1.1 Background of the Study
Workers in construction sites face various occupational health hazards and must engage in some safety practices to avoid these hazards. Workers in construction sites are involved in fabrication, construction and installation activities where they are faced with various sources of hazards from chemical, physical, electrical, biological, to motion hazards etc. Workers in construction sites are at a high risk of burns related to chemical spill, molten iron spill, fire, gas explosion etc. According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimate in the year 2002, construction site accidents resulted in 16,000 burns and 66,000 chemical wounds.
Occupational health and safety of workers in construction sites is often threatened by risk relating to occupational exposure, limitations in supplied personal protective equipment and challenges from organizational support for safe practices. There are improved procedures to follow to prevent occupational exposures and for handling potentially harmful materials. These procedures are known as standard precautions or safety practices. Workers in construction sites are to participate in regular Health and Safety Environment (HSE) courses.
Construction site accident can result to human injuries, damage to organization’s reputation, and financial consequences; this possibly lead to terrible human tragedies and substantial economic concern from legal cost, increased insurance premium, and damaged plants and equipment. Accidents in construction sites involve direct and indirect cost to a firm. The direct cost are those costs incurred as a direct result of an accident; including the cost of transportation of the injured worker to the nearest medical facility, medical expenses, compensation paid to the injured worker, liability costs and damaged equipment and material cost. Indirect cost is any additional cost generated by the accident occurrence, for example cost of investigations and cost of hiring a temporary replacement (Hinze and Applegate, 1991).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Although, Nigeria is enjoying relatively strong growth in construction activities, efforts towards ensuring improved safety performance have yielded minimal results. The enforcement of safety regulations is not widespread within the industry. More construction workers are killed, injured or suffers ill health than in any other industry. It is however, disheartening that despite several efforts towards improving the health and safety status of Nigeria construction industries, continuous increases in the number of accidents both reported and unreported on construction sites still go unabated.
Furthermore, Nigeria has a very low accident record attributable to lack of effective monitoring, reporting and control practices. Added to this problem is the incessant collapse of building in the country. Although there has been a dramatic improvement in recent decades, the construction industry safety record has continued to be one of the poorest. Neale (2013) believes that improving occupational safety and health (OSH) in the construction industry is a slow but achievable process. Thus, occupational health and safety in construction work should start at the designing table and continue throughout the construction phases until the safety and health of end users is ensured due to the complexity of the industry and the hazards it contains (Kayumba, 2013).
As a state on transition, Delta State is one of the few states in Nigeria that is witnessing tremendous infrastructural development especially with respect to building projects. Almost all these projects are being handled by the local contractors and construction workers. In recent years however, there has been increased cases of construction sites accidents in the State. Majority of these accidents are unreported. Thus, the issue of whether these workers have adequate knowledge on health and safety issues and whether they comply with health and safety rules and guidelines on site. Like in every other business environment, construction business should be guided by certain regulations to ensure health and safety of its workers. According to (Adebola, 2014) safety and health have become an integral component in the workplace as employers, Labour unions and others engage in training and procedures to ensure compliance with safety standards and also to keep a healthy workforce. Adebola (2014) assert that the rate of construction accidents has increased the level of awareness of construction site health and safety, thereby involving its inclusion as part of project performance criteria.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to investigate occupational health hazards and safety practices among workers in construction sites in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State.
1. The study will identify industrial accidents and health hazards among construction site workers.
2. Identify the risk factors that contribute to these hazards.
3. Determine the health problems associated with construction site workers.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
1. To examine the effect of physical hazard on safety practices among workers in construction sites.
2. To examine the effect of chemical hazard on safety practices among workers in construction sites.
3. To examine the effect of biological hazard on safety practices among workers in construction sites.
4. To examine the effect of ergonomic hazard on safety practices among workers in construction sites.
1.5 Research Questions
1. What are the effects of physical hazard among construction site workers in Oshimili North Local Government Area in Delta State?
2. What are the effects of chemical hazard among construction site workers Oshimili North Local Government Area in Delta State?
3. What are the effects of biological hazard among construction site workers Oshimili North Local Government Area in Delta State?
4. What are the effects ergonomic hazard among construction site workers Oshimili North Local Government Area in Delta State?
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will contribute to knowledge on occupational health hazards and problem of construction site workers in Nigeria. Careful adherence to standard precautions or safety practices protects the construction site workers and the people living around them from being exposed to associated hazards.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The survey to be used for this study is the questionnaire which would focus on workers in construction sites in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State. The questionnaire will contain series of questions with a choice of answers which is to be answered by workers in construction sites..