The Indian Construction Industry Construction Essay


The project mainly depends on the health and safety issues in India and UK construction industry. The Construction industry contributes most of the country’s economy for both UK and India. At the same time the issues related to health and safety is increasing in both the countries. The measures taken on workers safety are insufficient even though workers play a major role in all construction projects. This dissertation mainly focuses on the health and safety of the workers involved in construction projects.

During this process the researcher has well understood about the construction industry and has collected background information about the UK construction and Indian construction industry in order to make a sufficient development in the construction industry.

In this process the researcher has compared the health and safety issues of the UK and Indian construction industry. For this research, the researcher has used the secondary data research, since the methodology is genuine and it was arduous task to gather materials through books, journals and articles.

Chapter – I


1.1 Introduction

Construction industry provides employment for around 180 million people and contributes 7% of global employment. The industry is tarnished for its reputation as “Dirty, Difficulty and Dangerous – the three Ds” (Murie, 2007, pp. 5 – 7). According to International labour organization, the industry which accounts 7% of the global employment is responsible for 30 to 40 percent of world’s fatal injuries.

The Construction industry is not a homogeneous sector due to its nature of work involved. It is composed of various competitive firms; the majority is who brought together for one, bespoke project before transferring to other projects. Construction industry’s characteristics are in controversial behaviour, lack of co-ordination, lack of customer focus, deprived co-ordination and lack of investment in research and development. In most of the building projects clients raise their demands and cut down the initial capital and ongoing operational and maintenance costs set against an already competitive industry.

Construction organisations are under pressure to develop or implement innovative technologies and practices in order to satisfy their demands (sexton et al, 2005).

Construction industry has a poor reputation for lack of innovation, and for being slow to adopt new technologies. Occurrence of large number of fatal accidents and poor health and safety concern of the labourers is the main drawback of construction industry. As per International Labour Organization (ILO), in construction industry the rate of fatal accidents is 60,000 per year. Also about 30% of labourers are affected by health problems such as musculoskeletal disorders, back pains and other bone related health issues.

All the construction industries are temporary in nature. In most of the projects the progress is delayed mainly due to human errors, which results in contract penalties.

The employees of construction industry have a great value at all levels, in particular the construction site managers and the foremen as they have the main responsibility to maintain health and safety in the construction sites. It is very important to be updated with regards to the new legislations and recent developments (Hughes and Ferret, 2008). The main concern over number of years of health and safety issues in construction industry particularly in 2006/2007 when there was a rapid increase of 28% in construction fatalities. The legal health and safety requirements for all places are of numerous and complex. (Hughes and Ferret, 2008).

1.2 Background of the study

India is the second fastest growing economy of the world at present. India has recorded one of the highest growth rates in the 1990s (P.R. Swarup. 2006-07).Construction industry in India is the second largest industry. The construction industry employs around 17.62 million worker shall comprise 55% of the unskilled, 27% skilled labour and rest consists of support and technical staff (Kulkarni, 2007).

Even though there is a great increase work force, the industry remained labour intensive due to financial constraints often employs hazardous technology and relatively inexpensive this is particularly true for unorganized small scale sectors (Brindha, 2005)

The construction projects often face complex situations due to bad weather conditions. Most of the workers in this industry are drawn from low income groups who face predictable occupational injuries and illness. The construction workers die from work related trauma at a rate three times higher and suffer from dermatologic conditions, hearing loss, musculoskeletal, and lung diseases when compare to workers from other industries. In particular, the national cost from lost production, worker compensation and medical care and other related claims remains very high, which contributed cost $7billion annually (NIH, 1993).

In India, there are no authentic data in respect of the accident rates, and the prevention and causes taken by the industry. However, one study reported 165 per 1000 workers get injured during construction activities. This is very high compared to the rates in the developed countries and even certain developing countries (Damodaran, 2006).

In India, the construction industry is regulated by the following acts.

The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulations of Employment and Conduct of Service) Act, 1996.

The Building and Other Construction Workers Cess Act, 1996,

The Contract Labour Act, 1970.

The Inter-State Migrant Labourers of Employment Conditions of Service Act, 1979.

Construction workers do not get benefit under the Employees State Insurance Act 1948, but are covered by the Workman Compensation Act, 1923 (Parveen & Patil, 2009).

The Britain’s Construction Industry is said to be one of the safest in Europe, and industry is in a period of strong growth with the infrastructure and constructive sectors. The UK construction sector output is the second largest in Europe and contributes about 8.2% of the nation’s Gross Value Added and 8% of Gross Domestic Product and construction outputs of £102.4 billion at current percent. The UK construction industry employs more than 2 million people, this is because the mature of work they do have a high incidence of occupational health (Health and Safety, 2011). The Construction industry provides an essential material for homes, schools, hospitals, industries, roads and railways etc.

In UK, the laws are strict which encourages the workers to eliminate the accidents. In addition, the preference for health and safety is much higher in UK, than the many other countries and also provide regular Health and Safety training for site supervisors and project engineers.

1.3 Statement of the problem

Most of the construction projects are often results in cost delay in completion, due to the fatalities involved in the construction site. The construction workers

The construction workers are more prone to accidents, thus the industry is considered as one of the most hazardous industrial sectors. In India, the report from International Labour Organization (ILO, 2009) revealed that every year nearly 50,000 Indian die from illness or work related accidents and in particular construction activities, on an average, 165 workers are injured. However, these figures are higher than UK (Tony Baxendale et al, 2000). In developed countries like United Kingdom, there is strict legal enforcement of safety in the construction industry and also in the implementation of safety management systems which are designed to minimize or eliminate accidents at work place. Safety and health in the Indian construction industry has lagged behind most other industries as evidenced by its disproportional high rate of accidents. There are annual at least 60,000 fatal accidents on construction sites around the world, according to an ILO report published for World Day for safety and Health at Work, 2005

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