Design for occupational safety and health of workers in construction in developing countries: a study of architects in Nigeria

Patrick Manu, Anush Poghosyan, Ibrahim Mark Mshelia, Samuel Tekena Iwo, Abdul Majeed Mahamadu, Krzysztof Dziekonski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (SciVal)


Purpose. Design for safety (DfS) of workers is amongst the prominent ways of tackling poor occupational safety and health performance in construction. However, in developing countries there is extremely limited research on DfS. This study thus makes an important contribution to the subject of DfS in developing countries by specifically examining the awareness and practice of DfS amongst architects within the construction sector of Nigeria. Materials and methods. A survey of architects, yielding 161 valid responses, was conducted. Results. While there is high awareness of the concept of DfS, the actual practice is low. Additionally, although there is high interest in DfS training, the engagement in DfS training is low. Significantly, awareness of DfS, training and education related to DfS, and membership of a design professional body have very limited bearing on the practice of DfS by architects. Conclusions. The findings are thus symptomatic of the prevalence of influential DfS implementation barriers within the construction sector. Industry stakeholders should seek to raise the profile of DfS practice within the sector. Furthermore, similar empirical studies in the construction sector of other developing countries would be useful in shedding light on the status of DfS in these countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-109
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics
Issue number1
Early online date14 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2018


  • construction
  • design for safety
  • developing country
  • prevention through design
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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