Utilization Pattern of Personal Protective Equipments among Industrial Workers of Nawalparasi, Nepal
- Shiva Raj Acharya
Personal protective equipments is one of the important measures to safeguard workers from exposure to occupational hazards. It includes Face Mask, Goggle, Helmet, Gloves, Boot, Ear Plugs, Protective clothing, Belts, etc.
The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) usually implies that the worker is expected to operate in a potentially hazardous environment with the protective device as one of the key means of preventing exposure.5
ILO estimates that more than 250 million workers meet occupational accidents and 160 million are suffering from occupational diseases each year at the global level. Similarly, research conducted by ILO (2003) had concluded that every day, more than 6000 people/workers die, equivalent with one died every 15 seconds, because of the accident and illness related to work in the work places.7 Occupational and Industrial accidents/hazards are all caused by preventable factors which could be eliminated by implementing available measures such as PPE. This is demonstrated by continuously reduced accident rates in industrialized countries.2
Nepal is an developing country where various types of industries are in exdending order. All over the Nepal there are different varieties of industries. It is estimated that each year approximately 20,000 workers suffers from accidents at workplace which lead to about 200 lives lost in Nepal. Many incidents have been reported in manufacturing industries where large numbers of workers were injured due to the lack of safety provisions. Nepalease workers are suffering from one or more problems in their workforce.7
The objectives of this study is to assess the use of personal protective equipments among the workers of Chaudhary Group Industry of Nawalparasi district of Nepal.
A descriptive, cross-sectional study was carried out in five industry (Beer, Rio, Chesseball, Chips and Wafer) of the Chaudhary Group Industrial Estate, Nawalparasi from October 20, to November 2013. Total sample size 187 workers were selected through Stratified Random Sample technique having working experience more than one year and age between 16-60 year.
Ethical approval was taken from ethical review board of Pokhara University and Chaudhary Group of Industry. Verbal informed consent of each respondents was taken. The purpose of the study was shared to each respondent.Validity of the research was maintained by consulting with the research expert and supervisor opinions, visiting consult authority and discussion with colleagues and different research articles regarding the use of PPE was references to conduct this research. Questionnaire was pretested and modifications was done if needed.. Questionnaire was back translated English to Nepali language. Face to face interview was used as a technique for data collection and analysis were done by SPSS 17 version. Descriptive study was done to determine the use of PPE. Chisquare test was applied to findout the association between the dependent and independent variables.
The response rate was 100% ( N=187). Average age of the respondents was 34.09 ±8.650 years. The majority of the respondents (35.3%) were in the range of 21-30 years and 31-40 years. Results showed that majority of respondents were male (68.4%) but use of PPE was found high in female respondents (31.6%) as compare to male respondents. Most of the respondents (61.5%) told that there is no any provision of regular health check up in industry. Among the respondents, only 24.6% had ever been formally taught or been advised in using PPE in the workplace. Workers of age group (30-40 years) and workers with income (less than 11450 per month) were more likely to use PPE compared to others. Result of educational status showed that the majority of the respondents had completed secondary level (49.2%).
Among the respondents,only 46 (24.6%) had ever been formally taught or been advised in using PPE in the workplace, while 141 (75.4%) had never been formally taught or been advised in using PPE. Similarly more than half of the respondents 56.5% told last time they received the formal information regarding PPE before one month ago.
Most of the workers were suffered from Accidents/Injuries (60%) while others were suffered from muscoskeletal problems, Ear problems, Skin problems, Eye problems, Typhoid, BP and Respiratory problems within last one year of duration. (Figure 1)
Most of the workers (68.1%) regularly used all relevant PPE in work whereas 31.9% workers didn’t used PPE regularly. More than half (57%) respondents uses the PPE when they needed, 35% respondents use PPE all the time during working and only 8% respondents uses PPE only in the start time of the work. The main reason for not using of PPE by respondents were not availability of PPE (33.3%) and no necessary of using PPE (66.7%). (Table 1)
It was found that 87.2% workers used any kind of PPE in industry, only 12.8% workers didn’t used any kind of PPE while working in worksite. Most of the respondents were used Respirators/mask (78.1%), Handprotectors/gloves (56.7%), Appron/clothing (30.5%) and Head protectors/helmet (26.7%) while 26.7% were used Eye protectors/goggles and 17.1% were used Foot protectors/boot. (Table 2)
The results showed that 88.4% workers use of any type of PPE in Beer industry, 79.4% in Rio industry, 96.4% in Wafer industry, 91.3% in chips industry and 75% workers use PPE in cheeseball industry to ensure health, food and body safety in workplace. (Table 3)
Most of the workers (95.7%) told that there is the regular provision of replacement of the wornout, infected PPE and only 4.3% workers told there is no regular provision of replacement of the wornout PPE in industry. It was found that 77.3% workers didn’t feel uncomfortable while using PPE whereas 22.7% workers feel uncomfortable while using PPE in industry. Most of the workers (89.3%) were found to be encouraged by their co-staffs and officers for the use of PPE while 10.7% workers weren’t encouraged by their co-staffs and officers for the use of PPE in industry.
It was found that 18.4% of the respondents among those who use the PPE told they perceived health safety as benefits through the use of PPE while 40.5% respondents told body protection as perceived benefit, 21.5% respondents told prevention from diseases as perceived benefit, 15.9% respondents told prevention from dust, fumes, chemicals etc. as perceived benefit. Only few respondents told food safety and prevention from injuries/accidents as perceived benefit which accounts 3.1% and 0.6% respectively. (Table 4)
Association of use of PPE with gender (p=0.031) and encourage to use of PPE (p=0.001) were statistically significant whereas association of use of PPE with income(p=0.109), education status (p=0.126), age of the respondents(p=0.071) and working experience (p=0.445) were not significant. Female respondents were likely to use PPE (3.6 times) as compared to male respondents. Respondents who were encouraged used PPE more than 26 times as compared to non-motivated respondents towards the use of PPE. (Table 5)
Out of 187 respondents 32.1% workers had faced any type of health problems or hazards under working conditions in industry. Among them most of the workers are suffered from Accidents/Injuries which accounts 60%. The main cause of the health problems/hazards among 60 respondents 75 % was due to the work load, 18.3% was due to chemicals, dust, fumes etc and 6.7% was from lack of PPE provision. Similar study was conducted among cement workers in Arab Emirates showed that only 52.9 % of the workers knew the hazards other than the dust that were associated with their work.1
In this study, 87.2% of workers found to with use of any types of PPE whereas only 12.8% workers didn’t use any types of PPE available in the workplace. Similar study conducted in Vishakapatnam Steel plant of India which showed that 27.50% of the workers were using personal protective equipment (PPE).3 A study carried in a sample of 501 male printing workers from 28 factories in Hong Kong showed that 22.05%. of the workers were using PPE.4 Another study conducted in Southern Tamilnadu of India among dyes printing workers found that 34% of the workers were using personal protective equipment (PPE).6
Among the respondents, only 24.6% had ever been formally taught or been advised in using PPE in the workplace, while 75.4% had never been formally taught or been advised in using PPE. Study conducted among garment workers in Tamilnadu of India also recommended that the workers need to be trained in the proper use of PPE to reduce the occupational health hazards.8 Study conducted in Canada showed 22% of respondents reported that they had never received PPE training and 32% had not been trained in the previous 2 years.10
Study by Saowanee Norkaew suggested that regular public health education and training programs including how to use appropriated PPE should be organized for the workers to improve their ability to handle practices and health.11
Only 12.8% workers didn’t uses any kind of PPE in Chaudhary Group of Industry. The main barriers of not using the PPE were non-availability (33.3%) whereas rest of the workers told there is no necessary (66.7%) to use PPE while working in industry. Similarly another study among garment workers in Tamilnadu of India found non-availability (18%) were the reasons stated by workers for non use of PPE.8
Another study on KAP regarding usage of PPE in at trade village of Vietnam found that 29% of the respondents have ever used at least one kind of PPE (71% didn’t use any kind of PPE).The majority of the Craftsman was not using PPE because they believe that use of PPE is uncomfortable. But in this study,more than two quarters workers didn’t feel any uncomfortable of using PPE that might influence the increase in the use of the PPE in workplace.9
Among the PPE users in Chaudhary Group of Industry most of the workers (79.8%) start using PPE since they joined in industry. Most of the workers (68.1%) regularly use all relevant PPE in industry whereas 31.9% workers didn’t use. More than half (57.1%) respondents use the PPE when they needed, 35% respondents uses PPE all the time during working and only 8% respondents uses PPE only in the start time of the work. Similar study conducted by Taha AZ in three industries of Saudi Arab conducted in 2000 AD showed that 12% used personal protective measures all the time while 60% did not use any type of PPE. The main reasons given for not using PPE were non-availability of equipment and that the equipment was too heavy causing inconvenience. A variety of preventive measures and PPE were mentioned, their use was unsatisfactory.12
According to this study, Statistics shows that there is the significant association of gender of the respondents, encouarge to use PPE with the use of PPE. Whereas, there is no any association of age, educational status, income, working experience with the use of PPE. Similar finding from the study conducted among garment workers in Tamlinadu in India showed the significant association between encourage to use PPE by officers/staffs with the use of PPE.8
Large portion(93.3%) of workers found change after using of PPE. Most of the workers (89.3%) were found to be encouraged by their co-staffs and officers for the use of PPE which ensure the effectiveness regarding use of the PPE in industry. It is found there is the regular provision of replacement of the wornout, infected PPE which is the effective reason behind high practices of PPE and low health hazards.
The findings of this study have quiet good practice regarding the uses of PPE by comparing with the results of others similar studies with this study. It might be due to the workers knowledge on PPE, training regarding PPE, types of industries were research were conducted, provision of PPE, incidence of health hazards/problems, workplace environment, years of experience of working in industry which are clearly illustrated as above.
It is found that majority of workers (more than three quarters of respondents) use the PPE in Chaudhary Group of Industry, Nawalparasi.
It is recommended that formal information, education and training on proper uses of PPE should be provided to workers to ensure workplace safety in industry and to reduce workplace hazards. Need of research and indepth studies to assess the industrial health risks.
I would like to extend my sincere graduate to Mr. Ishor Sharma for his supervision during this work. My special thanks goes to Mr. Hari Kafle, Mr. Sudarshan Subedi, Mr. Chiranjivi Adhikari for their valuable suggestion, guidance and support during my research work. I would like to remember my loving family, Mr. Sanjay Adhikari, Mr. Jeevan Bhatta, Mr. Diwash Timilsina, Mrs Roshna Raj Bhandari and classmates of School of Health and Allied Science, Pokhara University.
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