The institutional framework of construction safety management: A case study of Sri Lanka

D. G. Melagoda*, Steve Rowlinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

The Sri Lankan construction sector continued to boom in the last decade reporting a 6.78 per cent growth in GDP in 2019. Nonetheless, construction accident statistics recorded 40 fatal and 59 non-fatal accidents in 2019. There is a serious lack of safety management in construction companies in Sri Lanka. The reason is largely attributable to the lack of an institutional mechanism to ensure accountability, planning, prioritising, reviewing, learning, and training for continuous improvement of safety. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the system of laws, regulations, and procedures, and stakeholders with their roles and norms that shape construction safety. The study explored how national level and industry level institutions are linked to construction safety management systems in Sri Lanka through document review and interviews with personnel from the Department of Labour, Construction Industry Development Authority, construction companies, professional bodies, and academic institutes. The Factories Ordinance, No. 45 of 1942 is the main legislation applied to construction safety enacted in the colonial period, thus, no improvements are made to industry -specific requirements and technological advancements. Neither, the Construction Industry Development Authority has any standards, guidelines, or codes of practices to conform to safety. Major construction companies align with international standards (ISO 9000, 14000; OHSAS 18000) to win major construction projects. It indirectly affects maintaining a safe work environment. Therefore, Sri Lanka needs to focus on an industry-level institutional mechanism to improve the safety management system. Further, support from educational and training institutes, trade associations, and professional bodies is necessary to push forward the importance of safety.

Article number: 042038


Original languageEnglish
Pages1-12
Number of pages12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction World Building Congress 2022, WBC 2022 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 27 Jun 202230 Jun 2022
Conference number: Code 184981
https://www.rmit.edu.au/events/2021/june/cib-world-building-congress-2022

Conference

ConferenceInternational Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction World Building Congress 2022, WBC 2022
Country/TerritoryAustralia
CityMelbourne
Period27/06/2230/06/22
Internet address

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