107 Workplace design and wellness programme among artisans (informal workers) in ‘mechanic village’ (automobile repair garages) in abeokuta, nigeria

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IntroductionThe International Labour Organisation (ILO) showed that informal sector workers in developing countries are exposed to poor working environments, low safety and health standards. Such exposure impairs their health and productivity as well as the general well-being and quality.MethodsThe study used the approach in Work Improvement in Small Enterprises (WISE) by ILO and WHO model of Healthy workplace in providing solution to the identified problems of poor working condition and awareness on healthy workplace.One hundred and thirteen (113) Participants were involved in the study consisting (44) auto mechanic artisans, (27) auto electricians artisans, (7) Motor Vehicle tire repairs artisans, (15) automobile body repair artisans, (8) battery chargers, and (12) food vendors.The observation of work practice improvement involved using a checklist based on the Work Improvement Small Enterprises (WISE) and the WHO model of Healthy workplace. The checklist consists of the 27 practice improvement sections and including improvements in the: materials storage and handling, work-station design, working conditions, waste disposal, welfare facilities and health promotion. Onsite training was carried by the researchers and stakeholders in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) within the study area.ResultDuring the participatory learning activities that were presented in this study, the informal-sector workers engaged in the group discussions and identified the OHS problems in their own sector. They subsequently attempted and accurately understood work related safety issues, and collectively proposed and implemented safety measures. Their awareness on workplace health promotion increase and they were able to identify measures to prevent ill health either at work or at home.DiscussionOur findings suggest that positive attitudes toward promoting safe working conditions and practices can be fostered among the informal-sector workers by raising their knowledge and skills regarding issues related to OSH through a capacity building process.

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