Occupational Health and Safety in Tanzanian Construction Sector: Incompliance, Informality, and Power Relations

Main Article Content

Aloyce Gervas
Godbertha Kinyondo
Nina Torm
Mackfallen G. Anasel


The management of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) on construction sites continues to be an area of concern. Workers have continued to be blamed for unsafe behavior, contributing to the increase in the number of accidents on construction sites. Although various legislative acts enforcing Health and Safety (HS) exist, incompliance with such legislation is evident. This study sets out to understand why construction managers and workers do not comply with OHS legislation. Interviews, focus group discussions, and observations were carried out with the construction site managers and informal construction workers on selected construction sites. Content and thematic analyses were adopted to analyze the data using Nvivo version 12, qualitative analysis software. The study confirmed poor OHS practices and concluded that the precarious nature of the workers’ jobs in the construction sector limits their power to demand the enforcement of OHS, resulting in them accepting the risks as wage-for-labor precariat. Site managers have limited power since they are employees of the main contractor, and their focus is on the completion of the construction projects. This study recommends the need to establish an inclusive safety management system that accommodates the main contractors, managers, and workers. Moreover, a review of the current OHS (building and construction) rules is recommended to recognize the precariat-informal construction workers, who are the main players on construction sites.


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How to Cite
Aloyce Gervas, Godbertha Kinyondo, Nina Torm, & Mackfallen G. Anasel. (2022). Occupational Health and Safety in Tanzanian Construction Sector: Incompliance, Informality, and Power Relations. PanAfrican Journal of Governance and Development (PJGD), 3(1), 186-215. https://doi.org/10.46404/panjogov.v3i1.3581
Author Biographies

Aloyce Gervas, Mzumbe University, Tanzania

Aloyce Gervas (Lead Author of this Article) is a Ph.D. student at Mzumbe University, Tanzania specializing in Administration and Management Sciences. His current research works, include two book chapters and one journal article, social protection and informal worker organizations in Tanzania: How informal worker organizations strive to provide social insurance to their members, Convergence, and divergence of workers’ environment, associations, and access to social protection as well as Regulatory Impediments to Enforcing Health and Safety Compliance on Construction Sites in Tanzania.

Godbertha Kinyondo, Mzumbe University, Tanzania

Godbertha Kinyondo (Ph.D.) is a Senior Lecturer at Mzumbe University, Tanzania, and an economist with over 20 years of experience in research and project evaluation issues. Her current research works include the evolution of capital mobility in 37 sub-Saharan African countries, self-regulating informal transport workers, and the quest for social protection in Tanzania.

Nina Torm, Roskilde University, Denmark

Nina Torm (Ph.D.) did her Doctorate in economics from Copenhagen University, Denmark. Her research interests include enterprise and worker dynamics, labor market regulation, and the interplay between social protection and informality. Dr. Nina’s work is published in the fields of development economics and labor studies, and she recently co-edited a book on social protection and informal workers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Geographically her focus has been on the regions of East Asia (Vietnam and Indonesia) and East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania). In addition to her academic achievements, Dr. Nina regularly consults for different international organizations, including the ILO, UNESCAP, and the World Bank.

Mackfallen G. Anasel , Mzumbe University, Tanzania

Mackfallen Anasel (Ph.D.) is a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Health Systems Management, Mzumbe University, Tanzania. His research areas focus on public health, monitoring, and evaluation of the health sector, consulting with various government and non-governmental organizations in the management of health systems. His current research Developing Health Data Use Toolkits: Progress Made by the Capacity Building Consortium, Tanzania.


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