Handling of Aggregates in The Ethiopian Construction Industry: The Case of Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


Aggregate handling is one of the major tasks in the construction industry. It plays vital roles in the effectiveness and efficiency of the construction industry. Hence, the study investigated the problems of aggregate handling in the construction industry in Addis Ababa. It also investigated the causes of unsafe handling of aggregates and forward recommendations to those who are responsible in the construction technology and management. The researcher selected three aggregate production plants, two concrete batching plants and four construction sites located in Addis Ababa based on convenience and data availability. Two methods of data collection – observation and key informant interview – were used. The concerned people were interviewed and observations were made on those selected sections of the industry and interviews were conducted to investigate the real situations of aggregates handling. Findings from the interview and observation showed that there are huge gaps in the handling of aggregates in construction industry. Contractors are responsible and liable for the supply and proper handling of aggregates in the construction projects as per required standards. However, neither the consultant nor the concerned regulatory bodies enforced the contractors to apply the right handling procedures. Complete and proper handling mechanisms of aggregates are not properly implemented in the construction industry. Consultants had not established well detailed safety mechanisms in handling of construction materials in the construction projects while preparing binding contract documents. In the cases examined, expert teams are seldom available to implement and control the proper aggregate handling mechanisms. Contractors do not give special attention in handling of aggregates either from the source or in the construction sites by providing relevant training for workers responsible in handling aggregates. The workers employed in construction projects are largely casual laborers with limited training in handling of aggregates. This resulted in production of poor quality of concrete that will eventually affect the quality of the construction projects. The government regulatory body, the Ministry of Urban Development and Construction, should develop and implement a quality control mechanism on aggregate handling. The consultants should also give proper emphasis to aggregate handling when preparing contract documents and verify the implementation of the provisions about aggregate handling. Key words: Aggregates, aggregate handling, construction industry, construction technology and management, Addis Ababa.



Aggregates, Construction industry, Addis Ababa, Aggregate handling, Construction technology and management