Factors affecting health and safety of manual workers in the construction industry in Kisumu Town East Constituency
Agola, Eucabeth A
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The research set out to find out factors affecting health and safety of manual workers in the construction industry within Kisumu Town East constituency. This is because manual workers perform many tasks that are labour intensive. Nevertheless, the principles of ergonomics that guide the construction industry in order to improve health and safety are largely ignored and poorly understood by the contractors and manual workers. Descriptive survey method was used to collect information by observing, interviewing and administering questionnaires to a sample of individuals. The states of affairs were described as they were. Measurement, classification, analysis, comparison and interpretation of data were done. The findings were that in manual handling, force grip, repetition, vibration, time and recovery breaks were the main factors influencing musculoskeletal disorders. These included back pain, muscle aches, fractures, cut and lacerations. The research has shown that different factors like worker characteristics, tasks and environmental factors have effects on the muscles and skeleton of the workers. This eventually affected health and safety and the quality of work. The study concluded that to alleviate the musculoskeletal problems of the manual workers, principles of ergonomics had to be addressed. Work conditions must be improved to ensure manual workers are attracted and retained in the industry. The recommendations were that regulations be streamlined in order to reduce costs and time of compliance. Finally, each construction firm to employ a safety officer on the construction.