EXPLORING THE EXTENT OF WELFARE FACILITIES PROVISION IN SME OWNED CONSTRUCTION SITES

ABSTRACT

 

Construction industry is an important part of the economy in most countries; often seen as a driver of economic growth especially in developing countries. Typically, construction industry contributes significantly to gross domestic products (GDP) in most developing countries. Through the construction industry a number of facilities have been created such as transportation infrastructure, housing, health facilities, markets, electricity and water supply which also stimulate development of the other sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing industries, tourism, and transportation. However, the construction industry in Kenya has continually fallen behind in upholding set standards and guidelines on construction sites such as the adequate provision of welfare facilities. The aim of this study was to explore the provision of welfare facilities on SME construction sites in Nairobi County.

 

The factors identified in this study include lack of occupational safety and health training to worker’s, neglect in provision of welfare facilities by employers such as clean water, gender sensitive toilets, proper allocation for meals and laxity in enforcement of welfare guidelines by authorities. The research design employed by the study was descriptive research. The target population was selected “Class 5, 6, 7 and 8” construction firms in Nairobi. Questionnaires were used to collect data. The completed questionnaires were analyzed using SPSS and findings presented using tables summarized according to the common themes. From the study it can be concluded that the occupational Safety and Health Act of 2007 was enacted to provide for safety, health and welfare of workers and all persons lawfully present at workplaces, including construction project sites to enable the elimination of the health hazards to worker’s in the construction industry in Kenya. However, lack of a clear and well-defined supervisory authority in the construction industry means such guidelines exist only on paper. Therefore the health and safety of construction sites in Kenya has been left at the mercy of developers. In the construction project sites therefore there exist good health and safety rules and regulations but very little enforcement.