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Title: Investigation Of Occupational Health And Safety Issues Among Healthcare Workers In Public Hospitals: A Case Study Of St. Dominic’s Hospital, Akwatia
Authors: Soglo, Lawrencia
Issue Date: 20-Nov-2012
Abstract: The aim of the research was to investigate the occupational health and safety (OHS) issues of the Ghanaian health worker in the public hospital. The investigations were conducted using two instruments: a questionnaire for accessing OHS in the workers and a hazard identification checklist for physical analysis of the work environment. A number of 132 questionnaires were distributed among the occupational groups: Doctors, Nurses, Laboratory, Pharmacy, X-ray, and Mortuary staff of the St. Dominic’s hospital in Akwatia. It was deduced that there was a high level of knowledge of OHS among the workers. Results also showed that only 32.2% of the staff had access to all the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) they required. There was a proportion of workers who did not always make use of the few available PPE or consistently follow standard safety precautions. The reasons they attributed to this was mostly because of ‘High workload pressure’, followed by the ‘unavailability of PPE’. It also showed that 46% of workers who had ever had needlestick injuries had not reported the incidences for medical attention. The main hazards prevalent among the workers ranged from exposure to biological, chemical, and physical agents, ergonomic hazards, stress and violence. Though they all faced some violence at work, the rate was higher among females. Results from the hazard identification checklist exposed the presence of some common hazards to all departments while some were peculiar to specific departments. Manual handling, hazards of chemicals agents, exposure to biological agents, sharp object usage, ergonomics, hazards from waste management and violence were identified in all five departments. However hazards such as steam or chemical explosions and burn hazards were specific to the laboratory, exposure to radiation was identified in both the X-ray and laboratory departments, and cold stress was peculiar to the Mortuary. With regards to hazards they deemed most threatening to their duties, the hazard of being exposed to Biological agents, bodily fluids, blood and airborne pathogens ranked highest in the responses from Laboratory staff Doctors and Nurses .This was followed by Needlestick injury or cuts from other sharps. Back Pains or Body Pains due to lifting, pushing, pulling, bending or long hours of sitting and standing was ranked the most threatening hazard among the Mortuary, Pharmacy and X-ray staff. The findings showed that a greater proportion of the staff did not have access to basic requirements such as convenient eating places and access to drinking water. It is therefore recommended that management ensures adequate supplies of PPE, mechanical aides, washrooms and eating areas and regular maintenance of equipment. In-service training on safety, enhanced security, adequate staffing and routine medical checkups were also suggested.
Description: A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, College Of Science, of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science In Environmental Science, November-2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/5844
Appears in Collections:College of Science

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