K K Ng'ang'a


The construction industry is widely regarded as the driving force in economic growth and job creation in bothdeveloped and developing countries. Some of the important contributions of the construction industry isemployment generation, improvement on income per capita and provision of a source of livelihood to a largenumber of people. This is widely recognized in the global economy of the 21st century. In the constructionindustry, health and safety of workers on construction sites have been seen to determine the success of a project.Recent surveys conducted in this country by the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) indicate that more focuswas on physical accidents at the construction sites rather than environmental hazards affecting the health andsafety of workers. The objective of this study was to establish factors that influence the health and safety ofworkers at construction sites. A cross sectional descriptive study was carried out among workers at threeconstruction sites in Kasarani District. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire, key informantinterview guide and an observational check list. Majority of the workers at construction sites were male (79%)who had worked for a period of 18 to 24 months (57%). Most of the respondents (39%) obtained food fromvendors and kiosks (32%). 46% of the workers were not provided with water to wash hands before eating while46% used borehole water for drinking which was not treated. Though pit latrines were available at constructionsites, they were inadequate and not clean. Besides, they were shared between males and females. Majority ofthe workers (72%) were not provided with HIV and AIDS Information Education and Communication (IEC)materials and 64% did not receive HIV protection. The results of this study indicate that personal hygiene andsanitation practices at construction sites are wanting and this poses a risk to the health of workers. Additionally,the safety standard guidelines are not strictly adhered to. There is therefore need to improve water supply andhygiene practices at construction sites to ensure safety and good health of the workers.


Full Text: PDF