Journal of
Civil Engineering and Construction Technology

  • Abbreviation: J. Civ. Eng. Constr. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2634
  • DOI: 10.5897/JCECT
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 140

Full Length Research Paper

Confined site construction: A qualitative investigation of critical issues affecting management of health and safety

John P. Spillane1, Lukumon O. Oyedele1*, Jason Von Meding1, AshwiniKonanahalli1, Babatunde E. Jaiyeoba2 and Iyabo K. Tijani3
  1School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom. 2Department of Architecture, Faculty of Environmental Design and Management, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria. 3Department of Graphic design, School of Art, Design and Printing, The City University Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 May 2011
  •  Published: 31 July 2011



The construction industry is inherently risky, with a significant number of accidents and disasters occurring, particularly on confined construction sites. This research investigates and identifies the various issues affecting successful management of health and safety in confined construction sites. The rationale is that identifying the issues would assist the management of health and safety particularly in inner city centres which are mostly confined sites. Using empiricism epistemology, the methodology was based on qualitative research approach by means of multiple case studies in three different geographical locations of Ireland, UK and USA. Data on each case study were collected through individual interviews and focus group discussion with project participants. The findings suggest that three core issues are the underlying factors affecting management of health and safety on confined construction sites. It include, (i) lack of space, (ii) problem of co-ordination and management of site personnel, and (iii) overcrowding of workplace. The implication of this is that project teams and their organisations should see project processes from a holistic point of view, as a unified single system, where quick intervention in solving a particular issue should be the norm, so as not to adversely affect interrelated sequence of events in project operations.  Proactive strategies should be devised to mitigate these issues and may include detail project programming, space management, effective constructability review and efficient co-ordination of personnel, plant and materials among others. The value of this research is to aid management and operation of brownfield sites by identifying issues impacting on health and safety management in project process.


Key words: Brownfield sites, confined site, health and safety management, construction management, case studies, space management, city centres, site management, project management, project planning.