Knowledge And Experience Of Work-Related Hazards And Utilization Of Safety Practices Among Solid Waste Scavengers In Ilorin Metropolis, Kwara State, Nigeria
Waste collection is considered one of the most dangerous job in the world since it exposes the workers to hazards as well as to certain occupation related morbidities. Health status of scavengers is therefore a public health concern, as they could be potential pathways for the transmission of various communicable diseases to the general public. This study assessed the awareness of work-related hazards and utilization of safety practices among Solid waste scavengers in Ilorin Metropolis. The study was a descriptive cross-sectional by design involving solid wastes Scavengers in Ilorin metropolis, North-central Nigeria. A total of 410 solid waste scavengers were recruited following a multi stage sampling method from all the 20 clusters of Scrap dealers. Data was obtained through the use of interviewer administered semi-structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed using SPSS Version 20. P-value of <0.05 at 95% confidence limits were considered statistically significant. More than half (57.3%) of the respondents had awareness of work-related hazards. Similarly, more than half of the respondents have good knowledge of safety boots and hand gloves as ways of preventing work hazards with 58.3% and 56.8% respectively while poor knowledge was recorded for nose guard, face mask and overall/apron with 43.2%, 39.3% and 9.3% respectively. About two-thirds of the respondents, 65.1% have hand gloves however, only 33.2% were making use of it, 52.7% were willing to use it, 57.3% used it always, 74.2% used it for protection while 42.3% were not using it because they felt it was not important. Despite having fair knowledge on the importance of practicing safety measures, only few of the respondents practice these measures. The waste scavengers should be educated on the utilization of PPE and safety measure.
Key words: waste scavengers, hazards, PPE, solid waste, Ilorin.
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