The Significance of Communication to Manage Construction Projects Safely: A Case Study of a Residential Construction Project



By Ramaz S. Issa

Dubai, UAE


Executive Summary

Improper communication in construction sites is somehow fatal, due to informal and inadequate communication between project management and project team, however proper communication between all project team and workers should be enhanced for a safer project.

This report is going to analyze improper communication problem lead to fatal consequences and give a methodology to properly communicate between project team with the different Types of Organizational Communication, and how a project manager can plan communication for a safer project, distribute the information and control the project communication.


A professional project manager is a great communicator; in projects communication is one of the most important aspects in any project success, as Herbert A. Simon a Nobel laureate said “Communication is absolutely essential to organizations” (Schuster, 1997) . One of the biggest issues in work places is communication, false information; improper communication and misunderstanding between project team can lead any project to failure.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration report ((OSHA), 2012), indicated that 4,628 workers were killed on the job in 2012 (3.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers) – on average, 89 a week or more than 12 deaths every day.

This report is going to define a communication problem related to safety in construction site and give an example on how improper communication in a project lead to fatal consequences and analyze this problem to give methodology to overcome this issue.

Definition of the problem

In construction projects risk is high in all aspects whether cost, time, quality or safety. The problem in this report is how improper communication management can lead to accidents and unsafe work place.

Workers get hurt, injured or even die because of lack of safety supervision, unsafe conditions, inadequate training and in lots of cases communication mistakes. Improper communication between project management and project team is sometimes fatal. This report is going to emphasize the importance of proper communication and how dangerous it can be if it is not well managed.

This report case study is about an accident that occurred in a 137M US Dollars project when two workers died, one rescued and one was survived, and the main reason of this accident as per HSE, project manager, consultant, and the municipality reports was a communication mistake. This mistake cost the company 2 lives, site was closed for one month, and moreover fines were issued.


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About the Author


Ramaz S. Issa

Dubai, UAE




Ramaz S. Issa is a Civil Engineer, is studying for a Master of Science degree in project management at the British University in Dubai, and is a PMP candidate. Ramaz is a Civil Project Engineer in Dubai, UAE. He has participated in managing three multi-million dollar projects which include, complex of four residential buildings, container terminal works building package that includes offices & various Industrial buildings, and four stars hotel. Ramaz earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Sharjah and aims to finish his MS degree in project management from the British University in Dubai in 2016.

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