Benefits of Implementing Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems for the Sustainable Construction Industry: A Systematic Literature Review

Ahmed Farouk Kineber, Maxwell Fordjour Antwi-Afari, Faris Elghaish, Ahmad M. A. Zamil, Mohammad Alhusban, Thikryat Jibril Obied Qaralleh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accidents are more prevalent in the construction industry compared to other economic sectors. Therefore, understanding the benefits of occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMSs) in terms of their sustainable implementation, management and performance, as well as the awareness of OHMSs and barriers to their implementation, are important for improving OHSMSs in the sustainability of the construction industry. Although there is considerable research on OHSMSs, further assessments are needed concerning other aspects of OHSMSs, particularly the benefits of OHSMSs. Thus, this review paper summarises the empirical state of the art of OHSMS activities. Scopus, Web of Science and other databases were searched using predefined standards. The query was limited to articles published from 1999 to 2023. Consequently, one hundred and four articles were selected and analysed. These articles present analyses of OHSMSs and their potential benefits concerning the implementation of OHSMSs and management, performance, awareness, and barriers in relation to OHSMSs. The results reveal that 12.50% of the reviewed studies assessed the implementation of OHSMSs in the construction industry, and 25.96% studied the management of OHSMSs. Analyses of the performance of OHSMSs in the construction industry accounted for 8.65%, analyses of the awareness of OHSMSs accounted for 4.81%, model-related analyses accounted for 13.46%, studies on the significance/benefits of OHSMSs accounted for 3.85%, studies on the barriers/challenges associated with OHSMSs accounted for 5.77%, analyses on the safety indicators of OHSMSs accounted for 2.88% and other types of studies accounted for 20.19%. This study further reveals that the implementation of OHSMSs is characterised by a dearth of proper communication, the non-utilisation of personal protective equipment (PPE), wrong postures and work activities, a dearth of training, physiological factors including burnout and stress, and a dearth of safety culture and orientation; in addition, matters relating to compliance with effective laws are significant safety challenges in the construction industry. However, the rationality for evaluating the benefits of OHSMSs, comprising their implementation, management and performance, as well as awareness of and barriers to OHSMSs, is challenging to authenticate because appropriate field, survey, organisational and clinical data concerning incident occurrences in the construction industry are lacking for comprehensive evaluations. Thus, this novel study presents our effort to narrow this gap by establishing a framework for increasing our understanding of the benefits of implementing OHSMSs and accident reduction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12697
Number of pages35
Issue number17
Early online date22 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

Acknowledgments: This study was supported via funding from Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University, project number PSAU/2023/R/1444.


  • OHSM
  • OHSMS benefits/barriers
  • OHSMS implementation
  • OHSMS performance
  • construction industry


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