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Title: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems in Small and Medium Enterprises in Asaba.

Article Number: EC2/2015/030

Authors: Ufuoma Aduh, Mike Enemuwe, Obehi Hilda Okojie

Topic: Public Health



SMEs in Nigeria serve as the catalyst for employment generation, poverty reduction and economic development. Therefore studies on occupational health services in SMEs are needed to improve the occupational health and safety services in small and medium enterprises.


To assess and compare the occupational health and safety management systems between small and medium enterprises in Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria.


The study was conducted among 62 small and medium scale enterprises in Asaba, Delta State, selected by stratified random sampling. The design was cross-sectional analytical. A structured interviewer-administered questionnaire was developed and completed for each enterprise. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20.0 and presented using frequency tables and charts. 


The findings revealed that 22.6% and 9.7% of the SMEs had OHS policy and Joint Health and Safety Committee respectively. Furthermore, 74.2% reported they had Health and Safety Rules with only 41.3% having a written rule. None had a clinic, but 27.4% had a medical retainership which included a higher proportion of medium scale enterprise (77.8%) (p<0.001). Nine enterprises (33.9%) made up of a higher proportion of medium scale firms (100.0%) (p<0.001) conducted training on OHS. A higher proportion of medium enterprises (66.7%) conducted accident reporting and investigation (p<0.001).


There were gaps in the implementation of occupational health and safety services in majority of the enterprises with OHS-MS significantly better developed in medium enterprises. SMEDAN should ensure SMEs implement improved occupational health services, capacity building among employees on occupational health and safety management system and also, further studies on the subject matter are recommended.

Key words: occupational health, management system, safety, Delta State, Nigeria


    COMMENT - 1

  • Dr. AJIT V PANDYA (Viewer) 16th Nov 2015 - 12:15 PM
    Good morning from Dr. Ajit V Pandya form Ahmedabad ..India
    My questions / suggestions,,, are as follows…my email id is
    Watsapp no. 91 8905599852 to iimprove the system ?

    2. i suggest mainly employee should be aware during trainning ....isn t it...

  • COMMENT - 2

  • EBENEZER OBI DANIEL (Viewer) 19th Nov 2015 - 3:00 AM
    Good work. Please give the limitations of your research work. What is your plan to pass on the outcome of this project to the appropriate authority for appropriate policy formulation and action

  • COMMENT - 3

  • UFUOMA ADUH (Author) 19th Nov 2015 - 9:02 AM
    Good morning Dr AJIT V PANDYA,
    Thanks for your comments.
    To improve the system, there is need to engage with the key stakeholders coordinating SMEs, Occupational Health Unit of the Ministry of Health and the factory inspectors of the Ministry of Labour. These are all key to policy formulation and implementation of OH in this sector.I also agree with you that employee education is critical to improving as well as management training.

  • COMMENT - 4

  • UFUOMA ADUH (Author) 19th Nov 2015 - 9:34 AM
    Dear Obi Daniel,
    Thanks for your comments. The findings may be limited by self reporting. The findings of the research may be passed on to the appropriate authority in the form of policy briefs to Occupational Health Unit of the Ministry of Health, the factory inspectors of the Ministry of Labour and SMEDAN.

  • COMMENT - 5

  • UMWANGANGE MARIE LOUISE (Viewer) 19th Nov 2015 - 3:30 PM
    Nice work. This is an area which is rarely studied on.

  • COMMENT - 6

  • UMWANGANGE MARIE LOUISE (Viewer) 19th Nov 2015 - 3:35 PM
    I would like to know the sampling method or procedure used to obtain your sample size. Thank you. I really appreciate your work

  • COMMENT - 7

  • UFUOMA ADUH (Author) 19th Nov 2015 - 5:45 PM
    Thanks for your kind comments, Umwangange Marie Louise.
    The SMEs listed in the directory listed of the Ministry of Commerce and were stratified into small and medium scale enterprises. All eligible SMEs were included in the study making it a panel study.

  • COMMENT - 8

  • UDOGWU FELIX (Viewer) 20th Nov 2015 - 3:54 AM
    Good day Ufuoma Aduh, i am very glad you went to the sme,you see,from what i am seeing,you werecomparing the practice of HSE in is good,for it to be effective is for our government to have it in our constitution,i want to ask you,who is a certified Safety Officer that is required by law to carry out the HSE work in this SMEs.what they do,is towrite safety in the gates and that is all.thank you for bringing this up.

  • COMMENT - 9

  • UDOGWU FELIX (Viewer) 20th Nov 2015 - 3:57 AM
    How many factory inspector do we have in Nigeria and how many do we have in Delta State that are supposed to champoin this course.

  • COMMENT - 10

  • UFUOMA ADUH (Author) 20th Nov 2015 - 10:51 AM
    I agree with you Felix Udogwu.
    There are only 60 factory inspectors to cover the entire country of Nigeria and this is grossly inadequate for a teeming population of 170 million.

  • COMMENT - 11

  • AKINYEMI PATRICK AYODEJI (Viewer) 23rd Nov 2015 - 6:22 AM
    I really appreciate your work but just have a few comments and questions.
    Your respondents were management staff or any staffs with knowledge of occupational health services. I think your respondents should have been more clear cut e.g. personnel manager of each industry to ensure uniformity in term of level of knowledge.
    From the methodology I realised interviewer administered questionnaire was used and your conclusion was based on the response of the respondents. Any effort to check the written policies? if not, what check did you put in place to reduce response bias in this study as many managers may respond positively to having occupational health policy when they don't have one.
    Lastly, I believe your exclusion criteria should have been set before commencement of the study, not putting those that decline response as those being excluded

  • COMMENT - 12

  • UFUOMA ADUH (Author) 24th Nov 2015 - 1:11 AM
    Thanks Ayodeji.
    You will agree that small scale enterprises may not all have personnel managers in the management cadre which may be found in medium enterprises. To reduce responder bias, we verified the existence of the policy though the data was not included in the analysis.The number of SMEs registered with the Ministry of Commerce and we included all participants who were willing to participate in the study.