EFFECT AND MANAGEMENT OF HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH ROAD CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

CHAPTER ONE

 INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

The construction industry is considered as one of the most hazardous industrial sectors in many parts of the world wherein the construction workers are more prone to accidents. Statistics maintained by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), illustrate that the Construction Industry has a consistently poor record on workers’ health, safety and welfare relative to other industries. The construction industry is faced with unique safety and health problems that require special attention especially in a developing country like Nigeria. There is little or no data available on morbidity and work- related injuries and associated factors among road construction workers, and in the academic circle, few studies have been conducted among road construction workers.

Time, cost and quality have been the base point for measuring construction project performance but lately environment has been considered the fourth dimension (Shen and Zhang, 1999). This is because the impact of construction activities has been estimated to be the cause of more than 25% of the world‟s total global warming due to the release of greenhouse gases as the construction activities go on (Brady et al., 1993).

According to Hajibabai et al., (2001), the construction industry significantly contributes towards environmental pollution.

Moreover, it has been identified in Europe that the transportation sector in Europe is the second largest source of Green House Gas (CO2, CO, NOx and others) emissions (Lepert and Brillet, 2009). These are no different from the situation in China as pollution and hazards caused by urban civil construction projects have become a serious problem deteriorating the quality of air in the country thereby endangering the lives of people living in the urban communities (Li, 1998).

According to Morledge et al., (2001), the construction industry clearly is the most frequent polluter of the environment contributing to twenty two (22) percent of the total pollution within the industrial sector in the United Kingdom. However, since the world commission on environment and development first mooted the principle to protecting the environment in 1983, governments of the world have committed themselves to making sustainable development a keystone of their economic development policies programs (Ofori et al., 1999). The European Union following this has put forward several legislative initiatives based on “polluter pays” principle in other to enhance a sustainable environment (Mayer et al., 2011).

However, it has lately come to the notice that many multinational firms are moving into developing countries where a lot of markets are sprouting out (Wooldridge, 2010). This is because such countries are mainly developing countries and there is a lot of demand for all types of construction work (Jaselskis and Talukhaba, 1998). This brings to light why the environmental impact of the construction industry is probably greater in developing countries than it is in developed ones (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Building and Construction Technology, 2002).

Therefore, although Road construction projects are generally intended to improve the economic and social welfare of people, it also as well poses the problem of pollution and hazards to the natural environment in urban communities.

It is for this reason why there is the need to identify the extent of pollution and hazard still associated with urban road construction and recommending better management practices to curb this problem.

1.2  PROBLEM STATEMENT

Transport infrastructure development is the basis for economic growth. This is to enhance economic development and improve the quality of life of people. Along with the economic development and improving the quality of life of people causes significant pollution and hazards to the urban communities. These impacts of the road construction pose frequently irreversible consequences to the environment (Lieplapa and Blumberga, 2012).

This is not as different from the Ilaje Bariga urban community as the lives of residents are endangered due to occupational hazard resulting from the road construction activities. The report several occupational illness on the Ilaje main road project site attest to the negative impact on road construction operations have on urban community. The sources of these pollution and or hazards include erosion (dusts), harmful gases, noise, solid and liquid wastes, fallen objects, ground movements and others (Chen et al., 2000).

In order to reduce and prevent these pollution and hazards to safeguard the urban communities in Nigeria, it is necessary to identify the severity of the pollution and hazard associated with road construction operations and propose a qualitative and quantitative approach to assess and control the problem to assist road construction project managers and other stakeholders in their duty to protect the environment as construction activities go on.

 

1.2: AIM OF STUDY

The aim of this work was to identify the effect and management of hazards on Ilaje road during road construction projects and the management of these hazards to minimize occupational illness to construction site workers and people in the community.

1.3: OBJECTIVES

  • To identify the severity of hazards on the Ilaje communities during road construction operations.
  • To identify the best practices mostly used in the effective management of pollution and hazards on road construction sites.

 

 

1.4: RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  • How severe are hazards on the construction workers and the community during road construction operations?
  • What are the best management practices mostly used in the effective management of hazard on road construction sites in Nigeria?

1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

H0: The severity of hazards in IIaje community during road construction project is not minimal

H1: The severity of hazards in IIaje community during road construction project is minimal

H02: management do not employ effective best practice in management of hazard during road construction

H2: management do employ effective best practice in management of hazard during road construction

1.5: SCOPE OF WORK

In order to control the pollution and hazard problem which are generated as a result of road construction on Illaje Main Road, Bariga, it is important to place the construction site workers and the residents of the community at the heart of the study.

Therefore for the purpose of this study, road construction project managers, engineers, construction workers and residents of the community who work and resides around construction projects in Illaje Main Road, Bariga will be put at the heart of the study as the size of this population could be used to identify and recommend measures to manage the road construction operations that generate pollution and hazards which affect the health and well-being of population.

The sources of pollution and/ hazard which were considered were dust, harmful gases, noise, solid and liquid waste, erosion, ground movement and fallen objects which were adopted from Chen et al., 2000’s research on construction environment in China.

The road construction operations considered were road clearing, excavation, filling (both Sub-base and base course), waste disposal, services, grading, and culvert and quarrying.

 

1.6: DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS

ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL: A system of work, or a work procedure, that is designed to eliminate or reduce the risk but does not include; a physical control or use of Personal Protective equipment​, (e.g. training, installation of signage and warning labels).

CONTRACTOR: Contractors includes any service providers /individuals who are not direct employees of the Department who are providing services/works in relation to maintenance and repair work and other contracted services engaged by schools such as cooking demonstrations, sports coaching and other activities including workshops and incursions.

CONSTRUCTION: Construction is the process of constructing a building or infrastructure.[1] Construction differs from manufacturing in that manufacturing typically involves mass production of similar items without a designated purchaser, while construction typically takes place on location for a known client.[2]  Construction starts with planning, design, and financing; it continues until the project is built and ready for use.

CONSTRUCTION SITE: Construction site is the typical location where construction takes place.

ENGINEERING CONTROL: A control that is part of the hierarchy of controls that changes processes, equipment or tools to reduce a risk​.

ENVIRONMENT: The word environment refers to our surroundings the context within which we exist. All things, living or non-living, exist surrounded by other things, and therefore all have an environment (WBTP, 1997).

HAZARD: Anything with the potential to cause harm, injury, illness, or loss.

HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES (HS): Substances that have the potential to cause harm to human health, both in the immediate and long-term.

A substance is classified as hazardous if it:

  • is listed on the HSIS and the concentration of the substance or its ingredients equals or exceeds the concentration cut-off levels listed on the HSIS that relate to health effects; or
  • meets the criteria for a hazardous substance set out in the Approved Criteria for Classifying Hazardous Substances; or meets the criteria for the hazard classification set out in Part 3 (Health Hazards) of the globally Harmonised System (GHS)

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE): Items and clothing intended to provide individual employees with some protection from hazards. Examples of PPE may include protective clothing and footwear, dust masks, gloves and respirators or breathing apparatus.

RISK: The likelihood of harm arising from exposure to any hazards and the consequence of that harm​.

ROAD CONSTRUCTION: Road construction is perhaps one of man’s earliest forms of construction. The modern day road is defined as a paved or easily accessible path, made so by the use of modern day road construction equipment such as hydraulic excavatorsmotor gradersasphalt paverswheel loaders and vibratory compactors.

URBAN COMMUNITY: An Urban Community is a big city or town. It is considered an Urban Community if there are more than 2,500 people living in the community. Urban communities are often busy and crowded. Normally, the city is the most central location in a region.

 

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Author: SPROJECT NG