Low levels of knowledge and practice of occupational hazards among flower farm workers in southwest Shewa zone, Ethiopia: a cross-sectional analysis


Background: Over the last decade, flower farms have been rapidly growing in Ethiopia. Following the advent and development of the sector, various work-related chemical, biological, physical, psychosocial, and ergonomic hazards have been emerging unacceptably, with increased risks of exposures for workers and local communities. However, evidence that describes knowledge and prevention practice of occupational hazards among flower farm workers in the country is little documented. The knowledge and safety practice of occupational hazards among flower farm workers in Ethiopia were explored in the current study.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 471 flower farm workers was implemented from March to April 2017. A stratified random sampling technique was used to select the eligible participants. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect data, and the data were entered in to Epi Info program version 7 and analyzed by SPSS program version 20. Bivariate and multivariate linear regression analyses were performed to evaluate significance of associations at < 0.05 p-values. Results: A total of 451 flower farm workers were interviewed with a response rate of 95.7%. The majority, 72.1% (N = 325) were females. Mean age was 24.1 (SD + 6.5) years. About 39.2% (N = 177) of the participants had good knowledge on occupational hazards. The level of safety practice was 26.6% (N = 120). The level of knowledge on occupational hazards was affected by level of education [AOR: 20.03;95% CI (16.30,23.75)], work experience [AOR: 5.97; 95% CI (4.22,7.72)], and type of employment [AOR: 5.35; 95% CI (2.50,8.19)], whereas the level of safety practice was influenced by regular use of personal protective equipment (PPE) [AOR:17.53;95% CI (13.36,21.71)], level of knowledge [AOR: 7.29; 95% CI (3.87,10.73)], and provision of appropriate PPE [AOR: 4.59; 95% CI (2.34,8.86)]. Conclusion: This study revealed the levels of knowledge and safety practice towards occupational hazards were low. The knowledge on occupational hazards was significantly affected by the level of education and duration of employment. Moreover, the use of PPE and level of knowledge considerably influenced safety practice. Therefore, we recommend employers to ensure that workplace health and safety programs account for workers' level of education and work experience. It is also pivotal to provide workers witha suitable PPE and instructions on its use, and to arrange safety communication in the local languages at the relevant workplaces.

Authors: Debela Hinsermu Geleta, Mekuriaw Alemayehu, Geta Asrade, Tesfaye Hambisa Mekonnen
; Full Source: BMC public health 2021 Jan 28;21(1):232. doi: 10.1186/s12889-021-10254-5.