Payment of Labour Wage for Construction Site Operations with Safety Risk
AbstractThe increasing rate of unsafe acts by construction workers during construction operations to earn more wages is raising new concerns due to its negative effects; including accidents on construction sites. This study, therefore, examined the relationship between the level of safety risk in different building construction operations/trades and methods of payment of wages for construction operatives to determine if the wage payment method was predicted by the level of risk in each operation. Prior to this, the study prioritised selected construction operations based on their safety risk level and rated the method of payment of wages for each operation based on their frequency of utilisation. A site-based survey was conducted using structured questionnaire and interview, administered to building tradesmen and labourers in South-East Nigeria. The study identified 12 high-risk level and 7 medium-risk level operations/trades. The study ranked roofing work as the riskiest building operation. It also found that negotiated lump sum, piece rate and time rate wage systems respectively, were the most prevalent wage payment systems in the payment of wages for operatives. Although the study also found that the level of risk has positive effect on the method of payment of wages (β = 0.214; t-stat = 0.640), it revealed that the level of risk involved in each operation/trade does not significantly predict the payment method used in payment of workers’ wages (F-Stat (0.409) < F-Critical (4.451); p (0.531) > 0.05). It identified negotiated lump sum wage payment method as an emerging wage payment system in Nigeria construction industry and suggested for further investigation to unravel the circumstances behind its high acceptance. The study then craved for review of existing labour laws in Nigeria to capture the new trends in the labour management of risky operations on construction sites.
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