Occupational Health and Safety Practices and Performance of Selected Sugar Companies in Kisumu County, Kenya
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There is a decline in performance in sugar industries as global trends show 10% workers suffer from work-related injuries that cause loss of man-hours, serious injuries and death. Sugar Companies in Kisumu County have experienced health and safety problems with Muhoroni sugar alone reporting 26 accidents in 2017. Previous studies on workplace health and safety policies concentrated on issues of employee well-being and neglected work performance. The purpose of this research was to determine the effect of occupational health and safety practices on performance in selected sugar companies in Kisumu County. The specific objectives were to determine the effect of occupational health and safety awareness on performance, establish the effect of occupational health and safety inspections on performance, determine the effect of occupational health and safety audit on performance and investigate the moderating effect of organization culture and the relationship between occupational health and safety practices on performance in the selected sugar companies in Kisumu county. The study was guided by the systems theory of accident causation and the psychoanalytic theory of personality with a conceptual framework. An explanatory research design was used. The study population consisted of 499 employees from Muhoroni, Chemelil and Kibos sugar companies in Kisumu County and got a sample size of 222 respondents using the Yamane formula and the filled and return tools were 184 creating a response rate of 82.8%. The researcher used stratified and simple random sampling technique and the data collected using structured questionnaires. The data collected was quantitative data that was analyzed using descriptive and inferential and the findings presented in tables, pie charts and discussions. The correlation analysis found that OHS awareness had a positive a fairly significant effect to performance (β =.433), OHS inspection has moderate positive link to performance (β =.371) and OHS audits had positive but low significance effect to performance (β =.251). The regression analysis revealed that OHS practices caused 24.6% change in performance of the selected sugar companies in Kisumu County. The study also revealed that organizational culture moderated the relationship between OHS practices and performance of the selected sugar companies in Kisumu County. The study concluded that OHS practices led to improved performance in the selected sugar companies in Kisumu County. The study recommended for frequent audits, implementation of OHS policies and procedures, adoption of risk averse culture and sensitization of all workers on value of maintaining healthy and safe work environments. To improve performance, management in the sugar companies should improve worker health and safety, do regular inspections of facilities, materials, and compliance activities and during induction, the new employees learn on OHS practices and organizational culture. Also the long interval between audit exercises may not be effective at reducing accidents or injuries at the sugar companies studied. However frequent monitoring and compliance to the standards of occupational health and safety procedures would be beneficial. The report recommends that occupational health and safety officers to go beyond the establishment of policies, plans, and procedures and intensify inspection efforts in order to reduce workplace accidents’ and injuries.