Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Factors Affecting the Implementation of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems in the Construction Industry in Saudi Arabia Going through the literature review | WriteDen

Factors Affecting the Implementation of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems in the Construction Industry in Saudi Arabia Going through the literature review

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Factors Affecting the Implementation of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems in the Construction Industry in Saudi Arabia


Going through the literature review and report is essential to eliminate the duplication of the materials that will be covered. This study reviewed information from journals, periodicals, internet sources, reports, books, corporate websites, working papers, and government websites; furthermore, a survey will be handled around some shared factors between different studies to show which points are the most affected related to the subject Factors Affecting the Implementation of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems in the Construction Industry in Saudi Arabia. The literature review also considered the past critical analysis, research gaps, and past studies.

Table of Contents Section 1: Introduction 1 Section 2: Literature Review 1 2.1 Common Factors 1 Section 3: Methodology 1 Section 4: Data & Results 1 Section 5: Relative Importance Index (RII) 1 Section 6: Conclusion and Recommendation 1 Section 7: References 1

Section 1: Introduction

 Establishing a safe working environment is primary to the construction industries worldwide. However, the implementation of the health and safety management systems, especially in developing countries such as Saudi Arabia, has been affected by various factors, exposing the workers to injuries and accidents due to unsafe conditions. The lack of adequate health and safety management systems has been affected by a lack of commitment from the management, inappropriate leadership, poor resource allocation, lack of stakeholder collaboration, and inappropriate allocation of the resources by the senior management (Othman et al., 2020). The use of defective technology and inappropriate communication have also exposed the workers to more worksite risks. There is a need for adequate inspection, guidance, and assessments of all the equipment used in the construction sites. Also, the supervisors and employees should be trained to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations and the safety practices needed to execute different projects. The methods will prioritize the safety of the workers and other organization members.

In this report, there will be many different factors that are effecting on implementation of occupational health and safety management systems in different countries .The technique will be used is to confine these factors to be based on the most shared and repetitive ,which will give a big focus and effective study that will benefit and help the pointed area which is the construction sector in Saudi Arabia.

Section 2: Literature Review

According to Serdar Durdyev et al. (2017) and Othman et al. (2020), construction has long been known as one of the world's most hazardous industries, as evidenced by several historical accounts (Durdyev et al., 2017 and; Othman et al., 2020). As a result of poor risk management in emerging countries, the situation is even worse. As a method to fix this problem, greater attention needs to be put to refining the implementation of safety measures. Othman et al. (2020) hope to accomplish a better understanding of how safety measures in construction projects in developing countries might be implemented. Othman et al. (2020) conducted a thorough review of the relevant literature and identified 21 critical success factors. Othman et al. (2020) conducted sixteen semi-structured interviews with Iraqi construction industry specialists in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the issues. According to the interviewees, a variety of criteria, including management commitment, safety training, rigorous compliance with safety rules and regulations, and stakeholder engagement, were critical to the success of the project (Othman et al., 2020). Technology was brought up by one of the interviewers as a new consideration. Safety programs in developing countries, and Iraq's building sector might benefit from the findings (Othman et al., 2020).

Serdar Durdyev et al. (2017) state that despite the importance of competent safety management in the construction sector, anecdotal evidence suggests that in many developing countries, safety is not given adequate consideration (Serdar Durdyev et al., 2017). Serdar Durdyev et al. (2017) examined the main elements that impact safety in Cambodia's construction sector. Using a questionnaire, local professionals in the construction sector were asked to rank a list of 30 basic variables based on how important they were to their work. There was a procedure called factor analysis used to analyze the data set. Data shows that the area business is now dealing with five key categories of issues: management and organization, resources, site management, aesthetics, as well as workforce (Serdar Durdyev et al., 2017). Construction industry leaders (top management and government authorities) should have a larger share of the responsibility for further improving construction site safety. This study's results and recommendations may be useful to construction workers in developing countries who want to improve their safety records (Serdar Durdyev et al., 2017).

Due to the nature of the construction industry, proper safety precautions must be in place on construction sites (Priyadarshani et al., 2013, Durdyev et al., 2017; Othman et al., 2020). The fundamental concern in a market-driven society is completing projects with the required quality and in the quickest feasible time at the lowest possible cost. In the absence of a construction site accident, the issue of worker safety is not addressed until steps are taken to improve working conditions, especially in developing countries. One out of every six accidents and 25 out of every 40 deaths on Sri Lankan construction sites are the results of carelessness or negligence, according to the International Labor Organization (Priyadarshani et al., 2013). These findings show that the construction industry in Sri Lanka does not pay safety the attention it deserves. Construction safety is critically important, thus, it must be carefully managed at all times. A standard for measuring construction safety is the goal of Priyadarshani et al.’s (2013) study, which uses a framework for evaluating safety management. In Sri Lanka, a questionnaire survey was used to gather information on the variables that impact a building's safety performance. According to the findings, six major areas of criteria should be reviewed in order to establish a standard for construction safety (Priyadarshani et al., 2013). The management structure will make it easier to conduct a benchmarking method and efforts to enhance developing country construction safety performance.

It is difficult to overstate the importance of construction to both the global economy and human civilization. There are several risks throughout the construction process, which in combination with the unique characteristics of this sector, contribute to a high rate of deaths (Jaafar et al., 2018; Khalid et al., 2021). Occupation-related illnesses and injuries are most often caused by a combination of variables, including human error, the working environment and management, and environmental influences. When it comes to work-related sickness and injury, it's the people and works environment variables that are more obvious; yet, they are the deeper fundamental causes of OSH issues (Jaafar et al., 2018). An effective plan for managing occupational safety and health on building sites is required if those threats are to be kept under control. Jaafar et al. (2018) examine an approach to occupational safety and health management that incorporates elements of policy, process, personnel, and reward. This approach has been well-established in previous studies.

According to Khalid et al. (2021), there is little doubt about the positive impact building has on the economy and the perils of working in the industry. While construction site accidents can result in the death of workers, the whole project's performance is at risk as well. This includes delays in finishing the project, cost over runs, lowered quality and eventually low productivity. This relates to Jaafar et al.’s (2018) study, which states that accidents on construction sites are most often caused, statistically speaking, by a lack of adequate safety measures being implemented (Jaafar et al., 2018; Khalid et al., 2021). Improving safety performance necessitates a thorough examination of all the conceivable aspects of safety management. Health and safety (H&S) performance is examined by Khalid et al. (2021), as is the argument for establishing a strong safety management system (SMS) that incorporates all aspects into one system. In order to establish the importance of developing an SMS that integrates these aspects into a single framework, Khalid et al. (2021) conducted a study. Although safety performance can only be achieved by effectively implementing safety regulations, leadership and safety planning on construction projects, there is a need for re-alignment and re-balancing of priorities in order to significantly improve the target on construction projects' safety performance (Khalid et al., 2021). It is still feasible to enhance safety performance despite the fact that these aspects are interdependent and cannot be separated.

Mahmoudi et al., 2014 found that seven essential components of the intended framework could be found through a study of a variety of standard systems (mainly the HSEMS, OHSAS 180001, and the British Standard, OHSMS-Guide 8800), all of which were considered during the research process. The relative relevance of each component and the factors associated were evaluated at both the organizational and project levels (Mahmoudi et al., 2014). Next, it was tested in three separate construction companies, with the outcomes from each being compared. Research shows that leadership and dedication are critical at the organizational level whereas risk assessment and management are critical at the project level (Mahmoudi et al., 2014; Jaafar et al., 2018; Khalid et al., 2021). As a result of these data, it can be concluded that organizational and project levels have different priorities when it comes to key components. According to Mahmoudi et al. 2014, implementing the framework is straightforward; when results are evaluated correctly, it is easy to identify the main factors that have led to the current status of enterprises.

Karakavuz and Gerede (2018) state that since the successful deployment of OHSMSs to protect employees' health and safety, these systems are critical to increasing production and effectiveness in the workplace for workers of all kinds (Karakavuz & Gerede, 2018). For corporations, this role is a vital tool for achieving their objectives while also reducing their social costs. As a result, enhancing the performance of OHSMSs can have a major impact. OHSMS implementation by ground handling enterprises operating at Turkish airports was the focus of Karakavuz and Gerede’s (2018) study, which sought to identify which factors had the most impact on the performance of OHSMSs. The data was acquired from top OHSMS managers and subject matter experts using the nominal group technique. An important factor in the success of OHSMS implementations is the degree of professional independence of OHS practitioners, the level of senior management commitment to OHSMS implementations, the level of awareness among senior managers of OHSMS implementations, the level of financial support provided by senior management for these initiatives, and the consistency of OHSMS audits (Karakavuz & Gerede, 2018).

Workers' health and safety in the workplace are critical in the construction industry because of the high rate of workplace accidents (Mosly & Makki, 2020). The building of a safe work environment is a vital first step in improving the overall safety standards of construction workers. The goal of Mosly and Makki’s (2020) research is to find out what factors influence Saudi Arabians' perceptions of the safety atmosphere in the construction industry. People's impressions of the safety climate are influenced by a group of 13 elements (Mosly & Makki, 2020). Workplace safety is influenced by a variety of factors, including management's commitment to safety, employees' attitudes toward health and safety, the environment in which they work, and the competence of their coworkers (Mosly & Makki, 2020 and; Kines et al., 2010). These factors include monitoring, guiding, inspecting, risk assessment, social security and health insurance, and coworker influence. Social security and health care are all within the purview of supervision, direction, and inspection.

According to Kines et al. (2010), construction safety relies heavily on effective communication, yet the extent to which it reduces unsafe behaviour on the job site is unknown. The goal of Kines et al.’s (2010) study is to explore the relationships between communication, cognitive failure, and risky conduct in order to better understand the mechanisms at work here. Communications are inputs for management; cognitive failures by workers are processes; real acts are outputs. Kines et al. (2010) depict that workers' cognitive failure is more closely linked to the type of management communication than the frequency of contact between managers and workers, according to the research. The manner in which people communicated was explicitly linked to their perceptions of ease and independence, which may be contributing reasons to the occurrence of risky work practices on the construction site. The findings of Kines et al. (2010) show that safety communication, cognitive impairment, and behaviour are all linked. Some of the holes that had been left unfilled by past studies may be filled up as a consequence.

Similar to Khalid et al. (2021) research, Wang et al. (2006) state that accidents that occur on the job site might cause the entire project to be delayed (Khalid et al., 2021 and Wang et al., 2006). SimSAFE, an innovative simulation-based approach proposed in Wang et al.’s (2006) study, assesses the risk associated with each operation in a network schedule. This means that safety managers may pay close attention to activities that have high estimated accident costs at any given period in time. Additionally, SimSAFE provides information on factor sensitivity to assist in safety risk management.

Saudi Arabia's economic development is widely acknowledged to be among the fastest in the Middle East. Al Haadir and Panuwatwanich (2011) denote that Saudi Arabia's construction safety standards have traditionally lagged behind those of other countries. For many Saudi construction firms, the escalating costs and delays associated with accidents are key sources of worry. There have been countless attempts to fix these issues by these firms, but they have no idea why or where to begin (Al Haadir & Panuwatwanich, (2011). It is the primary goal of Al Haadir and Panuwatwanich (2011) to identify the major obstacles that construction companies in Saudi Arabia face in adopting safety measures. In order to encourage the implementation of comprehensive safety procedures in the Saudi construction sector, Al Haadir and Panuwatwanich (2011) serves as the first and most critical step. There were seven crucial success variables identified using the Pareto principle. Businesses can focus their efforts and resources on these aspects if they want to increase workplace safety by implementing programs more effectively (Al Haadir & Panuwatwanich, (2011).

In many people's minds, construction is the most hazardous business because of its long history of fatalities and serious injuries. Accidents on construction sites have had a variety of detrimental consequences on project performance, including a delay in completion, an increase in costs, an increase in productivity, and the creation of bad views of the organization (Abas et al., 2020, Khalid et al., 2021, Kines et al., 2010 and Mostly & Makki, 2020). Because of this, companies must take steps to ensure the health and safety of their workers on the job in order to avoid incidents. With a major focus on project-level safety, Abas et al. (2020) give an overview of factors that influence the performance of construction projects. There are a number of factors that influence the safety performance of a construction project, including the implementation of safety training and a secure working environment and the adoption of safe plants and equipment (Abas et al., 2020). Abas et al.’s (2020) findings may serve as a springboard for further examination into the study's principal issue.

According to Choudhry et al. (2008), the construction industry has seen a dramatic spike in occupational safety concerns in recent years. In an effort to reduce occupational injuries and illnesses and improve overall workplace safety, a large number of construction companies throughout the world are implementing safety, health, and environmental management systems (Choudhry et al., 2008, Durdyev et al., 2017; Othman et al., 2020). The outcomes of exploratory research on the management of site safety in contexts linked with building sites are presented by Choudhry et al. (2008). It explains the cutting-edge safety, health, and environmental management system utilized by a well-known Hong Kong construction company. Site-specific safety plans were used throughout the construction process as a source of safety instruction. Research on safety management was conducted in order to determine the existing degree of security at the construction sites (Choudhry et al., (2008). All of the company's employees and subcontractors took part in the survey, which was based on replies from 20 distinct building projects. As a whole, the construction sites yielded 1,022 useable records that could be used. Eight distinct components of construction safety were examined, and the results were insightful. There are eight factors to consider when it comes to safety: safety policy and standards, safety organization, safety training, checking hazardous circumstances, personal protection program, plant and equipment, safety promotion, and management conduct (Choudhry et al., 2008). Choudhry et al.’s (2008) findings may be applied immediately by construction project managers and construction safety practitioners to make their workplaces safer. The reader will benefit from this article's combination of information and discussion.

The main goal of the study carried out by Sarhan et al. (2018) is to identify and assess the main hurdles to lean construction methods in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and to prioritize the obstacles in order of priority. Using lean construction in the Saudi Arabian construction sector faces 22 challenges, according to Sarhan et al. (2018). To begin with, the primary components that make up these obstructions include cost-related obstacles, technological barriers, client-related hurdles such as lack of knowledge and performance, and traditional practices such as lack of innovation (Sarhan et al., 2018). Sarhan et al. (2018) outline possible solutions for the major obstacles.

2.1 Common Factors

Below shows the most shared and repetitive factors that effecting on the implementation of occupational health and safety in the construction sector generally. 6 main factors nominated to be the most effective elements which prevent from the implementation of occupational health and safety, these main 6 factors have 19 subfactors which specified the rout cause of problems that prevented from the right implementations.

1- Management Commitment

1. Lack of commitment from management

2. supervision, guidance and inspection

3. resource allocated by senior management to OHSMS

4. Leadership

2- Stakeholders’ involvement

1. stakeholder collaboration

3- Communication

1. inappropriate communication

4- Safety related factors

1. safety inspection

2. Inappropriate enforcement of safety rules and regulations

3. Implementation of safe working conditions

4. Implementation of safe plant and equipment

5. Implementation and the continuity of the OHSMS Saudi standards

6. safety training

5- Employee involvement

1. Employee education and training

2. worker's involvement

3. workmate influence

4. workers attitude toward health and safety

6- Equipment and site conditions

1. defective equipment (technology)

2. worksite conditions

3. supportive environment

Section 3: Methodology

Going forward, started to get the common factors that were shared in the different resources and looked in to, which are 19 subfactors look at the table in section 2.1, then used the google form to get them rated. After that putted the factors on scale from 1 to 5, so 1 is not affected and 5 is the most effected, and the form was ready to be shared through the emails, whatsup and LinkedIn. The subfactors were distributed around specialist people in the field of Environment, health and safety (EHS) here in Saudi Arabia, and received around 103 responses within 2 and half weeks.

Section 4: Data & Results

Now the survey is ready to illustrate the thoughts about the subject (Factors Affecting the Implementation of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems in the Construction Industry in Saudi Arabia), so listed three important questions beside the 19 factors in the survey ,which they are :In which country do you work ? the cause of this question is because I’m targeting a specific country which Saudi Arabia .Second question in the survey was In which sector do you work ? the point of this question to find out and separate people that working in different sector of construction sector . Third question was, what is your relationship to health and safety at your work? surely EHS people are highly recommended for this survey and to answer this question specifically , but let’s not forget that some people who are not belonging to EHS department in the companies or organizations and their position name not starting with safety ,health and environment specialist ,sometimes they can be in a different department and different position and one of his/her important task is safety , so these people are needed and pointed in this survey , they have an enough background about safety and already familiarized . The answer of the mentioned questions came up like this:

Around 85% who answered that they are working Saudi Arabia.

75% who answered that they are working in the construction sector.

103 responses they responded to the question, what is your relationship to health and safety department? Were main four positions: Safety engineer, safety manger, safety supervisors and safety officer.

Section 5: Relative Importance Index (RII)

The index of relative importance: An alternative approach used to reduce bias in this subject and implemented on the survey factors to evaluate the most factors that Affecting the Implementation of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems in the Construction Industry in Saudi Arabia. So Relative Importance Index is calculated for each of the indicators and ranked accordingly. The RII derived to summarize the importance of each indicator: W = weighting as assigned on Likert’s scale by each respondent in a range from 1 to 5, where 1 = no impacts, 2 = negligible impact, 3 = marginal impact, 4 = moderate impact and 5 = major impact, so this process was implemented as mentioned before by using a google form for a survey purpose, then took the result as it is and apply the ranges for each factor, using the RII template equation below:

For each item, enter the frequency with which each response option was observed:

Computed values, given the 5 frequency entries:


Frequency of "5" responses

Frequency of "4" responses

Frequency of "3" responses

Frequency of "2" responses

Frequency of "1" responses

Total respondents (N)

Weighted total


Item Mean

supportive environment





































When applied that, the result of RII came up with a specific number for each factor to show up the rate of importance. Then the RII number multiplied with 100 to get the percentage at the end, please look at the schedule below:



Lack of commitment from management


supervision, guidance and inspection


resource allocated by senior management to OHSMS




stakeholder collaboration


inappropriate communication


safety inspection


Inappropriate enforcement of safety rules and regulations


Implementation of safe working conditions


Implementation of safe plant and equipment


Implementation and the continuity of the OHSMS Saudi standards


safety training


Employee education and training


worker's involvement


workmate influence


workers attitude toward health and safety


defective equipment (technology)


worksite conditions


supportive environment


Now, after figuring out results, the factors level of affectedness based on the RII result going between 65% & 80% which means more than half of the 103 responded agreed on the high impact of these factors on implementation of occupational health and safety management systems in the construction industry in Saudi Arabia.

Section 6: Conclusion and Recommendation

At the end of the report, we are now aware of the main factors and subfactors that effecting on the implementation of occupational health and safety management system in the construction industry in Saudi Arabia, with an agreement of the most responders who shared in the survey done.

So, I really recommend that, to take the results of this report and try to fulfill and streng


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