Occupational induced health problems in floriculture workers in Sebeta and surrounding areas, West Shewa, Oromia, Ethiopia
AbstractBackground: Floriculture is a booming sector in Ethiopia; nevertheless, there are certain concerns regarding the health status of the workers. To address this issue, an effort has been made to outline the outstanding health problems that have manifested in some of the floriculture farms in the designated area of the study.
Objectives: To assess health problems encountered in the farms, and their determinants among floriculture workers in Sebeta and surroundings.
Methods: A Cross-sectional study design, using qualitative and quantitative methods, was conducted among floriculture workers in Sebeta Town and surrounding areas from December 01, 2010 to February 30, 2011. A sample of 612 workers was selected using systematic random sampling techniques. Data were collected through pre-tested structured questionnaire, in-depth interviews and working environmental observation. Then, data were entered using EPI Info. Analysis was done using SPSS version 16 statistical program.
Results: The majority, 433 (74.9%) of the workers were females, with 539 (93%) of study subjects showing at least one health symptom in the last 12 months prior to the study period, 392 (67.8%) had at least one skin problem and 81.1% had at least one respiratory health symptom in the last 12 months. The highly prevalent disease symptoms were fatigue 422 (76.5%), followed by head ache 424 (73.4%) and sleepiness 367 (63.5%). A 3.16 (95%: CI 1.28-7.80) odds of having symptoms of disease was observed after adjusting for confounders among those who did not have full personal protective equipment. There was also 4.93 (95% CI 1.44-16.91) times odds of symptoms of disease amongst workers who did not use personal protective equipment properly, and odds of reported symptoms of disease were 2.75 (95% CI 1.15- 6.61) higher for those who did not take pre-employment safety training.
Conclusion: Prevention interventions were generally neglected, with only 345 (59.3%) employees reporting having and 214 (62.39%) properly using personal protective devices. In view of that, adequate supply of personal protective equipment, pre-employment safety training and use of good management of chemicals applied in the farm are highly recommended.