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National Dissemination Workshop on Construction Safety in Kenya


  • Dissemination Workshop

group photo
Group Photo

The advancing urbanization in Kenya and the Sub-Saharan Africa region has steered a rapid growth of the construction industry especially for building and transportation systems to respond to escalating housing and infrastructure demands. However, the low level of skills capacity and inadequate capability to construct, operate and maintain these infrastructure presents a barrier to the realization of full impact of this infrastructure investment, and may consequently compromise the safety of the infrastructure, the people and the environment as a whole.


Moi University in collaboration with Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) and Technical University of Mombasa within the framework of Safety Champions in Engineering Education (SCEE) program held a national safety dissemination workshop on Friday 7th July 2023 in Nairobi. The objective of the workshop was to share knowledge, experiences and best practices on safety in Kenya’s construction sector; Build partnerships and networks to promote safety in Kenya’s engineering industry; and Get stakeholders’ perspectives on how best to integrate safety in engineering curricula. The workshop brought together stakeholders from government, industry and universities. The Chief Guest was Moi University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) for Academics Research, Extension & Students Affairs. The institutions present included the National Construction Authority (NCA), Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK), Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK), International Safety Training Centre (ISTC), National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), National Industrial Training Authority (NITA), Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA), Kenya Ports Authority (KPA). Others were Engineering Schools/Faculties (Kenyatta University, Multi-Media University of Kenya, Technical University of Kenya, Technical University of Mombasa, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, and University of Eldoret). In attendance were 10 graduate interns who had completed 8 weeks of safety training under the SCEE program.

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Prof. Augustine Makokha, Dean-School of Engineering and Project PI

This project is funded by Royal Academy of Engineering through Engineering X, an international collaboration founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering and Lloyd’s Register Foundation. The project is part of the Engineering Skills Where They are Most Needed Program, which seeks to support the delivery of skills and education programmes that will lead to development of much needed engineering skills capacity, enhanced safety standards, and infrastructure that remains safe. The project is currently in the 4th quarter of the first year of implementation. Prof. Eng. Augustine Makokha, the Dean, School of Engineering at Moi University is the Project Principal Investigator (PI). The goal of the project to strengthen the safety skills capacity in Kenya’s construction sector for sustainability in socio-economic development.

This project is expected to contribute to increasing the number of qualified and innovative graduates capable of managing safe and sustainable infrastructure construction projects; expansion of the engineering workforce with updated engineering skills on safety; and a sensitized construction sector workforce with improved safety knowledge and awareness.

Official Opening of the Workshop

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The DVC-Academics, Research, Extension & Students Affairs, Prof. Isaac Kimengi giving his welcoming remarks at the workshop

In his welcoming remarks, the DVC, Prof. Isaac Kimengi reiterated the need for universities in Kenya to improve the quality of engineering training and equip graduates with the right skills while inculcating the right attitudes and values that will promote safer working practices and help to lower the rate accidents and fatalities in the construction industry. Traditionally, engineering courses tend to focus on the knowledge, skills and competencies needed for a career as an engineer. However, it is also important to create engineers with a mission to make the world a safer place and to tackle the sustainability challenge. The DVC affirmed the commitment by Moi University to support efforts towards strengthening the quality of engineering education and mainstreaming safety aspects in the curriculum at all levels of learning with the key aim of developing a safety culture among students. Further, he pointed out the need for policy and regulatory review to strengthen quality monitoring and enforcement in the construction sector. The DVC also commended the Royal Academy of Engineering in UK for sponsoring this project and other projects at Moi University.

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Eng. Margaret Ogai, Registrar and CEO, Engineers Board of Kenya

The Registrar and CEO of the Engineers Board of Kenya Eng. Margaret Ogai reiterated the need to create strategic partnerships between industry, universities and government towards solving emerging challenges such as safety in the construction sector. She challenged universities to drive research and innovation towards providing solutions to today’s engineering challenges to address SDGs. The registrar decried the high number of incidents of collapsing buildings in Kenya, which she attributed to lack of technical capacity in the Counties to design and supervise the construction works, poor skills by construction workers and weak quality enforcement system in the construction industry. She pointed out that the country needs 10,000 professional engineers to drive the development agenda. As a means to build technical capacity, the government targets to recruit 500 fresh graduates every year through EBK and take them through Graduate Engineers Internship Program for three years to build technical capacity for the country.

The Deputy Director of National Transport and Safety authority, and Second Vice-President of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya, Eng. Christine Ogut shared the status of road safety in Kenya. The number of accidents and fatalities recorded between January and June 2023 was higher than the previous year’s record. The road design and construction factors contributed 34% to the fatalities. Eng. Ogut pointed out that road design manuals and specifications currently used in the country are old and should be reviewed, and that the Road Safety Engineers should identify the relationship between various road design elements and accident risk, and focus on implementation of best practice, to reduce road accidents and fatalities.

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Prof. Abel Mayaka, Dean- School of Engineering at Multi-Media University of Kenya (on the Left)

Prof. Mayaka, Dean of School of Engineering at Multi-Media University and a member of the Engineering Deans Council called upon universities offering engineering programs to introduce engineering students to safety training during their first year of study and integrate safety in the curriculum across all the years of study. He emphasized that in the wake of new technologies in construction, safety is a critical skill and each student graduating from engineering school in Kenya should have a certificate in safety.

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Ms. Alice Musili from International Safety Training Centre, Nairobi (on the Right)

The International Safety Training Centre represented by Ms. Alice Musili expressed the desire to work with government and universities on safety training programs that will enhance safety awareness among engineering students and staff.




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Eng. Francis Kibara, Interns Supervisor at KoTDA (on the Left)

Eng. Francis Kibara from KoTDA who supervised four graduate interns observed that the interns lacked the basic safety knowledge when they started the internship program.








Graduate Interns Safety Experience

During the workshop the 10 graduate interns shared their individual experiences and perspectives of the safety internship program. The internship program was designed to equip graduate engineers with requisite safety knowledge, skills, attitudes and habits, and prepare them for professional practice and safety leadership in their workplaces. The internship training program was structured to cover aspects of Safety and health management on construction sites, Construction hazards and hazards controls, Site reporting and record keeping, Quality criteria for safety of construction material, Safe storage and handling of material on construction sites, Proper handling of construction plant and machinery, Emergency procedures and first aid, Environmental sustainability in construction projects, and Safety cultures.

Each intern received a certificate of completion and merit.

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The DVC, Prof. Kimengi issuing a certificate of completion to a Graduate intern
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Interns holding their certificates of completion and merit

The interns shared their experiences and perspectives of safety before and after the internship training.

One of the interns, Ms. Eleanor Maiyo graduated with BSc in Civil Engineering in 2021. Eleanor who was placed at KoTDA had the following to say:

Before I joined this internship program, all that I knew about Safety was the PPEs, but the internship training has helped to broaden my knowledge and overall perspective of safety. Most of the aspects that we learnt during internship were never taught in our university curriculum


Ms. Hamima Mbarak, a graduate electrical engineer who took her internship at Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), narrated her story

Before my internship training, I knew that safety in construction only concerned the structural works. However, after participating in the internship program, I realized that safety involves even electrical works and mechanical works, as well as the environment and the equipment. I learnt about emerging risks to safety in the construction industry.

For Ms. Constella Dunga, a mechanical engineering graduate who was also placed at KPA, the internship was timely.


  The skills I gained in safety management system and materials quality assessment during the internship training gave me an edge over other candidates and helped me to secure a job in a local aviation company

View More Photos of the Workshop here

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