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TAF Prev Med Bull. 2010; 9(4): 325-328

Awareness of Occupational Hazards, Health Problems and Safety Measures among Sawmill Workers in North Central Nigeria

Gordon Kayode Osagbemi, Rukayat T La-Kadri, Sunday Adedeji Aderibigbe.

AIM: Research on occupational exposures in sawmill has suggested that workers in sawmills are at risk of developing allergenic disorders, cancer and lung diseases. To determine the perception of occupational hazards, health problems and use of safety measures among sawmill workers in Ilorin.
METHODS: This descriptive cross sectional study was carried out using two hundred and fifty seven (257) workers in sawmill industries who had been in continuous employment in sawmill factories for a minimum of one year. They were selected by a multistage sampling process from sawmills in Ilorin. A semi-structured interviewer administered questionnaire was used.
RESULTS: The majority of the respondents were wood traders, and machine operators. The occurrences of minor accidents were reported. Less then 20% of the sawmill workers wore protective devices/clothing, and health and safety standards were neither practiced nor enforced. Most perceived occupational hazards in the sawmill were dust and noise among 28.1% and 26.1% of the respondents respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: The level of awareness of various occupational hazards was low except that of electric shock that was high. The most common health problems experienced was minor accidents. Availability and use of safety devices were also poor. Sociodemographic factors were not found to influence the attitude and use of safety measures at workplace but awareness had significant influence on the level of use of safety measures. There is a need to improve the level of awareness, availability and use of safety measures among the workers through subsequent sensitization and awareness.

Key words: Occupational Hazards, Health Problems, Safety Measures, Sawmill Workers

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