Factors associated with severe occupational injuries at mining company in Zimbabwe, 2010: a cross-sectional study
AbstractIntroduction: Injury rate among mining workers in Zimbabwe was 789/1000 workers in 2008. The proportion of severe occupational injuries increased from 18% in 2008 to 37% in 2009. We investigated factors associated with severe injuries at the mine. Methods: An unmatched 1:1 case-control study was carried out at the mine, a case was any worker who suffered severe occupational injury at the mine and was treated at the mine or district hospital from January 2008 to April 2010, a control was any worker who did not suffer occupational injury during same period. We randomly selected 156 cases and 156 controls and used interviewer administered questionnaires to collect data from participants. Results: Majority of cases, 155(99.4%) and of controls 142(91%) were male, 127(81.4%) of cases and 48(30.8%) of controls worked underground. Majority (73.1%) of severe occupational injuries occurred during night shift. Underground temperatures reached 500C. Factors independently associated with getting severe occupational injuries included working underground (AOR=10.55; CI 5.97-18.65), having targets per shift (AOR=12.60; CI 3.46-45.84), inadequate PPE (AOR= 3.65 CI 1.34-9.89) and working more than 8 hours per shift (AOR=8.65 CI 2.99-25.02). Conclusion: Having targets exerts pressure to perform on workers. Prolonged working periods decrease workers' attention and concentration resulting in increased risk to severe injuries as workers become exhausted, lose focus and alertness. Underground work environment had environmental hazards so managers to install adequate ventilation and provide adequate PPE. Management agreed to standardize shifts to eight hours and workers in some departments have been supplied with adequate PPE.
Pan African Medical Journal 2013; 14:5