n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Effect of employees' working conditions in the burnt brick manufacturing industries in the Vhembe District of Limpopo Province, South Africa

Supplement 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


In recent years, burnt bricks have become the most important building materials used in South Africa. The manufacturing of burnt bricks in rural areas especially in South Africa fulfills the growing demands of urbanisation and a rapidly increasing population. Hence, the primary aim of this study was to examine and describe how working conditions in the burnt brick kiln industry affect worker's health in the Vhembe district of the Limpopo Province, South Africa. A mixed method research design was used in a cross-sectional study. A sample of 200 respondents was drawn from the population of 580 that included all brick kiln workers employed as moulders, clay preparation and blending, firemen, pallet packers, health and safety workers, shop-stewards and supervisory staff. Data were collected through questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The findings confirm that the burnt brick kiln sector, especially in rural areas, is a threat to the physical health and safety of the workers. Many workers reported that they experience neck, upper back, shoulder and hand pain, as well as breathing difficulties or chest pains. The surveyed companies had an average monthly sickness-related absenteeism of twenty six percent (26%). Significant interactions were found for the combinations of physical working conditions and hazardous exposure to work environment risk factors (p<0.05). The study further revealed that health and safety standards in the burnt brick kiln are violated. The study recommended that workers should have a say in the design of the work stations, and attention should be paid to workers with poor safety records.

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