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In recent years, intensive research and development has been done in the area of project risk management. It is widely recognized as one of the most critical procedures and capability areas in the field of project management (Royer, 2002). (Voetsch, Cioffi, and Anbari, 2004) found a statistical significant relationship between management support for risk management processes and a reported project success. However, shortcomings and improvement opportunities in this field have been identified. Some of the shortcomings are related to the ever increasing complexity of the project (Cheng & Love 2001). Compared with many other industries, the construction industry is subjected to more risk due to the unique features of the construction activities, such as long duration, complicated processes, abominable environment, financial complexities and dynamic organization structure (Flanagan and Norman, 1993; Akintoye and MacLeod, 1997; smith 2003).

Risk is the expression of the likelihood and impact of an uncertain, sudden and extreme event that, if it occurs, may have a positive (opportunity) or negative (threat) on the achievement of a project or programme objective as well as on the workers. Risk in construction can be described as exposure of construction activities to economic loss due to unforeseen or foreseen events for which uncertainty was not properly accommodated.

Every project especially in construction is truly dynamic, risky and challenging. Risk can be from accident, natural causes and disaster as well as deliberate attack from an adversary. Risk and uncertainty can obviously occur by internal and/or external factors that are inherent in nature in the construction industry. To control and minimize risk, there is a need to know whether risk should be transferred to others or be shared fairly to the competent parties in order to assess the risk causing factor.

Furthermore, even if they are assessed, they will less frequently evaluate the consequences (potential impact) associated with these risks. One reason might be lack of a rational straightforward way to combine all the facets of risk systematically into a prioritized and manageable scheme (Al-Bahar and Crandall 1990). Risk management is an important part of the decision making process due to the fact that it can affect schedule, performance, quality and budget of a construction project. However, risk cannot be truly eliminated but it can be minimized, transferred or shared from one party to another (Kindinger 2002).

Risk management is the discipline of identifying, monitoring and limiting risks. Risk management applied in the field of construction currently, has been on agenda for more than 25years (Hintze et al., 2004; Jaaferi, 2001). It has focused on large scale projects with different kinds of complexity related to them, such as technology, international collaboration, geography or finance (Hintze et al., 2004; Jaaferi, 2001). More recently, risk management has started to influence an increasing number of companies and not only the large projects. In spite of this, the small projects in construction do not feature a great deal of systematic risk management (Azinim&Edum-Fotwe, 2006).

Risk management may also be described as “a systematic way of looking at areas of risk and consciously determining how each should be treated. It is a management tool that aims at identifying sources of risk  and uncertainty, determining their impact, and  developing appropriate management response ” (Uher, 2003). A systematic process of risk management has been divided into risk classification, risk identification, risk analysis and risk responses, where risk response has been further divided into four section, i.e. retention, reduction, transfer and avoidance (Berkeley et al., 1991; Flanagan and Norman, 1993). An effective risk management method can help to understand not only what kind of risks are faced, but also how to manage these risks in different phases of project. The management of risk which is the responsibility of the entire project team (design, engineering, business, contract, finance, purchasing estimating project control) should begin at the design stage even before tendering to ensure that the anticipated risk is solved even before it becomes obvious. This is one advantage of risk management over the traditional method that waits until risk occurs before finding solution. It is therefore pertinent to be prepared for the risk which can occur either as scheduled risk, cost risk, technical feasibility or risk of technical obsolescence. Hence risk management can be applied to project cost, schedule, quality/performance, safety and business operation especially as construction risk is increasing with the size of the complexity of the project. Owing to its  increasing importance, risk management has been recognized as a necessity in most industries today, and a set of techniques  have been developed to control the influence brought by potential risk ( Schuyler, 2001; Baker and Reid 2005). Hence, utilizing effective risk management techniques to manage risks associated with variable construction activities has become more important for the successful delivering of a project.

This project work will focus on examining the impact of risk with respect to cost, time and safety and also providing a risk management method which will prepare managers/contractors for risk management before it become obvious.


Assessment of risks affecting masons and carpenters is one of the steps in the risk management process, according to European Agency for safety and health at work (2008). This assessment is a process to evaluate the risks associated with masons, carpenters and other workers in construction sites as well as safety and health from work place hazards. It is a careful assessment that considers what would cause harm or injury to the workers at work besides that, the research also consider whether the hazard can be eliminated or not and if the hazards cannot be eliminated, to identify the  protective measures that can control these risks.

Based on health and safety executive (1998), risk assessment is an important step in protecting the workers and business in an organisation and act in accordance with the law. Risk assessment help to focus on the risk that might be potential to cause harm to the workers in the workplace. Ahmed and Ahmed (1999) stated that risk in the construction project exist because of the complication of the project, type of contract, location, knowledge and experience related with the work.


1.3.1  AIM

This project is aimed at ensuring a risk free environment on building construction sites within the study area.


The objectives of this research work are:

  1. To identify the risk in masonry and carpentry works on building construction sites.
  2. To identify risk factors in masonry and carpentry works on building construction sites.
  3. To make recommendations on how risks affecting masons and carpenters can be minimized on building construction sites.



The following research questions will be discussed in this study


  1. What are the risks in masonry and carpentry works on building construction


  1. What are the risk factors in masonry and carpentry works on building

construction sites?

  1. How can risks affecting masons and carpenters be minimized on building

construction sites?


The scope of this study is focused on building construction site in Bwari area council, Kubwa and Central Area F.C.T Abuja. This study was carried out based on questionnaire distributed to the respondents. The target respondents for this study were the project team member (client, representative, architects, engineers, safety officers, project managers and site supervisor, artisans) on construction sites.


Findings from this study can be used to help and guide the professionals in the built environment (client, designer, contractor, surveyors, engineer) involved in construction project work to minimize or resolve the effect of potential risk factor.



1.7     STUDY AREA

Abuja is the capital of Nigeria. It is located in the centre of Nigeria, within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Abuja is a planned city, which was built mainly in the 1980s. It officially became Nigeria’s capital on 12 December 1991, replacing Lagos, though the latter remains the country’s most populous city. Abuja geography is defined by Aso Rock, a 400-metre monolith left by water erosion. The Presidential Complex, National Assembly, Supreme Court and much of the city extend to the south of the rock. Zuma Rock, a 792-metre monolith, lies just north of the city on the road to Kaduna state.

At the 2006 census, the city of Abuja had a population of 776,298, making it one of the ten most populous cities in Nigeria. According to the United Nations, Abuja grew at the rate of 139.7% between 2000 and 2010, making it the fastest growing city in the world. As of 2015, the city is still experiencing an annual growth of at least 35%, still retaining its position as the fastest growing city on the African continent and one of the fastest in the world. Abuja has witnessed a huge influx of people into the city; the growth has led to the emergence of satellite towns such as Karu, Urban Area, Suleja, Gwagwalada, Lugbe, Kuje and smaller settlements to which the planned city is sprawling. The unofficial metropolitan area of Abuja has a population of well over three million and comprises the fourth largest metropolitan area in Nigeria, surpassed only by Lagos, Kano and Ibadan.

Significant sights include the Nigerian National Mosque and the Nigerian National Christian Centre. The city is served by the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. Abuja is known for being one of the few purpose-built capital cities in Africa as well as being one of the wealthiest.

The indigenous inhabitants of Abuja are the Gbagyi (Gwari) as the major language, Bassa, Gwandara, Gade, Ganagana, Koro, etc. In light of the ethnic and religious divisions of Nigeria plans had been devised since Nigeria’s independence to have its capital in a place deemed neutral to all major ethnic parties, and also in close proximity to all the regions of Nigeria. The location was eventually designated in the centre of the country in the early 1970s as it signified neutrality and national unity. Another impetus for Abuja came because of Lagos population boom that made that city over-crowded and conditions squalid. As Lagos was already undergoing rapid economic development, the Nigerian regime felt the need to expand the economy towards the inner part of the country, and hence decided to move its capital to Abuja. The logic used was similar to the way Brazil planned its capital, Brasilia. Construction broke ground and was dedicated in the late 1970s but, due to economic and political instability, the initial stages of the city were not complete until the late 1980s.

The master plan for Abuja and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was developed by International Planning Associate (IPA), a consortium of three American firms: Planning Research Corporation; Wallace, McHarg, Roberts and Todd, and Archisystems, a division of the Hughes Organization. The master plan for Abuja defined the general structure and major design elements of the city that are visible in its current form. More detailed design of the central areas of the capital, particularly its monumental core, was accomplished by Kenzo Tange, a renowned Japanese architect, with his team of city planners at Kenzo Tange and Urtec company.

Abuja and the FCT have experienced and is still experiencing huge population growth, it has been reported that some areas around Abuja have been growing at 20% to 30% per year hence the city is experiencing massive construction work. Squatter settlements and towns have spread rapidly in and outside the city limits. Tens of thousands of people have been evicted since the last demolition exercise in 2003.

Therefore, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja being a fast growing and developing city in Nigeria, with many construction sites with construction activities going on in the city, the city is chosen as the study area. With Kubwa Area Council and Central Area in Abuja as the point of focus of the study.

















Figure 1.1:  Map of Abuja extracted from map of Nigeria showing the study area



Some of the terms where defined from (Ward & Chapman, 2003) project risk management.

  1. RISK: risk is exposure to the consequences of uncertainty. In a project context, it is the chance of something happening that will have an impact upon objectives. It includes the possibility of loss or gain, or variation from a desired or planned outcome, as a consequence of the uncertainty associated with following a particular course of action. Risk thus has two elements: the likelihood or probability of something happening, and the consequences or impacts if it does.
  2. RISK MANAGEMENT: refers to the culture, processes and structures that are directed towards the effective management of potential opportunities and adverse effects.
  3. THE RISK MANAGEMENT PROCESS: involves the systematic application of management policies, processes and procedures to the tasks of establishing the context, identifying, analysing, assessing, treating, monitoring and communicating risk.
  4. RISK IDENTIFICATION: is the process of determining what, how and why things may happen.
  5. RISK ANALYSIS: is the systematic use of available information to determine how often specified events may occur and the magnitude of their consequences. It may use any of a wide variety of mathematical and other models and techniques.
  6. RISK EVALUATION: determines whether the risk is tolerable or not and identifies the risks that should be accorded the highest priority in developing responses for risk treatment.
  7. RISK TREATMENT: establishes and implements management responses for dealing with risks, in ways appropriate to the significance of the risk and the importance of the project.


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