Maintaining Health, Safety and Hygiene of Differently Abled Shop-Floor Employees in the Confectionery Industry in Sri Lanka: An Ethnographic Narrative


  • Anuruddika Jayathilaka University of Sri Jayewardenepura



In many developed countries, the authorised unemployment rate for differently abled people of working age is at least twice that of those who do not have any disability. Thus, the need for employment opportunities for differently abled people has emerged. Of all other available industries, the confectionery industry is routine-oriented, and can cater to employing differently abled employees. Health, safety and hygiene are concerned with it, especially as it incorporates a lot of raw ingredients and sells them for direct consumption. When employing differently abled employees (especially those with Down syndrome and autism) in such industries, employers have concerns about health, safety and hygiene. Hence, it is essential to investigate how health, safety and hygiene are maintained by differently abled shop-floor employees in the confectionery industry. In this research, in a journey of ethnographic narrative, the researcher sets out to narrate the stories of the differently abled shop-floor employees in the confectionery industry, as their stories are within the context of Sri Lanka. As an organisational ethnography can reveal and explore the intricacies, challenges, tensions and choices of lives in organisations, the researcher has employed organisational ethnography as the prime methodological approach of this study. Exploring and analysing the daily lives of differently-abled shop-floor employees—while becoming a part of their work-life—paves the path to realising that employees with disabilities can work in any circumstance with discipline and continuous supervision.

Keywords: Confectionery Industry, Differently Abled, Health and Safety, Shop-Floor Employees