Client attitude to health and safety – A report on contractor’s perceptions


  • Innocent Musonda University of Johannesburg
  • Theo Haupt Mississippi State University, USA
  • John Smallwood Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University


Attitude, Botswana, Client, Construction, Health and safety


The purpose of this article is to present findings of a preliminary survey on contractors’ perceptions of clients’ attitude relative to health and safety (H&S) implementation in the construction industry of Botswana and Southern Africa. A questionnaire survey was conducted on construction projects to establish clients’ attitude towards H&S. Interviews were also held with contractors’ representatives on selected construction sites in and around Gaborone, Botswana. Findings from the survey include: clients do not perceive H&S to be very important on construction projects; the majority of clients do not address H&S adequately in contract documentation, and H&S is rarely a major item on the agenda of progress meetings. Findings also included that clients are not fully committed to H&S implementation. The client sets the tone for H&S culture. Client attitude is therefore very important for H&S performance improvement as all stakeholders are compelled to act in line with the client’s values. Various researchers have recognised the importance of the client to H&S performance improvement. The extent to which clients are involved in H&S implementation has, however, not been researched extensively, especially in Southern Africa. This article therefore provides an insight into the clients’ attitude towards H&S and explains the reason for the current state of H&S in Botswana’s construction industry.


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How to Cite

Musonda, I., Haupt, T. and Smallwood, J. (2009) “Client attitude to health and safety – A report on contractor’s perceptions”, Acta Structilia, 16(2), pp. 69-85. Available at: (Accessed: 17January2022).



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