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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

On-line version ISSN 2071-9736
Print version ISSN 1025-9848


TSHIVHASE, Shonisani E.; MASHAU, Ntsieni S.; NGOBENI, Takalani  and  RAMATHUBA, Dorah U.. Occupational health and safety hazards among solid waste handlers at a selected municipality South Africa. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2022, vol.27, pp.1-8. ISSN 2071-9736.

BACKGROUND: Solid waste management is one of the most dangerous occupations in the world because of its potential harm from the waste to the environment and the public. Therefore, the protection of human health and the environment is a challenge that all countries are facing AIM: The study explored occupational health and safety hazards among waste handlers at a selected municipality in Limpopo Province SETTING: The study was conducted in one municipality in the Vhembe District METHODS: The study used a qualitative, explorative and contextual design to explore occupational health and safety hazards among participants. Participants were sampled using purposive sampling. Data were collected through in-depth individual interviews that lasted between 40 min and 45 min. The sampled size comprised 18 participants and was determined by data saturation. Tesch's open coding was used to analyse data, where the main theme, categories and sub-categories emerged RESULTS: The findings revealed the main theme, namely municipal waste handlers experience occupational health and safety hazards. Four categories emerged from the main theme, namely physical, psychosocial, biological and chemical hazards. The categories were further divided into sub-categories such as exposure to extreme weather conditions and musculoskeletal injuries CONCLUSION: Solid waste handlers experienced preventable physical and chemical occupational health and safety hazards that are inherent to their job. It is recommended that workers be provided with adequate suitable protective equipment to reduce the level of occupational health hazards CONTRIBUTION: The findings in this study will help in closing the gaps by the municipality for failing to prioritise working conditions for municipality waste handlers

Keywords : health; municipality; solid waste; health risk; occupational hazards.

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