Socio‑demographic Characteristics and Workplace Safety Practices of Panel Beaters: A Comparative Study of Roadside and Organized Sectors in Enugu State, Nigeria
Background: Human resources and their safety are central to occupational health practices. Understanding the sociodemographic characteristics and safety practices of workers helps in workplace interventions. This study aimed at comparing the sociodemographic characteristics and safety practices among roadside and organized panel beaters in Enugu metropolis, Enugu State, Nigeria.
Methodology: This was a comparative cross-sectional study. Amultistage sampling method was used to select 428 panel beaters in Enugu metropolis. A semi-structured interviewer-administered questionnaire was used for data collection. Data was entered and analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 20. Comparative analysis was done using Chi‑square and the level of significance was set at 5%.
Results: The mean ages (standard deviation) were 31.1 ± 10.3 years and 37.9 ± 12.1 years for roadside and organized panel beaters, respectively. The majority of respondents, (70.6%) and (56.5%), from the roadside and organized sectors, respectively, had secondary education. About 59.8% of the roadside panel beaters were single compared to about two-thirds (63.1%) of organized panel beaters who were married. More than two-thirds (72.9%) of roadside workers earn more than N 35,000 monthly, while half of the organized workers earn more than N 35,000. The differences in sociodemographic characteristics and monthly income were statistically significant. Environmental sanitation was the most common safety and hygiene practices engaged by respondents. Very few respondents, more among the organized sector, noted that their workplaces were monitored or checked. The use of personal protective equipment was found to be generally deficient, in addition to poor health and safety training.
Conclusion: There was a statistically significant difference in the sociodemographic characteristics between the roadside and organized sectors panel beaters with poor safety practices. Routine and improved health education and safety training on basic preventive measures would be necessary to prevent occupational hazards in the workplace.
Keywords: Panel beaters, sociodemographic characteristics, workplace safety measures