The design of equipment and tools that allows informal workers to work in safer, healthier and more efficient ways has long been of interest to several of the Learning Meeting participants. In OHS Newsletter Issue 2, we talked to SEWA about the development of their prototypes. KKPKP and AeT have also been involved in designing equipment for waste pickers, and we heard from Brazil that Eduardo Marinho Barbosa, under the guidance of Vilma Santana, will soon be designing tools for groups of home-based workers in Salvador.
A clear message to come out of the Learning Meeting was that the design of effective prototypes is not a simple process. One of the biggest problems is that often workers do not actually use the equipment produced. Although consultation with worker groups in the design process can combat this to some extent, it does not always guarantee a positive outcome, as KKPKP explained. When KKPKP set out to develop sorting sheds that would provide shelter to waste pickers, they consulted the workers extensively on the design. In the end it was municipal sorting sheds, developed without any worker consultation, which turned out to be more popular (see photographs).
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