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Journal of Nursing Research and Practice

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Marghoob H. Yaas1* and Elham Kh. Al-Jammas2
 
1 Department Nursing, University of Al-Kitab, Iraq
2 Department Medicine, University of Mosul, Iraq
 
*Correspondence: Marghoob H. Yaas, Department Nursing, University of Al-Kitab, Iraq, Email: [email protected]

Received Date: Oct 29, 2018 / Accepted Date: Nov 29, 2018 / Published Date: Dec 06, 2018

Citation: Yaas MH, Al-Jammas EKH. Assessment the workers awareness’ with occupational health and safety at northern petrochemical company in Iraq. J Nurs Res Pract. 2018;2(4):3-6.

This open-access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY-NC) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits reuse, distribution and reproduction of the article, provided that the original work is properly cited and the reuse is restricted to noncommercial purposes. For commercial reuse, contact [email protected]

Abstract

Background: Occupational health and safety is the protective shield for workers against hazards and accidents at the workplace. Therefore, they must be fully awareness of the concepts and principles of occupational health and safety in order to avoid accidents within the petrochemical industries containing these hazards.

Aim: The study aimed to assess the workers awareness’ with occupational health and safety at Northern Petrochemical Company in Salah Alden Governorate of Iraq and to find out relationship between this awareness with workers` demographical characteristics such as (age, period of services, marital status, and education level).

Materials and methods: A descriptive design was applied throughout the present study in order to achieve study goals. The study sample was (330) worker, working in basic factory departments, in the Northern Petrochemical Company. A special questionnaire was prepared by the investigator, through an extensive literatures review, opinion of experts and conducting a preliminary study. Data were gathered through the worker` interviewed in workplace. Content validity of the questionnaire was done through eliciting the opinions of a panel of (9) expert, while the reliability of questionnaire was done through a pilot study and by using internal consistency and calculation of Pearson Correlation Coefficient on data gathered from (10) workers.

Results: The results of the study showed that all workforces were males and most of them were married have low educational level with period of services more than ten years; The results of the study showed that workers have an awareness “of the occupational health and safety they need in the workplace and there a significant relationship differences between this awareness and the worker ages, services period and their educational level at P ≤ 0.05.

Conclusion: The awareness of workers’ with occupational health and safety in the Northern Petrochemical Company comes from a comprehensive understanding of the hazards arising from the processes of production and use of chemicals materials and use of personal protection equipment. Awareness is also increasing among adult workers with a high level of education and long years of service period.

Keywords

Awareness; Occupational; Petrochemical; Safety

Introduction

The health and safety of people at work has been of concern since the growth of waged labor work, and particularly since those engaged in waged labor developed representative trade unions [1]. Occupational health and safety (OHS) is a cross-disciplinary area concerned with protecting the safety, health and welfare of people engaged in work or employment. “The goals of occupational safety and health programs include promotion a safe and healthy work environment”. OHS may also protect co-workers, family members, employers, customers, and many others who might be affected by the workplace environment [2].

Studies in industrial countries disclose that the causing agent of 90% of workplace accidents is human error and only 10% of those go to unsuitable workplace and equipment [3]. “The overview hazardous technology has resulted in insecure and unhealthy working environments”. Mostly workers are not too much educated to know what protective measures should be adopted. Occupational health aims at: the encouragement and preservation of the highest degree physical, mental and social wellbeing of workers in occupations [4].

Chemicals industries are one of the most significant sectors of the process industry. It plays a vital developing role by providing chemicals and intermediates as inputs to other sectors of the industry like paints, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, dye stuffs and intermediates, leather chemicals, pesticides etc. “Each year many workers are injured, become ill or are killed because of exposure to harmful chemical materials”. These incidents cause human suffering, loss of production and high medical cost. Industrial hazards associated with these industries include large scale high pressure and temperature reactors and separations equipment containing highly flammable chemicals [5].The exposure to pesticides and other agrochemicals in workplace can cause poisoning and in certain cases, “lead to work-related cancer and death” [6].

Materials and Methods

A non-experimental design (descriptive approach) was achieve in the present study in order to assess the workers awareness’ with occupational health and safety at Northern Petrochemical Company and to find out relationship between this awareness with workers` demographical characteristics such as (age, period of services, marital status, and education level).

A purposive (non-probability) sample was used in selecting (330) subjects to answer study question. For the purpose of data collection, the researcher constructed a semi-structure questionnaire that consists of two parts: - Part I: this part was concerned with the description of the demographic characteristics of study subjects such as (age, period of services, marital status and educational level). Part II: includes workers awareness’ with occupational health and safety. Nineteenth statements reflected the workers information of occupational health and safety domains that encompass the company responsibilities toward provide and maintenances the occupational health and safety measures as well as how workers understand and compliances with it. These questions were measured on a three-point scale agree, uncertain, and disagree and rated as agree=3, uncertain=2 and disagree=1. Reliability and validity of this tool is determined through application of a pilot study and panel of experts. Data were gathered through the worker` interviewed in workplace, each interview takes approximately (15-20) minute for each worker. The researcher was fed the computer by all the data that were collected in the study. SPSS was used for data analysis. The following statistical approaches were applied; Descriptive statistic (Frequency, Percentage and Mean Score) and Inferential Statistic (Chi-square).

Results

Table 1 demonstrates the demographic characteristics of the study sample. All the workers were males; the majority (62.12%) was 30–39 years old. High proportion was married (95.15%) and has (42.12%) period long of service 10–14 years of worker services. With regard to the educational level of workers, the highest percentage was (48.18%) who were graduated from secondary schools.

Items Characteristics Groups F %
Age 20-29 Year 58 17.57
30-39 Year 205 62.12
40-49 Year 51 15.45
More than 50 Year 16 4.84
Period of services Less than 5 y 27 8.18
5 – 9 y 89 26.96
10 – 14 y 139 42.12
More 15 y 75 22.72
Marital Status Single 16 4.84
Married 314 95.15
Education Level Read & write 4 1.21
Primary 38 11.51
Intermediate 27 8.18
Secondary 159 48.18
Institution 46 13.93
College 56 16.96

Table 1: Frequencies and Percentages of Socio-Demographical Characteristics

Table 2 shows that the awareness level was good on items 2, 6, 9, 15 and moderate on the other one. Table 3 illustrates that there is a significant relationship between workers awareness’ with occupational health and safety and their ages at P ≤ 0.05. Table 4 demonstrates that there is a significant relationship between workers awareness’ with occupational health and safety and their services period at P ≤ 0.05. Table 5 shows that there is no significant relationship between workers awareness’ with occupational health and safety and their marital status at P ≤ 0.05. Table 6 shows that there is a significant relationship between workers awareness’ with occupational health and safety and their educational level.

List Items Agree Uncertain Disagree M.S
F % F % F %
1 The  Company  is  responsible  for providing occupational safety measures at workplace. 200 60.6 118 35.7 12 3.6 2.5 M
2 The Company is responsible for sending safety warning to the necessary place. 210 63.6 109 33 11 3.33 2.6 G
3 The worker may only be employed after passing pre- employment medical and physical examinations. 157 47.5 104 31.5 69 20.9 2.2 M
4 The Company has to retire the worker who has a chronic occupational injury and diseases after giving him reward. 99 30 116 35.1 115 34.8 1.9 M
5 The Company should provide full care and rehabilitation for the injured worker as a result of work accidents. 207 62.7 93 28.1 30 9.09 2.5 M
6 Workers must rescue their peer who unconscious as a result of toxic gases or other injuries in the workplace. 264 80 49 14.8 17 5.15 2.7 G
7 I have to be sure of safety requirements before going to rescue the unconscious worker because the toxic gases or any other injury. 204 61.8 108 32.7 18 5.45 2.5 M
8 The rescue matter is the task of the specialized rescuers after telling them to help any unconscious worker. 147 44.5 146 44.2 37 11.2 2.3 M
9 I should know the name and toxicity of any chemical material used in the work. 221 66.9 85 25.7 24 7.27 2..6 G
10 It is the responsibility of the Company to monitor the dangerous occupational workplace. 186 56.3 92 27.8 52 15.7 2.4 M
11 The Company has to prevent any non-responsible to reach the places where the dangerous materials are saved. 212 64.2 98 29.6 20 6.06 2.6 M
12 The Company has to inform workers of the  raw materials necessary in production of fertilizer in the factory. 163 49.3 111 33.6 56 16.9 2.3 M
13 The Company has an education programs about the daily amount and enough time of exposure to chemical materials that cause any diseases. 77 23.3 111 33.6 142 43 1.8 M
14 Safety personnel protective equipment must be used before work. 204 61.8 106 32.1 20 6.06 2.5 M
15 The body must be washed before and after the work shift and the use of organic solvents. 252 76.3 62 18.7 16 4.85 2.7 G
16 The company has to maintenance and repair factory machine with  routine examination of high pressure machines and thermal boilers. 101 30.6 127 38.4 102 30.9 1.9 M
17 Air exhaust should be used to reduce dust  that  present  from  chemical materials and machines work. 160 48.4 136 41.2 34 10.3 2.4 M
18 The need to provide healthy food and a suitable place to eat at the workplace. 86 26 128 38.7 116 35.1 1.9 M
19 The company has to provide medical health care for injury, accident and other emergency cases. 147 44.5 149 45.1 34 10.3 2.3 M

Table 2: Mean of Score for level of workers awarenes’s with occupational health and safety

Age group Agree Uncertain Disagree Total
F % F % F % F %
20-29y 1036 23.5 827 18.76 341 7.74 2204 50
30-39y 3648 23.41 2832 18.18 1310 8.41 7790 50
40-49y 868 22.39 648 16.72 422 10.89 1938 50
More 50y 304 25 211 17.35 93 7.65 608 50
Obs. X2=37.708             DF = 9                        P = 0.05

Table 3: Association between workers awareness' with occupational health and safety and their ages

Services Period Agree Uncertain Disagree Total
F % F % F % F %
Less 5 y 471 22.95 368 17.93 187 9.11 1026 50
5 – 9 y 1627 24.05 1255 18.55 500 7.39 3382 50
10 –14 y 2463 23.32 1873 17.73 946 8.95 5282 50
More 15y 1296 22.74 1020 17.89 534 9.37 2850 50
Obs. X2=21.552

Table 4: Association between workers awarenes’s with occupational health and safety and their services period

Social status Agree Uncertain Disagree Total
F % F % F % F %
Married 263 21.63 236 19.41 109 8.96 608 50
Single 5594 23.44 4281 17.94 2057 8.62 11932 50
  Obs.   X2=3.173    DF = 3    P = 0.05

Table 5: Association between workers awarenes’s with occupational health and safety and the marital status

Educational level Agree Uncertain Disagree Total
F % F % F % F %
Read & write 69 22.69 52 17.11 31 10.2 152 50
primary 626 21.66 496 17.16 323 11.18 1445 50
Intermediate 428 20.86 396 19.3 202 9.84 1026 50
Secondary 2892 23.93 2142 17.73 1008 8.34 6042 50
Institution 875 25.03 592 16.93 281 8.09 1748 50
College 967 22.72 840 19.74 321 7.54 2128 50
    Obs. X2=63.350   DF = 15 P = 0.05    

Table 6: Association between workers awarenes’s with occupational health and safety and their educational level

Discussion

Table 1 throughout the data analysis, the sample demographic characteristics had indicated that the majority of workers were (30-39) years old (62.12%). This finding provided supportive evidence to the fact that most of the working class was adults. The entire samples in the present study were males. With regard to their marital status, the married workers were accounted for the majority of the sample (95.15%).

Relative to the educational level, most of them were secondary school graduates (48.18%). This result documented that these subjects did not seek the opportunity to continue their education, so, they end up with this type of employment.

Concerning the service period, the majority of them were (10-14) years of service (42.12%).

For instance, Langkulsen et al. study about Safety and Health in the Petrochemical Industry in Map Ta Phut, Thailand showed that most sample were male (92.6%) with high school diploma or less (60.5%) and they mostly have more than 10 years period of services (54%) [7].

Discussion workers awareness’ with occupational health and safety

Finding from Table 2 illustrated that the mean of score for worker awareness was a good level mean of score on item (2, 6, 9 and 15) that encompasses the workers awareness on the company responsibilities to warning in workplaces. Items 6 and 9 reverse the awareness of worker on how he can rescue injured peer and what he know about chemical materials on factory. Item 9 reflect awareness with use of solvent during washing, as well as how often time doing that. Other items on awareness domain indicated moderated level mean of score for workers awareness towered occupational health and safety, the domains included workers knowledge on the company responsibilities that supported and maintenance the occupational health safety measures as well as how workers know and applied it as a general. This reflects the company strategy of employing those who have at least basic information occupational health and safety that necessary at the workplace.

For instance a study of Hu et al. showed that the employers were more aware of their responsibilities in the regulation of posting safety warnings, personal protection and providing safety and health equipment [8].

Discussion of the association between the workers awareness’ with occupational health and safety and such hem demographical characteristics

Results illustrated that there was as significant relationship between workers awareness with occupational health safety and their (age, services period and educational) at P ≤ 0.05, Tables 4-6. Weather finding show no significant relationship with workers awareness with occupational health safety and their marital status at P ≤ 0.05, Table 5. This gives an impression that the level of worker awareness of occupational health and safety is affected by their educational level, service period and their ages.

A study of Sanaei Nasab et al. to evaluate the Knowledge, Attitude and behavior of workers towards occupational health and safety indicated that there was a significant relationship between awareness level and their education (P< 0.001), also significant relationship between the mean safety score of workers attitude and their age and workers job duration [9].

Conclusion

The workers’ awareness and understanding for occupational health and safety in the Northern Petrochemical Company comes from a comprehensive understanding of the hazards arising from the processes of production and use of chemicals materials, and thus the necessity of knowledge and adherence to occupational safety procedures. Also, the awareness level is increased with adult workers who they have high scientific level and long years of service period.

Recommendations

A health educational programs and training should provide for all employees with frequently and periodically. Also co-operation must be done between all related Ministries in order to minimize and prevent the workplace hazard`s that affected workers and work environment.

Declaration Of Interest

The authors do not mention any conflict of interest. Only the authors are responsible for the content of the paper.

References