Special Issue "Towards Safer Construction in Developing Countries"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Assoc. Prof. Riza Yosia Sunindijo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
UNSW Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Interests: health and safety in construction; resilience and disaster management; human resource management in construction; construction in developing countries
Dr. Manikam Pillay
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
School of Health Sciences & Centre for Resources Health and Safety, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia
Interests: construction safety and health; high-reliability organisations; psychological contract of safety; resilience engineering; safety climate; safety culture
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Construction is a significant industry in both developed and developing countries. It is a major contributor of GDP, a major employer, and a major client that supports other industrial sectors. The industry also permeates society by providing essential buildings and infrastructure. Despite its significance, poor health and safety is still a major concern in the construction industry globally. The industry’s rates of incidents and fatalities are considerably higher than the industry averages. Improvements have been achieved in developed countries where health and safety policies and regulations are established and adequately enforced. Developing countries, however, are facing unique challenges that hinder the implementation of health and safety in their construction industries. Research in this area is emerging and has become more and more important due to the rapid economic growth and the infrastructure needs in these countries. Without appropriate interventions, this growth can lead to higher human losses, an unacceptable outcome that cannot be justified by any means. This Special Issue is entitled “Towards Safer Construction in Developing Countries” because it aims to capture state-to-the-art research that is able to bridge the gap between theories and practice and to facilitate tangible improvements in construction health and safety performance in developing countries. Topics of interest include but are not limited to overcoming lowest price mentality, the economics of health and safety, procurement for health and safety, safety culture, mental health, policies and regulations, and technologies for health and safety.

Assoc. Prof. Riza Yosia Sunindijo
Dr. Manikam Pillay
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Safety culture
  • Mental health in construction
  • Construction health and safety
  • Developing countries
  • Procurement for health and safety

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Developing an Ensemble Predictive Safety Risk Assessment Model: Case of Malaysian Construction Projects
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8395; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228395 - 13 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 734
Abstract
Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)-related injuries are vexing problems for construction projects in developing countries, mostly due to poor managerial-, governmental-, and technical safety-related issues. Though some studies have been conducted on OHS-associated issues in developing countries, research on this topic remains scarce. [...] Read more.
Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)-related injuries are vexing problems for construction projects in developing countries, mostly due to poor managerial-, governmental-, and technical safety-related issues. Though some studies have been conducted on OHS-associated issues in developing countries, research on this topic remains scarce. A review of the literature shows that presenting a predictive assessment framework through machine learning techniques can add much to the field. As for Malaysia, despite the ongoing growth of the construction sector, there has not been any study focused on OHS assessment of workers involved in construction activities. To fill these gaps, an Ensemble Predictive Safety Risk Assessment Model (EPSRAM) is developed in this paper as an effective tool to assess the OHS risks related to workers on construction sites. The developed EPSRAM is based on the integration of neural networks with fuzzy inference systems. To show the effectiveness of the EPSRAM developed, it is applied to several Malaysian construction case projects. This paper contributes to the field in several ways, through: (1) identifying major potential safety risks, (2) determining crucial factors that affect the safety assessment for construction workers, (3) predicting the magnitude of identified safety risks accurately, and (4) predicting the evaluation strategies applicable to the identified risks. It is demonstrated how EPSRAM can provide safety professionals and inspectors concerned with well-being of workers with valuable information, leading to improving the working environment of construction crew members. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Safer Construction in Developing Countries)
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Open AccessArticle
Ambient Intelligence to Improve Construction Site Safety: Case of High-Rise Building in Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8124; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218124 - 03 Nov 2020
Viewed by 686
Abstract
The relatively high rate of injuries in construction is not surprising, as site work by its very nature ranks highly on fundamental risk factors. Working at heights often magnifies these risk factors. The literature reveals that falls from heights accounts for a large [...] Read more.
The relatively high rate of injuries in construction is not surprising, as site work by its very nature ranks highly on fundamental risk factors. Working at heights often magnifies these risk factors. The literature reveals that falls from heights accounts for a large percentage of injuries in construction worldwide. Thailand is no exception, where fall accidents constitute the majority of high-rise construction accidents despite preventive measures being implemented. This paper examines how the use of a simple Ambient Intelligence (AmI) system—a device comprising a microcontroller, microwave sensors, Light Emitting Diode (LED) and audio alarm—could help to affect safety behavioural change of on-site construction workers in order to decrease the potential for fall accidents. An experiment was conducted at a high-rise building construction site in Bangkok, Thailand to examine the effectiveness of the AmI in helping workers mitigate the risk of falling from heights. The analysis of the data collected over two work weeks from the pre- and post-AmI application using X-bar charts and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed a significant reduction of about 78% in the number of workers passing through the fall hazard zones. The finding established the potential of a simple AmI for reducing the risk of fall accidents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Safer Construction in Developing Countries)
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Open AccessArticle
A Safety Climate Framework for Improving Health and Safety in the Indonesian Construction Industry
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7462; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207462 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 714
Abstract
The Indonesian construction industry is the second largest in Asia and accounts for over 30% of all occupational injuries in the country. Despite the size of the industry, there is a lack of safety research in this context. This research, therefore, aims to [...] Read more.
The Indonesian construction industry is the second largest in Asia and accounts for over 30% of all occupational injuries in the country. Despite the size of the industry, there is a lack of safety research in this context. This research, therefore, aims to assess safety climate and develop a framework to improve safety in the Indonesian construction industry. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected from 311 construction workers. The results show a moderately healthy safety climate but reflect numerous problems, particularly around perceived conflicts between production and safety logics, cost trade-offs being made against other competing project priorities, poor safety communication, poor working conditions, acceptance of poor safety as the norm, poor reporting and monitoring practices, poor training and a risky and unsupportive working environment which prevents workers from operating safely. Two new safety climate paradoxes are also revealed: contradictions between management communications and management practices; contradictions between worker concern for safety and their low sense of personal accountability and empowerment for acting to reduce these risks. A low locus of control over safety is also identified as a significant problem which is related to prevailing Indonesian cultural norms and poor safety policy implementation and potential conflicts between formal and informal safety norms, practices and procedures. Drawing on these findings, a new integrated framework of safety climate is presented to improve safety performance in the Indonesian construction industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Safer Construction in Developing Countries)
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Open AccessArticle
Developing Key Safety Management Factors for Construction Projects in China: A Resilience Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176167 - 25 Aug 2020
Viewed by 735
Abstract
It is acknowledged that construction safety is pivotal to the project management objectives. Meanwhile, the concept of resilience provides an effective and pragmatic countermeasure to improve the safety management level of construction projects. However, the “resilience” has not gained considerable attention in the [...] Read more.
It is acknowledged that construction safety is pivotal to the project management objectives. Meanwhile, the concept of resilience provides an effective and pragmatic countermeasure to improve the safety management level of construction projects. However, the “resilience” has not gained considerable attention in the construction safety management system. In this context, the paper aims to develop the key safety management factors for construction projects from the resilience perspective. Firstly, the theoretical framework and key safety management factors of construction safety management system based on the resilience theory are proposed. The importance of each factor is then obtained by using the method of structural equation modeling (SEM). The results indicate that information management, material and technology management, organization management and personnel management would improve the safety and resilience of the project. Specifically, improving the resilience of information flow to strengthen the interaction among elements of the system can enhance the safety management level. These findings can be used as references for construction safety managers to improve the abilities of preventing safety accidents and recovering after safety accidents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Safer Construction in Developing Countries)
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Open AccessArticle
Characteristics of the Construction Industry in Developing Countries and Its Implications for Health and Safety: An Exploratory Study in Ghana
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4110; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114110 - 09 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1134
Abstract
From both practical and theoretical perspectives, understanding the health and safety (H&S) implications of the characteristics and foundation upon which the construction industry in developing countries is built and operates is essential for H&S management within the industry. While many studies have provided [...] Read more.
From both practical and theoretical perspectives, understanding the health and safety (H&S) implications of the characteristics and foundation upon which the construction industry in developing countries is built and operates is essential for H&S management within the industry. While many studies have provided evidence of factors affecting construction H&S in developing countries, none has fully considered the H&S implications of the industry’s characteristics. The current study thus examined how the peculiar characteristics of the construction industry in developing countries impact on the industry’s H&S management. Data were collected using questionnaire surveys from construction industry professionals in Ghana. Nine distinct characteristics were identified and ranked, as well as their relationships and statistical significance determined through correlation and analysis of variance (ANOVA), respectively. The findings showed that these characteristics of the construction industry in developing countries, particularly the lack of skilled and educated workforce, reliance on labour intensive methods and lack of single regulatory authority, present huge challenges to the management of H&S. Accordingly, this research recommended strategic interventions which are tailored towards the context of the industry’s characteristics. With the construction industry in developing countries exhibiting similar characteristics, the findings of this research can serve as a framework for country-specific study. The study contributes to the broader H&S performance improvement research in developing countries by throwing light on the characteristics of the industry that pose challenges to H&S performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Safer Construction in Developing Countries)
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