Measuring compliance of conducting an occupational health risk assessment in the occupational health nurse’s practice
AbstractOccupational health nurses (OHNs) are qualified registered nurses with a postgraduate qualification in occupational health nursing. An important activity of OHNs is to identify and assess health risks in the workplace. Health risk assessments (HRAs) are conducted by OHNs to determine all the occupational health stressors, for example noise, vibration and chemical substances. The authors conducted legal compliance occupational health audits and observed that 85% (n = 23) of OHNs in different settings conduct HRAs only to a limited extent. The following objective was formulated for the study: To explore and describe the extent to which
OHNs conduct HRAs as it is a legal requirement for compliance; and the possible reasons for not adhering to the regulation and conduct them only to a limited extent. A quantitative, descriptive design was used in this study. A sampling frame was developed from a list of all the members of
the South African Society of Occupational Health Nursing Practitioners (SASOHN) in Gauteng. From the target population of OHNs in Gauteng, a systematic cluster sampling method was used. A self-developed questionnaire was distributed by mail and e-mail, and authors sent respondents reminders. The authors ensured that validity, reliability and ethical standards were adhered to. The findings revealed that OHNs are mature, experienced, predominately female practitioners who operate on behalf of a disproportionately large number of workers. Four factors influencing these nurses in conducting an HRA to a limited extent were identified: competence, ignorance about the role of the OHN, workload and attitude.
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