Factors influencing selection, use and maintenance of protective clothing by students in technical institutions in Central Kenya
Kimemia, Millicent Wamuyu
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This research sought to investigate selection, use and maintenance of protective clothing; in Technical Institutions in Central Kenya. The objectives of this study were to investigate factors influencing selection of protective clothing, appropriateness of protective clothing used, to establish the factors influencing cleaning and storage of nondisposable and to investigate the general safety practices at workplace. A conceptual framework was used to show the process of selection, use and maintenance of protective clothing. The study area was purposively selected as it has majority of the Technical Institutions. Stratified sampling was used to select three Technical Institutions which participated in the study. Qualitative data was collected using a questionnaire which was administered by the researcher to a sample of 119 respondents in the participating departments. Majority of the respondents (88.2%) identified that colour was important when selecting protective clothing. Harmful materials handled by respondents and price were also important when selecting protective clothing. Most respondents indicated that lack of protective clothing made performance of certain tasks difficult. On investigating the factors influencing use of protective clothing, 79% of the respondents strongly agreed that use of protective clothing was very important, over 50% disagreed that there was adequate protective clothing in their institutions. It was established that injuries were common during practical lessons since 39.5% of the respondents indicated that they had been injured during practical lessons. In the study, 97.5% of the respondents felt that there is need for training on protective clothing but only 48.7% had participated in such training. The respondents had a positive attitude towards the use of protective clothing with 82.4% indicating that they were comfortable with the use of protective clothing. From the study, it emerged that there were inadequate cleaning and storage facilities in Technical Institutions with 70.6 % of respondents indicating that there were no cleaning facilities while 84% of the respondents felt that storage facilities were not available. Availability of signage indicating need for use of protective clothing was also identified as an important safety measure. Pearson's correlation coefficient was used to determine the relationships between selected key variables. The study concluded that protective clothing is not fully used by students in Technical Institutions in Central Kenya. Technical Institutions in Central Kenya need to enlighten their students on care of textile articles and use in terms of selection, use and maintenance of protective clothing. The study indicated that, the training students had received on protective clothing did not playa significant role towards selection, use and maintenance. The study recommended that, the students in Technical Institutions in Central Kenya be trained on the use of protective clothing by their course instructors on reporting to the institutions. It also recommended that, the individual institutions should ensure that safety measures are adhered to in workshops and laboratories to promote the culture of using protective clothing.