Evaluation of Work-Related Health and Safety Risks Associated with Hairdressers in Nairobi City County, Kenya.
Chebet, Koskei Winnie
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Hairdressers work towards changing or maintaining a person’s image. They are exposed to awkward posture, prolonged standing, long working hours and chemical hazards capable of causing adverse health effects. They are at high risk for safety and health risks which have not been well elucidated. This study sought to evaluate the safety and health risks associated with hairdressers. Specifically, it investigated whether salon designs, ergonomic risk factor and hairdressing tasks have impact on hairdressers’ health and safety. The study used descriptive cross-sectional and analytical design. Systematic random sampling was used to select salons and hairdressers. Closed and open-ended questionnaires were distributed to 286 hairdressers who consented to participate in the study. Observation checklist, WISHA caution checklist, thermometer, light meter and noise level meter were used to collect data in the sampled salon. To determine the impacts of salon deigns, ergonomic risk factors and hairdressing tasks on the health and safety of hairdresser, data were analyzed descriptively and with regression analysis. The findings indicate that the space in most salons in inadequate. The average space for salons is 7.22M² and that most (68.5%) hairdressers work for long hours (11-12 hours). It was also established that few salons (5.48%) have adequate amount of light and that 8.22% salons have high temperatures. Results also showed that aprons are the most used PPEs by hairdressers. It was revealed that manual handling of salon equipment and awkward posture cause musculoskeletal disorders among the hairdressers. Their odd ratios impacting health and safety of hairdressers were 2.706 and 2.728 respectively. All hairdressing tasks were done on awkward positions. The study revealed that hairdressing salon designs; space, affect the lighting and temperatures affect the health and safety of hairdressers. The hours off work and minimal or no breaks also have negative impacts on the health and safety of hairdressers. The study recommends the enforcement of the enacted legislation by the ministry of health and regular provision of hairdresser-based information on ergonomic risks to minimize the health and safety risks in the industry.