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Awareness Of Occupational Hazards And Utilization Of Safety Measures Among Welders In Aksum And Adwa Towns, Tigray Region, Ethiopia, 2013

Berhe Beyene Gebrezgiabher, Desalegn Tetemke, Tesfaye Yetum

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Introduction. At present, it is estimated that more than one million workers are employed as welders worldwide with more than three million performing welding as part of their work duties. Objectives. The aim of this study was to assess workers’ level of awareness towards occupational hazards and their adherence to safety measures. Methodology. An institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted from February 25 to March 10, 2013 among welding factory workers. The study included 278 workers selected by simple random sampling, and data were collected by using structured and pretested questionnaire. The data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 16 statistical package. Logistic regression analysis was carried out to found the effect of the independent variables on the dependent variables. Result. One hundred thirty-five (51.9%) respondents had knowledge on occupational hazards and 225 (86.5%) workers used personal protective equipments. Variables such as work experience, work type, safety training, work regulation, and guideline had significant association with the knowledge of respondents: (AOR: 0.44 (0.19, 0.99)), (AOR: 0.38 (0.22, 0.65)), (AOR: 0.33 (0.17, 0.63)), and (AOR: 0.31 (0.15, 0.67)), respectively. Educational status, work experience, safety training, and availability of work regulation were found to be associated with PPE use (AOR: 13.20 (10.65, 16.46)), (AOR: 0.03 (0.003, 0.34)), (AOR: 0.02 (0.01, 0.09)), and (AOR: 0.06 (0.02, 0.21)), respectively. Conclusion and Recommendation. Nearly half of respondents had knowledge about occupational hazards and high proportion of study subjects were used personal protective equipments. Safety and health training was the common factor to increase knowledge and personal protective usage practicing habits. Employers and other responsible bodies should encourage training and regular supervision should be made including on workers’ safety and well-being.