Implications and opportunities in a complex construction health and safety regulatory environment

Umeokafor, Nnedinma, Evangelinos, Konstantinos and Windapo, Abimbola (2020) Implications and opportunities in a complex construction health and safety regulatory environment. In: Manu, Patrick , Emuze, Fidelis , Saurin, Tarcisio Abreu and Hadikusumo,, Bonaventura H. W., (eds.) Construction health and safety in developing countries. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 15-28. (Spon Research) ISSN (print) 1940-7653 ISBN 9781138317079


One of the ways of improving construction health and safety (CH&S) remains its regulation, the foundation and catalyst of other improvement measures. However, in Nigeria, it is poorly understood including the construction industry being reported as unregulated. Consequently, this chapter reports an examination of how it is regulated (including the roles of various parties), the implications and opportunities therein for improving CH&S. In the reported study, there is evidence that the Nigerian construction industry is self-regulated in various ways (including by other industries such as the oil and gas sector), contesting earlier held views that the industry is unregulated. However, the regulatory structure is distributed and fragmented. The nature of the legislation adopted from other countries, the local environmental laws that cover some construction activities, to name but a few, present the industry with multiple actors, bias in regulation and control, a complicated regulatory environment, which are counterproductive to the entire regulatory regime. However, there are opportunities in the regulatory systems such as risk ownership suggesting the likelihood of an effective and accepted regulatory system where the regulated take ownership of the risk they create. Country context-based CH&S laws and a centralised regulatory system are recommended.

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