Safety on Construction Sites

In the building and designing professions, the incalculable value of
human life dictates nothing but the highest moral standards from those
who may risk otherwise (Mason 1998).The project managers, engineers,
architects, clients and contractors have the fundamental right of
holding high professional standards. The basic aspect of ethics in the
construction industry is personal ethics which often entails that all
the construction professionals must treat others as they would love to
be treated (Badger &Gay 1996). However in the recent past we have
witnesses a situation where these professionals negate their
responsibility and assume that their client demands outweighs the
responsibility of others like the public.There is also the issue of
cases where these professionals have been going against the professional
ethics and code of conduct. Today, however, the building professionals
gain integrity and respect to some level through the professional bodies
and these organs do have codes of practice which define their roles and
responsibilities as professionals (Harris et al 1995).
Professional Ethics
Most professions are always linked to the issue of service thus a
profession is a group of people organized to serve a body of specialized
knowledge in the interests of the Additionally,Whitbeck (1998), do
confirms that professions are occupations that require an advanced study
and the mastery of specialized knowledge and skills. Professions are not
exempted from the ethical behaviors like obligations, responsibilities
and duties that normally are binding on the ordinary people and there
are bound by the set principles, attitudes that do control the way the
profession is practiced (Mason 1998).
Construction Industry ethics
When it comes to the construction industry, architects are normally
assumed as the talented in the design and construction of building , in
addition to that ,be of the highest ethical standards.This can be traced
back to the American institute of Architects code of Ethics set in the
year 1947. Today the code of ethics usually revolves around the idea of
the common good is right for the issues that are not based in law. In
addition to that, the Australian institute of Architects code of
professional code entails the principles rules that govern them. The
main responsibilities of the architecture as profession include advising
clients on project management, drawing and designing of structures and
building and supervising the building process just to name a few (Badger
&Gay 1996).
In the case of project managers, one of the most important elements in
their profession is the consideration of ethics and social
responsibility. It goes without saying that there should be no conflict
between morality and the good management. It is therefore very important
that the project managers do conduct their work in an ethical manner and
must confirm to the ethical conduct that is being required from them
(Harris et al 1995).
The construction contractors are also expected to carry themselves in an
ethical manner. However we have been witnessing cases where construction
professionals played the significant role in the ethical conduct
normally plays in the construction contracting (Badger &Gay 1996).
However in the recent past people working in the construction industry
are twice likely to sustain major injuries and five more likely to be
killed than the average of all industries.
Contrary with the architects, however the construction contractors have
the negative reputation for the unethical behavior and the main problem
is the high number of disputes between the builders and the proprietors.
This can be attributed to the influx of the new construction companies
with employees who lack the bare minimum building and construction
ethics and on top of that greed being the main factor leading to this
conduct. There are frantic efforts to from the contracting community to
get rid of those within their midst who fail to do the right thing. In
addition to that there have been major efforts within the industry also
pushing for self regulation in order to get rid of rogue contractors
from the genuine one (Whitbeck 1998)
There are major efforts in the construction industry due to the growing
demand from the populace for the good ethical practice and professional
behavior in all forms of business, including the construction industry.
However, history suggests that the advancement of the professional
ethics in the construction industry is very much dependant on the
implementation and the policing of the ethical guidelines and policies
of both professional bodies and private organizations together under the
auspices of the public procurement authority. It is very important all
stakeholders come together in the construction industry as the key
driver of the economy to sensitize the entire professional to uphold the
ethics for the betterment of this industry.
Badger, W.W., Gay, S.W., 1996, The top ten lessons learned in
contracting, Cost Engineering, 38(5), May, 20–9.
Harris Jr, C.E., Pritchard, M.S., Rabins, M.J., 1995, Engineering
concepts and cases, Wadsworth Publishing Company, USA
Mason, R.R., 1998, Ethics: a professional concern, Civil Engineering,
Society of Civil Engineers, 68(12), Dec, 63–6.
Whitbeck, C., 1998, Ethics in engineering practice and research,
University Press: United Kingdom.

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