Occupational accidents in hotels within Eldoret town, Kenya: awareness and prevention
This study is entitled, "Occupational Accidents in hotels within Eldoret Town: Awareness and Prevention". The specific objectives of the study were to establish whether there are policy guidelines relating to prevention of occupational accidents and to check whether legal requirements relating to safety at work are followed; determine the level of awareness of the safety procedures by the staff and proprietors of hotels within Eldoret municipality and to establish preventive measures that are in place to prevent Occupational Accidents in hotels within Eldoret municipality. The independent variables examined were the years worked, type of hotel and level of education while the dependent variables included awareness of staff on safety requirements, policies and accident prevention measures as they relate to the areas of occupational health and safety promotion activities. The study employed the descriptive study design which is the most appropriate in achieving the stated objectives and allows generalization of the results to the population. Data was collected from hotels using stratified and simple random sampling which ensures that all staff from the population had the same chance of being selected and stratified sampling to ensure that cases from the smaller strata of the population are included in sufficient numbers to allow comparison. The study was done in the central business district of Eldoret town in which, 16 hotels from 20 High Standard Lodging House (Hotel D Class) of hotels were studied. An interview was administered to hotel proprietors or the hotel manager to establish accident prevention measures taken by the hotel management as well as the policies put in place to ensure awareness and prevention of these accidents. Staff of various caliber filled questionnaires to shed light on accident prevention measures and awareness. An observation checklist was also used to establish the safety practices of the hotel. The data collected was then used to establish the extent to which accidents occurred, state of awareness and prevention measures that were undertaken by the hotels. The data was then transcribed and content analysis (identifying, coding, and categorizing the primary patterns in data) done. Thereafter the data was organized in tables and analyzed using the SPSS data analysis programme. Major findings were that though most hotels had safety policy statements, most staff were unable to outline them and worse still were not aware of safety procedures, policies and laws governing hotels. Training was considered as one of the methods of ensuring prevention of accidents. Although risk assessment audits were done regularly, most hotels had no system of reporting risks, hazards and accidents. After correlation, it was found that the awareness of safety rules/policies/regulation are influenced by education levels 'of the staff and not necessarily the working year/experience meaning that staff get OHS information mainly from formal professional education rather than at the work place. In conclusion, most hotels neither had guidelines for preparedness for emergencies or a system for reporting hazards and accidents and the staff were not aware of safety regulations, safety procedures and policies or laws governing the hotel industry. On the other hand preventive measures put in place included training, availing necessary equipment and disciplinary action. Recommendations included providing clear policies on safety procedures in the hospitality industry and training staff on these policies to create awareness.
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