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Email - bikarama[at]
Safety in the construction industry has always
been a major issue. Wherever reliable records are
available, construction is found to be one of the
most dangerous on safety and health criteria,
particularly in developing countries. Though much
improvement in construction safety has been
achieved, the industry still continues to lag behind
most other industries with regard to safety. In
developing countries, safety rules usually do not
exist; if any exist, the regulatory authority is usually
very weak in implementing such rules effectively.
Further, work hazards at the construction
workplace are either not perceived at all, or
perceived to be less dangerous than what they
actually are.
The safety climate of any organisation consists of
employees' attitudes towards, and perceptions of,
health and safety behaviour. Construction workers'
attitudes towards safety are influenced by their
perceptions of risk, management, safety rules and
Although research into safety
climate has continued for more than two decades,
there is still no universally accepted theory of
safety climate. Nevertheless, positive correlation
exists between workers' safe behaviour and
safety climate in construction site environments.
Workers' attitudes and behaviours discernible in
safety climate, could be regarded as the micro-
elements of an organisation, which themselves
are determined by macro-elements of safety
management systems and practices. Thus, it
could be argued that management safety systems
and practices permeate down through the
construction safety management functions (such
as recruitment, training, supervision, etc.) are
determined by different conceptions of the role
and nature of management effectiveness. These
conceptions are underpinned by related cultural
values. Therefore, national culture can be a key
characteristic that may manifest itself in varying
approaches to the safe work behavior.
India is a developing country that is currently
enjoying a relatively strong growth in construction
activities. Unfortunately, India's construction
industry suffers from poor safety and health
conditions except some of organisation. The
framework of the existing occupational and health
conditions is fragmented and inadequately
enforced, making construction sites more
hazardous. It may even be argued that relevant
regulations are outdated and irrelevant in day-to-
day construction operations regulations are
outdated and irrelevant in day-to-day construction
This topic is broadly concerned with national
culture and its influence on safety climate in the
construction industry in India.
This Article concludes recent survey of safety
culture in construction industries among
developing country. The management safety
practices survey analysis or obervations
showed that managers' safety management
pReference are being influenced by their
cultural trend. This survey pointed out the
hurdle or failure coming into the way to the
implementation or enforcement of
culture in construction industry. As a whole
safety culture is not a failure or reason of
construction although a failure into all kind of
industry because of management supports,
competent safety personnel, and economic
unavailability etc. Worsen safety culture is not a
gift of workers but an ill effort of management
which are driven force of a construction
industry.Page 49

Journal of HSE & Fire Engineering
Issue 2 March 2009
Page 40
More specifically, it investigates the safety
perceptions, attitudes, and behaviour of indian
construction workers and management safety
practices. It presents the empirical results of a
number of questionnaire surveys administrated in
India targeting construction workers, and
responsibilities. Based upon the survey analysis
results, this study demonstrates that the majority
of India construction workers have a good degree
of risk awareness and self-rated competence,
and a relatively high degree of safety awareness.
Further it was found, empirically, that overall
workers' intentional behaviour seems to be best
explained by workers' attitudes towards their own
and managements' safety responsibilities, as well
as their perception of the risk they are generally
exposed to in their workplace environment.
The study also showed that workers are more
collective, feminist, believe in less power
distance and opt for higher uncertainty avoidance
in their attitudes. The analysis of the
interrelationship between workers' behaviour and
national culture revealed that the more workers
working in a collective, feminist, and higher
uncertainty avoidance environments, the more
they are going to exhibit safer behaviour.
The management safety practices survey
showed that managers'
management preference are being influenced by
their cultural trends. Their safety related
decisions, whether being developed in head
office or on site, are influenced by their high
collectivistic, feministic, power distance and
uncertainty avoidance attitude This study thus
establishes a statistically significant positive
relationship between the factors of workers'
perceptions, attitudes, safe work behaviour and
management practices.
In conclusion of above it is well familiar that the
trend of safety culture is overhead of unqualified
safety personnel, improper distrribution of
responsility, and the ill thought of execution
personnel which is a big deal of occurences of
accidents.Trend showed
industry is third major accident prone industry
which is after Agriculture as well as mining. For
the good of all a Safety Culture has to be created
on all sites and rigorously policed to ensure
Safety Culture:
Safety is enshrined in legislation. Construction
activity necessarily involves change on a constant
basis by comparison with other industries. Sites
develop with progress of work hence the working
environment is altering hour by hour. Change is
known to be one of the prime conditions which
induces unsafe behaviour and can preclude
straightforward defensive measures.
It is difficult to legislate for the enormous variation
in the size of projects.
The diversity of
employment arrangements i.e. Subcontractors
with Main Contractor employees prohibit any
overarching safety policy, this must change.
Safety regulations are required to apply
generically across the spectrum. Contractor shall
develop thorough understanding about Building
and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of
Employment and Conditions of Service) Act 1996,
Central Rules 1998, Delhi Govt. Rules 2002,
Building and Other Construction Workersâ„¢ Welfare
Cess Act, 1996 and Central Rules, 1998 and
Delhi Building Construction Workersâ„¢ Welfare
Board Rules, not only to satisfy the Inspectorsâ„¢
perspective but the use of legislation as the
strong tool for effective SHE management at
construction worksites. Contractor is strongly
advised to practice the principle of voluntary
compliance and aimed to improve coordination of
the various groups on-site to ensure minimum
standards of safety are implemented.
Ensuring safety on a construction site is a
complex challenge. Nevertheless a safety culture
must be created. Life and limb are precious; our
health is paramount and our greatest asset.
The development of a safety culture must
start at an early age“ Pre-school.
In addition, the construction works shall be
undertaken in accordance with all applicable Page 50

Journal of HSE & Fire Engineering
Issue 2 March 2009
Page 41
¾ Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules
¾ Fly ash utilization notification, Sept 1999 as
amended in August 2003
Safety “ Implementation:
Historically up to recently the duties of
implementing safety were passed to the
Contractor. Legislation has changed this situation
somewhat on paper but in my view the Clients
and Designers have still left safety in the hands of
the Contractor.
Safety must be enshrined in the legislation.
Safety must be enshrined in company policy.
Direction and involvement must come from the
Board Rooms not alone of the Contractor but the
Client and Designer. The legislation should tie
down and apportion responsibly to all concerned.
All the actors should be made responsible. For
example those at the coal face who ignore safety
should be penalized.
Limited prosecutions on operatives.
The Client and Designer at the outset of the
project should ensure safe build ability of the
works. Safety should be considered from the
outset and not just factored into the construction
Historically the above players have been at fault
at this stage. Large improvements can be
achieved by designing out risk and hazards.
Greater efforts should be made to identify the
risks and hazards so they can be designed out of
the works.
If errors, delay omission and malfunctions occur
in the study and planning phases they will be
manifested at site level. The Client and Designer
should ensure an adequate programme time for
the construction phase. A tight programme
induces haste and errors that can result in
accident. Research conducted by the ICE in the
UK showed that 75% of all Engineers working on
design believed more could be done to design out
legislation and Indian statutory requirements
listed below but not limiting to:
¾ Indian Electricity Act 2003 and Rules 1956
¾ National Building Code, 2005
¾ Factories Act, 1948, Delhi, Uttarpradesh,
Haryana Factories Rules.
¾ Motor Vehicles Act as amended in 1994 and
The Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.
¾ Indian Road Congress Code IRC: SP: 55-2001
ËœGuidelines on Safety In Road Construction
¾ The Petroleum Act, 1934 and Rules 1976
¾ Gas Cylinder Rules, 2003
¾ Indian Explosives Act. 1884, along with the
Explosives substance Act 1908 and the
Explosives Rules 1983
¾ The (Indian) Boilers Act, 1923
¾ The Public Liability Insurance Act 1991 and
Rules 1991
¾ Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and Rules 1950
¾ Contract Labour Act, 1970 and Rules 1971
¾ Child Labour (Prohibitions & Regulations) Act,
1986 and Rules 1950
¾ Environment Protection Act, 1986 and Rules
¾ Air (Prevention and control of Pollution) Act,
¾ Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution)
Act, 1974
¾ The Noise Pollution (Regulation & Control)
Rules, 2000
¾ Notification on Control of Noise from Diesel
Generator (DG) sets, 2002
¾ Recycled Plastic Usage Rules, 1998
¾ Notification, Central Ground Water Board, Act
January 1997
¾ Manufacture, Storage & Import of Hazardous
Chemicals Rules, 1989
¾ The Hazardous Waste (Management &
Handling) Rules, 1989
¾ Hazardous Waste Management Rules 1989
(as amended in 1999)
Delhi Tree Preservation Act (1994)Page 51

Journal of HSE & Fire Engineering
Issue 2 March 2009
Page 42
The old designers attitude that whatever he
details is for the Contractor to build is not enough
and not acceptable anymore.
60% of fatal
accidents are attributable to decisions and
choices made before works begins.
Client Duties:
The Client can set the tone of the entire
construction project. His choice of duty holder
and Contractor reflects his priority with regard to
safety on production.
The Regulations state that the Client must
appoint a competent PS Design Stage and
Project head. The Project head should have
experience, training and a Health & Safety
Management System in place in proportion to the
nature, size and level of risk involved in the
project. In my view this important independent
role should
(a) be paid for by the Client with an amount
itemized in the B.O.Q and
(b) be given to a third party who would
independently policy and implement safety
without any bias.
In my view the Client should also Bill a P.C. Item
for promotion of safety on his site and so create a
level playing field for all Contractors at tendering
stage. The Client should pay to ensure his
project is carried out with safety.
Contractor Duties at the Coal “ Face:
As is it at site that accidents occur it is here that
great care must be taken to prevent them. There
must be a Company Policy on safety.
There must be a Direct Involvement and
leadership to top management.
Trained and experienced personnel must be in
place to police and implement rules and
experienced operatives to carry out the work.
A Culture of Safety should be fostered from
commencement of the Project with the work
force. This can be done by:
x Induction at Commencement of the Work.
x Tool Box Talks on General Safety
Awareness, on site hazards, risks etc. “ on
a weekly basis.
x Interactive Videos on safety.
x Distribution of a Company Safety Booklet
with Rules and Guidelines and proof of
Implementation can be aided by
x Selecting and experienced work force
x Achieve involvement of top management
x Safety Audits by Internal Site Staff weekly
x Safety Audits by External Staff “
x Internal Audits should be carried out by all
staff members on a rota basis.
x Site Safety Weekly Competitions “
Rewards for exemplary practice by a
worker on a weekly basis.
x Published Safety Policy for all to observe
x Safety File.
x Risk Assessments.
x Method Statements.
x Time allocated for review and action at
(a) Board
Safety Committee meeting and
(b) Weekly Site safety Meetings
Implementation and Policing should be continuous
/ ongoing.
Neglect will result in
-Human Suffering
-Loss of Production
-Loss of Materials
-Damage to Materials and Plant
-Loss of Reputation
-Legal Costs
-Increased Insurance Premiums
- Neglect results in CostsPage 52

Journal of HSE & Fire Engineering
Issue 2 March 2009
Page 43
Legislation must be in place to ensure the Safety
of Personnel in the work place. This must make all
players in a construction project responsible and
held responsible. Lack
carrying our
responsibilities should be penalized.
Penalties for various misdeeds should be stated in
detail for all parties.
Interactivity between Client / Design / Contractor
regularly to discuss risks, hazards etc. should take
Most of all having the Legislation and Policies in
place, ongoing policing should take place with
action implemented with a firm hand.
Safety is matter of life and death. Neglect could
result in the loss of life. It could be yours
Life is Sacred - it is enshrined in our
- It has to be protected.
Note recent trend of Contractor Design.
Finally, this study gauges empirically the influence
of cultural dimensions on workers' perceptions,
attitudes, and safe work behaviour and managers'
safety practices. The analysis showed that
managers' operational practices on site have the
most statistically significant relationship with
workers' attitudes and perceptions. It was also
found that the more collectivistic and higher
uncertainty avoidance attitude of workers, the
stronger their safety attitudes and perceptions will
Reference :
1. General view came through Delhi, NCR based
construction projects
2. Presentation given by Murt Coleman, IEI
representative to ECCE
2. Internet resourse

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