English: The South African Construction Regulations realise the contributions by each
member of a project team to health and safety (H&S) improvement. These
Regulations amplify the roles and contributions of clients to project realisation.
The tenets of the Regulations conform with the observation that clients’ H&S
leadership and behaviours are an effective means of improving construction
H&S performance in the industry. This article reports on a study that examined
current clients’ leadership approach and expectations in terms of H&S in South
African construction. The review of relevant literature provides the platform
for the research survey, which was conducted among selected clients of the
industry. The findings show that clients’ H&S leadership roles and behaviours have
a significant influence on construction H&S performance in South Africa. Findings
reveal that unethical behaviour, in terms of procurement and contract awards,
is a serious challenge to the improvement of H&S performance in the industry.