Repository logo

Value added by Occupational Health and Wellness (OH&W) programs in the construction industry.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



It is an undeniable fact that transformation in South Africa has impacted positively on most business sectors, however, while other sectors were quick to adapt, others stumbled when they encountered challenges. Globally, it has been realised that employees are the most important assets of a businesses. Therefore as engines they must be kept healthy and productive. Legislation such as the Occupational Health and safety Act of 1993, emphasises the responsibility of the employer to keep workers healthy and to provide a safe and healthy working environment. The nature of other sectors, such as agriculture and construction tends to deny them an opportunity to develop and sustain Occupational Health and Wellness programmes. The construction industry may present worker with a hazardous environment. The study focuses on issues related to the challenges faced by the construction industry in trying to maintain healthy employees. It assists in identifying the strategies to adopting order to address their needs as short term mobile sector. The survey was conducted in Pietermaritzburg, one of Group Five construction sites. The site was targeted because the project duration was more than five years and comprised many sub-contractors who were taking part in the project. The topic required experts in the field of Occupational Health and Safety, therefore certain categories of quantitative study data were collected using a non-probability sample. There were 112 valid respondents. According to the findings, most contractors seem to have benefited from current Occupational Health and Wellness programmes, but the challenges still exist which are hindering progress. Some of the challenges were perceived cost of running the programmes, pressure from the client to complete projects, inaccessible Occupational Health and Wellness centres. Without a paradigm shift by all stakeholders in the South African construction industry, occupational health and wellness standards will not improve. Stakeholders need to make a paradigm change in order to adopt strategies which will change the face of Occupational Health and Wellness programmes in the construction world.


Master of Business Administration. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville 2015.


Industrial hygiene--South Africa--Pietermaritzburg., Industrial safety--South Africa--Pietermaritzburg., Employee assistance programs--South Africa--Pietermaritzburg., Construction industry--Employees--Health and hygiene--South Africa--Pietermaritzburg., Theses--Business administration., Occupational health and wellness.