Realities of construction health and safety regulation in Nigeria

Umeokafor, Nnedinma Ikenna (2017) Realities of construction health and safety regulation in Nigeria. (PhD thesis), University of Greenwich, .


Health and safety (H&S) has long been at the forefront of policymaking resulting in various regulatory approaches, making it a priority on the corporate strategy agenda. Thus, some companies have progressed to self-regulation, which although being effective in some cases does have some potentially serious limitations. Self-regulation in relation to H&S and the links with the environments that companies operate in remain under-researched. This research advances the understanding of the current realities of construction H&S regulation in Nigeria (an industry reported as unregulated, self-regulation overlooked), and develops a framework of recommendations based on empirical data and analysis. Construction contractors and key informants were interviewed. The thematic analysis procedure shows that the current realities of regulating construction H&S in Nigeria can be understood and explained as follows. There are secondary factors in the social, political, cultural, economic and institutional contexts, which influence the primary factors, approaches, and attitudes of the contractors towards H&S self-regulation. However, the regulatory system is multiplex and counterproductive on the regulation of H&S; this, in turn primarily determines H&S self-regulation. The primary factors, in turn, influence the attitudes of the contractors, which in turn, influence the approaches to H&S self-regulation. The findings show that religion, cultural institution nd money culture are among the social and cultural context factors. Political context factors include the political influence and lack of governmental action while institutional context factors include inadequate H&S policies and multiple actors in H&S regulation. The self-regulatory approaches can be explained as voluntary, industry-led, community-led, H&S crusader-led, and enforced/mandatory. The understandings of the contractors of viewing H&S as a 'primary responsibility', and 'caring for others' enhance H&S self-regulation while 'bias in H&S responsibility', 'the understanding that H&S self-regulation is about window dressing' all constrain H&S self-regulation. While contextualised construction H&S laws and a consolidated H&S regulatory system to be overseen by a central regulatory agency are recommended for policymakers, two antigraft institutions should monitor the activities of the H&S regulatory agency.

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