Investigation of Occupational Health and Safety Hazards among Domestic Waste Collectors in Bethlehem and Hebron Districts

Discussion Committee: 
Prof. Mohammed Al-Subu - Supervisor
Dr. Issam A. Al-khatib - Co-Supervisor
Dr. Nahid Abu Omar - External Examiner
Prof. Radi Daoud - Internal Examiner
Prof. Mohammed Al-Subu
Dr. Issam A. Al-Khatib
Ahmad Khalil Monjed Milhem
The present study aimed to investigate all types of wastes collected (households, commercial, industrial, and biomedical) and their potential health hazards at domestic waste collectors in Bethlehem and Hebron districts. It also aimed to investigate the ways used in collecting waste and the safety measures which was taken while collecting waste. A self-designed questionnaire was used to study, and investigate the occupational health and safety hazards. The target population was (370) of domestic waste collectors, waste drivers, and their direct supervisors. A convenience sample of 209 was taken (non probability sampling). The study showed that household and commercial wastes are the most wastes collected at 98.1% and 97.1% respectively. It also showed that most waste collectors do not wear face mask (98.6%), overall (85.5%), rubber boot (78.9%), and protective gloves (45%). The study also showed that waste collectors suffered from different types of diseases and symptoms, such as sore throat, cough, and high temperature (55.3%), diarrhea or bloody stool (27.9%), shortness of breath (25%), and skin disease (20.2%). Waste collectors were prone to different injuries, such as hit by any hard or sharp objects (61.1%), lift more than their capacity (37.4%), and fall while pulling or pushing the waste trolley (35.6%). The study also showed that waste collectors whom were stuck with hard objects (21.6%), pricked by hypodermic needles (20.2%), twisted ankle while on duty (34.1%), and suffered from a muscle tear (22.1%). It showed that (93.8%) of waste collectors were not vaccinated for tetanus and (85.6%) were not vaccinated for hepatitis. In conclusion, waste collectors face a tremendous health challenges. Waste collectors with middle age and with low level of education were at higher risk.
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