Occupational Health and Safety in the Kuwait Construction Industry: The Rationale for Research


  • Cathy Robertson Auckland University of Technology
  • Felicity Lamm Auckland University of Technology




Over half of all construction businesses in Kuwait are small firms employing fewer than 10 employees, most of whom are contingent, migrant workers. There is also anecdotal evidence that the practice of employing illegal migrant labour in the Kuwaiti construction industry, particularly amongst sub-contracting firms, is rife. There are disturbing indications that the injury and illness rate amongst construction workers is extremely high. The paper will present the rationale for the proposed study and highlight the characteristics of the Kuwaiti construction industry. A brief review of the literature outlined in the paper will also attempt resolve (or not) the following questions: what are the intersections between the literature on contingent workers and the literature on OHS in the construction industry? In addition, what does the research literature say on the extension to which cultural factors shape employers' practices and attitudes toward employment relations and workplace health and safety? Finally, areas for future research on the topic will he identified and mapped out.


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Author Biographies

Cathy Robertson, Auckland University of Technology

Department of Occupational Health and Safety

Felicity Lamm, Auckland University of Technology

School of Business