When OSH is Good for Business

A Guidance Note on Using Market Systems Development to Advance Occupational Safety and Health among MSMEs

Weak occupational safety and health (OSH) is often a major problem in developing countries, especially among Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs). Workers regularly get injured, leading to loss of income (or even of employment), lower productivity and work stoppages, while some workers even die in performing their jobs. Yet, many of these work accidents and diseases are preventable. MSMEs often simply do not have enough capacity and incentive to manage OSH risks faced by workers because of weak awareness of OSH risks, weak policy frameworks, or inadequate access to OSH support services such as prevention training.

In this brief, we examine how development projects can tackle such challenges through using the market systems development (MSD) approach. Based on secondary research and the experiences of a handful of MSD projects, we provide tips on how MSD projects can strategically select sectors, conduct market analysis, and design project strategy and interventions towards ultimately achieving improved OSH outcomes.