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Original Author (Copyright Owner):

OKOYE, PETER UCHENNA

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The Project File Details

  • Name: THE INFLUENCE OF NATIONAL CULTURE ON WORKERS SAFETY CLIMATE IN THE NIGERIAN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
  • Type: PDF and MS Word (DOC)
  • Size: [655 KB]
  • Length: [173] Pages

 

ABSTRACT

The research explored and analyzed the influence of national culture on workers safety climate in the Nigeria construction industry. It identified the attitudes and perceptions of construction workers towards safety, the national culture dimensions that influence workers attitudes and perceptions and the relationship between the national culture dimensions and construction workers safety climate. It employed survey research method where two set of similar questionnaires were structured and distributed to a total of 180 respondents which comprised 120 site operatives and 60 site management personnel. Out of the total number of questionnaire distributed only 141 were returned and utilized for analysis. Data obtained from the questionnaire survey were subjected to analysis using the following statistical tools; simple bar chart, pie charts, frequency tables and percentages. Means score Index and standard deviation were calculated and used to evaluate the effects of safety climate factors and national culture dimensions on workers attitudes and perceptions towards safety. Pearson’s Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient (r) was used to determine the relationship between national culture dimensions and safety climate, while two-tailed t-test was used to ascertain the significance of the correlation of the relationship. Again, one-way ANOVA was used to determine if there is any significant difference between the opinions of operatives and managers on the influence of national culture on workers safety climate. It was then found that workers involvement and beliefs and perceptions were among the safety climate factors that mostly affect workers attitudes and perceptions towards safety while the low mean values for management commitment and safety education and training indicates the level of management commitment to safety issues on construction sites. Five national cultural dimensions: power distance, collectivism, femininity, uncertainty avoidance and long term orientation greatly influence safety climate of construction workers. All the five culture dimensions except long term orientation have a very high positive correlation with safety climate. The correlation coefficients of the other four dimensions ranged from 0.75 to 0.99 while long term orientation dimension has correlation coefficients of 0.47 and 0.65 for operatives and managers respectively. Also the influence of all the five culture dimensions were statistically significant on workers safety climate at 5% significances level except for the long term orientation dimension which was not significant at 5% significance level. Likewise, there was no significant difference between the opinions of site operatives and site management personnel at 5% significance level, except for the power distance dimension which showed a significant difference as a result of large power distance between the operatives and management due to their job positions. In view of these, there is urgent need for the speedy passage of National Building Code Enforcement Bill so as to enforce the usage of project health and safety plan in all construction works, provision of health and safety regulations for construction work, training of site workers in basic safety practices, and putting into consideration workers cultural values and beliefs whenever any project is being embarked upon as it affects workers beliefs and perceptions and attitudes towards safety.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page ……………………………………………………………………………. i
Certification ……………………………………………………………………………..ii
Acknowledgement …………………………………………………………………..iii
Dedication ……………………………………………………………………………iv
Abstract ……………………………………………………………………………….v
Table of Content ……………………………………………………………………..vi
List of Figures ………………………………………………………………………..ix
List of Tables …………………………………………………………………………x

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study …………………………………………………….1
1.2 Statement of the Problem …………………………………………………….3
1.3 Research Aim and Objectives ………………………………………………6
1.4 Scope and Limitation of the Study. …………………………………………6
1.5 Significance of the Study ……………………………………………………8
1.6 Research Questions ………………………………………………………….9
1.7 Research Hypotheses ……………………………………………………….9
1.8 Thesis Structure …………………………………………………………….10
1.9 Definition of Terms …………………………………………………………13

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Introduction …………………………………………………………………..16
2.2 Safety Management in the Construction Industry ………………………16
2.3 Safety Performance ………………………………………………………..18
vii

2.4 Safety Climate ……………………………………………………………….20
2.4.1 Role of Safety Perceptions and Attitudes in Safety Climate …………..26
2.4.2 Safety Climate and Safe Behaviour ………………………………………27
2.4.3 Safety Climate Measurement Method ……………………………………28
2.5 National Culture ……………………………………………………………..30
2.5.1 National Culture and Construction Industry………………………………32
2.5.2 National Culture Dimensions ………………………………………………36
2.6 Nigeria – Overview ………………………………………………………….47
2.6.1 Nigerian Culture ……………………………………………………………..50
2.6.2 Nigerian Construction Industry ……………………………………………56
2.6.3 Construction Safety Practices in Nigeria …………………………………60
2.7 Summary of Literature Findings ………………………………………….64

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Introduction ………………………………………………………………….66
3.2 Sources of Data Collection ………………………………………………..66
3.3 Secondary Data …………………………………………………………….66
3.4 Primary Data …………………………………………………………………67
3.5 Population and Population Sample ……………………………………….67
3.6 Research Method ……………………………………………………………67
3.6.1 Questionnaire Survey ………………………………………………………68
3.6.2 Face – to – Face Interviews ……………………………………………….69
3.6.3 Validity and Reliability of the Instrument …………………………………69
3.7 Data Collection ………………………………………………………………69
3.8 Method of Data Analysis …………………………………………………..71

viii

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
4.1 Introduction ………………………………………………………………….76
4.2 General Information …………………………………………………………76
4.2.1 Working Experience ………………………………………………………..78
4.2.2 Safety Training ………………………………………………………………80
4.2.3 Safety Plan/Program ………………………………………………………..80
4.2.4 Absence of Health and Safety Regulations ………………………………81
4.3 Analysis of Safety Climate Statements ……………………………………82
4.4 Analysis of Influence of Culture on Safety Climate …………………….88
4.4.1 Operatives Responses on the Influence of Culture on Safety Climate..88
4.4.2 Managers Responses on the Influence of Culture on Safety Climate…93
4.5 Test of Hypotheses …………………………………………………………99
4.5.1 Hypothesis One …………………………………………………………….99
4.5.2 Hypothesis Two ……………………………………………………………105
4.6 Summary of Findings ……………………………………………………..114

CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Conclusion ………………………………………………………………….118
5.2 Recommendation ………………………………………………………….120
5.3 Recommendation for Future Research …………………………………121
References …………………………………………………………………………122
Appendix A ………………………………………………………………………..133
Appendix B …………………………………………………………………………140
Appendix C …………………………………………………………………………147

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Construction industry is the hub of social and economic development in
all countries of the world. Though in 2009, construction industry
contributed only 1.98% of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the
Nigeria economy (National Bureau of Statistics, 2010a); its importance
and roles in the development of economy of any nation can never be
disputed.
However, when compared with other labour intensive industries,
construction industry has historically experienced a disproportionately
high rate of disability injuries and fatalities for its size (Hinze, 1997). The
industry alone produces 30% of all fatal industrial accidents across the
European Union (EU), yet it employs only 10% of the working population
(Mckenzie et al., 1999); in The United States of America (USA), it
accounts for 22% of all fatal accidents and only 7% of the employed (Che
Hassan et al., 2007). Bomel (2001) notes that in Japan, construction
accidents account for 30%-40% of the overall industrial accidents, with the
total being 50% in Ireland and 25% in the United Kingdom (UK). This
situation is even worse in the developing countries and Nigeria in
particular, because there are no reliable sources of data for such accident
records.
Though, notable improvements have been achieved in terms of workers
safety at site, the industry has continue to lag behind most other industries
with regard to safety (National Safety Council, 1999). This notorious
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nature of construction industry in terms of safety is confirmed by Farooqui
et al. (2008).
Davis and Tomasin (1996) observe that there are a number of reasons
why accident records within the construction industry compare poorly with
those of the manufacturing industry. In factories, there is normally a
controlled working environment, with little change in the working
procedures and equipment over long periods; additionally, the labour
force usually remains fairly stable. Thus, once identified, hazards can be
remedied with relative ease, and danger mitigated. However, the situation
is quite different in construction industry as the working environment and
labours are constantly changing (Davis & Tomasin, 1996).
Hinze (1997) also observes that health and safety in construction industry
is susceptible to dangers because of its fragmented nature, the uncertain
and technically complex nature of construction work, the uncontrollable
environment in which production takes place, the employment practices,
and the financial and time pressures imposed upon project participants.
Rowlinson and Lingard (1996) added that the prototype nature of work,
low education level of the workforce, and high levels of subcontracting
contribute to the poor health and safety performance in the construction
industry.
In developing countries, construction industry has performed far below the
expectation in the areas of health and safety. The situation is quite
pathetic in Nigeria because there is no existing functional legislation to
that effect. Even the National Building Code which was approved by the
National Executive Council since 2006, which Enforcement Bill is before
3
the National Assembly has not been passed into law till date. Based on
this, the International Labour Organization (ILO) (1987) attributes the
poor health and safety records and performances in construction projects
with developing countries to:
 The high proportion of small firms and high number of self employed
workers;
 The variety and comparatively short life of construction sites;
 The high labour turnover;
 The large proportion of seasonal and migrant workers; and
 Various trades and occupations working in the same area.
It is based on these facts that safety climate and culture and national
culture as factors that affect health and safety performance in construction
industry are bring to focus.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
According to Mohamed (1999), accidents on construction sites, cause
many human tragedies, de-motivate workers, disrupt site activities, delay
project progress, and adversely affect the overall cost, productivity and
reputation of the construction industry. In recognition of the problems
above, countries all over the world have seen the necessity of improving
occupational health and safety management on construction sites,
particularly to reduce the number of accidents on construction sites.

4
Then, it has been established that unsafe behavior is intrinsically linked to
workplace accidents. Also different types of construction site accidents
such as fall from height, hitting by falling object, electrocution, etc are
often associated with person’s attitude. It has also been confirmed that a
positive correlation exists between workers safe behavior and safety
climate within construction site environment, and that workers attitudes
towards safety are influenced by their risk perceptions, risk management,
safety rules and procedures and cultural background (Che Hassan et al.,
2007; Fogarty & Shaw, 2010; Glendon & Litherland, 2001; Ho & Zeta,
2004; Ismail et al., 2009; Mohamed, 2002; Mohd Saidin et al., 2008;
Salminen &Seppala, 2005).
Currently, Nigeria is enjoying relatively strong growth in construction
activities. Unfortunately, it is disheartening that enforcement of safety
regulations is not widespread within the country. Researchers in some
quarters have argue that the framework of existing occupational and
health conditions of Nigeria construction industry if any, is grossly
fragmented and inadequately enforced (Idoro,2007, 2008). Just like in
any other industry, good health and safety conditions constitute good and
safe business practice. It is a general believe that integration of health
and safety measures with a total management system, within the
construction sector in Nigeria could contribute significantly to cost
efficiency, quality assurance, environmental sustainability, better
employee-employer relation and better satisfaction.

5
Divergent perceptions, behaviours and actions exhibited by construction
workers which have led to serious accidents on site have been linked to
different cultural backgrounds. These cultural differences have some
significant impact on industrial safety climate (Ali, 2006; Che-Hassan et
al., 2007; Ismail et al., 2009); and help understands different approaches
to accident prevention and safety management. Ngowi and Mothibi
(1996) found that cultural differences were the major reason for viewing
safety procedures differently on construction sites in Botswana.
Literature review shows that there are inadequate or insufficient research
work on the impact of national culture on safety conditions and climate in
Nigeria construction industry. The gap therefore, forms the thrust of this
work which focuses on the characteristics and culture of construction
personnel (site operatives and management), and how they influence the
safety climate of the work place.
This work is entirely concerned with the safety climate of Nigeria
construction industry and more specifically, the safety perceptions,
attitudes and behaviours of construction workers and management safety
practices in Nigeria. It seeks to establish if national culture have any
significant influence on safety climate of Nigeria construction workers.
The study finally attempts to analyze and weigh if there is any significant
difference in the influence of national culture on construction safety
climate among workers and managers.

6
1.3 RESEARCH AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The primary aim of this study is to explore and analyze the influence of
national culture on construction safety climate in Nigeria. In arriving at
this aim, the following objectives are to be achieved:
a) To determine safety climate factors that affect workers perceptions
and attitudes towards safety on construction site;
b) To determine the national culture dimensions that influence workers
safety perceptions and attitudes (safety climate) on construction
site;
c) To establish if national culture dimensions have any significant
influence on construction workers’ safety climate; and
d) To establish if any significant difference exist in the influence of
national culture on construction workers’ safety climate among
operatives and managers.

1.4 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The subject of this study is specifically on the effects of national culture
dimensions on the behaviours, perceptions, beliefs, attitudes, values, and
commitments of Nigerian construction workers to safety (safety climate)
on construction sites. It considers only three major Nigerian ethnic groups
(Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba), and also construction workers of Nigerian
origin. This is because in most social sciences research, these ethnic
groups (the Igbo, the Hausa and the Yoruba) are often used to reflect the
7
entire nation. Similarities on the cultures of these three ethnic groups were
extracted to form the Nigeria National Culture. This study was exclusively
carried out on some selected construction sites within the South East
States of Nigeria and Delta State. The simple reason is that there are
enough big construction sites going on in this area as at the time of the
study.
However, the research was not without some peculiar challenges, among
which are:
 Unwillingness of respondents to respond to the questions in the
questionnaire. This problem is more with the site management team.
 Some sites require formal application before you can be granted
access/permission to interview their workers or distribute
questionnaire.
 Low level of education among many construction workers makes it
very hard for them to understand what they are required to do in the
questionnaire. So it required a detailed explanation, though the
questionnaire questions are simple.
 Difficulty in recovering of questionnaires issued due to absences of
some respondents at the time of researcher’s visit.
 Low level of research and publication on the subject matter with
respect to Nigeria and other African Countries.

8
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
According to Maslow’s theory of human needs, safety (security) ranked
second to physiological needs in the hierarchy of human needs. Hence,
the reason for studying influence of culture on safety climate of
construction workers in Nigeria. Although, a lot has been done on this
subject matter in the developed and Asian countries, not much have been
done in Africa especially in Nigeria. Therefore, the result of this study will
contribute immensely to the existing body of knowledge.
It will update Hofstede’s works on national culture dimensions with respect
to Nigeria. It will help foreign and local contractors doing construction
business in Nigeria on how to handle safety issues. It will also help them
to manage properly those cultural values of Nigeria construction workers
that affect safety on construction sites. It will equally help contractors to
know the nature of people and environment they are working on. This
study will help construction professionals and managers to know how to
deal with different people with diverse cultural values on the construction
sites as it affects safety. It will proffer practical approaches on how to
handle safety management issues on Nigeria construction sites for
various managers at construction sites.
From the result of this study, Nigerian government will see the need to put
in place adequate laws and regulations that will step down the rate of
accidents on Nigeria construction sites. And also put in place the
mechanism that will ensure that such laws and regulations are strictly
enforced and abided by those concerned.

9
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research work is carried out in line with the following research
questions:
a) What are the factors that affect workers attitudes and perceptions
towards safety?
b) How do you react to safety situations on site?
c) What are the cultural values of workers that affect their attitudes
and perceptions towards safety on site?
d) How does culture influences workers attitudes and perception
towards safety?

1.7 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
In order to give direction to this work, two hypotheses are postulated.
These hypotheses assist in guiding the research towards solving the
research problems. They also aid interpretation and analysis of data
collected to reach valuable conclusion. The hypotheses were arranged
into null hypothesis (H0) and alternative hypothesis (H1).
HYPOTHESIS ONE:
Null hypothesis (H0):
Cultural dimensions do not significantly influence the safety climate of
construction workers on site.

10
Alternative hypothesis (H1):
Cultural dimensions do significantly influence the safety climate of
construction workers on site.

HYPOTHESIS TWO:
Null hypothesis (H0):
There is no significant difference between the opinions of operatives and
managers on the influence of national culture on construction workers
safety climate.
Alternative hypothesis (H1):
There is significant difference between the opinions of operatives and
managers on the influence of national culture on construction workers
safety climate.

1.8 THESIS STRUCTURE
The thesis is logically arranged into five (5) chapters and appendices.
Figure 1 provides a graphical overview of the thesis structure. The
structure is then described in the following paragraphs.
Chapter one: This chapter summarizes the background of this
research work. It describes the rationale (statement of the problem) for
the current study, followed by the setting of the research objectives, the
11
scope and limitation of the study, its significance and the research
questions, which finally culminated into formulating research hypotheses.
Chapter two: This chapter commences with the role and importance
of safety management within the construction industry. It then presents a
review of the available literature, addressing the difference techniques for
measuring safety performance within the industry. It further, thoroughly,
reviews the concept of safety climate as an identified popular safety
performance measurement tool. This chapter also provides a review of
the importance of safe work behavior and its relationship to the safety
climate concept, reviews the literature on national culture including
different frameworks and cultural dimensions developed to measure
national culture, along with its importance to the construction industry.
This chapter then provides a general overview of Nigeria, initially with an
introduction on the geographical position and salient features of the
economy. Further, it discusses the Nigeria national culture and factors
which have influenced Nigerian culture. It finally assesses the Nigerian
construction industry and concludes with an overview of the prevailing
safety and health conditions in Nigeria construction industry.
Chapter three: This chapter discusses in detail, the research
methodology adopted for this research study. The chapter contains a
detailed description of the selection and development of data collection
tools, sources of data collection, population and sample selection, the
method of data collection and a brief introduction to the method of data
analysis.
12
Chapter four: This chapter presents, in detail the data analysis and
results of the administrated surveys for construction workers and
management and also the results of the role of national culture on workers
and managers’ safety climate and finally with the summary of major
findings of the study.
Chapter five: This chapter simply provides the reader with a general
conclusion and recommendations. It presents its recommendation based
on the research findings and finally looks into future research work
avenues.

Figure1: Thesis Structure
Chapter Two
Literature Review
Chapter Four
Data Presentation and Analysis
Chapter Five
Conclusion and Recommendations
Chapter Three
Research Methodology
Chapter One
Introduction
13
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
SAFETY
Safety is the state, in which the risk to human or person or property
damage is reduced to, and maintained at or below, an acceptable level
through a continuing process of hazard identification and risk
management.
SAFETY MANAGEMENT
Safety management is a synthesized organized approach to managing
safety, including the necessary organizational structures, accountabilities,
policies, and procedures.
SAFETY PERFORMANCE
Safety performance is a process of evaluation, measurement and
assessment of safety management level of an organization.
SAFETY CLIMATE
Safety climate is defined as the workers’ perception, attitudes, and beliefs
about the attitudes of the organization’s management towards risks and
safety. It is a manifestation of safety culture in the behaviour and
expressed attitude of workers.
SAFETY CULTURE
Safety culture is the overall product of individual and group values,
attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behaviour that
determine the commitment to safety and lifestyle and proficiency of an
organization’s health and safety management.
14
NATIONAL CULTURE
National culture means the same thing as culture. It is the accumulation of
knowledge, experiences, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies,
religion, timing, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and
material objects and possessions acquired by a large group of people in
the course of generations through individual and group striving.
POWER DISTANCE
Power distance is a national culture dimension which has to do with the
degree or extent to which an unequal distribution of power or authority is
accepted, expected or perceived by members of organizations,
institutions, and societies.
INDIVIDUALISM AND COLLECTIVISM
This is a national culture dimension that deals with the extent to which
people in an organization or society prefer to work in groups/teams
(collectivism) or alone (individualism). It indicates the degree of social
/communal integration.
UNCERTAINTY AVOIDANCE
Uncertainty avoidance is a national culture dimension that depicts the
extent to which people react to or are threatened by uncertainty/unknown
situations or a change in the normal process.

15
MASCULINITY AND FEMININITY
This is a national culture dimension that reflects the degree to which
masculine traits like authority, assertiveness, competition, performance,
astuteness, and success are preferred to female characteristics like
personal relationships, quality of life, service, care and love, and welfare.
LONG TERM ORIENTATION AND SHORT TERM ORIENTATION
This a national culture dimension that is associated with virtues like thrift,
perseverance, and future oriented perspective (long term orientation), or
respect for tradition, fulfillment of social obligation, protecting one’s face,
and dependent on history (short term orientation).

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