The practice of occupational safety and health in selected chemical enterprises in Nairobi, Kenya
Thungu, Jane W M
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This study focused on the Practice of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in Selected Chemical enterprises. The broad objective of the study was to analyse the factors that affect compliance with Occupational Safety and Health principles and practices in these enterprises. The study further sought to achieve three specific objectives: To identify the nature and consequences of threats to OSH in the selected chemical enterprises; to determine the motivators of compliance or non-compliance with OSH laws, regulations and practices; and to explore the necessary strategies and actions to improve compliance with Osh laws and regulations in the chemical enterprises. The study covered five chemical enterprises in Nairobi's Industrial area. Purposive sampling was used in the selection of the enterprises as were key informant and respondents from industry and DOS&HS. A sample of 44 respondents participated; the sample was made up of-H DOS&HS staff, 11 senior management and 22 supervisors and shop floor workers. Questionnaires were administered and face to face interviews conducted. Direct observations were done using an observation check list. The findings established duplication of requirements and enforcing agents, costs of complying, inadequate funding of DOS&HS which compromised its capacity to fulfil its mandate and unharmonized laws were some of the motivators of noncompliance. Some important OSH practices were found not to be common practice and they overall contributed to a low compliance level which exposed the workers to high OSH risk. The study recommended that DOS&HS be better funded to meets its mandate, that industry be encouraged to adopt ISO standard as a way of instituting best practice in chemical industries and enhance compliance with law and regulations. A further study focusing on chemical industries especially those not registered with DOS&HS would be necessary in the future.