An exploratory study into promoting construction health and safety in Ghana through public works procurement

Dorothy Donkoh, Emmanuel Adiyirah, Emmanuel Aboagye-Nimo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review


The construction industry is commonly associated with high or increasing levels of work-related hazards with ensuing injuries and fatalities. Studies have shown that procurement can further promote good construction H&S practice as it occurs throughout the life cycle of a project. However, the use of procurement as an instrument to promote H&S practices in construction has received little attention till date especially in developing countries. For this reason, the research aimed to explore practical measures to improve construction H&S through public works procurement in Ghana. Qualitative data was collected through semi structured interviews. Seven respondents (procurement managers, consultants and Quantity surveyors), selected through a non-probabilistic purpose sampling from public institutions participated in the survey. In Ghana, the Public Procurement Act, Act 663 which was introduced in 2003 to ensure sanity and value for money in public procurement provides guidelines for the procurement of public works. In view of this, a case study of the H&S management of project procured using the Act 663 was also carried out. This was done to ascertain how public works is carried out in the Ghanaian public sector setting by determining the various stakeholders involved, the processes the project underwent and the various considerations looked at especially under H&S. The results however indicated that the Act 663 has no clause that addresses construction H&S. The paper also finds that, H&S does not form part of the criteria for evaluating tenders. To address the constraints so as to improve upon construction H&S, certain recommendations are offered. These include the inclusion of non-ambiguous H&S requirements as criteria for evaluating tenders and the pricing of H&S items in bills of quantities. Additionally, practical measures to improving construction H&S in Ghana at the key stages of works procurement are also provided. It also includes the specific roles and involvements of other stakeholders in the procurement process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBenefitting Workers and Society through Inherently Safe(r) Construction
Place of PublicationBelfast, UK
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2015
EventBenefitting Workers and Society through Inherently Safe(r) Construction - University of Ulster, Belfast, UK, 10-11 September 2015
Duration: 10 Sept 2015 → …


ConferenceBenefitting Workers and Society through Inherently Safe(r) Construction
Period10/09/15 → …


  • Ghana
  • Heath and Safety
  • Public Procurement
  • Public Procurement Act3g


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