A review of construction safety, challenges and opportunities – Oman perspective

Umar, Tariq and Wamuziri, Sam (2016) A review of construction safety, challenges and opportunities – Oman perspective. In: The 5th World Construction Symposium 2016 : Greening Environment, Eco-Innovations & Entrepreneurship; 29 - 31 Jul 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka.


Data from a number of industrialized countries show that construction workers are 3 to 4 times more likely than other workers to die from accidents at work. In the developing world, the risks associated with construction work may be 3 to 6 times greater. Construction is one of the world’s biggest industrial sectors, including the building, civil engineering, demolition and maintenance industries and in Oman it account 10% of the total GDP. Statistic indicates that a total of 723,000 residents were working in construction industry in 2014. Construction workers build, repair, maintain, renovate and demolish houses, office buildings, factories, hospitals, roads, bridges, tunnels, stadiums, docks, airports and more. During the course of their work they are exposed to a wide variety of hazards on the job, including dusts and vapours, asbestos, awkward working positions, heavy loads, adverse weather conditions, work at heights, noise, vibration from tools, among many others. In most developed countries, organizations have significantly reduced the risk of injuries and fatalities by understanding the impact of construction safety on their performance. This involves the development and implementation of construction safety rules and laws by the organizations itself and by authorities responsible for this purpose. Such safety rules and laws are based on the studies of organization safety cultural and post-accident investigations. Statistics indicates that Worker deaths in America are down on average, from about 38 worker deaths a day in 1970 to 12 a day in 2014 and Worker injuries and illnesses are down from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to 3.3 per 100 in 2013. This paper presents the challenges and opportunities available for Oman to improve the construction safety performance of the organization by developing and implementing standard safety rules and laws. The research methodology includes the comparison of existing construction safety in Oman with some of the developed countries. The paper further describe how Oman can improve construction safety by developing specific safety rules and regulation and their enforcement through inspection of construction site under an independent authority of health and safety.

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