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Title: The impact of occupational health hazards and injuries on livelihoods of affected workers: a case of Kitwe district
Authors: Namumba, Everlyn
Keywords: Impact, Occupational health hazards, Injuries, accidents Livelihoods, affected workers, Kitwe District, Zambia.
Issue Date: Aug-2018
Publisher: Mulungushi University
Abstract: The subject of occupational health hazards, accidents and injuries is becoming a major problem. Although they are on the rise, they are poorly documented in many parts of Zambia and thus inadequate information accessible to several stakeholders. Consequently, the socio-economic effects of workplace injuries are visibly on the increase too. Therefore, this study aimed to assess and determine the socio- economic impact of occupational health hazards and injuries on livelihoods of affected workers and families in Kitwe District of Zambia. The study was done in a cross sectional manner; respondents were observed, given self-administered questionnaires and semi-structured interviews in English and translated in Bemba. The study involved a total of 322 respondents who were either still working or had worked for the industries of interest such as mines, manufacturing, and construction and quarrying. The information obtained was analysed using SPSS version 21 and the results presented using frequencies, percentages, tables and diagrams. The study observed that head injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, abrasions, muscle strain, fracture, dislocation, burns, cuts/lacerations and inhaling toxic fumes are the major Occupational Health Hazards and Injuries (OHHI) that are most common among workers on Mines, manufacturing, construction and quarrying industries. Financial challenges, chronic illness development, physical challenges, and expensive medical bills are the major socio-economic effects of OHHI of affected workers livelihoods and their families. The study revealed that labour laws legislation such as Factories Act, Cap 441, Employment Act, Cap 268, etc. may be inadequate and ineffective as they may not meet current conditions of labour laws. The study recommended government to introduce national policy on OHS and aligning occupational health standards to current labour conditions. The findings of this research would be useful to key stakeholders (schools, universities, NGOs, health workers, policy makers) to identify the gaps in current intervention strategies for heavy industrial workers. Most importantly, the findings will help to influence policy and help government in the enactment of relevant laws and policies towards the creation of a safer working environment for both public and private workers in Zambia.
Appears in Collections:Disaster Studies

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