Impact of Institutional Frameworks on Safety and Health in Construction Sites:

Enhancing Safe Practices in Nairobi

  • Jacquelyne J. Legishion, Ms. University of Nairobi
  • Owiti Abiero K’Akumu, Prof. University of Nairobi
  • Isabella Njeri Wachira, Dr. University of Nairobi
Keywords: Safety and health, construction sites, regulation, regulatory institutions, Nairobi city county


In Kenya, the enforcement of safety and health regulations at construction sites presents a significant challenge. As a pivotal sector for the nation's economic growth, construction not only generates employment and drives infrastructure advancements, but also inevitably brings increased safety and health risks. Despite governmental efforts to strengthen safety and health standards in Kenyan construction sites, accidents continue, resulting in injuries and fatalities. This study examines the effectiveness of regulatory institutions in enforcing compliance with safety and health practices on Kenyan construction sites. Prior evidence, largely anecdotal, indicated suboptimal performance by these institutions, a claim yet to be substantiated empirically. Therefore, this research sought to provide empirical validation. The study surveyed 896 registered construction sites in Nairobi. A random sample of 210 sites were chosen using simple random and convenience sampling for comprehensive quantitative and qualitative analyses. Data was gathered through structured questionnaires and observation checklists, with a response rate of 78.4%. Findings indicate that regulatory institutions significantly influence adherence to safety and health practices, albeit with a compliance rate of only 62%. It is concluded that safety and health regulation compliance at Kenyan construction sites is inadequate. Inefficiencies within regulatory bodies are identified as a key factor in this shortfall. The study advocates for a policy overhaul by these institutions to more closely align with and effectively address the present safety and health realities in Kenya’s construction sector.

Author Biographies

Jacquelyne J. Legishion, Ms., University of Nairobi

Ph.D. Student Department of Real Estate, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Owiti Abiero K’Akumu, Prof., University of Nairobi

Associate Professor, Department of Real Estate, Construction Management and Quantity Survey, School of Built Environment & Design, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Isabella Njeri Wachira, Dr., University of Nairobi

Department of Real Estate, Construction Management and Quantity Surveying, University of Nairobi