The Practice of Communication of Health and Safety Risk Information at Construction Sites in Tanzania

  IJETT-book-cover  International Journal of Engineering Trends and Technology (IJETT)          
© 2017 by IJETT Journal
Volume-47 Number-7
Year of Publication : 2017
Authors : Sarah Phoya
DOI :  10.14445/22315381/IJETT-V47P264


Sarah Phoya "The Practice of Communication of Health and Safety Risk Information at Construction Sites in Tanzania", International Journal of Engineering Trends and Technology (IJETT), V47(7),385-393 May 2017. ISSN:2231-5381. published by seventh sense research group

Many workers in construction sites are still subjected to high health and safety risk despite of various efforts which are in place. However how workers in construction sites are informed on health and safety risks is obvious important factors in implementation of initiatives. This paper therefore aimed at understanding communication mechanism of health and safety risk information in construction sites. The essence is to examine what methods used for communication of risk information, the nature of these senders (communicators) and receivers (workers), the context of risk message and challenges on risk communication. A multiple case study strategy was adopted in this research whereby six large on-going construction sites were selected basing on convenient sampling techniques. Within the site, structured interview and focus group discussion were used. Non-participatory observation was also used to collect data. The study reveals that multiplicity of communication channels and methods play out simultaneously in communication of risk information within construction sites. However, toolbox meeting was predominantly methods. This being the case, the environment for conducting effective toolbox meetings remains a challenge on many sites. On the other hand, site officers were the main senders of communicating health and safety risk information to the workers. However, the quality of the sender in terms of health and safety skills as well as experiences was found to influences health and safety risk communication. The findings provide the basis for suggesting areas where employers and managers can make interventions to enable safe and healthy working specifically focusing on risk communication.


[1] Fung, I.W, Tam, V.W, Lo, T. and Lu, L. Developing a Risk Assessment Model for construction safety; International Journal of Project Management 28; 593-600, 2010.
[2] Hampel, J Different Concept of Risk- A Challenge for Risk Communication; International Journal of Medical Microbiology 296; SI 5-10, 2006.
[3] Kines, P. Andersen P, Spangenberg, S., Mikkelsen K.L., Dyreborg, J. D. And Zohar, D. Improving construction site safety through leader-based verbal safety Communication. Journal of Safety Research,(41) 399-406 , 2010.
[4] Argent, P and Forman, J, The Power of Corporate Communication: Crafting the Voice and Image of Your Business, McGraw-Hill, New York, . 2002.
[5] Loosemore, M. and Lee, P. Communication problems with ethnic minorities in the construction industry. International Journal of Project Management, 20, 517-524, 2002.
[6] Trajkovski, S. and Loosemore, M. Safety implications of low-English proficiency among migrant construction site operative International Journal of Project Management, 24, 446-452, 2006.
[7] Alsamadani, R., Hallowell, M., and Javernick-Will, A, Measuring and modeling safety communication in small work crews in the US using social network analysis. Construction Management and Economics, 31 (6), 568-579. 2013.
[8] Guldenmund, F., Cleal, B. and Mearns, K. (An exploratory study of migrant workers and safety in three European countries. Safety Science, 52, 92-99. 2013.
[9] Chan, Albert P.C., Javed, Arshad Ali, Wong, Francis K.W., & Hon, Carol K.H, „Improving safety communication of ethnic minorities in the construction industry of Hong Kong?, In: Wang, Y., Ye, H., Shen, G.Q.P., & Bai, Y. (eds.) ICCREM 2014: Smart Construction and Management in the Context of New Technology, American Society of Civil Engineers, Kunming, China, pp. 463-474 , 2014.
[10] Lundgren, R. E., & McMakin, A. H, .Risk communication: A handbook for communicating Environmental, Safety, and Health risks Ohio: Battelle Press, 2004.
[11] Bohrmann, B. A Socio-Psychological Model for Analyzing Risk Communication Process; The Australian Journal of Disaster and Trauma studies; 2000.
[12] Covello, V. T, Risk communication: An emerging area of health communication research. In S. A. Deetz (Ed.), Communication year book (15) 359-373. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. 1992.
[13] Caccia L.E. Risk communication in the Workplaces: An analysis of the Communication Toolkits as Rhetorical Practice. Doctorial Thesis. Kent State, 2009.
[14] Health and Safety Executive. Improving Health and Safety: An analysis of HSE?s risk communication in the 21st century; Research Report London, 2010.
[15] Palencher, M.L., Heath, R. L., Hocke , T.Corporate (social) responsibility, risk management and communication Handbook of Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility,2010.
[16] Morrow, B. Risk behaviour and risk communication: Synthesis and expert interviews. Final report for the NOAA coastal services centre SocResearch Miami ,2009.
[17] West, Richard and Turner, Lynn H., "Introducing Communication Theory: Analysis and Application (2013 Ed.)" (2013).Books byMarquette University Faculty Book 215, 2013.
[18] Shannon, C.E. and Weaver, W. The mathematical theory of communication. The Bell System Technical Journal,Vol. 27, pp. 379–423, 623–656, July, October, 1948.
[19] Vázquez, R. F., & Stalnaker, K., Latino Workers in the Construction Industry: Overcoming the language barrier improves safety.Journal of Professional Safety, (pp. 24-28). Retrieved March 19, 2017, from, 2004.
[20] Sheppard, B. Melissa J, and Brooke L. Understanding Risk Communication Theory: A Guide for Emergency Managers and Communicators,” Report to Human Factors/Behavioral Sciences Division, Science and Technology Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. College Park, MD, 2012.
[21] Doloi, H, Relational Partnerships: The Importance of Communication, Trust and Confidence and Joint Risk Management in Achieving Project Success; Journal of Construction Management and Economics 27(11), 1099-1109, 2009.
[22] Knapp, M, “Nonverbal Communication in Human Interaction”. Reinhart and WinstonInc, New York, 1972.
[23] Otter, A.D and Emmit, S.“Exploring effectiveness of team communication Balancing synchronous and asynchronous communication in design teams”. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management Vol. 14 No. 5, pp. 408-419, 2007.
[24] Ofori G, Nature of the Construction Industry, Its Needs and Its Development: A Review of Four Decades of Research Journal of Construction in Developing Countries, 20( 2), 115–135, 2015.
[25] Okoye,P.U , Okolie,K.C and Y. W. Aderibigbe, Y.W, Correlation of Casualization Mechanism and Construction Workers Safety Behaviour, International Journal of Engineering and Innovative Technology (IJEIT) 3, (9), 135-141, 2014.
[26] Gibson, J.L. Ivancevich, J. M. and Donelly, J. H. Organizations: behaviour, structure and processes. Boston, Mass.: Irwin. , 1994.
[27] Fernández-Muñiz, B., Montes-Peón, J.M., and Vázquez Ord ás, C.J.. Relation between occupational safety management and firm performance. Safety science, 47, 980-991., 2009.
[28] Vecchio-Sadus,A, M. Enhancing safety culture through effective communication. Safety science monitor (Issue 3) Vol 11 article 2, 2007.
[29] Cigularov K. P, Peter Y. Chen P,Y.&, Rosecrance, J. (2010) The effects of error management climate and safety communication on safety: A multi-level study. Accident Analysis and Prevention 42 (2010) 1498–1506.
[30] [30] Phoya, S., Eliufoo H., Pietrzyk, K. and Nyström, M.. Assessment of Health and Safety Risk Perception of Site Managers, Supervisors and Workers in Tanzania Urban Construction Sites; Conference Proceeding; Prevention: Means to the End of Safety and Health Incidents and Illnesses;Washington, DC 24th -26th August 2011.
[31] Musonda, I. Construction health and saety (H&S) performance improvement. A Client- centred Model:; PhD thesis, University of Johannesburg, 2012.
[32] Dingsdag, D. P., Biggs, H. C., & Sheahan, V. L.. Understanding and defining OH&S competency for construction site positions: Worker perceptions. Safety Science, 46(4), 619?633., 2008.
[33] Wadick, P.. Safety culture among subcontractors in the NSW domestic housing industry. Journal of Occupational Health and Safety Australia and New Zealand, 23(2), 143?152.2007.
[34] Bakir, V and Barlow, M Exploring Relationships between Trust Studies and Media Studies. In Communication in the age of Suspicion Trust and the Media (Eds.), V. Bakir and D. M, Barlow 9- 24. UK, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

Construction sites, communications, Health and Safety, Risk information.