Accidents as an occupational health problem - a case of Babadogo industrial area Nairobi - Kenya
Otieno, Samwel Boaz
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An investigation of occupational accidents among factory workers was carried out in Babadogo Industrial Area in carried out in Babadogo Industrial Area in Ruaraka -Nairobi, between September 1998 and December 1998. In this cross sectional study a total of 300 workers were interviewed in 18 factories selected randomly. The data was coded and analyzed by Statistical Programme for Social Scientists (SPSS) (1998) program. It was shown that 93% of the factories in Babadogo Industrial Area were in general consumer and service manufacturing category (P < 0.001) with most of the workers (83.33%) being males (P < 0.001) and only 58.4% having post secondary and primary school training. The investigation also revealed that up to 47.2% of respondents have had occupational accidents in the previous twelve months under study. Of the injured workers 45.4% have only had accidents once while 2.8% have had accidents at least 15 times or more (P < 0.001). At least 38% of the injured workers did not report accidents to their employers. It was also shown that there was a strong association between the causes of accidents and occupations (P < 0.001) with handling objects being responsible for 39.6% of all accidents. Accidents rates were also shown to vary with experience (P < 0.025) with most accidents. (51.2%) occurring in those who have worked for 5 years or less. Within each occupation type accident rates were varied with most accidents affecting machine operators. The differences in accident rates of different occupations was found to be significant (P < 0.001). It is also shown that accidents rates vary with time of the day with peaks at 12.00 noon (18.1%) and at 3.00 p.m. (21.0%), however there was no significant differences, in the rates between morning and afternoons (P > 0.05). The investigation also revealed that accident rates varied with day of the week with most accidents, (24.4%) occurring on Wednesday. The variation was also shown to occur by the month with most accidents (22.5%) occurring in the month of August. Investigation also showed significant variation in several aspects of safety standards (P < 0.001) housekeeping standards (P < 0.001) and presence of several physical and chemical hazards within the work environment, details of which are given in the text. This study revealed that handling objects; hand tools and power driven machinery caused most of accidents. Much attention should therefore be focused towards these causes in order to reduce accidents. If further revealed that machine operators had higher rate of injuries compared to other occupations hence much attention should be given focused on training and improvement of production on machinery in order to reduce accidents. It was also shown that a significant number of workers had low level of education hence attention should be given to training of workers, as this could be a contributing factor in accident causation as most of the workers injured were machine operators hence the employees should be involved in ergonomic design were of machine. Much attention in form of education of workers should be given to particular time of machines. Much attention in form of education of workers should be given to particular time of day (12 noon) and (3.00 p.m.) and to Wednesdays, as most accidents tended to occur during that time. Housekeeping standards, safety standards and chemical and physical hazards level were shown to be the significant factors, hence much attention should also be focused in work environment improvement as this could reduce the number of accidents.
- MST-Zoological Sciences 
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