487. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-06-2016-0034

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited