Publications / 2014 Proceedings of the 31st ISARC, Sydney, Australia

Safety Practices in the Lebanese Construction Market: ContractorsÂ’ Perspective

R. Awwad, M. Jabbour, O. El Souki
Pages 354-360 (2014 Proceedings of the 31st ISARC, Sydney, Australia, ISBN 978-0-646-59711-9, ISSN 2413-5844)

The construction industry in the world is considered to be one of the most dangerous industries, claiming each year the lives of many workers. In particular, the boom in the construction industry in the Middle East over the past decades was accompanied with significant increase in death tolls and injuries among labor forces. Lebanon is a small developing country in the region who survived a harsh civil war that ended in 1990, and since then, its economy has become more dependent on the construction industry. The country has been undergoing a reconstruction and rehabilitation phase that led to a prosperous growth in construction, however, not accompanied by any improvement of the construction laws to include safety regulations and standards. The purpose of this research is to assess the existence and extent of application of safety practices by Lebanese contractors, management commitment to safety, implementation challenges and opportunities for enhancing safe practices. Based on the aforementioned, this study highlights the benefits and deficiencies of the current safety practice in the Lebanese construction market and concludes by providing recommendations to positively influence industry professionals and foster their commitment to safety. The aim of this paper is achieved through conducting one to one interviews with Lebanese contractors. Findings showed a lack of awareness among small and medium size contractors about the necessity of developing and applying safety training programs on the jobsite. However, large contractors showed a much stronger commitment to safety through planned safety management programs and regular inspections but within a limited budget.

Keywords: Construction management, injuries, hazards, construction safety, construction worker, safety and health management systems, Lebanese construction market