Factors associated with workers’ exposure to occupational hazards at North Rift Jua Ka Li Enterprises in Eldoret Town, Kenya
Background: The Jua kali industry relies on a steady stream of incoming scrap metal from industrial operations and individual scrap peddlers. Despite the progress made in the scrap metal industry, workers are still potentially exposed to hazards from ergonomic, noise, dusts, fumes, and powerful machinery especially those working in upcoming towns
Objective: The main objective of the study was to assess factors associated with welders’ exposure to occupational hazards during their duties
Study Setting: The study was conducted at the North Rift Jua Kali Enterprises in Eldoret town. Study
Subjects: The study targeted 140 welders who were already working in the North Rift Jua Kali Enterprises in Eldoret town , key informants including, official from NRJKE, labour officer and public health officer in charge of occupational safety and health (OSH).
Methods: The study utilized a cross sec tional study design. Simple random sampling technique was employed to recruit the workers based on their employment numbers or registration numbers. In addition, purposive sampling technique was employed to select key informants including, official from NRJKE, labour officer and public health officer in charge of occupational safety and health (OSH).
Results: Welding is predominantly a male dominated occupation 87(88.8%) Majority 36 (36.7%) of the welders were aged 26 35 years Most welders had at least some primary school education 43(4 3.9%)3.9%). Majority of the welders 83(84.7%) were employed as casuals. Factors associated with occurrence of occupational health hazards among welders in Eldoret are; age (X2 = 6.788 ; p <0 .00 1), education level (X2 = 2.048 ; p <0 .001) and level of awareness on use of PPEs (X2 = 0 .832 ; p <0 .00 1). The key informants indicated the level of working experience an d level of education.
Conclusions: and recommendations Welding of metals in Eldoret is mainly done by young males who are usually employed on casual basis. The main factors associated with exposure to occupational hazards among the welders are age, level of education and level of awareness on use of PPEs. The re is need to target the younger welders with health awareness messages on using personal protective equipment’s in order to reduce exposure to occupational hazards.