Work Related Environmental Health Risks

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The Case of Garbage Handlers in the City of Masvingo, Zimbabwe

Occupational accidents and diseases are a major cause of infection, injury, morbidity, disability or even death among workers especially in developing countries.

Current attempts at controlling occupational accidents should focus on preventive strategies which have a broader ands more sustainable effect.

This research,based on information collected between 2005 and2006 examines health risks faced by garbage handlers in the city of Masvingo, Zimbabwe.

Specifically, it scrutinizes linkages between occupational accidents and diseases and the use of personal protective clothing, workers’ knowledge, attitudes and practices.

City Council’s Annual Reports and minutes together with primary data collected from personnel in the cleansing section were analysed.

Results show that there is a high staff-turnover and a prevalence of occupational accidents,injury and diseases among refuse handlers.

Therefore, there is need for an improvement in the work environment of this category of workers.

Clean and safe work environment coupled with education and training programmes should be implemented in order to reduce accident and disease hazards.

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