Working Conditions and Exposure to Work Related Injuries and Accidents at Kokompe-Accra Ghana
The occupational environment in which artisans work may expose them to work-related injuries, chronic illness, stress and, disability. In order to understand the issue of workplace safety among artisans in the informal small-scale enterprises, there is the need to explore their general level of safety. Consequently, it will be possible to suggest possible ways of improving their health conditions and safety in the work place. This paper examined the general level of safety of automobile artisans at the Kokompe Artisanal Centre in Accra as well as assessing their level of
awareness about occupational accidents and injuries they are exposed to and the preventive measures in place. The qualitative in-depth interview and observational methods were used to examine incidences of work-related injuries and accidents among the artisans. In all 58 artisans including auto-mechanics, auto-electricians, auto-welders, auto sprayers and auto-spare parts dealers were selected through convenience and snowballing sampling techniques. The working conditions of the artisans were poor due to haphazard siting of temporary workshops by squatter
artisans resulting in multiple exposures to different hazards: physical, psychosocial and ergonomic hazards leading various forms of work-related physical injuries well as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and work-related illnesses. The contributing factors of accidents and injuries were: human, environmental and mechanical factors. The physical environment and the nature of work are both hazardous since the work entails improper sitting posture, lifting of heavy objects and generally working without any safety measures. The artisans were mostly aware of the many dangers associated their work which is largely unregulated. For policy implication, city authorities must consider a re-engineering of the entire workplace of the
artisans by planning and demarcating the structure in accordance with standard practice to enable work to be done in a safe and healthy environment.