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Volume 7, 61-76, November 2003
ISSN 1438-7890
 
African Journal of Environmental Assessment and Management
Revue africaine de gestion et d’évaluation environnementales
 

Proper Chemicals' Management: A tool for improving environmental and occupational health in Tanzania

 

Samwel V. Manyele

 

This paper outlines the challenges facing the Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (E&OHS) in Tanzania. The paper is mainly focused on challenges facing the growth of E&OHS based on chemicals’ management. This analysis shows that the Tanzania’s position in the international E&OHS platform (that is, ILO-SAMAT, WHO/ILO Joint effort, WHO-AFRO, etc.) is very weak, namely due to lack of awareness, high level of illiteracy, weakness in the enforcement of environmental laws, and lack of environmental departments in small and large-scale enterprises. Other challenges include misdistribution of worldwide collaborating center for WHO/ILO joint efforts, weaker environmental laws and enforcement, and the fact that the standards adopted are not focusing on the safety and health workers and end-users of chemicals.  Finally, recommended strategies for improving E&OHS in Tanzania are discussed in detail, based on engineering and scientific principles. The recommended strategies include provision and access to information on safe chemicals’ handling, training programs for environmental health and safety, hazard and accident prevention techniques, risk and safety assessment, and promotion of cleaner technologies. Other strategies include emphasis on development of proper materials safety data sheets (MSDS) based on targeted audience, cost benefit analysis and auditing of E&OHS. In some cases data is presented to support the arguments.

 
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