Presentation on theme: "Occupational Health and the Informal sector"— Presentation transcript:
1 Occupational Health and the Informal sector Prof. Folashade Omokhodion Department of Community MedicineUniversity of Ibadan and University College Hospital, Ibadan
2 Definition The informal sector or informal economy that part of an economy that is not taxed, or monitored by any form of government.All economic activities; in all sectors of the economy that are operated outside the purview of government regulationDescribes the activities of the working poor.
3 Definition The formal sector on the other hand is : A group of people, usually employees, that includes recognized income sources for paying income taxes based on all 40-hour, regular wage jobs.The formal sector has companies registered with the government and hence, it offers job security, paid holidays, pensions, health, fixed working hours, extra pay for overtime work, medical and other allowances, gratuity and various other benefits
4 Informal sectorAccording to SIDA, the key drivers for the growth of the informal economy in the twenty-first century include:limited absorption of labour, particularly in countries with high rates of population or urbanization;excessive cost and regulatory barriers of entry into the formal economy, often motivated by corruption;weak institutions, limiting education and training opportunities as well as infrastructure development;increasing demand for low-cost goods and services;migration motivated by economic hardship and poverty;difficulties faced by women in gaining formal employment
5 Informal sectorThe ILO/ICFTU international symposium on the informal sector in 1999 proposed that the informal sector workforce can be categorized into three broad groups:(a) owner-employers of micro enterprises, which employ a few paid workers, with or without apprentices;(b) own-account workers, who own and operate one-person business, who work alone or with the help of unpaid workers, generally family members and apprentices;(c) dependent workers, paid or unpaid, including wage workers in micro enterprises, unpaid family workers, apprentices, contract labor, homeworkers and paid domestic workers.
6 Characteristics of the Informal sector The concept of the informal sector was introduced into international usage in by the International Labor Organization (ILO) which defined informality as a -way of doing things characterized byease of entry;reliance on indigenous resources;family ownership;small scale operations;labor intensive and adaptive technology;skills acquired outside of the formal sector;unregulated and competitive markets.
7 Characteristics of the Informal sector Unprotected by legislationUnrecognized,UnorganizedLimited capitalLack of access to credit facilitiesLow wagesInsecure incomeEvasion of taxes
8 Informal sector in Nigeria Nigeria has the largest informal sector in Africa- by sheer numbers, high unemployment rate and rising levels of poverty.It accounts for nearly 70% of the workforceCurrent unemployment rates in Nigeria % ( National Bureau of Statistics 2012)54% of youths (15-35years) unemployed- denominator 64million (2012 National Baseline Youth Survey Report)Women and children constitute a major proportion of workers in this sector- women have difficulty attaining formal employment because of low education – they work at home and on the streets. Children provide cheap labour
9 Informal sector in Nigeria Poverty has risen in Nigeria, with almost 100 million people living on less than a $1 a day, despite economic growth, statistics have shown. The National Bureau of Statistics said 60.9% of Nigerians in 2010 were living in "absolute poverty"Poverty drives people to seek some form of livelihood.
10 Informal sector in Nigeria Thus , the informal sector has grown within the last decade especially with the advent of mass unemployment, government and NGO driven poverty alleviation schemes.Accounts for 57.9% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic product(GDP)This growth has taken place without regulation or supervision by the competent authorities.
11 Informal sector in Nigeria The media has applauded small scale entrepreneurs without taking cognizance of health hazards they are exposed to; e.g women who work in the quarry in northern Nigeria, a young man making aluminum pots from scrap metal etc.They are displayed as success stories of those who have emerged from the pains of poverty and become successful business men and women.While its true that they are making money, it is at the expense of good health; many of the hazards of such workplaces may not produce immediate illnesses but could result in major illnesses in the long term such as cancers and chronic poisoning.
12 Informal sector in Nigeria The plethora of poverty alleviation programmes which dovetail into cottage industries producing soap, polish etc do not have a component of health and safety for the worker.While work is an antedote to poverty, unsafe and unhealthy work is a recipe for disaster. This was well demonstrated in the Zamfara lead poisoning disaster.Work done in residential premises and home based work leads to exposure of family memberse.g child’s consumption of caustic soda and ensuing oesophageal stricture.
13 Range of Informal sector workers 4 main groups:Manufacturing: block making, soap making, mining, potteryService-mechanics, welders, carpenters, painters and plumbersTrading; petty tradersAgriculture- particularly in the rural areas
14 Distribution of informal enterprises in Nigeria by activity category CBN/FOS/NISER No of personsPercentage%Wholesale and retail trade36, 72249.0Manufacturing22, 53930.1Repairs (cars, cycles and goods)2, 4063.2Transportation (land and water)2, 1642.9Hotels and restaurants1, 9482.6Building and construction1, 3751.8Health and Social work6370.9Water supply4580.6Real estate/renting services3000.4Education298Other community services74, 9128.0
15 Informal sector and OHS OHS services do not usually cover informal sectorDr. El Batawi- an Egyptian occupational physician who served as CMO in the office of Occupational Health WHO, Geneva several decades ago referred to them as “the forgotten masses.”
16 FIGURE 23. 3a. The informal sector at work: Petty manufacturing FIGURE 23.3a. The informal sector at work: Petty manufacturing. (a) Making blocks for house construction, Kano, Nigeria. Photo: Roy Maconachie.From Africa South of the Sahara, 3rd edition, by Robert Stock. Copyright 2013 by The Guilford Press.
23 Occupational exposures BiologicalG.I. organisms – poor food and water sourcesFood grains, dustOther infections in the work place e.g HIVMechanicalLifting ,Heavy physical workWrong postures, bending, twistingPoorly designed toolsUnsafe work practices
24 Occupational exposures PsychologicalLong working hoursPoor remunerationNo job securityRelationships with opposite sex
25 Health problems of Informal sector workers Musculoskeletal disordersLow back painRespiratory disordersInjuriesDermatitisNoise induced hearing loss
27 Artisans Mill workers (Omokhodion & Kolude 2005) Headaches 73%Low back pain 53%Rhinitis 63%Tinnitus 28%Hearing loss 3%Printers (Omokhodion et al 2013)Musculoskeletal disorders 28%Low back pain 20%Respiratory symptoms 12%
28 Occupational health and Safety needs Database on OHS in the informal sector; exposures and health effects-short and long term; health problems and health needsRegulatory arm of OHS establishment to oversee the sector
29 Occupational health and safety needs Training in identification of hazards and implementing practical solutionsLow cost personal protective equipmentWorkplace improvement with low cost materialsAccess to microcredit
30 Occupational Health and Safety needs Needs can be met within the primary health care setting.Primary health care:It is the first level of contact of individuals, the family and community with the national health system bringing health care as close as possible to where people live and work.Need to train primary health care workersVisits to workplaces
31 Occupational health needs Raise awareness about occupational health and safety issuesHealth and safety posters, pamphletsWaste disposal- avoiding public health nuisanceResidential waste collectors will not take industrial wastes; so informal workers engage in dumping of wastes.Low cost solutions to ergonomic hazards
32 A Mechanic Workshop-some practical low cost solution- appropriate technology
33 Use of gloves to reduce contact with chemicals such as engine oil, petrol, lubricants
34 SOEHPON Needs to be relevant to the needs of the forgotten masses Should continue dialogue with leaders of the various workgroupsAssist government to collate data about exposuresProvide guidelines for regulation of informal sector workersMake definite efforts to assist government to incorporate occupational health into the primary health care system to serve the needs of these workers