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Occupational hazards exposure and their resultant effects on hospital attendants in health facilities of a local government area in South-South, Nigeria

James Olusegun Bamidele, Oluwatosin Adediran Adeoye, Maureen I Ntaji, Edward Adekola Oladele.

Background: Health attendants are constantly faced with the hazards inherent in their occupation. The objective of this study was to assess the occupational hazards exposures and their resultant effects on health attendants in health facilities in Warri South Local Government Area (LGA) of Delta state, Nigeria.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study of 199 health attendants selected from 37 hospitals within the LGA using Random Sampling Method. Data were collected by the interviewer and self-administered questionnaire and analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 17 (SPSS Inc. Released 2008. SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 17.0. Chicago: SPSS Inc.). Statistical analysis involved the use of the Chi square (ϗ2) and t-test among others as applicable. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05 for all analyses.
Results: Female workers accounted for 95.5% of the respondents; 98.0% had secondary level education and below. About 79.9% have not attended training courses on safety in the workplace. Many respondents (92.0%) believed that the occupation is hazardous. Among those that ever had injuries (26.6%), cuts and bruises accounted for (66.0%); followed closely by needle pricks (64.2%) and skin irritation/allergy (22.6%). Only 18.1% of the respondents had received hepatitis B vaccination. Only 50.8% and 10.1% respondents always wear hand gloves and protective boots, respectively. A significant association (P < 0.05) was found as those that have had training sustained fewer injuries than those who have not had training; also awareness about hazards is more among respondents with high educational status; those that have had training and those that have spent more years at work.
Conclusion: Health attendants in this study are aware of the hazardous nature of their occupation, but still vulnerable to direct hazards exposure. We recommend that there should be mandatory standardized training and re-training of these hospital attendants on the potential hazards of their work and measures should be put in place to enforce the usage of personal protective equipment by this group of workers.

Key words: Hazard exposure, hazard prevention, health facilities, hospital attendants

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