Background Electronic waste (e-waste) are an electrical and electronic device that are unwanted by the original owner, and are at the end of their useful life. Large quantities of e-waste are being managed in Nigeria using rudimentary techniques by informal e-waste workers(repairers and dismantlers) who work without personal protective equipment(PPE) or safeguard to their health and environment. Therefore this study assessed the incidence and patterns of work-related injuries among e-waste workers in informal sector in Ibadan, Nigeria.
Methods This cross-sectional study adopted a multi-stage sampling method to select 89 respondents. Questionnaire was used to obtain information from the respondents. This study reports injury among e-waste workers one week preceding the study.
Results Mean age of respondents was 33.9 ± 11.3 years, 98.9% of the participants were males, and 78.7% had post-primary education; repairers were 53.9% and dismantlers 46.1%. Thirty-five (39.3%) workers sustained at least an injury within one week of the study. Common types of injuries sustained were cuts (40.4%), bruises/contusions (22.5%) and electric shock (18%). Injuries were mainly caused by sharps (62.9%), electric current (20.2%) and blunt trauma (17%). Majority of injuries (80.9%) occurred on the hands/fingers. About 41% (37) of workers reported using PPE and of these 58.3% used PPE because of safety concerns. Types of PPE used were dedicated work clothes (67.6%) and gloves (5.4%). A higher proportion of dismantlers (48.5%) than the repairers (33.3%) sustained an injury (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the incidence of injuries among workers who use PPE (40.5%) compared to those who do not use PPE (38.5%).
Conclusions There was a high incidence of work-related injuries among the workers studied. Inappropriate handling of e-waste predisposes e-waste workers to risk of injuries. Comprehensive interventions need to be instituted to reduce the incidence of work-related injuries among the workers.
- E-waste workers
- Occupational health
- Work-related injury
- Informal sector