Original Research Article
Year: 2015 | Month: January | Volume: 2 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 1-14
Awareness of Occupational Hazards and Health Problems among Sawmill Workers in Osun State, Nigeria
Oluwatosin A. Adeoye1, Adeleye A. Adeomi1, Olugbemiga L. Abodunrin2, Adenike I. Olugbenga-Bello2, Saliu T. Abdulsalam1
1Department of Community Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria.
2Department of Community Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria.
Corresponding Author: Adeleye A. Adeomi
Background: Sawmilling operations involves lots of manual handling which makes workers to be exposed to higher levels of risks. The study aimed to assess awareness of occupational hazards and health problems of sawmill workers.
Methodology: It was a cross sectional analytical design carried out among 100 sawmill-workers in Osun State, Nigeria selected via multi-stage sampling technique from September 2012 to January 2013. Pre-tested questionnaire, walk-through survey checklist and In-depth interview guide were used to collect data from respondents. Some pulmonary function parameters of respondents were also measured. One hundred matched vehicle mechanics were used as control. Level of significance was set at P<0.05 and chi-square, z and t tests were used for comparison.
Result: Mean ages were 33.64±11.01 and 33.14±9.98 for the study and control group respectively. Most of the sawmill workers did not use personal protective equipment mainly due to non availability. Respiratory symptoms like cough (53%), phlegm production (39%), and sneezing (54%) as well as dermatitis (8%) and conjunctivitis (60%) were significantly higher among sawmill workers than the controls (p<0.05). Mean peak expiratory flow was significantly (p<0.001) lower among sawmillers (332.6±66.23 l/min) than the control (488.7±60.23 l/min). Mean respiratory rates (19.68± 2.31 cpm) and the anterior-posterior to transverse diameter ratio of chest (1.01±0.06) of sawmillers were also significantly higher than the controls' (18.00±1.35 cpm and 0.99 ± 0.04 respectively)
Conclusion: Respiratory symptoms and injuries in sawmills can be prevented by dust control and the use of personal protective equipment
Key words: Occupational hazards; Sawmill workers; Mechanics; Peak Expiratory Flow.