Challenges and Solution regarding Health and Safety in the Construction industry: in context to India
The central aim of this thesis is to identify and analyze the challenges of the health and safety domain in the construction industry in India and to present possible solution towards dealing with these challenges.
To accomplish this aim, a comprehensive review of literature was conducted and the methodology adopted for this study was quantitative design and approach.
A questionnaire based survey investigation was conducted using open and closed ended questions to analyze the factors leading towards the challenges, actual challenges in sites and solutions for health and safety in construction site to identify ways to improve the health and safety regulations in this industry.
The responses were collected from fifty participants who are existing employees in the construction sector in India.
The findings of this research put forward that there are several challenges towards health and safety domain in the construction industry while the solution lies in the general and safety training and education, improving site conditions and resolving communication issue among the different stakeholder involved in the project.
Based on the results, a few recommendations are made for the construction companies in India.
Because of this, different ways are used by the firms. In this same concern, it can be determined that in the construction filed, the health and safety is the key challenge for the firms. It is because every year thousands of people died due to not proper management of the safety of the employees on construction field and due to lack of management of the heath.
So, to provide the better environment for the firms in the construction filed is a challenge for the firm (Moynihan, 2013).
In a building industry, the healthcare and safety measures play a key role. These areas are quite important and it is needs to be considered while analyzing the reason for the occupational accidents that occurs in such places.
An area of improvement is required in the health and safety areas, where the performances are constantly reviewed especially for the construction industry. Ironically this area is one of the lowest focused groups where the members overlook the relevance of the healthcare services that will protect the lives of the people working in a challenging work condition like the construction industry.
Safety practices have to be considered as it could cause a heavy financial loss and might be legally involved in case of any accident occurrence.
Such incidences have negatively impacted the companies opening in India and other developing nations. In such country, the construction industry posses huge challenge for the workers, as there are no safety measures. It wouldn’t be wrong to state that these sectors posses a serious threat to the work condition of the workers.
In the construction industry, the biggest challenge for a company is to introduce the safety performance factor, where the types of risks expected to be faced by the members are expanded.
Different nations have already made an attempt to provide the best security to the workers working in a risk based work environment. This is done to reduce the industrial stakeholder’s risk that has a direct impact on the business conduct.
Despite of these changes, the authorities have not been able to get better results that were expected by introducing the safety and security measures. A proper surveillance method is introduced so that the risk involved in the construction sites is drastically reduced.
The changes are introduced to introduce a proper security or the safety measures and integrate it with the performance determined by the company. Through a limited approach a proper prevention method is adopted and introduced by the company.
A proper surveillance method is used to identify the risks ad to deal with the risks. This helps in introducing proper safety outcome that will be associated with the worker safety climate. For a proper method the policies and procedures are decided and the safety measures are introduced by the company.
The project time and the challenges with the same are examined in accordance to the safety measures and the policies that are followed in the company. Any contracts that are illegally formed and introduced by the members could cause a major issue to conduct the works.
The reasons for the increase of the accidents are reduced by introducing a standardized process that will include better engineers to carry out the works. In nations like the UK, the documentation process is poorly evaluated and the forms and the outlets are discussed with the concerned members.
For this the laws and the strategies re effectively introduced in accordance to the health and safety policies determined bit the company (Vitharana et al., 2015). The previous accidents and its reason are analyzed to improve the quality of the design. A change in the management system and proper judgment process is introduced as per the experience. New method and processes are followed in the UK, so that the quality of the safety measures is positively increased.
India analyzes the cause of the accidents and evaluates the root issues that caused these accidents. A technical failure is examined and the impact of the same on the health and safety measures is evaluated. It assists in developing a positive rule that would help in improving the quality of the communication method, including setting the standards needed for the execution of the works.
At the same time, in the construction field, different work are allocated for the employees and most of the firm is handled by the labor class people that is the reason behind the happening of different issues at construction filed. So, for the better management of these issues and to provide the better health solution for the employees at construction field, different ways are used. In this, use of different safety tools, ICT applications, etc as well as flexibility in the time, etc are that makes easy for the firms to rectify the issues of Health and Safety at the construction filed (Neumann, 2014).
This research is related to the Health and Safety issues at the construction filed with the special concern of India. Along with this, this report also defines the ways that can also be used by the firm for the better management of the all issues and to provide a healthy work environment at construction filed India. Apart from this, there is also a discussion of three ‘D’ such as dirty, difficulty as well as dangerous in this research. The use of three D is better for the firms to define the challenge at the construction field and to define the ways to manage the challenges at construction filed India.
The works conducted on the construction sites are quite high on risk (Zamora et al., 2016). These risks are quite high, and remain despite of talking a new and improved step to reduce the impact of these accidents. A developed safety regulation is introduced so that the causes of the accident can be reduced or controlled. The rules are introduced by the company in accordance with the rules that are developed and health and safety measures.
The problem is quite crucial and needs an effective measure have to be introduced so that the risks in the contraction industry can be reduced. For this the problem with the system had to be examined, as the right measure could be adopted. An issue is with the workers realization process that is needed in the workers as it would help in reducing the business risks and the occurrence accidents.
The health and safety experts at the workplace monitor the workplace risk and recommend a better method to deal with the issue. Members are trained to use the right equipments as it would lead to less compilation and accidents that impacts the lives and the safety measures for the people. The strategies are developed to educate the people and ensure that the things are done in the right manner, so that the accidents could be avoided.
The problem statement in the research is to define the health and safety and also identify the challenges that are faced in the construction industry in context to India. In India, the adoption of health and safety rules & regulations has become ongoing concern for all the industries but mainly in construction industry (Doloi et al., 2012). The health and safety guidance found to be important for the employees and workers while carrying out any tasks in order to reduce the incidents, losses due to accidents at worksite. With the increase in the accidental cases are reported on construction industry India and that ultimately raising the questions on the health and safety standards and framework for the construction projects (Choy, 2014). This study focuses more on factor behind the health and safety issues at the Indian construction industry and their influence or affect on the workers. Moreover, this study also helped in suggesting the suitable policies that ensure the mitigation of the challenges related to health and safety in the construction industry. However, this study acts as a framework that can enhance the lifestyle and safety of the workers at the work site.
This research is conducted for accomplishing the aim i.e., “to define Health and Safety in the Construction industry with the challenges and solution in India”. In order to complete the previously mentioned fact and the associated goals and objectives are set by the researcher as below:
- To understand the theoretical concept of health and safety in construction industry
- To identify the issue and challenges of health and safety in construction sector: In the context of India
- To evaluate the ways to improve health and safety standard in the construction sector
- To recommend suitable policies to mitigate the challenges faced in construction industry
Thus, for addressing all the objectives during the research successfully for that researcher need to achieve the aim of the research and to produce the valid research outcomes.
The research questions need to be addressed by the researcher for achieving the research aim and objectives. The following research questions are presented below:
Question1: What are the factors contributing towards the health and safety issues in construction industry?
Question 2: What are the issues and challenges related to health and safety faced by workers in construction industry?
Question 3: What recommended ways and strategies can be adopted or introduced in order to improve the health and safety standards and mitigate the injuries of employees in construction industry?
In the health and safety measures, the aspects involved in the construction sites are examined. This allows the members to adopt a proper safety measure that will allow the company to continue the operational works and avoid any delay in the project work. The significance of the research is wide in nature as this study helped in developing understanding related to health and safety importance for prevention of the life of the employees or workers at the workplace as well as also new effective regulations also lead to end up of lot of cost and time loss because of injuries or accidents respectively. Hakim & Moamen (2018) also elaborated that negligence of the health and safety guidance influences the negatively in form of accidents, breakdown structure of the planning, illness of the workers. With the development of new technology, health and safety standards need to be redesigned by the firms for the workers for protecting and guiding them regarding any uncertain risk or issues. In concern to it, this research is helpful for the firms that are related to the construction work to define the ways for the improvement the issue of health and safety at work place. At the same time, this research also defines the reasons that are occurred at workplace related to the health and safety of the people. Apart from this, this research focuses on exploring the different rules and the regulations that are made by the Indian government for the better management of this issue and to improve the health and safety of the people. So, it can be stated that this research is very effective for the all firms related to the construction project for managing the issue of health and safety at workplace.
During research study, there are some research limitations which affect the achievement of the research objectives. For this study, the researcher has used both primary data collection and secondary data collection method for collecting the best relevant facts and figures which justify the study in an efficient manner. This limitations somewhere restricts the researcher in the gathering compete information on focusing the proper one method of data collection (Campbell & Stanley, 2015). On the other hand, time and cost is also limitation for the researcher in the research study as this restricts in completing the research on time because use of two data collection method required huge time for proper data analysis or interpretation for attaining a reliable outcome. For completing the research, researcher also faces the cost barrier for conducting a primary survey efficiently and that influences the outcome of the research respectively.
This section discusses complete structure of the research is outlined as this demonstrates the proper layout which help in conducting a research study in an efficient and effective manner.
Introduction: – This is first essential part of dissertation which defines the overall framework that will be done for completing the research on time. Simply, this study introduction chapter will proper explain the research aim & objectives as well as research questions, research significance and limitations are determined in the research (Crowther & Lancaster, 2012). This chapter also helps the researcher to complete the research by addressing the objectives and questions in such a manner that rising research issues can be overcome efficiently.
Literature Review: – This is chapter of dissertation is helpful for the researcher in achieving the research aim and addressing the research questions respectively. In this chapter, researcher also discusses all research objectives critically by using the qualitative and qualitative data from different secondary data sources such as articles, books, newspaper, blogs, etc. However, this chapter helps the researcher to attain a better research result or outcome in order to complete the research timely.
Research Methodology: – This is another chapter of dissertation help in using best suitable methods for accomplishing the research study successfully. This part of the research uses different research terms such as research philosophy, research approach, data collection method, research design and research ethics, etc (Muster, 2011). These all research methods makes easier for the researcher to collect the required and important information from different data sources for addressing the objectives of the research study.
Data Analysis/ Findings: – This part helps the researcher to analysis the collected data from different sources. Through data analysis, the findings are determined and that play efficient role for the researcher in overcoming the issues respectively. Moreover, Silverman (2018) also stated that this part of research is effective for the construction firms in understanding the importance of health and safety standard.
Conclusions and Recommendations: – This is last part of dissertation that makes the researcher to conclude the overall findings and discussion in a summary format. This chapter is easiest way to make the reader understand the overall research findings in a concise manner. At the same time, this part also includes recommendations that help in future research study of the other researcher related to similar topic.
The health and safety measures have to be defined, and this forms the crucial part of the valuation process. By defining the concept, the issues are communicated and the corrective methods to deal with the issue are drafted. In the generalization process, the health factors and the security measures are highlighted. The process to be followed the physical injury process has to be determined and communicated with the people. This needs the managers to introduce a proper physical injury protecting process, where the members die the things in the decided manner.
HSE states that workplace accidents are related to the unforeseen situations where the impact of the same could be serious on the health. Health and labor ministry in certain country are entrusted with the task to do adopt the right process to secure the lives of the people. Irrelevant practices and methods have to adopt so that the number of accidents caused at the workplace are drastically reduced.
In construction industry, the health & safety is important aspect as this industry is involved with the different hazardous situation which can be highly dangerous for the employees working at work site. According to Nagarajan & Shrieff (2017), health and safety culture is very important for every construction firms as this help in developing an environment of safety among the workers while working complex construction work. In India, there are numbers of construction companies in which some are adopting best health and safety procedure and some companies are not and this creates high influence or impact of employees and workers health.
William et al. (2018) stated that construction industry is involved with high risk working environment because workers are asked to work with dangerous building materials and heavy weight machinery. In fact, every construction industry needs to keep in mind the need of health and safety at every construction process time. In context to it Dagdeviren (2016) explained that health and safety in construction industry is a major concern area with the maintenance, development and promotion of the working environment, programs & policies so that employees well-being in terms of physical, mental and emotional aspects.
In addition, health and safety programs and procedure of construction industry in developed and developing countries are totally different in concern for well being of the employees. With proper adoption of health and safety procedure, various accidents and incidents can be avoided in the construction industry. The use of Health and safety as a methods help in ensuring that construction work site is properly designed, planned and tested by using best safety techniques. But at the same time, Hakim & Moamen (2018) determined that in developing countries like in India, health and safety techniques are less used and sometimes neglected because of different competing economic, social and political challenges.
In support to this, Khan (2013) added that in developing country (India), there is high rate of occupational accidents i.e., 10.4 and 8700 out of 10000. Most of developing countries don’t follow or adopt the culture of safety which affect adversely on the life of the worker or employee or an individual. The main reason behind is to increase in construction cost that might incur with the adoption of new health and safety program at the construction site. But on the other hand, Cochrane & Tamiru (2016) also observed that the problems faced in construction due to health and safety has resultant into huge change in the existing policy, procedure and programs.
The complex safety rules and regulations is major reason behind the negligence of following the safety rules and regulations efficiently by the construction industry. In context to it, Palojoki et al. (2017) stated that there are some certain factors which affects the health and safety standard in construction industry such as job designing, conflict between management and workers, social factors, environmental factor, goal setting and so on. In India, it is also observed that construction companies focuses on following easy and simplest way of the safety procedure which is actually limited to personal equipments such as lack of protection helmets for each workers at construction sites, lack of medical facilities, etc (Swuste et al., 2016). This lack of safety equipments somewhere affects health and safety that results into increase in the numbers of accidents, incidents and illness to a large extent.
The safety gadgets and medical facilities at construction sites are less observed at the Indian construction sites because of which this country is reported with highest construction accidents and deaths of the workers respectively. Nowadays, the government of developing countries has established their own safety and health systems and programs for the workers in order to avoid accident and measure the performance management. In concern to this, Alkhaldi et al. (2017) illustrated that there are some key factors which drive the health and safety performance in construction businesses. Most significantly, organizational safety rules and regulation is major driver behind reduction of construction of work accidents. Niu et al. (2019) also reported that education and training to workers, timely safety inspections and jobsite visit, use of best safety equipment are found key important factors which drives better performance in health and safety programs. These all stated key factors are enforced to be used by all construction industries in both developing and developed countries in order to avoid injuries, accidents and death of worker at the workplace.
Factors that causes accidents in the construction industry
In the construction unit, the challenges faced by the workers and the managers are quite different. Majority of the issues, in the construction units are not predicated and thus it impacts the business conduct. This also increases the business risk and the causes of the accidents that affect the people and the workers who work in the construction works.
In the construction site, the works are quite challenging, and in certain cases they are dynamic. Workers in the construction can be the sub-contractors and temporary contractors who are hired to work on the projects assigned by the company. These members are assigned certain project or task, and thus needs proper delegation of the works.
It is essential for the members to be aware about the hazard work condition and the challenges involved with the construction site works. Uncontrolled health and safety measures in the construction sites can be hazardous for the conduct of the business work. Some of the situations goes unnoticed by the management and thus causes a heavy loss to the managers and the clients. A bigger accident in certain cases could cause a serious permanent accident or death. (Shamsuddin et al., 2015).
The managers working in the healthcare centre are accountable to introduce a proper method that will benefit the company and the workforce. An involvement of the contractors, architects, stakeholders, and sub-contractors are needed for improving the business conduct. The contractors are expected to check the quality of the sites and recommend the better way to conduct the works.
The involvement of the engineers is quite important as they develop plans to involve the people and ensure that the compliance issues related to the safety measures. In a construction site the engineers outline the safety regulation process and communicate with the people
Supposed to check sites with construction engineers and make sure there is compliance with this safety regulation is adhered to. Constriction fatalities will still occur because of inadequate safety regulation. The main causes of construction accidents are down to the unique nature of the construction site and the challenging site conditions. According to Zahoor et al. (2016), the changing nature of the construction industry is the main cause of different types of data and ensures that the works are done to meet the expectations of the company.
The statics reflects that the health and safety measures need to be properly worked on and in introducing a proper method to avert accidents that affects the business conduct. Through proper prevention scheme, the management could outline the changes that are needed for the conduct of the business work.
- Falling hazards – The number of accidents due to the falling hazards are quite high in the construction industry. Some of the examples are slips, low falls, and trips and in certain causes the impact of the same is quite serious.
- Unsafe work condition – an improper work condition is related to the physical layout that is followed in the workplace. The members are trained not to violate the rules drafted by the members and check if the work standards are properly followed by the members. It is necessary to control the unsafe work condition that has a direct impact on the project execution. Accidents due to the unsafe condition and ignorance of the rules have to be properly controlled by introducing proper rules that helps the managers to control the accidents that occurs at the workplace.
- Trenching hazards – In the trenching hazards the workers working in a high risk area usually work in solid, rocks and pother unhygienic condition. An adequate execution process is created by providing a proper wall support state and introduces an effective protective system that would control the unsafe passage of the trend that affects the business conduct and the work execution.
- Misuse of the step-ladder – In a construction site, the set ladder is usually improperly used and in certain causes it causes major failures. The injuries caused due to these impacts the workers ability.
- Scaffolding accidents – In such accidents, the health and safety measures in a construction site are properly analyzed. Unsecured tools are the major factors that cause or analyses the reason for the causes of the scaffolding injuries to the workers.
- Vehicle accidents – There are different vehicles that are used in the construction sites. Such vehicles include cranes and mixtures. Experienced drivers have to be hired so that the occurrence of the accidents is low.
Challenges in developing countries:
In the health and safety measure the ability of the countries to deal with the issues are examined, and this is especially required for the construction companies. Maximum health care services needs to be provided to the members as it would secure the lives of the people on the long run. A deliverance of the safe and secured measure at the workplace is needed. The safety measures have to be examined and re-monitored so that the relevant changes in the system could be introduced by the members. Also it is necessary to get involved in the construction developmental program, where the quality of the infrastructure is examined and the changes needed are determined. With a positive workplace culture, the relevant changes are quick\key introduced and the performances are implemented.
In developing nations like India and Saudi Arabia the issues need to be addressed at a fast phase. This helps in running or conducting the business in a systematic manner. A robust and tested method is adopted to help people to avoid the accidents that are quite common at the constriction sites. The factors that are not met by the authorities are examined and the needed changes are introduced to ensure that the accidents and the factors causing it are avoided completely. The rules have to be determined in accordance to the health and safety measures.
Some of the aspects that are checked are-
- Workers turnover in this region is quite high, and this affects the stakeholder expectations from the project work execution
- This work has larger number of migrant workers who are trained to work in a complex work condition.
These members don’t have proper training and do the works in an inappropriate manner. This \increases the possibility of meeting with an accident that has a higher risk on the business conduct. The type of business risks has to be communicated with the members and the process to overcome the challenge has to be also determined and communicated with the members. It is necessary to avoid accidents and introduce a fair and good work culture that would help people to deal with various challenges.
In Indian context:
In developing country India, health and safety standard are somewhere not adapted or implemented by the different small, medium companies which are leading to increase in the number of deaths, injuries and illness of the workers and employees at the workplace. Soeiro et al. (2018) stated that the first challenge faced in the construction industry of India is maintaining the environmental sustainability which is difficult for the companies. At a global scale, construction industry is the one who leading to carbon emission by approx. 25-40% respectively. The other challenge identified is lack of skilled workforce in the construction industry which affects the work performance of both worker and organization respectively.
Niu et al. (2019) supported that the contractor of construction unit focus on using the traditional way of work practices in which rural people are hired at low wage rate for reducing the construction cost. This challenge creates an issue for the companies somewhere in hiring a professional workforce who perform their work responsibly and safely by undertaking and following the health and safety guideline strictly. In addition, Aidoo (2018) also determined that implementation of GST in India, also created a challenge for the construct industry to large extent because it raised the cost of construction material. This change in the taxation policy has raised an issue for the construction firms because there high –end category is falling under the 28% slab which has grown up quiet well and become more challenging for all stakeholders tool.
At the same time, it can also be determined that the lack use of the new technology and the tools is also the major reason to face the issues related to the health and safety in the firm. It is because there are different issues in terms of injury, work, etc that affect the health of the employees at workplace. The other challenge faced by the construction firm is absenteeism which creates an impact on the health and safety regulation in the construction industry (Pillay, 2017). When an organization avoids the safety rules and procedure then it might create more chances of the mis-happening in form of deaths, illness and accidents at the work sites.
In a similar manner, Jilcha et al. (2016) also stated that productivity of the construction project get affected because of increase in the workers absenteeism due to illness, any small accidents respectively. The less consideration of health and safety procedure leads to decrease in the productivity ratio of the labor as well as organization also faces problems in completing the project on time. The other challenge is increase in risks and hazards which creates influence negatively on the construction productivity and time of completion of the project which raises the cost of construction of the project. According to Handford et al. (2016), risks and hazards at the work sites develop insecurity and also increase the employee turnover respectively.
As, India is also one of the growing country and the construction project in India is also continuously growing so it is normal in India to have the issues related to the health of the employees. Thus, it can be stated that it is needed for the firm to use different ways and the tools for the better management of these all issues and to perform well. In the same concern of this, not proper involvement of the government of India towards the health and safety of the people at workplace is also the major issues. So, it is also needed for Indian government to have their involvement in the all construction project.
After identifying the issues and challenges, it is also necessary for organization to evaluate those ways which are significantly used by the organization for managing the health and safety standards in construction industry.
In the safety performance measurement factor, the management could introduce a surveillance method that would comply with the OHS standards. The objective is to prevent the hazardous accidents that can cause a serious problem to the people. Surveillance process issued identifies the types of hazards that could impact the quality of the works that are assigned to the members. The managers have to set out the priorities and communicate the exact process that can be followed for avoiding accidents and in increasing the value of the health and safety measures needed for the people.
In the surveillance method, the risks associated with exposure, hazard, and outcome are differently analyzed. The levels are determined to analyze the level of injuries that occurs at the workplace. An understanding about the potential hazards needs to be determined as it would improve the health of the people working for the workers. With the help of the secondary analysis process the company could adopt the best technology that would help in avoiding any sort of accident and in improving the quality of the works done at the constructor suites. Detailed information is maintained by the members so as to know the type of accidents that prevails at the workplace and in adopting the better method to avoid the situation. Primary and secondary avoidance method is adopted to control the occurrence of any sort of accidents at the workplace.
In the research study of Seo et al. (2015) also determined that timely training to the employee or workers related to health and safety procedure creates positive influence on the performance and efficiency of the workers as they start performing safely at construction site. The experienced workers also need to refresh the knowledge of standard safety on a regular basis for attending any future uncertainty with the use of new technology. But at the same time, from the research of Aidoo (2018), it is also determined that although provide the training for the employees is better but it also creates the issue for the firm in terms of extra cost and the time. It also affects the other working operation of the firm so; it is not an appropriate way for the firms to manage the issues of health and safety at construction work.
The transparency promotion in the health and safety guidelines helps the company in order to reduce the injuries and few workplace accidents and deaths. In contrast to this, Salanova et al. (2016) also depicted that transparency way is less adopted by the construction industry in order to high any accidents or injuries from the press and also to maintain the reputation in the market. On the other hand, Kensbock & Boehm (2016) also identified that proper equipment way is also evaluated and used by the organization in order to improve the health and safety standard. The use of proper equipment must be considered by the construction companies for supporting the workers while working at work site such as availability of drinking water for the workers in order to prevent worker from dehydration.
The possible methods to increase the safety measures needed in the construction sites depend upon the management process followed by the managers. It is necessary to specific the stipulated time period where the works are done to accomplish the goals within the stated budget. This assists in increasing devalue of the services and in providing the best security measures to the people. For this, every step has to be analyzed and the right process to conduct of carry out the works in an organized manner.
A safety management process is introduced so that the construction safety measures are indemnified and the safety equipment is introduced to accomplish the goals. One of the essential processes that are adopted for the safety management in the construction sites is evaluated for its hazard nature. The challenges have to be idenitified and then the safety measures are introduced. A formal employee training program is introduced and communicated with the members. This helps in conducting the works in the right process. A roper safety inspection process is followed and the changes required are communicated with the workers. Through the safety performance process, the attitudes of the staffs towards the acceptable of the safety performances are evaluated and accurate changes are introduced. This certainly reduces the risks involved with the business conduct including handling the challenges associated with the hazardous work related condition.
At the same time, it can also be determined that there is also a need for the Indian government to use some ways and the techniques as well as implement some new policies related to the health and safety of the people at workplace. It is because it will help the firm and the employees those work in the construction work for performing better and to keep safe the people from the different injuries that happened in the construction project. In oppose of this, from the research of Salanova et al. (2016), it is also illustrated that even implementation is better for the firms but it is also needed for the firms related to the construction to successfully process new technology and the rules related to the health and safety at workplace. It will help the firm to perform better and for the employees to give their best efforts (Palojoki et al., 2017).
The recommendation to the construction industry is to adopt and implement the occupation health and safety policy in a proper manner in order to avoid any kind of uncertainty which influences directly on the existing set standard of health and safety. The Indian government has now developed proper policy for every organization to adopt the safety and health standard for all small, medium and large sized companies (Niu et al. 2019). This implementation of occupation health and safety policy ensures the safety of the employee at the workplace and makes them feel secure and healthy from any accidents or illness.
The other recommendation to the construction industry is adoption of innovation as a policy in order to reduce the accident rate at the construction site. The implementation of innovative equipment, technology or system supports the employees in lowering the rate of accidents at the workplace respectively. This recommendation will support develop new business practices and safe working environment for the employees and that will encourage and promote the improvement of health and safety protocols effectively (Kvorning et al., 2015). Therefore, if construction companies in India adopts these suitable strategies or policies then it will enhance and improve the work environment and performance of the employees too.
In this chapter, the research work focus on the adoption of the right methodology and in selecting the instruments that will help to achieve the research objectives. The researcher could gain an in-depth information about the research method and in selecting the right process to collect the information that would be used for the conduct there search work.
The selection of the methodology is conducted to carry out the research design and in selecting the right method that will allow the data interpretation and analysis. In this section, the researcher would introduce a proper explanation process where systematic approaches adopted to conduct the research work. This is an essential part of the research work, where the relevant that are properly adopted and followed by the researcher. A detailed and right method to collect the informational and to use the research tools is included in the analysis method. The data collection process is based on the research approach where the strategies define the method that will be followed for the collection of the information.
In a research design method a framework is created to talk about the method that will be followed to resolve the research issues. In the research methodology the theoretical assumptions that identify the design that will be used for the conduct of the research work. A proper method is used for the evaluation of the data that will be used for the collection where the objectives outline the requirements of the fact collection in a systematic manner. This makes the research process and the fact collection process quiet simple and effective.
The research design is picked to enable the researcher to organize the research in the structured way. Fusch & Ness (2015) stated that research design help in building a framework for handling the research questions by choosing the best methods and techniques. There are different types of research design i.e., qualitative and quantitative and mixed research designs which are used for the data collection and interpretation for the research study. In context to this research, researcher has applied the mixed research design as it fits according to the research topic.
The reason behind selecting this research design is that it develops the new instruments to assess the research questions at every stage of research. Apparently, the use of qualitative research provides the base to address the theoretical perspective of research at different levels. At the same time, quantitative research provides in-depth practical knowledge by measuring the primary data collected from respondents. For this study, mixed research design supports the researcher in developing theoretical knowledge regarding concept of health and safety in construction industry whereas practical understanding is also developed in relation to challenges faced in construction industry due to health and safety. This research design also helped in justifying the study by determining the challenges and issues faced by the employees of the construction industry.
This is other important research methodology which is used by the researcher as it is based on certain ideas, beliefs and assumptions. The research philosophy provides a clear image regarding the research topic in order to develop understanding regarding the content that must be used in the research study for analysis.
Research philosophy lays the foundation to conduct there search work and in making the right decisions to select the approach. The philosophy defines the strategy to choose the research techniques that will help in the collection of the needed information for the fact evaluation. A proper guide is outlined that helps in evaluating the valid outcome that will be used for the fact collection and its analysis of the information that is needed for the conduct of the research work.
A detailed knowledge and information collection process are defined and the assumptions and the opinions included in the research work conduct are defined. This helps in the evaluation of the facts that would be used for the fact collection and it would include ontology and epistemology process.
In the epistemology method the psychological values are determined and the methods to accept the knowledge for the conduct of the research work are determined. This allows the members to collect the needed information and it would include the positivism and/or interprevetisim method. Both the methods are quite important in the collection and the analysis of the facts that are included in the fact analysis process.
In the ontology method the knowledge to be used ofr the fact collection and its interpretation is examined. This is one of the best methods that would be used to consider the realism information that will outline the methods that re followed for the process of the information that is needed for the conduct of the research work.
In addition, Collins (2018) also determined that research philosophy are of three types i.e., interpretive, realism and positivism which creates huge influence on the overall research study. The positive research philosophy is related to natural phenomena like human experience whereas interpretive philosophy is determined as naturalistic approach of collecting the data through observations and interviews and on the other side, realism research philosophy is related to scientific approach which helps in gaining information and developing understanding respectively.
For this research study, interpretive research philosophy is used by the researcher for interpreting the data collected from primary data source and secondary data source respectively. The use of interpretive research philosophy helps in conducting an in-depth analysis based on small size of respondents as this helped in outlining the realistic perception or view about the health and safety program in the construction industry. This philosophy also helps in identifying different challenges faced by the employees in the construction industry in India due to health and safety. Moreover, this interpretive philosophy also helps in monitoring the feedback of respondent’s and their reactions towards the challenges or issues identified related to health and safety program.
In the research approach the research justifies the method or the process that is followed for the collection of the research facts. The facts collected are analyzed to determine how the same would be used for improving the data interpretation method. The plans and the right method to evaluate the facts are included in the data interpretation process. A plan is prepared to define the procure that is used to collect the facts that are included in the assumption process. The researcher could choose a qualitative and the quantitative method that helps in data analysis process which uses the reasoning technique method. The selected method could be either inductive and/or deductive method.
The research approach is a comprised of plan and procedure with the certain steps which are based on assumptions. The use of approach provides the framework which needs to be used while conducting a research by using different tools and techniques. According to Palinkas et al. (2015), research approach allows the researcher to apply or use its own experience during the research study as the approach help in achieving the desired objectives in an effective manner. In regards to this, inductive approach and deductive approach are two different research approaches which are used by the researchers for accomplishing the research study. Bragge et al. (2015) explained that inductive approach is used for gaining detailed understanding in of conceptual knowledge whereas deductive approach is used for generalizing the research problem respectively. The deductive approach is selected by the researcher for this research study as this provides justification to both qualitative and quantitative data collections and also data analysis. This deductive approach has been found useful for exploring the facts related to challenges of health and safety programs as this provides a logic understanding behind the existing situation. In this, deductive approach help in using the quantitative research methodology in order to conduct a proper investigation related to health and safety program, system and standards used in the construction industry of India.
In the data collection method the reliable services that will be used for the fact collection would be use analyzed. The objective is to collect the information from various research sources which will include finding the answers to the questions included in there search work. The nature of the information collection and its relevance would be determined, as it helps in conducting the research work in an efficient manner.
Data collection methods are based on the type of the research carried out and the study variables that needs a proper resource availability analysis. This helps in getting an accurate information and uses it for the research work. The cost of the research process and the time needed for the collection of the information are properly examined. A statistical and data analysis process is sued for improving the quality of the data collection process. Primary and the secondary data collection process are used for the fact collection and it is used for the fact collection and its evaluation in the conduct of the data anguses. Open-minded questions would be put forth so that the right information is gained by the researches. The other options include conducting surveys, opinion pools and experimentation process. In the secondary data collection method, the facts are collected from the journals and books.
In this research study, both the data collection methods primary and secondary method are used. The availability of both the data provides the detailed knowledge of research subject. At same time, the collected data provided the base to analyze the research objectives in desired manner (Clearyet al., 2014). In addition to this, it is required to gather both kinds of data collection methods which help in determining the previous standards of the health and safety in the construction industry as well improvements in this area. In regards to this, under the primary data collection method researcher has used the survey through questionnaire methods in order to collect the data from the employees of the construction companies.
In this way, for primary data collection method, 50 employees have been selected to ask the prepared research questions so that they can provide reliable, useful and accurate data respectively. Thus, the questionnaires method is used to address the objectives as it provides an effective way to measure the preferences, opinion and altitude of construction workers in a fast and cost effective way. The questionnaire is designed is prepared with different research questions so that they can be useful to obtain reliable, relevant and accurate data respectively. The questionnaire consists of both closed and open ended questions that cover the research objectives that have been sent to the respondents via email. The close and open ended questions allowed the researcher to collect quantitative and qualitative data respectively.
Similarly, secondary data has been collected through magazines, articles, public reports and Journals etc. in order to find the previous trend of the health and safety standards in the constructions industry. The use of secondary data collection method helped in gathering information related to health and safety program done or used in the construction industry. However, both data collection method help in gathering qualitative and quantitative data that is reliable and effective for the justifying the study in best efficient manner.
The researcher preferred non-probability method of sampling in which random sampling method was chosen. This provided an equal chance of each member in the population to get selected and helped the study to avoid any kind of selection bias.
Initially, 80 questionnaires were distributed via online medium but only 50 questionnaires were received that were completely filled. Thus, to collect for primary data collection method, the sample size of 50 employees was taken into account and selected for the next step of data analysis to obtain the conclusive results from the targeted population i.e. workers of the construction companies in India towards challenges and possible solution in relation to the heath and safety aspects in the construction sites.
Research questions and its relevance to the researcher are properly analyzed It helps in identifying the conclusive issues and relating it with the outcomes associated with the fact collection method. The facts are collected and it is analyzed in a systematic manner. It helps in determining the right method that can be followed for the data analysis, and collect and use the information in a systematic manner. This is one of the critical factor that is included in the fact analysis process where the right interpretation method of the facts is used. It is used for getting the right information and relating to the outcomes that is required for getting the expected results. Data analyses are done in accordance to the research objectives that is determined by the management and in using the facts in an accurate manner.
Data analysis is the process of cleansing and scrutinizing the collected in order to find the research outcomes. At the same time, it supports in extracting the useful data from the collected details and empowers the researcher in decision making process. However, researcher has opted the content analysis in order to analyze the data accurately (Riff et al., 2014). For this study, content data analysis method is the best suitable research method as per the research topic. In this method, documented proofs and communication artifacts are used to examine the research problem in the systemic manner. Content data analysis has been used to analyze the open- ended questions responses by the study participants and has been advantageous for this research study as this help in verifying the previous of health and security programs and standards in the construction industry of India.
At the same time, content analysis of data also helps to analyze level of implemented health and safety policies and standards of the construction companies. Similarly, this method help in identifying the relevancy of those methods that are used during continuous change in the construction patterns. Apparently, it also helps in identifying the need of the improvement by determining the ways to improve the current applicable health and safety aspects. In concern to this, while applying this method the real facts are gathered by using the pictures, audios, videos and other means of communications. Thus, this content data analysis method helped in understanding and examining the previous and current standard or policy of health and safety by presenting the research gap in this particular area. At the same time, the MS excel spreadsheet software is also used for analyzing the responses for the close ended questions and for the distribution of the primary responses and for tabular and graphical representation of the collected data and responses for each of the question. Thus, two data analysis methods which were data management tool of MS Excel and content analysis method were used by the researcher for the quantitative and qualitative data responses thus, for the analysis of the questionnaire results.
Ethical values are considered by the researcher as it will help in collecting the right facts and details. The issues with the social science aspect and the method to use the information are concluded in this analysis part. An ethical values are used to determine the right method that will be followed to avoid any sport of errors that could impact the quality of the fact collection. Ethical values are clearly defined and it is necessary to follow the rules mentioned in the evaluation of the information that will be followed in the data analysis.
Researcher has followed the research ethics and moral direction standards at the satisfactory level. In relation to this, researcher has kept the data confidential collected from the employees of construction industry in order to maintain their trust and privacy. But in case, collected data get revealed then it can create the negative impact on the respondents and trust relationship also. On other hand, researcher has also adhered the implications of copyright and patents while gathering the secondary data from the public reports, articles, magazines in the research (Damianakis and Woodford, 2012). In addition to this, researcher has avoid the plagiarism while drafting the seeking the health and safety concepts and extracting the information form articles and magazines. Moreover, research ethics has been followed at every stage of this research. The fulfillment of research ethics supports the researcher in order to gain the research objectives effectively avoiding unethical issues. Apparently, it facilitates the researcher to gain the faith of the research audience. It can be said that the ethical issues has to be properly evaluated and resolved by the members as then the information could be properly and effectible collected and used by the researchers. In the ethical values, the participants view and the privacy assurance is considered. These helps in getting the right information and in retaining the ethical values and standards needed for the fact collection. The facts collected from the members or the participants will be solely used for the conduct of the research work.
For this particular research study, this timeline is created that presents that how many days the research will take to complete the assignment.
|Introduction (research background)|
|Research Aim & Objectives|
|Data Collection Method|
|Data Analysis|| |
In this section, the focus is to analysis the primary research data collected through the questionnaire survey form to explore the challenges faced by the Indian construction industry in the domain of health and safety aspects and to find out ways/ solutions to tackle the identified challenges and promote health and safety of construction workers. The questionnaire is designed to examine the view and opinion of the study participants (employees) for each of the research questions regarding health and safety in the construction industry in India. For this research, 80 questionnaires were distributed through online medium (social media site -LinkedIn and email) to the employees working in different construction companies in India. 50 full-filled questionnaires forms were obtained which were considered for the purpose of data analysis to gain insights and valid interpretation and to arrive at reliable outcome. In addition, the primary data findings were also studied to find any correlation with the secondary data literature findings. Content analysis was used to conduct data analysis for responses received for open ended questions while the data is distribution and visual representation is done with the use of Ms Excel spreadsheet software for closed ended questions.
|Gender||Response||Analysis – Percentage (%)|
The figure represents one of the demographic characteristics where the male participation is dominant (82 percent) thus, the responses results are considered from the male perspectives.
- Age Group
|Options||Response||Analysis – Percentage (%)|
|Less than 30||4||8|
|31 – 40||13||26|
|51 years and above||4||8|
The figure highlights that the questionnaire received are from majority of the respondents that fall in the age group of 41 – 50 years and followed by 31 – 40 years. Thus, questionnaire received responses highlights viewpoints from participants belonging to two age groups.
|Options||Response||Analysis – Percentage (%)|
|Below 5 years||5||10|
From the above figure, it can be analyzed that most of the respondents i.e. 40 percent have an 11 to 15 years of experience and 34 percent respondents with 5 to 10 years in the construction industry. This has raised the chances of well-though responses to the questions to obtain reliable outcome for each of the research question.
- Employee strength
|Options||Response||Analysis – Percentage (%)|
|Less than 100||32||64|
|100 – 250||18||36|
|More than 250||0||0|
From the above data and figure, it can be analyzed that the more than half of the respondents (64 percent) belong to companies with full-time permanent employee less than 100 in numbers. Thus, the responses were considered from the perspectives of small to medium construction companies in India.
- Appointment of a health and safety representative
|Options||Response||Analysis – Percentage (%)|
From the above data and figure, it is analyzed management in have not appointed a health and safety representative within or from outside the company as per 36 percent of the respondents. Besides, a high percentage of employees (42 percent) are not aware of such appointment towards health and safety aspect. Only a few employees have knowledge for health and safety representative appointment by management. This finding point to the fact that the construction workers are not aware in many of the construction companies that who is the key responsible person that represents their health and safety interests for related issues.
- Active involvement in the health and safety area
|Options||Response||Analysis – Percentage (%)|
|Health and safety committee||5||10|
|Senior construction managers||10||20|
From the above figure, it is revealed that HR managers followed by external consultant are actively involved in the managing, monitoring and implementing the health and safety codes, policies and duties in the construction company as per 32 percent and 22 percent respondents respectively. However, it is also analyzed that senior construction managers are moderately involved in this area which can be seen as an issue in the Indian construction sector. It can be analyzed form the above facts that construction managers has less focus on the worker safety which also draw insufficiency towards their role in regards to regular inspection of site conditions, hazards identification, regular risk assessment and to establish procedures and policies towards health and safety of workers.
- Formal policy for employee safety to clarify different aspects
|Options||Response||Analysis – Percentage (%)|
|Yes, to some extent||19||38|
It can be analyzed that according to 40 percent respondents the company do not have sound formal policy for the employee safety and health that clarify standards, rights, duties, and responsibilities. There are 22 percent respondents who are not aware of such policy while only 38 percent respondents have a sound policy to some extent. This is another challenge for the Indian construction industry. Thus, it is analysed from the given information that no formal policy indicate low commitment of management as well as no accountability of specific organisational members towards the health and safety aspects.
- Factors impacting the health and safety concerns in construction industry
From the coding of respondents answers, it was analyzed and found that the working condition, state of disagreement among the managers and workers and launch of safety training factors were considered by most of the respondents. It was analyzed from the responses that there are poor conditions at work site in relation to fire-aid kit, alarms system for fire, fire extinguishers, broken equipments and less number of personal protective wears like helmets, ear plugs, safety glasses for eye, safety accessories and less safety signs and warning signs together with poor layout of material at the construction sites. The majority of respondents considered the level of training for handling of safety equipment under the safety training factor. This was followed by another factor i.e. knowledge level of stakeholders that points to provide sufficient education and knowledge to the construction site supervisors, workers and even to contractors.
- Major challenges for health and safety in construction companies
|Challenges||preference||Response||Analysis – Percentage (%)|
|Personal protective equipment (PPE) (availability or use)||Yes||21||42|
|Safety procedures/protocols (less understanding or non-compliance)||Yes||42||84|
|Absence of warning system||Yes||26||52|
|Carelessness of worker||Yes||19||38|
From the above table, it is analyzed that less understanding as well as non-compliance towards the safety procedures and protocols is considered to be the major challenging area for health and safety in the construction companies. This is followed by lack of a proper warning system in the construction sites.
In addition to this, the answers towards the reason for safety procedures/protocols (less understanding or non-compliance) as a major challenge were coded and analyzed to found that the non-compliance of financial (construction cost) pressure and time burden of project leads to non-compliance of health and safety standards and also the health and safety is being forfeited in the attempt of improving the organization productivity as per majority of respondents. Also, the lack of education to workers and supervisors as well as improper or irregular training was found to be affecting the safety performance due to poor understanding of the safety protocol and procedure by quite a lot of respondents. In the context of absence of warning system, it was found that the health screening is performed on rare basis as per majority of respondents. Also, few respondents points that there is no notice for machinery operators and for jobs like scaffolding which make it a challenging area for health and safety as they serve as an early word of warning.
- Other major challenges in health and safety
It was coded that the other major challenges are related to distorted perception of risk by management and employees, lack of communication and lack of top management commitment according to majority of the respondents. It can be analyzed that there is poor perception towards risk as most of the respondents consider their company high reliance on the personal protective equipment as their sole control measure towards the health and safety in the construction sites. At the same time, it was also analyzed that few respondents consider that the continuous increase in the construction costs is posing a major challenge in the health and safety in the Indian construction companies as it has lowered the profitability so investing in this area is a secondary concern.
- Communication as a major issue towards the Health and Safety in construction industry
|Options||Response||Analysis – Percentage (%)|
From the above responses, it can be analyses that there is a positive agreement for the communication to be considered as a major issue that is faced by the Indian construction industry towards the Health and Safety aspects. It is found that 44 percent respondents agree to this question statement whereas 26 percent respondents have strong agreement towards this statement. At the same time, only 12 percent respondents remained neutral towards it and there was 18 percent disagreement received in relation to this.
- Hindrances in implementing of health and safety programs
From the coding of different answers, the two major topics pointed which were organization culture of the construction companies and the size of the construction project as the obstacles in implementation of health and safety programs at a construction sites in India. It was found that organizational culture is driven by profit construction companies because of which the health and safety option have taken a back seat. It was analyzed that bigger the size of the construction project the more difficult it is for managers to implement health and safety program.
- Health and Safety is a high (primary) priority area in the construction sites
|Options||Response||Analysis – Percentage (%)|
|Yes, to some level||11||22|
In the context of giving priority to Health and Safety in the construction sites in India, it was analyzed that more than half of the employees (54 percent) think or observed that there is no high or primary priority is being given to this area in the construction sites. Only a less percentage of respondents (16 percent) consider that their company gives primary priority to this area while 22 percent are of view that it is given to some extent but not completely. Thus, this points that this area may be considered as a secondary concern and a need for the construction companies in India to make it a priority area.
- Impact of excessive noise, poor lightening and poor material/ equipment arrangement the health and safety practices in construction site
The respondents’ answers were coded to identity impact of different site circumstances on the health and safety practices which were analyzed to be on worker health and worker productivity. It was reveled that these have negative health impacts as it contribute in construction site accidents and injuries in India and also impact on worker productivity due to absence at work (absenteeism) and sickness. The high noise level makes it difficult for contractors and workers to hear warning signals. Also, poor lightering was revealed to impact health of workers for causing eyestrain, headaches and migraines while non- orderly material/ equipment arrangement was found to contribute in trips, slips and falls.
- Training and education as an effective solution
|Options||Response||Analysis – Percentage (%)|
From the above facts and figure, it is indicated that 78 percent (46+32) respondents show an agreement towards the role of training and education as an effective solution for the implementation of health and safety program in construction companies in India. However, only 22 percent respondents do not agree with the question statement. At the same time, there was no respondent that strongly disagree and remained neutral towards this statement. Thus, the finding reveals that majority of the construction companies’ employees in India give importance to the training and education solution.
- Most suitable strategy to tackle the non-compliance or negligence of health and safety regulation
|Strategies||Response||Analysis – Percentage (%)|
|Strict managerial action on non-compliance / violation of work/ company policies||10||20|
|Establish a Health and safety committee||8||16|
|Regular site inspections||9||18|
|Communication of Health and Safety procedures||12||24|
|Improvements in site conditions||11||22|
The above primary data highlight the responses received for the most suitable strategy to tackle the non-compliance or negligence of health and safety regulation in the Indian construction environment. The above figure shows that high number of respondents (24 percent) considers communication of health and safety procedures into the culture of the construction companies followed by improvements in site conditions (22 percent).
- Other solutions or policy changes towards development of health and safety culture
From the coding of different answers, it was found that induction and workshop to new employees which emphasize on the health and safety domain, development of a robust risk assessment written policy and an adequate development and implementation of health and safety reporting process and system towards construction site injuries and work related diseases, fatalities, disasters were coded in majority of answer. Other than this, engineering controls and administrative controls were considered by respondents to lower exposure to hazardous site conditions to promote a safety culture environment. However, a few answers revealed that monthly health surveillance and increasing accountability at all organizational levels would be effective measures to develop a positive culture that supports health and safety as an important area.
The data analysis results provided valuable insights on the different challenges faced by the construction companies in India and on what possible solution and policy changes can be employed towards the health and safety domain. It can be discussed that there is no or less information among the construction employees about the appointed of either an internal or external health and safety representative and in many firms there is no such on-site representative appointment from management. The non-appointment of internal or external representative creates challenge for the construction companies in India to conduct regular monitoring of health and safety conditions and provide training and communication of measures and accidents occurrences and also create a challenge by increasing possibility of risk/ potential hazard exposure from lack of safety in the construction sites.
It can be discussed from the findings that there is an active involvement of HR managers and external consultants as compared to construction managers and health and safety committee members to monitor, manage and implement the codes, duties and polices for health and safety area. Thus, this is a challenge for the Indian construction industry to engage and raise the involvement of construction managers and health and safety committee members towards on-site health and safety of workers. It can be argued that the role of construction manager and relevant organizational members is not proactively involved in the maintaining the environment of health and safety at the construction sites. The role of construction manager or site in-charge needs to have high consideration towards the work or job related safety and health concerns but this scenario does not appear to be consistent in all the construction sites in India as there is some level of ignorance of managers towards the work-related health and safety of construction workers.
Also, there is lack of formal policy and non-awareness towards such policy in many construction companies for making clear the safety and standards and workers rights, duties, and responsibilities under their occupation which present a major challenge in the policy area. It can be argued that in the absence of such policy in construction companies in India there is no strong commitment by the management towards employees’ health and safety at work. In essence, no formal policy in workplace also does not clarify clearly for who is responsible for health and safety regulations monitoring, implementation and enforcement and holds accountability for workplace incidents like injury or accidents and specific action to deal in such cases.
In the context of factors impacting the health and safety concerns, it can be conferred that establishing safety training particularly handling of safety equipment, work conditions and conflict among the managers and workers are factor that impact the health and safety performance in the construction sites in India. The safety training impacts on the work-related injuries and the level of information towards potential risk and hazards and how to self-protect. The work condition poses a major impact on these concerns as they impact on the worker health, productivity and performance. It can be said that conflict among workers and managers leads to poor managerial control and increases the non-compliance of health and safety codes. Here, the study of Palojoki et al. (2017) can be referred that considers the conflict between management and workers as one of the factors which affects the standards of health and safety in the construction industry. For this finding, the study of Seo et al. (2015) can also be related which highlight that employee training for health and safety procedure have a positive effect on the worker performance and efficiency and it also ensure that workplace safety at the construction sites.
It can be also conferred from findings that non-compliance and less understanding of safety protocols and procedures by workers and absence of warning system in construction sites are the key challenging areas for health and safety aspects in the Indian construction industry. The pressure of completing the project and time delay causing the increase in the construction costs have been linked to the disobedience of site safety protocols and procedures. This finding towards the increase in construction cost can be supported by the study of Aidoo (2018) that analyzed that change in taxation policy and Goods and Services Tax implementation has raised the raised the cost of construction material which has diverted their focus on economic aspects from allocating resources for workers health and safety aspects. Also, poor training standards can be said to be responsible for the insufficient perspective towards worker health and safety in construction site which can be a reason for non-conformity. It can be argued that the training and health and safety awareness needs are not being fulfilled by managers or being properly supervised which is not bounding the workers to comply with the safety/ health regulation at construction site. It can be argued from these findings that lack of warning system towards high risk jobs and for machine and equipment operators is also a demanding area to avoid work related injuries and health hazards as this highlight carelessness in labour health and safety regulations in the construction companies in India. Moreover, the distorted perception of risk by managers and employees and communication gap and top management commitment are other challenges. It can be argued that there is lack of leadership to keep the worker safe in construction industry due to which there are less resource being dedicated towards occupational health and safety, no policy enforcement and communication and less visible actions are taken to resolve conflict.
Considered the health and safety communication as a major issue, it can be argued that there is lack of communication among the construction project stakeholders. It can be also argued that the communication problem is likely to hamper the development of safety culture in construction companies. There affect the safety related communication of guidelines and receiving feedback so that corrective risk strategy and safety behavior can be developed and promoted across the construction companies to make the construction site safe.
From the findings, it can be discussed that organization culture and size of the construction project pose barrier in the implementation of health and safety programs. It can be argued that culture is driven by profits which sidelines the workers health and safety aspects to a great extent while the size of the project increase the cost of compliance and safety training which act as barriers and this require expertise availability to implement on a different level to increase the scope of health and safety policies and practices which also pose a hurdle. It can also be argued from the primary findings that construction companies are not giving the required primary concern to health and safety domain and have made it a secondary priority area in construction sites. On the other hand, this finding is not in agreement with the findings of Dagdeviren (2016) that describes that health and safety in the construction industry is a key concern area as there is constant upholding, development and promotion of the safe working environment, safety programs and policies for the wellbeing of employees in the place of work. It can be further discussed that the impact of poor site condition from extreme noise, poor lightering and disorderly arrangement is on worker heath and their productivity. This is in consensus with the study of Pillay (2017) that found that unsafe working conditions in the construction sites which can be due to improper physical layout or the location of the work go against the safety working standards for the site workers. Similarly, this finding can be linked to be the study of Shamsuddin et al. (2015) which also consider poor and unsafe conditions on a construction site such as insufficient personal protective equipment leads to poor safety standards and also highlight the manager ignorance towards the unsafe conditions that put the workers at the risk of injury and accidents and health hazards.
In the solution context, it can be discussed that training and education of construction stakeholders is required for the implementation of health and safety program. Also, the study of Niu et al. (2019) is in consensus with this finding as this study also considers that education and training to workers along with use of best safety equipment are important aspects to drive the better performance towards the health and safety program implementation. Also, the communication of health and safety procedures, polices, regulations, codes and standards and improvements in site conditions are required to deal with non-compliance or negligence of health and safety regulation. It can also be discussed that there are many solutions and change in existing policy that can be measured from health and safety induction to risk assessment and reporting process for non-compliance and accidents/ injuries to develop and promote health and safety culture in construction companies in India. The policy changes needs to be made that highlight the commitment of management in managing the employee health and safety in an effective and efficient manner, responsibility and accountability of the organizational members of workers and also draw attention to the goals that the construction company wants to achieve.
Survey questionnaire form
(Challenges and Solutions on the topic of Health and Safety in the Indian Construction industry)
- To which age group you fit in?
Less than 30 years
31 – 40 years
41– 50 years
51 years and above
- How many years of experience you have in the construction industry?
Below 5 years
5 – 10 years
Above 15 years
- What is the employee strength in your construction company in India? (For only: full-time permanent employee)
Less than 100
100 – 250
More than 250
- Does the management have appointed a health and safety representative either from within or from outside the company?
- Who are actively involved in the managing, monitoring and implementing the health and safety codes, policies and duties in your company?
Health and safety committee
Senior construction managers
Other members (please specifiy) ………………….
7.Does your company have a sound formal policy for employee safety and health that clarify standards, rights, duties, and responsibilities?
Yes, to some extent
- What factors do you consider to impact the health and safety concern in your company?
- In your view, which of the following area or areas form a major challenge for health and safety in your construction company and why?
Personal protective equipment (PPE) (availability or use) – yes/ no
Safety procedures/protocols (less understanding or non-compliance) – yes/ no
Absence of warning system- yes/ no
Carelessness of worker – yes/ no
- What have been the other major challenges in health and safety in your company?
- Do you agree that communication is a major issues faced by the Indian construction industry towards the Health and Safety?
- What are the hindrances in implementing health and safety programs at a construction site in India?
- Do you think/ observe or feel that Health and Safety is a high (primary) priority area in the construction sites?
Yes, to some level
- What is your view on the impact of excessive noise, poor lightening and poor material/ equipment arrangement in construction site on the health and safety practices?
- Do you agree that training and education is an effective solution for health and safety program implementation?
- In your opinion, what can be the most suitable strategy to tackle the non-compliance or negligence of health and safety regulation in the Indian construction environment?
- Strict managerial action on non-compliance / violation of work/ company policies
- Establish a Health and safety committee
- Regular site inspections
- Communication of Health and Safety procedures
- Improvements in site conditions
- What can be the other solutions or policy changes towards development of health and safety culture in the construction industry in India?
This final section concludes the key points of the overall investigation to reveals the findings of the study. This section also provides recommendations to deal with the challenges faced in the construction industry in India. The researcher have investigated on the area of worker health and safety and focused on the identification and analysis of the health and safety challenges faced by the workers in the construction sites and the possible solutions to tackle these challenges towards the health and safety regulations and practices to improve the condition of workers in the construction environment. This also identifies to what extent the study has been able to meet and successfully accomplish the set aim and objectives.
It can be concluded that there are several different challenges faced by the construction companies in India. The existing working condition, conflicting situation among the site workers and the managers, inconsistent/ improper general safety training and training for equipment handling, pressure of completing project, large size of project and lack of communication among the project stakeholders and organization culture are the factors that were identified to be affecting towards the issue of health and safety negligence and non-compliance in the construction companies in India. It can be concluded that there is lack of awareness and less relevance given to the known risk and work site hazards towards the conditions of workers health and safety and even if there is knowledge of these it is not being applied such as towards use of personal protective equipments, following safety protocols and procedures and inclusion of safety provisions in sites. It can be also concluded that in the existing scenario the health and safety provisions of site workers are ignored by the workplace authorities due to whom the construction workers are susceptible to several health and safety hazards.
The findings revealed that lack of awareness as well as no appointment of health and safety representative for construction workers, inactive involvement of construction managers and health and safety committee members in health and safety regulations, lack of formal policy and non-awareness towards safety standards and workers rights, duties, and responsibilities forms the challenges. It also revealed that poor work conditions (absence/ inadequate of warning system, noise, poor lightening, poor material arrangement), conflict among manager and workers, poor training standards and less understanding of safety protocols and procedures are also the key challenging areas towards the area of worker health and safety aspects in the Indian construction industry. The finding also reveals that training and education of construction workers involving health and safety induction considered by an effective solution to improve the health and safety standard in the construction companies in India. It is also found that the improvement in the site conditions and the improvement in communication aspects among the stakeholders towards health and safety standards, procedures, polices, regulations are some of the appropriate solutions to deal with the identified challenges. This also requires changes in company/ workplace policy for reporting, monitoring and implementation of health and safety program at the construction sites and for the promotion of health and safety culture in the Indian construction industry.
Thus, it can be concluded that the area of health and safety is demanding in the construction industry as there are several risks that needs to identify and control which is further challenging as there is lack of implementation and enforcement of health and safety standards and codes and also non-compliance towards the health and safety protocols, procedure, a flawed monitoring and reporting system in many construction companies in India. It can be also concluded that the construction worker are exposed to health and safety hazards due to their poor know-how and training and also owing to the less priority being given to the health and safety standards and regulation by the companies itself. The findings point to conclude that health and safety training measures are required and several other initiatives are required to be taken by the relevant authorities towards enforcement of health and safety regulation and practices in the construction sites. This existing study has successfully wrapped up a number of challenges that are faced in the Indian construction sites and also the possible solution to deal with the challenges to promote heath and safety of workers in this industry.
Taking account of the finding, discussion and conclusion, it is recommended to the construction companies in India to invest in education and training and a proper induction to the new workers on the health and safety aspects, regulations and impact of non-compliance and negligence. To do this, the companies need to separately allocate resources like finance, technical, physical and human to ensure a consistent training and education program is implemented for general health and safety awareness, health and safety legislation, equipment handling, safety training safe work process, accident or injury report, non-compliance reporting, and development of skill set for different construction jobs. It is also recommended to make the workers aware of the health and safety representative so that workers can consult for safety protocols, their rights and duties and to ensure that a monitoring system is place in the construction companies. Another recommendation for the construction companies in India is towards the improvement of the site conditions. For site conditions improvements, the companies first need to assess the work site for noise level, workplace as well as job hazards and availability of personal protective equipments for use. The site conditions improvement involves from putting an appropriate warning system like signs and fire protection alarms and emergency alarms and proper lightening system, material placements and also ensuring adequate provision of ear plugs for noise at sites and sufficient personal protective equipments.
The focus of this existing study was narrowed as only the construction industry was chosen as the health and safety hazards are high for workers in this industry. On the other hand, due to the growing awareness and importance being attached to the worker health and safety regulation in India the study can be expanded to other industrial sectors. Indian companies are considering its consequences on worker productivity, employee motivation, economic loss and burden due to workers injury and absenteeism and on overall organizational productivity. Thus, it is recommended that other industry such as chemical and/ or pharmaceutical industry can be explored in India towards the challenges and solutions in the area of health and safety. The chemical and pharmaceutical industry is also risky as the construction industry considering the worker hazards for health and safety in workplace and susceptibility of workers towards injury and accidents. The future research in these recommended industries can be valuable in finding the level of health and standards enforcement and health and safety standards and practices and comparing the challenges indentified with the existing study. These studies can be also used for the identification of the gaps and also to generalize the findings of the study. These findings will serve as a reference for the manager to understand the challenges faced in the place of work and on how the improvement can brought by them to improve the compliance towards the health and safety regulation, standards, policies and practices for improvement of worker conditions and safety in these risky job occupation.
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