Women waste pickers: living conditions, work, and health

Alexa Pupiara Flores Coelho Carmem Lúcia Colomé Beck Marcelo Nunes da Silva Fernandes Natiellen Quatrin Freitas Francine Cassol Prestes Juliana Zancan Tonel About the authors

ABSTRACT

Objective

To know the elements of work, health, and living conditions of women who pick recyclable waste and are members of a waste cooperative in a town of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Method

This is a qualitative, exploratory and descriptive study with seven subjects. Data were collected through participative observation, semi structured interview, and a focus group from July to August of 2013. The data were subjected to content analysis.

Results

The following thematic categories emerged: Women’s work, informality and precariousness; Experiences of job satisfaction; and Working conditions and health: experiences with accidents, illness and health services.

Conclusion

It was concluded that the women who collect recyclable material are exposed to precarious work conditions and potential health risks, such as work overload, accidents, illness, and social insecurity, and that nurses are responsible for promoting actions that ensure the health and inclusion of these workers.

Occupational health; Working conditions; Solid waste segregators; Nursing; Women, working

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. Escola de Enfermagem Rua São Manoel, 963 -Campus da Saúde , 90.620-110 - Porto Alegre - RS - Brasil, Fone: (55 51) 3308-5242 / Fax: (55 51) 3308-5436 - Porto Alegre - RS - Brazil
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