AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE IMPACTS OF HOUSEKEEPING ON THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF WORKERS IN CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS IN NAIROBI

ABSTRACT The research was aimed investigating the impacts of housekeeping on the health and safety of workers in construction sites in Nairobi. The study sought to establish how proper housekeeping has a direct relationship with the safety of workers in construction sites. The study brought out the relationship that exists between the housekeeping procedures and the safety of the workers.  
The study established that most of the health and safety officers interviewed have set housekeeping procedures that are followed but enforced to varying degrees to various reasons. Out of the listed housekeeping procedures, gathering and removal of debris and removal of protruding nails and wires are the most common housekeeping procedures carried out by 83 % of the health and safety officers interviewed. Site hoarding and control of liquid spills followed closely at 67.9 %. From the study the percentage representation of respondents who carried out the procedures included; warning signage (60.4 %), movement of materials in site (43.4%), movement of machinery in site (49.1% ), storage of gasoline and oil containers (45.1) , repair of worn out tools (50.9%), and removal of dust and dirt (47.2%).
 The most common accidents that occur as a result of failure to observe housekeeping procedures include slips (79.2%), physical injuries (77.4%), cuts (69.8%) and tripping (60.4%). Others include falls (62.3 %), explosions and fire (24.5 %,  chemical poisoning (22.6 % ) and allergic reactions (47.2 %).The nature of these accidents as reported by the respondents implied that most accidents are caused by violation of basic housekeeping procedures which can be avoided or eliminated.  
A summation of recommendations as polled by the respondents indicated that the top most priority should be to having compulsory budgets for enforcing housekeeping procedures in construction sites as well provision of training to health and safety officers and the workers so as to correct their attitudes towards implementing any housekeeping procedures. Other recommendations proposed include adoption of up to date technology, planning for basic housekeeping procedures during design stages and enforcement by relevant authorities. Others are holding of frequent site meetings, deploying emergency medical services on sites, adoption of standard site safety procedures and maintaining clear command structures for reporting incidents and accidents.