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Original Research

Status of Occupational Health and Safety and Related Challenges in Expanding Economy of Tanzania

Authors:

Ezra J. Mrema ,

Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
About Ezra J.
BSc Ed, MSc, PhD
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Aiwerasia V. Ngowi,

Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
About Aiwerasia V.
BSc, MSc, PhD
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Simon H.D. Mamuya

Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
About Simon H.D.
BSc, MPhil, PhD
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Abstract

Introduction

Occupational health and safety is related with economic activities undertaken in the country. As the economic activities grow and expand, occupational injuries and diseases are more likely to increase among workers in different sectors of economy such as agriculture, mining, transport, and manufacture. This may result in high occupational health and safety services demand, which might be difficult to meet by developing countries that are prioritizing economic expansion without regard to their impact on occupational health and safety.

Objective

To describe the status of occupational health and safety in Tanzania and outline the challenges in provision of occupational health services under the state of an expanding economy.

Findings

Tanzania's economy is growing steadily, with growth being driven by communications, transport, financial intermediation, construction, mining, agriculture, and manufacturing. Along with this growth, hazards emanating from work in all sectors of the economy have increased and varied. The workers exposed to these hazards suffer from illness and injuries and yet they are not provided with adequate occupational health services. Services are scanty and limited to a few enterprises that can afford it. Existing laws and regulations are not comprehensive enough to cover the entire population. Implementation of legislation is weak and does not protect the workers.

Conclusions

Most Tanzanians are not covered by the occupational health and safety law and do not access occupational health services. Thus an occupational health and safety services strategy, backed by legislations and provided with the necessary resources (competent experts, financial and technological resources), is a necessity in Tanzania. The existing legal provisions require major modifications to meet international requirements and standards. OHS regulations and legislations need refocusing, revision, and strengthening to cover all working population. Capacities should be improved through training and research to enable enforcement. Finally the facilities and resources should be made available for OHS services to match with the growing economy.

How to Cite: Mrema, E.J., Ngowi, A.V. and Mamuya, S.H.D., 2015. Status of Occupational Health and Safety and Related Challenges in Expanding Economy of Tanzania. Annals of Global Health, 81(4), pp.538–547. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.aogh.2015.08.021
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Published on 17 Dec 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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