Occupational Safety of Municipal Solid Waste Workers in Lagos
Keywords:Municipal solid waste, Waste workers, Occupational hazards, Health, safety Lagos State, Waste Management Authority
This paper, focusing on Oshodi and Victoria Island, examines the occupational safety of municipal solid waste workers in contemporary Lagos. Urban sweepers and highway managers mostly officials of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) have been highly vulnerable to diverse occupational hazards. The Lagos metropolis with a population of over 21 million generates 0.95kg/person/day cumulating between 12,000 to 14,000 metric tons of solid waste per day. This requires huge and well-coordinated manpower to keep the metropolis clean. However, municipal solid waste is produced as a result of economic activities and consumption. This includes non-hazardous wastes from households, commercial establishments, institutions, markets, and industries. Extant literature is silent on the occupational safety problems faced by municipal waste management workers in Lagos. This paper fills the important gap. The survey was carried out on two hundred (200) workers in the waste industry in Lagos. The respondents were interviewed through a well-structured questionnaire harvested from two working groups.100 workers were selected from LAWMA-highway managers and 100 from Street Sweepers under Private waste Operators, and Private Sector Participants(PSPs) operatives. These were evenly distributed between Victoria Island representing Lagos Island and Oshodi representing the Lagos Mainland area highlighting the variations in exposure of the waste workers to occupational hazards and disease occurrences during both dry and wet seasons. The paper concludes that there is an urgent need for government to provide a qualitative health insurance scheme and put formidable legislation in place protecting the health and safety of waste workers in the country.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Felix Oludare Ajiola, Daramola Damilola
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