Impact Of Quality Management And Safety Culture On Construction Performance

Project and Seminar Material for Building Technology BT

Impact Of Quality Management And Safety Culture On Construction Performance


Abstract


Construction safety culture have attracted some research attention over the years, but the way in which safety practices affect the productivity and functioning of workers requires some attention in construction projects. The purpose of this study is to determine the degree of compliance with the use of protective clothing and other safety control systems to improve the safety performance and productivity of workers in construction projects. Participants with many years of experience in site management in the state of Lagos, Nigeria, received a total of 128 (128) copies of the questionnaire. The data obtained based on the snowball and the random sampling methods were analyzed with the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), version 21, using the average scores, the index of relative importance (RII). The importance of each of the associated variables, which affects the safety practices of construction workers in construction projects, was determined by the Mann-Whitney U test, an independent sampling test. The descriptive result of the statistical analyzes showed that there is a great demand for security practices.

The results of the study show that workers are dissatisfied with the effective use of protective clothing and its application to local operators, since it is difficult to adapt to traditional practices (RII = .776).unethical practice of workers due to human attitudinal peculiarities (RII=0.766), inadequate engagement of safety managers on sites (RII=0.764), inadequate engagement of safety managers and ineffective supervision on site (RII=0.762) as well as poor communication between site managers and site operatives (RII=0.750) as factors preventing effective use of safety wears among the categories of respondents sampled. inclusion of safety matters from the planning stage, setting safety guidelines into conditions of contract, reward workers that exhibit excellent safety performance, conduct in-house safety training were found to be statistically significant with medium effect. The study recommend minimum of one safety managers on every construction sites.


Table Of Content


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page i
  • Certification page ii
  • Dedication iii
  • Acknowledgement iv
  • Abstract v
  • Table of content

Chapter One

Introduction

  • 1.1 background to the study
  • 1.2 Statement Of The Problem
  • 1.3 Research Questions
  • 1.4 Aim And Objectives
    • Hypothesis of the study
  • 1.5 Significance Of The Study
  • 1.6 Scope And Limitations
  • 1.7 Definition of Terms

Chapter Two

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Historical Background about the Operation of the Nigerian Construction Company
  • 2.3 Current State of Construction Safety Practices and Performance
  • 2.4 Construction Operatives’ in Nigeria
  • 2.5 Gaps between worker competence and productivity
  • 2.6 Workers productivity
  • 2.7 The perception of safety practices and workers productivity.
  • 2.8 Causes of Accident on Construction Sites

Chapter Three

Research Methods

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research Design
  • 3.3 Study Population
  • 3.4 Sample Frame
  • 3.5 Sampling Techniques
  • 3.6 Sample Size
  • 3.7 Data Collection Instruments
  • 3.8 Methods of Data Analysis

Chapter Four

Analyses, Presentation And Interpretation Of Results

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.3 Data Presentation
  • Test of Hypothesis

Chapter Five

Summary Of Findings, Conclusion And Recommendation

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Discussion of Findings and Justification of Research Objectives
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

An overview of construction quality and safety reveals many striking similarities for these two management concept. In some cases safety is considered a part of total quality management (TQM). In the international construction scene, the inclusion of both the traditional qualities and safety efforts within a TQM system is advocated by Dias and Curado (1996). They suggest that the TQM emphasis on the customer will lead to protection of the employee who is a vital customer. They write that safety record keeping would be improved and a needed safety culture comparable to the existing quality culture would result.

Quality management has increasingly been adopted by construction companies as an initiative to solve quality problems and to meet the need of final costumer ( kanji and wong, 1998). As suggested by (Oakland and Aldridge, 1995) if ever an industry needed to take up the concept of total quality management (TQM),it is the construction industry. Alfred (1988) advances the view that construction very probably promises a greater pay back for performance improvement than any other service industry because of its magnitude.

Over the years, a lot of attention has focused on the causes of occupational incident (Haslam 2005). When accident occur in the work place, it is important to understand what human factors may have contributed to the out come in order to avoid similar incidents in the future. Through developing and understanding of why and how incident occur, appropriate method for incident prevention can be developed (Williamson and Feyer 2002). In the past, any attempt to improve work safety or to control work place risk has focused on technical aspects and on the direct influence of human behaviour (Gadd and Collins 2002). Several papers have sought to identify specific safety management practice that acts as a predictor of safety performance (Mearns 2003). Through examining organization with good safety performance, it was intended to identify common features that are associated with good safety performance.

This Research work will present a review of the literature on quality management and then on safety culture in construction industry. It will also use data from the studies on quality and safety in construction industry to further illustrate the problem of defining quality.


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

It is commonly known that accident have serious implication to the construction industry both in financial and humanitarian terms. Construction accidents may cause many problems such as:

  1. Demotivation of workers
  2. Disruption of site activities
  3. Delay of project progress and adversely affecting the overall cost, productivity and reputation of the construction industry (Mohammed, 1999).

The primary problem to management system implementation success seems to be the nature of the construction process; the projects are very large; seldom situated in the same location and labour intensive; the work force tends to be transient; demand fluctuates, subject to the client is perception of the value of the construction project (Somerville, 1994). All of these are barriers or problems that have made implementation of management system to be almost impossible.

Another problem to quality implementation is non- standardization. In the construction phase of a project, general contractors want to ensure quality through out the project. However, according to (Rowlinson and walker 1995), the construction industry is characterized by its non standardization. Very often, products are one- offs and the production processes are to some extent different from each other. Hence, no universal standard or specification can be applied to the product, which leads to difficulties in quality assurance. Changes to the design of a project are typical and may be frequent throughout the construction process. Quality is often at risk when there are excessive changes.


1.3 Research Questions

The following questions are raised in the research.

  1. What are the similarities between construction quality and safety?
  2. What crucial factors are measured in improving quality
    and safety performance?
  3. What are the benefits of quality and safety implementation?
  4. What are the possible methods used in implementing them?

1.4 Aim And Objectives

This paper is aimed at examining the relationship between quality and safety and to explore how quality and safety can be operationalized in the construction industry.

The following are the objectives to aid the achievement of the aim:

  1. To investigate the impact of the working environment on safety and quality.
  2. To investigate how the compliance to standards and specification in design affect safety and quality.
  3. To evaluate the decision making pattern of contractors in ensuring quality during the design and planning stages.
Hypothesis Of The Study

H0:-There is no significant difference between professional and site workers perceptions on factors preventing effective use of safety wears on construction sites.

H1:-There is significant difference between professional and site workers perceptions on factors preventing effective use of safety wears on construction sites.


1.5 Significance Of The Study

Constructors, client and others in the design and construction team do see obvious benefits of quality and safety improvement. Chase (1998) concluded,

“In the construction industry, application of TQM to the job site has been proven to speed – up project while increasing profitability”. Torbica and Stroh (1999) also concluded that, “for the first time an empirical study has confirmed that implementation of TQM is positively associated with home buyer satisfaction”.

According to (McINtyre and kirschen man, 2000), Contractors do see benefits of quality improvement. More repeat customers and reduced rework.


1.6 Scope And Limitations

This research is restricted or limited to planning and implementing quality management and safety culture in achieving desired performance in the construction industry.

The area location of this study will be limited to selected site at Asaba, Delta State metropolis. Some of the limitations to this research study are: lack of adequate finance, time restraint etc.


1.7 Definition Of Terms

Occupational Safety and Health (OSH):

Is defined according to Alli (2008) as the study of the expectation, acknowledgment, assessment and control of hazards emerging in or from the work environment that could impede safety of operatives.

Safety policy:

Is a strategy and commitment together with the arrangements on ground to create adequate safety education among workers on hazards related to their work and the role an individual/person needs to play at work settings in ensuring healthy working conditions. The goal and essence of establishing safety practices’ code and regulations on construction sites is to prevent, eliminate, curb, limit and total eradication if possible, the occurrence of accidents and injuries during and after the construction processes and as well train site operatives on safety programmes that will put all these in place.

Health:

Health, as defined by Longman’s Dictionary of Contemporary English, is a point of well-being both in body and mind and free from unknown injury. It is also defined according to Hughes and Ferret, (2005) as the assurance of the body and psyche of individuals from anticipated injury coming about because of materials, procedures or strategies utilized as a part of the working environment.

Safety:

According Gray (1990) safety is key to achieving success in construction project, is a state of being free from harm. In other word Safety is a state of being secured from accidents, hazard, injury or death due to measures put in place to prevent such from happening.

Accident:

Accident is therefore an impromptu occasion that resort into injury of individual or damages to property, plant, materials or environment or loss of business opportunities (Hughes and Ferrett, 2011).

Productivity:

Jarkas and Bitar (2012) define productivity as the ratio of using total input such as labour, materials, equipment, energy and capital to produce total output based on two measures.

Site operatives:

Site operatives in this research work are refers both skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers engaged in the physical construction of a building.


Chapter Five


Summary Of Findings, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarised findings of the study with a view to give closing remarks of the research, recommendations and also identified area for further research.


5.2 Discussion of Findings and Justification of Research Objectives

5.2.1 Objective one examined current state of safety practices on building construction projects

The result presented on Table 4.3 compared the mean scores of the professional and site operatives’ perception on how health and safety are currently practiced on construction sites with the overall mean score ranking. Out of eighteen listed parameters, five most frequently embraced among the site practice parameters listed on project sites were provision of temporary fence at the boundary of the site and provision, provision of accidents prevention strategy and safety consciousness on site, development and frequent review of safety policy for building projects, daily safety briefing, provision of first aid box, safety gadgets site accommodation and welfare facilities. All of these are within the capacity of the construction company, any attempt to improve and subscribe to this practices the longer way it will go in solving the challenges confronted by the industry. This consistence with George, Geoffrey and Matthew (2013) finding that stressed the need for construction company to provide adequate awareness particularly on each project, that will covers an outline of the project, a top to bottom survey of the safety are necessitated and desired, clear arrangements and systems, disciplinary activities, substance manhandle testing policy and proactive management methods needed for the project.

In contradiction to recommendation of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDRM, 2005:2015) engaging resident safety manager on construction sites was lowly ranked, it was not surprising but only justified the outcome of low percentage of respondents who are safety managers, effort must be focused on engaging safety managers on each construction projects, because they are trained to implement construction safety and ensure workers compliance with safety practices on site. This supported Bust, Finneran, Hartley and Gibb (2014) finding that professionals’ interests must be enhanced towards management of safety and use of safety education programs must be put in place for projects executions within construction participants as one of the real needs to upgrade construction project safety, but against the recommendation of McDonald (2003) that all site should have safety manager, they must demonstrate strong will to ensure both behaviour and compliance of employees with safety requirements are positively influenced by his/her role.

Furthermore, setting safety guidelines into conditions of contract was found to be averagely practiced in the construction industry this was contrary to provision of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDRM, 2005:2015); Famakin and Fawehinmi (2012) and Umeokafor et al., (2014) recommendation that client should use health and safety records as a required document for prequalifying contractors. In order to prevent equipment failure from overuse and overload examination of scaffold, equipment and tools before the start of work by safety manager was in agreement with (Asfahl, 1999) finding.

5.2.2 Objective two Examined on Factors Preventing site Operatives from using Safety wears on Construction sites

Result presented in Table 4.4 on the factor affecting site operatives from using safety wears. Five top ranked using Relative Important Index from thirteen listed factors are: adaptability of workers to safety practices as it was against the traditional practices and training, unethical practices of worker due to human attitudinal peculiarities and traditional practices, insufficient instructions about the working condition, inadequate and ineffective supervision by safety personnel on site, unsafe practices of worker due to religious assertions. All of these factors are within the control of the safety or site manager and if averted it will go a long way in addressing the issues of safety practices.
It is therefore not surprising that workers have problem adapting to safety practices especially the use of safety wears, firstly it was not part of their training during apprenticeship, and subjecting them to use this gadgets mighty requires time, training and close monitoring techniques, this was in agreement with OsonwaEko and Ozah (2015) finding as training on the use of safety wears would create awareness on the implications of hazards on workers’ health.

However, there is still a gap on effective supervision by safety personnel on site and knowledge on hazards management, proper training on the effective use of safety wears by site/safety managers as they were perceived factors preventing safety practices as suggested. This was contrary to Abdelhamid and Everett (2000) recommendation as contained that safety department of each contracting company should ensure continuous monitoring of safety wears and to also frame comprehensive purchase policy.

This call for more importance to be attached to supervision and controlling of workers on the use of safety wears, while workers must have adequate knowledge on associated risk to their tasks. This stressed the need to agree with Ismail, Doostdar and Harun (2011) finding that site managers need to conduct enlightenment programs among their workers to get them familiar with the necessities safety consciousness on site.

It is also important to stress the fact that site operatives lacked proper training on the effective use of safety wears on sites as this has resort into ineffective communication between safety personnel and workers. Olele (2014) recommended that regular workers training on skills would enable safety managers and workers in identifying hazards and addressing safety related issues. This simply means, for Construction Company to avert this current challenges, good safety policies, workable hazard management and construction programme must be properly communicated to the operatives that will use them. Consequently, willingness of the workers to meet their daily was disregarded as it was least ranked this mean the factor slightly affected operatives from using safety wears, as against Aniekwu (2007); Koehn, Kothari and Pan cited in Awwad, et al., (2016); Guldenmund, Cleal, Mearns (2013) and Umeokafor et al., (2014) opinion, that unemployment have made workers to disregard compliance with OSH in accepting risky jobs.


5.2 Conclusion

In conclusion, the outcome of the study showed the need for constant re-evaluation of safety practices of the construction companies in the study area because of its vital contributions to economy development. It is evident that this study outcomes explored advantage of proactive approach in managing safety practices by examining effects of using safety wears on workers operation thereby curtailed possibility of accidents on counteractive action against future mishaps. Assumption must not be made when recruiting workers especially for companies that have workable control systems and safety policy. It is of utmost importance to ensure that every new workers employed on project sites are given necessary awareness talk regarding safety practices and use of safety wears.

More proactive measure must be put in place right from the planning stage by the clients and their representative to avert possible risk associated with their project this is a stage where all contract documents such as priced bills of quantities by registered Quantity surveyor, Contract drawings by Architect, Builders’ document by licensed builder, condition of contract etc. are prepared. Therefore adopting sustainable strategies that will eliminate possibility of accident and the builders or contractors stating the degree of confidence at which the work could be executed will go a long way in addressing the issue of safety practices.

However, based on personal observation on sites, safety implantation and compliance has been so much neglected and suffered great set-back due to the willingness of the workers to meet their daily output and the goal of site manager in ensuring workers’ wages justified their output, secondly, level of hunger also contributed to workers willingly undertaken risky jobs as means of survival or maximize their wages on construction site

The findings of this study has pointed out the need for the construction industry to review their safety policies and make systematic approach to accommodates some of the critical points raised regarding the issue of safety practices challenging Nigerian construction companies. This depicted that the variables influenced each other greatly and cannot work in isolation. It equally underscored the importance of their collective interplay in improving safety performance of construction workers.

Furthermore, high demand for improvement of safety practices and use of prescribed safety wears on construction site, safety training must be taking serious most especially the site operatives that are more vulnerable to accidents, this will help them to know the safety demands of each construction projects. Safety inspections should be conducted on sites and any identified hazards should be taken care of as soon as detected

Therefore workers must be trained on safety awareness, risk identification, hazard management, use of safety wear, use of first aid and proper use of varieties of safety equipment, such as fall arrest systems because no matter how good safety policy of construction companies is without passing knowledge or safety awareness to the workers the policy may failed and accident will persist. The study established positive relationship which suggest that training of workers on safety knowledge and use of safety wears were related.


5.3 Recommendation

The following recommendations were made on improvement strategy on safety practices among the construction workers as a rationales for this study and to serves as additions to existing knowledge, availability of literature and reference documents on the subject of health and safety practices in Nigeria and world at large.

  1. Clients are advised to use past record on health and safety performance to prequalified contractors.
  2. Construction managers should engage the use of safety audio, video and visual displaying gadgets on site to demonstrate safety consciousness among workers. Workers who are majorly vulnerable to accident on site can be controlled with this approach on sites, this might include appointing a personnel that will keep reminding workers about their safety.
  3. Construction managers should be embraced strategic approach on site such as: creating safety awareness, safety briefing, include safety matters right from the planning phase, set safety guidelines into conditions of contract, reward workers that exhibit excellent safety performances.
  4. Training and appointment of resident safety personnel/manager that will implement safety policy and form a monitoring control system that will keep reminding workers that they are absolutely responsible for their safety on site using public address system throughout the working hours.
  5. Also in-house safety training, provision of safety booklets in various languages and ensure effective waste management on site can reduced accident to barest minimum on site.
  6. The industry can also form partnership with the government and Professional bodies’ regulatory team for site inspection at a regular interval on construction stage this will collaborates the effort of contractors’ safety manager to ensure safety practices are compiled with and documentation of any case of accident, towards building a safe working environment in enhancing successful project delivery.
  7. Construction manager should adopt require site base training for the operatives especially on the use of safety wears while safety managers should regularly attends safety training course.
  8. The study also seek for improvement on the involvement of safety managers’ and suggest at least one safety managers each on every project site.
  9. It is on this note the study call for an improved channels of communication between site managers and workers, to ensure that the objectives and safety needs for each of the projects are well communicated to site operatives
  10. However, in improving safety practices among the workers, non-financial rewards and award could be instituted to workers that exhibited excellent safety performance among others. Lastly, implementation of safety code in execution of building production process should be improved, considering the manner workers disregard safety practices as pointed out by the finding of the study.
  11. Finally, Government should intensive their effort towards safety implementation by partnership with professional bodies in the built environment to organizing special training on health and safety practice on construction site for the tradesmen, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) has started already.

Impact Of Quality Management And Safety Culture On Construction Performance


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