Occupational Safety and health Hazards exposure among Farm Workers at Ahero irrigation Scheme, Kenya
Agriculture is one of the three most hazardous occupations in terms of safety and health due to, among others, the physical strain and repetitive movements associated with its tasks. This study was conducted to evaluate the exposure to occupational safety and health hazards among farm workers in Ahero irrigation schemes, Kenya. The findings will inform development of mitigation measures to support the government’s goal of attaining food security. A sample of 38 farm workers were randomly selected across the scheme comprising of 7 villages. The data collected was sorted, edited coded and analyzed using SPSS ver. 20 and presented in descriptive statistics. Statistical tests for correlation was carried out using Pearson’s correlation and the results presented using charts and tables. The study established that about 71% of the respondents were aged above 46 years. Most of the workers had attained a primary level education. Biological hazards were found to be more prevalent due to the presence of livestock, blood sucking pests and deficiency of clean drinking water in the farms and poor sanitation. Majority of the farm workers lifted heavy weights with over 40% of the farm workers lifting 86 Kgs and above. There was widespread use of agrochemicals that included organophosphates (31.6%) without adequate protection in a very hot environment. The study concludes that farm workers at Ahero irrigation scheme are exposed to myriads of occupational hazards which can be an impediment to food security and achievements of the government’s vision 2030.
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