THE INFLUENCE OF NATIONAL CULTURE ON WORKERS SAFETY CLIMATE IN THE NIGERIAN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

AUTHOR: OKOYE, PETER UCHENNA

DEPARTMENT: BUILDING

AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA.

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.

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