The construction sector is one of the largest industrial sectors not only in Sudan but worldwide. This sector consists mostly of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Within this context, the development of small construction sites has been described as an important mechanism of enhancing value chain development, employment creation and alleviation of poverty.
Construction is a hazardous industry by nature, having the highest rate of injuries and fatalities worldwide. Shedding the light on the conditions in Sudan, the situation is beyond serious. The absence of training and awareness, lack of national Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) Policy, unavailability of enforcement of rules and regulations, and poor safety culture in general, played a role in increasing the fatalities and injuries rate, which led to a loss on the individual, company, and society levels. Additionally, workers in the construction sector are exposed to environmental hazards such as high temperature, direct sunlight, and humidity. There are no proper records for OSH incidents and illnesses due to the lack of data, however, the discussion with different contractors and the other stakeholders disclosed a serious and considerable number of fatal and major incidents in the construction field in Sudan.
ILO’s Labour Administration Department has developed WISCON (Work Improvement in Small Construction sites) tool as a significant component of the decent work package to train employers and workers to improve safety practices that also increase work productivity. The WISCON tool focuses on simple, practical ways which SME can easily implement, the tool also encourages exchanging practical improvement experiences instead of pointing out to the problems. WISCON also promotes active participation of both workers and employers in the process of improvements. It is tailored to the needs of labour-intensive types of construction works. An updated version of WISCON will be available on the ILO website.
The ILO aims to intervene in the improvement of OSH practices with the aforementioned tool tailored to the local contexts in its target areas in Assalaya and Nimir in East Darfur and Keilak/Kharasana and Al Meiram in West Kordofan under the Government of the Netherland’s “Partnership for Improving Prospects for Forcibly Displaced Persons and Host Communities (PROSPECTS)” project.
The project will engage 10 contractors from East Darfur and West Kordofan (5 from each state) through small trial contracts. Each contracting company will receive a contract of approximately 50,000 USD to recruit local workers (host communities and replaced persons) and implement the labour-based methods of construction work in the area of borehole and health centre rehabilitation. The contractors will select the construction workers under the guidance of the ILO. In March/April 2021, 3 representatives from each of these selected contractors (30 representatives in total) undertook a 3-week theoretical training, including on the principles of OSH, offered by the ILO.
At the onset of each trial contract work, there will be a need for additional and practical on-site training on OSH principles for the contractor and its workers as well as representatives from the partner institutions. After this initial OSH training, the implementing partner in each state (International and National NGOs), together with the ILO representatives, will provide day-to-day supervision of the trial contracts, including the adherence to the OSH principles.
For more details check the below-attached document.