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Whether the industrial workers of slums have access to job insurance?

Shashwati Banerjee (Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, India)
Kishor Goswami (Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, India)

International Journal of Workplace Health Management

ISSN: 1753-8351

Article publication date: 15 May 2019




Securing a job in an industry is a boon for most of the slum dwellers. When the primary earner of a slum household suffers from occupational illness and injuries, without insurance coverage or partial coverage of insurance, this boon may become a curse in the long run. The occupational security and safety along with the fact that whether such workers are insured is an important aspect and has a close link with the expenditure on illness. Thus, the accessibility to employees’ insurance in the risky industrial occupation, particularly for slum dwellers, is crucial to protect them from falling into poverty. Studies on occupational health of the poor workers are either limited to informal sectors or remain industry specific and the analysis of their accessibility to job insurance is rarely done. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


The research questions are framed to analyze the types of insurance accessible to workers across various industries; the accessibility to insurance, however, varying across risk intensities of various industries; and the determinants of insurance accessibility of the industrial workers living in slums. The determinants of accessibility of job insurance are analyzed with a binary Logit model. A multi-stage random sampling technique is used to collect the primary data from 320 industrial workers living in the slums of the Indian state of West Bengal.


The industrial workers, irrespective of the types of industries, are exposed to a high-risk category without proper job insurance. The higher industrial income is not adequate to prevent financial hardships. Access to insurance is more likely for the respondents with job tenure of more than two years and less likely for the workers who are working for more than eight hours per day.

Social implications

This study provides a significant insight to the policymakers concerning health dynamics of the slum dwellers, which can improve their livelihood.


The analysis of the industry-specific risk intensities with accessibility to insurance contributes to understanding the coverage of the insurance scheme for the workers in slums.



Banerjee, S. and Goswami, K. (2019), "Whether the industrial workers of slums have access to job insurance?", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 102-119.



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