The development of occupational safety and health in Kenya: challenges, priorities and practitioner role

Chacha, Mbusiro (2020) The development of occupational safety and health in Kenya: challenges, priorities and practitioner role. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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There have been recent changes in the world of work resulting from the effects of globalisation and industrialisation. Developing countries are striving to catch up with developed countries through the process of modernisation. Kenya is a fast-growing economy that aims to be a highly industrialised country by the year 2030. As a result, workers have been exposed to work-related risks affecting their health and safety. There are new work patterns, technologies, and machineries that have exposed workers to occupational accidents and diseases. The extent to which health and safety practitioners (HSPs) have awareness of and understand current and emerging risks is unclear. There are also concerns that existing occupational safety and health (OSH) legislation does not address all aspects of OSH, such as psychosocial risks. Additionally, there is a lack of clarity regarding the level of expertise of OSH practitioners. This investigation was designed to obtain a deeper understanding of OSH management and practice in Kenya. The aim of the research was to investigate the current status of OSH in Kenya by exploring emerging OSH challenges, identifying practitioner training needs, and future priorities for improving OSH. Further, the research explored the practitioner’s role in supporting OSH.

A mixed method design was adopted, including a Delphi technique in the two initial studies. Three studies were carried out with health and safety practitioners. The first study implemented a qualitative design using semi- structured interviews, the second was an online qualitative study and quantitative study, and the third study used a quantitative approach with an online questionnaire.

The results of this thesis indicate that there is an active OSH system in Kenya, however it is still in the developing stages. There are some challenges that influence OSH delivery and management. Globalisation and changes in technology have had a significant impact on OSH. They have been associated with occupational accidents and diseases. Additionally, lack of awareness, lack of sufficient training, and lack of practitioner collaboration are among some of the challenges.

Further, Delphi results revealed that OSH top priorities include enforcement of the legislation, OSH culture promotion and construction related accidents. The findings also revealed that occupational accidents and diseases control measures such as training, enforcement of legislation, and health and safety culture promotion were vital for improving OSH. Additionally, management should also be more committed to OSH initiatives. Considering OSH threats and opportunities will also go a long way in setting out OSH improvements goals.

Lastly, the results reveal that HSPs are involved in various OSH activities. The findings highlight challenges and opportunities for the promotion and management of OSH in the context of a developing country and point to avenues for development to ensure the integration of a broad OSH agenda into organisational activities.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Houdmont, Jonathan
Keywords: Occupational Safety and health, Development, Practitioner role, Kenya
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WA Public health
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Item ID: 60343
Depositing User: Chacha, Mbusiro
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2022 08:45
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2022 08:45

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