Situation Analysis of Occupational Safety and Health in Small-Scale Sugarcane Processing Establishments in Kenya
Onyoyo, H. A
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In both the agricultural and industrial sectors, working conditions of the workers are far from satisfactory leading to excessive drudgery and a host of occupational injuries and accidents. Workers are forced to endure working environments that lack any consideration in aspects of occupational health, safety and comfort. About 60 per cent of the employed people in Kenya are in small-scale industries. The sugar industry in Kenya has seventy-one (71) small-scale sugarcane processing establishments scattered throughout the Sugar Belt employing labour-intensive techniques and providing essential employment to the rural people. The work environment is unsatisfactory and management is often unaware of the poor working conditions and the types of improvements that can enhance productivity. Given the important role played by these establishments in the rural economy, a qualitative study of these establishments was undertaken with a view to mapping out the occupational safety and health problems afflicting them. This paper, therefore, attempts to analyse the situation and thereby chart out a strategy for improvement designed to enhance productivity while improving safety and health. It concludes by proposing an awareness campaign targeted specifically to the small-scale manufacturing establishments on the importance of occupational safety and health together with the setting up of a scholarship scheme to assist these establishments gain access to the awareness campaigns currently going on in the country.