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Critical Barriers to Prevention through Design in Construction in Developing Countries: A Qualitative Inquiry

Umeokafor, N, Windapo, A, Manu, P, Diugwu, I and Haroglu, H (2022) Critical Barriers to Prevention through Design in Construction in Developing Countries: A Qualitative Inquiry. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management. ISSN 0969-9988

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Abstract

Purpose:
Given the complexities in improving safety in the construction industry globally, which is exacerbated by the complex safety environment in developing countries (DCs), prevention through design (PtD) has been established to improve occupational safety and health (OSH) where applied. However, it has received very little attention in DCs and the extant literature with limitations. Using Nigeria as a case study, the current study advances the understanding of PtD in DCs by investigating the critical barriers to PtD and other potential OSH responsibilities of designers in the construction industry.

Design/Methodology/Approach:
Twenty-eight semi-structured interviews and e-interviews of architects, builders and civil engineers in Nigeria were analysed using the six-phase thematic analysis. To improve the trustworthiness of the research, triangulation, peer-debriefing, refining the interview protocol and thick detailed description were done

Findings:
The study's findings question the extant general knowledge and understanding of PtD among clients and designers and its technical aspect among designers where it is skewed to structural safety and omitted in universities’ curricula. This explains the inconclusive findings of existing studies on why there is a high level of awareness of PtD but a low level of implementation. There is little client support for PtD, and designers have limited influence on clients in terms of it. The fear of liability from PtD is exacerbated by the limited legal system and lack of adequate legislation in the country. The demotivating attitudes of clients and contractors towards designers in terms of PtD are also reported, just as there are project delivery barriers such as traditional procurement not supporting PtD as design and build procurement does.

Social Implications:
For the sustainable growth in the practice of PtD, the increased and improved quality of education and awareness of PtD is needed but this must focus on instilling a robust understanding of it among designers based on the local context. This educational requirement can be supported by statute.

Originality/Value:
Through qualitative data, the findings explain and offer insight into the inconclusive findings in the extant studies on PtD in Nigeria. Also, it contributes to improving health and safety by advancing the understading of the critical barriers to PtD and other potential OSH responsibilities of designers in Nigeria’s construction using qualitative data.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact permissions@emerald.com
Uncontrolled Keywords: Architecture, engineering and construction industry; design for safety; emerging and developing countries; risk control; safety in design; 0905 Civil Engineering; 1202 Building; 1503 Business and Management; Building & Construction
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TH Building construction
Divisions: Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Publisher: Emerald
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2022 10:24
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2022 10:24
DOI or Identification number: 10.1108/ECAM-04-2021-0304
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16714

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