Past studies have reported various occupational risks to municipal solid waste handlers (MSWHs). However, no generic framework has been developed for assessing the risks. Therefore, this thesis’ aim sought to develop a framework that local government structures can use for such purposes. To accomplish this task, the following objectives were formulated. The first objective was to review available literature regarding human health risks associated with municipal solid waste management operations. The PubMed literature search was used to identify relevant articles, published in the years 1995-2014. Also, references of potential articles were assessed to identify additional papers that conformed to the criteria for inclusion. 379 studies were found but only 72 met the concerned criteria. Methodological shortcomings such as usage of cross-sectional designs, small sample sizes, not enrolling reference groups, enrolling smaller reference groups, and not controlling possible confounders, were the major limitations of the studies. The proposed framework encourages local government structures to engage in or utilise methodologically sound studies that can yield valid and reliable findings. The second thesis objective determined the workplace hazards of MSWHs. Exposure assessments were done on various workplace hazards. Findings show that MSWHs are occupationally exposed to bioaerosols, chemicals, infectious material, physical and mechanical hazards. In light of the higher summer exposures of MSWHs to ultra-violet radiation and the reported health complaints, the study recommended: i) waste collection to be done at night or early morning and ii) regular breaks, rest and rehydration of MSWHs with oral fluids. A publication to disseminate these findings was made in an accredited open access journal. The findings partly constitute phase 1’ output 1 in the framework. The third thesis’ objective assessed the risky job actions of MSWHs. Postural measurements were performed using the Rapid Upper Limbs Assessment method. The findings indicate that MSWHs use unsafe work postures when performing the bin lifting, carrying and emptying tasks. The study recommended: i) mechanisation of refuse bin collection, where feasible, ii) training MSWHs on safe working postures and iii) supervision of waste collection tasks. Also, under phase 1’s output 1, the framework stresses the need to examine ergonomic risks of waste collection services. The findings on objective 3 were disseminated in form of a publication. Objectives 4-7 sought to develop, validate, refine and compile a framework for assessing occupational health risks of MSWHs. An SWOT analysis of available human and environmental risk assessment frameworks was done and the findings were used as a base for the draft framework. The developed draft framework validated and revised through iteration workshops in small, medium and large local government structures. This thesis proves that Mr Ncube is conversant with the nature and purpose of this relevant investigation. From his thesis Mr Ncube has published 3 articles in peer reviewed journals.