The construction industry generally continue to record relatively very high rates of workplace injuries and work related illnesses compared to many other industries globally. The situation is even worse in nascent economies where workplace safety laws and standards are far from adequate and monitoring and evaluation of safety performance is either minimal or practically non-existent.

There is growing empirical evidence suggesting that work pressure has a positive relationship with work related accidents and injuries. This study scrutinizes worker perceptions about the effects of work pressure on their safety behavior and their exposure to accidents in the construction industry in Ghana. The study adopts a descriptive survey approach and uses primary data from a field survey of 187 construction site workers in Ghana. The results of the empirical investigation suggest that there are high levels of work pressure related accidents in the construction industry in Ghana. The findings also point to the fact that work pressure is mostly caused by work overload, delayed schedules, and a mismatch between employee skills and allocated tasks. Recommendations made based on the findings, suggestions made by the respondents of the study, and the reviewed literature include: construction firms in Ghana should employ appropriate number of employees to reduce work pressure caused by work overload; supervisors should encourage workers by providing incentives for hard work and appreciate worker effort and construction firms in Ghana should start projects on time.

1.1 Background
The construction industry is one of the most crucial sectors needed to propel the development agenda of every nation. Almost every form of infrastructural development is undertaken through this industry. However, despite its importance, the industry is faced with a lot of safety issues. For instance, Suazo and Jaselskis (1993) opined that it is the most hazardous industry. Also, the construction industry in the US makes up only 6% of U.S. workers, but recorded about 20% of the employee fatalities at work, which represents the highest recorded industry-specific fatalities recorded in history (ILO, 2005).

According to HSE (2016), over the past 25 years, the construction industry in the United Kingdom has been a leadings accident prone occupation compared to other industrial sectors. This is not different from China, where the construction industry is noted for its high rates of work related accidents. According to Li and Poon (2009), there has been a reduction of construction industry accident rates from 350 per 1000 workers in mid-1980s to 60 per 1000 workers by 2007. Despite the massive improvement over the years, the industry still accounts for about 20% of total work-related accidents among Hong Kong‟s industrial sectors (Lucy, Ian & Ian, 1999; Choudhry, Fang& Ahmed, 2008). Also Hale, Walker, Walter and Bolt (2012) opined that the construction industry is complex and quite inefficient in handling worker safety issues. Similarly, Laryea and Mensah (2010) found that the construction industry is increasingly evolving, presenting new safety concerns. According to them, this evolution, coupled with high employee turnover rates, makes the industry more risky than any other industry as the safety awareness of employees is not always adequate (Sha, 2010). This is supported by Khan, Suguna and Raghunath (2015)who reiterated that awareness of the safety risk exposure and risk management practices in the construction industry is low and the level of importance given to these issues is uneven at the different levels within the industry (See also Shamsuddin, Ani, Ismail, & Ibrahim 2015).The cost of accidents to construction firms has led many studies to advocate for prevention and/or reduction in the rate of accidents in the construction industry (Leopold & Leonard 1987; Kheni 2008). This led to a paradigm shift in the approach to construction safety management globally.

The nascent economies of Africa have recorded equally high rates of work-related accidents in their construction industries. However, according to Loewenson (1999), reported data on construction industry accidents are inadequate and unreflective of the real facts on the ground. She attributes factors such as poor coverage of certain employee clusters, poor ability of authorities to ascertain the causes of disease and their relation to work, and the characteristics and bottlenecks within the reporting systems in these countries. (International Labor Organization 2007; Kheni, Dainty& Gibb 2008; Idoro2011). Ghana, like many emerging economies, have a very fledgling construction industry characterized by low worker awareness of safety management practices that are widely adopted by more advanced economies coupled with some negative cultural factors. However, the country‟s drive for socio-economic development and the improvement of social welfare prompts the need for more infrastructural development. This stimulates the need for appropriate measures to be put in place to ensure safety of workers and reduced fatalities. This will enhance the safety performance of the construction industry in the country and reduce the socio-economic cost associated with safety related accidents for construction firms, their employees and society as a whole.

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Item Type: Ghanaian Topic  |  Size: 71 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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