Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems in Small and Medium Enterprises in Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.04.02.Art021

Authors : Ufuoma Aduh, Mike Enemuwe, Obehi Hilda Okojie



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.


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