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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Assessment of occupational injuries among Addis Ababa city municipal solid waste collectors: a cross-sectional study

Daniel Bogale1*, Abera kumie2 and Worku Tefera2

Author Affiliations

1 College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Madawalabu University, Postal address: 139 Bale Goba, Ethiopia

2 School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:169  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-169

Published: 17 February 2014



Collection of household waste is a job which requires repeated heavy physical activities such as lifting, carrying, pulling, and pushing. Like many developing countries, in Ethiopia municipal solid waste is collected manually. Therefore, this study is aimed to assess the extent of occupational injuries and associated factors among solid waste collectors in Addis Ababa City.


A cross-sectional study was conducted among 876 respondents sampled from 92 unions. A pre-tested structured questionnaire and observation check list were used to collect data. Crude odds ratio with 95% CI was computed to see the presence of association between selected independent variables and occupational injury. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was made to see the relative effect of independent variable on the dependent variable by controlling the effect of other variables. To maintain stability, only variables that have a p-value less than 0.30 in the binary logistic regression analysis were kept in the subsequent model. Enter method was used hierarchically.


The response rate of this study was 97.9%. Female respondents accounted 71.2%. The median age of the study subjects was 33 year (with 52 inter quartile range). The overall occupational injury prevalence rate in the last 12 months was 383 (43.7%). Utilization of personal protective devices and family size in the household were statistically associated with injury. As compared to workers who used personal protective equipments while being on duty, odds of injury among workers not used personal protective equipments were 2.62 higher (AOR = 2.62, 95% CI: 1.48-4.63). As compared to those who had five and more children, odds of injuries among those who had 3-4 children was reduced by half (AOR = 0.52, 95% CI: 0.30-0.93).


The extent of occupational injuries among Addis Ababa city solid waste collectors is present in a level that needs immediate public health action. Implementation of basic occupational health and safety services including training on occupational health and safety, ensuring the provision and use of personal protective devices are highly advisable.