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Health and safety management in developing countries: a study of construction SMEs in Ghana

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journal contribution
posted on 16.02.2010, 15:06 by Nongiba A. Kheni, Andrew R.J. Dainty, Alistair G.F. Gibb
The construction industry plays a significant role in the economy of developing countries. The sector is, however, also one of the most hazardous with frequent accidents and health related problems. The purpose of this study is to examine the health and safety practices of construction small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Ghana with a view to improving the health and safety performance of the sector. A survey questionnaire was administered to owner/managers of SMEs, with a response rate of 32% of the sampling frame obtained. The findings reveal that few of the SMEs adopted proactive health and safety practices. However, health and safety practices identified as being particularly associated with firm characteristics were: accident investigation procedures; accident reporting procedures; use of health and safety posters; documentation of method statements; and, health and safety inductions. The paper brings to light the diversity of health and safety practices associated with different size categories of SMEs and constraints to improving health and safety. Based on the analysis, recommendations aimed at a positive change in the attitudes of owner/managers which takes into account size-related constraints are suggested for improving the health and safety performance of Ghanaian SMEs.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


KHENI, N.A., DAINTY, A.R.J. and GIBB, A.G.F., 2008. Health and safety management in developing countries: a study of construction SMEs in Ghana. Construction Management and Economics, 26(11), pp. 1159-1169


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This article was published in the journal, Construction Management and Economics [© Taylor & Francis]. The definitive version is available online at: