Integrating health and safety into labour-only procurement system : opportunities, barriers and strategies

Umeokafor, Nnedinma, Windapo, Abimbola and Olatunji, Oluwole (2020) Integrating health and safety into labour-only procurement system : opportunities, barriers and strategies. 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. 140-151. (Spon Research) ISSN (print) 1940-7653 ISBN 9781138317079


Integration of Health and Safety (H&S) into procurement is a proactive approach to improving H&S culture in project development processes, more effective than reactive and active strategies. Nonetheless, procurement approaches that support H&S culture has received limited attention in construction research. This paper examines Labour-only Procurement System (LoPS) towards eliciting key barriers, opportunities and strategies for incorporating H&S into this growing procurement approach. Systematic review of literature is the main method of the study. Findings suggest clients are highly involved in LoPS. They control and monitor objectives including H&S. We argue that extant clients’ approach present a mixture of opportunities and barriers to facilitating robust H&S outcomes in construction projects. This is because in LoPS, inexperienced clients have unreserved rights to undertake leadership responsibilities and this often compromise H&S outcomes of their projects and projects environment. We also found that traditional contract documents, in the ways they define stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities, remain barriers to integrating H&S into LoPS. This is because these documents have been the tradition long before the industry commenced the renewal of its efforts at promoting H&S culture. One the other hand, incorporating H&S in LoPS triggers insights from cost-effectiveness H&S strategies and H&S culture also benefits from risk-benefit transfer between construction contract parties. LoPS encourages early-stage collaboration and effective negotiation that could lead to appropriate revisions to the definitions of H&S responsibilities of contract parties. Conclusions of the study are drawn from robust conceptual theories in a way that inspires empirical studies.

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