Proceedings of The International Conference on Applied Research in Business, Management and Economics
Workplace Health and Safety in the Informal Sector: A Case Study of Nigeria Informal Entrepreneurs
Over half of the labour force in developing countries is employed in the small scale enterprises in the informal sector of the economy. In these enterprises, health and safety hazards are high, but existing occupational health and safety (OHS) policies and services are poorly implemented. This puts many business owners in developing countries at undue risk of fatal or non-fatal work-related health problems and associated medical costs and economic hardship. This paper examines the OHS challenges of entrepreneurs in the informal sector. The objective is to identify the OHS challenges and the stakeholders that could bring improvement. The paper reviews existing published and grey literatures gathered through desk search of electronic databases. All studies providing outcome data on OHS among informal workers were assessed for the rigor of each study. It identifies various challenges to OHS such as ignorance of occupational hazards; lack of OHS regulation in informal sector; ignorance of OHS issues and National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) coverage to informal sector. Suggestions made to overcome these challenges include commitment on the part of government, harnessing the activities of various stakeholders that were identified in controlling occupational hazards, and functional trade union that will provide OHS support to members. The study concludes by suggesting more empirical research on the subject matter.
Keywords: Informal sector, Nigeria, occupational health, and safety.