Community health is facing a new trend of challenge which is caused by extreme poverty and the need for survival on one hand, and massive neglect and ignorance on another hand as people tend to think less of the danger of their actions or inaction on their health.
Today’s article is a case study of occupational risk that people take for granted at work places. We shall be dealing with issues affecting our health on the job in this series, so stay in touch.
Here we go. I had a terrible experience that beat my imagination few weeks ago. I accompanied a friend of mine to a popular community timber to make furniture for his new apartment. What I saw and experienced there was unspeakable, such that it pushed me to conduct a quick on-the-site research among the workers. Here are my findings:
- There were heavy presence of young men and boys, most of which were carpenters, laborers and timber machine operators; few women and girls that were trading.
- The entire atmosphere was filled with saw dust and wood particles.
- No single person in the community was wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face mask, hand glove, safety boot, coverall, etc.
- Both the workers and traders were directly inhaling the sawdust, walking with bathroom sleepers, some working with bear body.
- The way they were throwing wood during offloading of trailer loaded with timber called for serious concern for risk of injury to passers-bye.
- The machine operators were using their bear hands in crafting the woods.
Then, I went further to interview some of the workers who were willing to talk with me. In their comments, some of them said:
” It is only God that protects, even if you wear all the gargets you can still be injured”. “Wearing hand glove and mask make work slow”. “Wearing some of those things make me uncomfortable and heavy”. “I like being natural” “We are used to working in this environment like this, the dust does not affect us”
As I stepped out of that community, I was overwhelmed and I told my friend the extent of the hazard they are exposed to on a daily basis. He urged me to do something about the problem I have identified. So many thought went through my head, but this article is one of the ways to reach out to the larger society about the danger of bad practice at work place. Every occupation has its laid down code of conduct and ethical regulations guiding its operation. We must try as much as possible to abide by such code of safety and good health.
Let me remind you that the reason why we work is so that we have food to eat. The reason why we eat is so that we have energy to work and live healthy through the nourishment derived from the food. Why then should we allow our work to kill us? Think about it. My experience as I left that community was horrible; I started coughing with sore throat for about a week, until I took some medications and the symptoms subsided. So what happen to those who go there every day?
My special appeal to you, both victims and other community dwellers around the world:
- I know that you are facing financial challenges, to the extent you don’t care about your health, but remember that when you loose your health you loose every thing, including money.
- Change your attitude towards safety and self protection at work place. Ensure you abide by all approved safety measures because they help keep you healthy and prolong your life.
- Cooperate with appropriate authorities and guidelines.
- Join in the campaign against protracted sickness and sudden death resulting from bad practice at work. You can inform someone or share this post to those affected or potential victims.
- You can donate for sensitization workshop, free face masks, hand gloves, coveralls, safety boots, printing of hand bills to be distributed among workers of the community following the link bellow.
When this project is completed, the report will be published on this platform for everyone to see. Don’t miss out in creating the community you desire. We shall continue in next article.
Donate for sensitization campaign
community health sensitization workshop to prevent occupational lung diseases with sharing of free face masks, hand gloves, coveralls, safety boots, helmets and hand bills.