OSH Projects

OSH Training for women in informal sector

Project Description

  1. OSH training for the informal sector
    This project focuses on OSH training and information campaigns targeting mostly women groups in the informal sector. The content of the campaigns involves identifying, preferentially, women groups and potentially other groups of youth and providing them with OSH training based on risk assessment of the work they do at their workplaces/sites. High-risk work groups, such as manufacturing/construction, would be a priority. More workers can be reached by going to the worksites of the informal sectors.

The project plan includes:

  • Project orientation and invitations to relevant stakeholders.
  • Identify work sites and provide information on the intention of the project.
  • Engaging OSH professionals in preparation for worksite visits.
  • Risk assessment of the work and worksites as the basis for preparing training material.
  • Prepare information/training materials for the workers.
  • Procurement of protective devices where necessary
  • Liaison with different informal sector groups to agree on training programs.
  • Design strategies and timelines for worksite visits and training.
  • Visiting the worksite for training and information dissemination.
  • After-project meetings to share experiences.
  • Post-project site visit to follow up on the implementation of safety measures.
  1. Training workshop on creating healthy workplaces.
    This training workshop aims to equip workers with competence in supporting and creating healthy workplaces. The workshop will focus on the organizational and psychosocial work environment. These topics are generally given less attention since most workplaces in Kenya focus mainly on safety.

Occupational Health Promotion in the Informal Jua Kali sector

Project Type

Occupational safety and health promotion for workers in the informal sector

Background information

A project focusing on prevention of exposure to high noise among metal workers in the in formal sector was conducted in 2022. This project provided a good opportunity to understand the organisation, work methods and challenges of the informal sector. The project showed that the workers in the informal are willing to learn and understand how to implement and manage safety and health paradigm. However, there has not been any communication or any type of information sharing from any hold on occupational health and safety for the benefit if the workers in the informal sector.

Project Description

The project can be put into two main parts:

  1. OSH training arrangements for informal sector

This part of the project concerns OSH information campaigns targeting different work groups in the informal sector. The content of the campaigns would be to engage and involve OSH professionals to visit different informal sector worksite and educate the workers on health and safety concerns associated with their work and how to work safely reducing exposure levels of the workplace hazards. Since most of the workers in the informal sector have no access to formal OSH, it would be useful to take the trainings to them and focus on the risks of the work they do. This would enable comprehension of the practicality of prevention of exposure to the workplace hazards.

  1. Follow-up of the earlier project on noise prevention

The intention is to buy noise protection devices for more metal workers as a follow up to the earlier project on noise reduction. In the earlier project, it was apparent that there more workers who needed protection than was anticipated. Therefore, there is a need to provide more protective devices cover a larger number of those who previously did not get.

Practical phases of the project

Sites visit, and training delivery, through out 2023

  • Liaison with different informal sector groups to agree on training program.
  • Design strategies and timelines for worksite visits and training.
  • Short training for the OSH professionals as preparation for worksite visits.
  • Teams visiting worksite for training and information dissemination.
  • After project meetings to share experiences

Project evaluation,  January-March 2024

  • Interviews with a few of the workers on their new experiences following the capacity building exercise.
  • Post project site visit to follow-up on use of implementation of risk managment measures

Project Implementation site

Informal sector station in Mombasa, Kenya.

Prevention of hearing damage from exposure to high noise (2022)

Project Type
Occupational safety and health promotion for metal fabrication workers in the informal sector

Background information
According to a 2019 report from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), over 80% of the total employment in Kenya is in the informal sector, known locally as the “Jua Kali,” literally under the hot sun, because most of the work is done at roadside worksites, most without any shade.  Workers in the sector are primarily self-employed individuals, while others work together in organised groups. One of the major groups, and maybe the most significant, is the one for metal fabrication. The work of the metal fabricators involves cutting steel sheets, rods, forming and shaping into various products, grinding, filing, welding, etc. The work is mainly done by hand using metal chisels for cutting, hammers and anvils for shaping/forming. Few workers may have some level of vocational training, but most are self-taught and develop their skills as they gain experience over time. There are no known programmes for training workers on occupational safety and health in the informal sector.

The nature of work and the tools used are sources of high noise.  The workers work day long without protection against the high noise level. Work by Sawanga et al (2016) showed that the noise levels recorded at the metal fabrication sites were over 90dB, with 60% of the workers having hearing threshold level shift with hearing impairment due to prolonged noise exposure.

Project Description
The project’s objective was to bring about more awareness of noise hazards and related health concerns and to support the workers in mitigating the effects of noise exposure.

The project first entailed documenting the noise levels at a specified metal fabrication worksite. The next stage was to provide short training on noise hazards and the health risks of noise exposure. Further, audiometric tests on the workers were conducted. An occupational health physician was at hand to advise the workers on health promotion.

Project outcome
Noise levels at 96-110 dB were reported. Audiometric tests showed that 70% of the workers had noise-induced hearing loss, varying according to the years in the occupation. OSH Pro Services provided 30 workers with ear muffs per the attenuation level determined. 

Source: Opendemocray
Source: Alamy
Source: WorldBank
Source: Futurelearn.com

The projects in pictures/vlogs

Project 2023

Training with carpenters, September 2023

 Project: 2022