Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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Health education: Effect on knowledge and practice of workplace personal hygiene and protective measures among woodworkers in Enugu, Nigeria

L Ezeugwu, E.N. Aguwa, S.U. Arinze-Onyia, T.A. Okeke


Background: There has been increasing incidence of occupational diseases among woodworkers due to exposure to preventable hazards in the workplace. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of health education on the knowledge and practice of workplace hygiene and protective measures among woodworkers in Enugu timber market.

Materials and Methods: This was a before and after study conducted among 290 woodworkers using interviewer administered semi-structured questionnaire and manual on workplace hazards prevention. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17 and P-value of 0.05 was set as the significance level.

Results: Two hundred and ninety respondents participated in the study; 282 (97.2%) were males, most completed secondary education and had worked for less than 10 years (71% and 58.3%, respectively). The mean knowledge score of participants pre- and postintervention were 89.5% ± 9.03 and 98.5% ± 1.84, respectively (P < 0.001). Educational status had effect on knowledge of participants (P < 0.001), whereas work experience had no effect (P = 0.285). Preintervention, 37.9% of the participants used protective materials regularly, which increased to 65.8% post intervention (P < 0.001). Personal hygiene practices showed mixed responses most of which improved post intervention. The most common reason for eating in workplace was excessive workload (60.3%), while lack of PPEs (29.3%) and lack of training (23.8%) were the most common reasons for nonuse of PPEs.

Conclusion: Majority of the participants had good knowledge of workplace hygiene but had poor use of PPEs. Health education intervention improved the use of PPEs and should be recommended.

Keywords: Health education, Nigeria, personal protective equipment, woodworker

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