You are on page 1of 7




Construction can be defined as the action of building something, typically a large structure
( Oxford dictionaries,2015}. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary 2015, described
construction as the way something is built or made. According to the general HSE training
manual (2012) of the Institute of the Safety Professionals of Nigeria, safety was defined as a
state in which one is free from danger or situation that can cause harm or injury to persons, or
damage to equipment.
From the above definition it would be safe to describe construction safety as the state in
which one is free from harm or danger during a building process to avoid injury to persons or
damage to equipment. Some of these building processes involved are construction, alteration,
and/or repair. Examples include residential construction, bridge erection, roadway paving,
excavations, demolitions, and large scale painting jobs.
The issue of health and safety should be a major concern to all parties in the construction
industry, as no one is safe from the potential dangers on site. Though the Nigerian
construction industry is putting more effort in ensuring that our construction site is a safe
place to work, more work still needs to be done in shedding more light on the importance of
safety as well as educating people on the necessity to ensure safety. The activities in a
construction site varies from major works such as excavation, demolition, concrete work, to
minor works like installation of fixtures and minor repairs.

Construction safety should be considered as important as other factor in the construction

industry from the very early stage of a project. The relevance of safety in our construction site
cannot be over emphasised and should never be overlooked.


In Nigeria, the importance of safety in the construction industry has not been giving the
proper attention and awareness, thereby posing a threat not only to the workers but
consultants, clients and the general public. Also, the attitude of all parties to the issues of
safety on site is one of nonchalance and sometimes ignorance.
Therefore, it is necessary to highlight the importance of construction safety as well as identify
the role of all parties in the pursuit of a "hazard-free" construction site.




The aim of this study is to identify the roles of the relevant parties in the construction team in
ensuring construction safety.


To identify the roles and duties of professionals in construction safety.
To identify how different professionals can carry out HSE practices on a construction

To identify techniques in construction safety management


The information gathered for this study will be obtained from books of distinguished authors,
newspaper, professional construction journals, Building Regulations and Codes and the




The building construction industry is as old as human civilization itself. The history of the
industry has evolved with evolution of human settlements and culture. These evolutions gave rise
to the construction of various complexity of buildings, which caused an increase in damages and
loss to property and life during the span of the construction project . This gave rise to the need
for safety regulations and policies as issues regarding safety steadily drew global attention.
In Nigeria, almost all existing regulations on safety originated from foreign countries. Idiro citied
that "The 1987 Factory Act, which is the most popular safety regulation, was adapted from the
1961 Factory Act of Great Britain. The 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act which is
another safety document of reference in Nigeria has its origin and even application in the United
States of America (US) and it is administered by the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) of US Department of Labour. The 1988 Control of Substances
Hazardous to Health Regulations ,the 1992 Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations
and the 1999 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations are British laws that are
applicable to European Countries (EC)".
Nigeria has alot of new construction site springing up daily even with the economic depression.
Okeola 2009, cited that at least 50% of the investments in various development plans is primarily
in construction. The output of the industry in Nigeria accounts for over 70% of GDP (Mbachu,

1998) and therefore is a stimulator of national economy. Owolabi and Olatunji cited that the
construction sector in Nigeria accounts for 3-8% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), about 5% of
the labour force, 40-70% of the gross fixed capital formation and about 12% of industrial sector
This has shown the importance of the construction industry to the Nigerian economy as it is a
major source of employment and revenue. However, it is important to recognise that though the
construction industry is one of economic growth, it is also one of the most hazardous industry in
the country and even the world at large. With the continues introduction and development of new
technologies in the construction industry, it is a little disappointing that the Nigerian industry
still depends largely on manual labour.
It is very convenient at this point to assume that those at risk of injury are the site workers/
labourer who have higher exposure to hazards but the risk of injuries to supervisors, consultants,
clients and the general public is almost as high especially during site inspection or supervisory
work. No one would exempted from the dangers of a collapsed of buildings, fall due to spillage,
noise and air pollution, fire outbreak just to name a few. This in turn would cause loss in profit
and time which can potentially affect the economic growth of the nation as there would be a
reduction in revenue for government taxes and dividends.
This has emphasised the importance of all professionals knowing the roles they have to play in
ensuring safety, not just at the construction stage but right from the design stage so that as many
risk can be identified and tackled even before commencement of site work.



The following are the different person that comprises of a construction team:

2.1.1. CLIENT:
The person or entity who owns the project. He might also be person with the appointed to
coordinate the project.


A person who provides professional or expert advice in a particular area. A consultant most times
have design responsibility in the project.


The person or entity who has been employed directly by the owner to build or coordinate
construction of the project in accordance with the plans, specifications and contract documents.


The entity/ person engaged by the Contractor or client to carry out a specific aspect of the work,
such as plumbing, excavation.

For the purpose of this thesis I would like to include HSE personnel and site workers.



HSE personnel assists in improving operating activities while ensuring adherence to safety rules
and regulations mandated by government authorities and the employing organisation. He also
carries out regular training of workers.



A construction worker is a tradesman, labourer (by tradition considered an unskilled tradesman),

or professional employed in the physical construction of the built environment and its