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Knowledge and practice of occupational safety among workers in jalingo bakery, Taraba State

ABSTRACT

This study was carried out to examine the knowledge and practice of occupational safety among workers. Specifically, the study examined the extent of awareness of workers about the knowledge and practice of occupational safety, examined the various factors that may affect/influence employee health, investigated the extent to which workers comply to the laid down occupational safety and health measures and examined the factors that influence workers poor compliance to occupational safety and health measures. The study employed the survey descriptive research design. A total of 60 responses were validated from the survey. The study adopted the Occupational Safety and Health Theory by Herbert William Heinrich (1976). From the responses obtained and analysed, the findings revealed that the extent of awareness of workers about the knowledge and practice of occupational safety is very high. Furthermore, the various factors that may affect/influence workers health and safety hazard in the workplace are: people, equipment, materials and environment. The study recommend training of workers on occupational safety should be carried out periodically to keep workers abreast of the latest occupational safety measures and standard. More so, institutional policies should be put in place to ensure that all workers are aware and obey safety rules. Erring workers should be punished irrespective of status.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Safety and health principles are universal, but how much action is needed will depend on the size of the organization, the hazards presented by its activities, the physical characteristics of the organization, products or services, and the adequacy of its existing arrangements.Many of the features of effective safety management are analogous to the sound management practices advocated by proponents of quality management, environmental protection, and business excellence. Commercially successful companies often excel at safety and health management as well, precisely because they apply the same efficient business expertise to safety and health as to all other aspects of their operations. On an average day, 17 US workers are killed and 16,000 are injured in work- related accidents, resulting in a cost to industry of more than USS 110 billion annually (Barr, 1999). This injury rate is increasing. Traditional safety efforts have focused on the engineering aspects of safety; however, relatively few accidents (10%) are a consequence of unsafe mechanical or physical conditions.While most on-the-job accidents and injuries appear to result from employees’ unsafe acts, incidents typically are not caused by single operator errors, but are end-events in a chain of interacting factors on several systems levels (Wilpert, 2004). While many unsafe acts are committed, very few will penetrate an organization’s defenses to result in accident or injury (Reason, 2004).It is becoming increasingly apparent that it is restrictive to discuss failures of large- scale technological systems solely in terms of the technological aspects. Individuals, their organizations, groups, and cultures are all-important factors in the design, construction, operation, and monitoring of technological systems. Until recently, this issue has been described in the related literature of error.” While human error does contribute to accidents, the behavioral causes of failure are often found to be far more subtle when incidents are of a technological system (Pidgeon, 2011).Many expectations are built into the current Nigeria health and safety 1e2islation that specifies the responsibilities of managers and employees with regard to safe working practices. These suppositions are more likely to be fulfilled if a positive cultural attitude toward safety exists. The costs of failure to comply with these expectations are increasing.As workers become more educated, they are more likely to expect safer working conditions; a more safety and environmentally conscious public is increasingly willing to express its disapproval of companies that are perceived to behave carelessly. This public reproach was evident during the American consumer boycott of Exxon gasoline following the Valdez oil spill (Turner, 2001). Researchers have found that safety performance is affected by organization’s socially transmitted beliefs and attitudes toward safety (Ostrom, Wilhelrnsem, & Kaplan, 2009).

The concept of safety culture (Pidgeon, 2011) was developed as a result of the 1986 Chernobyl accident, which focused attention on the human and organizational elements contributing to the unsafe operation of technological systems. The goal of a safety culture is to develop a norm in which employees are aware of the risks in their workplace and are continually on the lookout for hazards (Ostrom et al., 2003). A safety culture motivates and recognizes safe behavior by focusing on the attil4ides and behaviors of the employees. It is a process not a program; it takes time to develop and requires a collective effort to implement its many features (Ban, 2008).In order for employees to be active participants in a safety program, they must receive occupational safety training. Several issues affect: the perception of risk levels and should be understood when training employees in occupational safety. People tend not to use the likelihood of injury in their judgments of product safety; rather, the severity of injury plays the foremost role in decisions to read warnings and act cautiously (Young, Brelsford, 2007).In today’s competitive world, every organization especially construction company is facing new challenges regarding occupational safety and creating committed workforce. Organizations can perform at peak levels only when employees are committed to the organization’s objectives. Hence, it is important to understand the concept of commitment and its feasible outcome (Wogalter, 1990).Vredenburgh and Cohen (2005) found that the level of perceived danger increased compliance to warnings and instructions; therefore, it is critical that all employees are trained to identify the hazards associated with their workplace.Finally, experience and knowledge of issues in workers protection have led to a greater appreciation of how safety management is directly related to employee’s job commitment.

    1. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Safety management as a practice is very sacrosanct for the functional wellbeing of any organization. Often times, it has been observed that occupational hazard is surprisingly common in all sectors of the economy. Studies in the past have revealed that organizations do not (or partially) take proper consideration of the well-being of its employees, and it has led to lower commitment from the workers. Usually, this is a result of insufficient safety measures in factories and lack of personal protective ‘equipment and there has never been a form of payment to the injured employees. Also, there has never been any form of programmes regards to safety training which will enable individual employees or workers to be conscious of any occupational hazardous as related to their operations at the workplace.The effect of the job related injuries go far beyond the economic loss to the organization and extend to long-term consequences to workers, their families and their friends. Instead, they were focusing or seeking for more profit margins at least cost. When the workers have known that their lives are not secured in terms safety and well-being, they would not be able to exert more effort to their jobs or not frilly committed to their jobs.

    1. OBJECTIVES OF THE PROBLEM

The primary objective of this study is to assess the knowledge and practice of occupational safety among workers. Specifically but not limited to, other objectives of this study are:

  1. To examine the extent of awareness of workers about the knowledge and practice of occupational safety
  2. To examine the various factors that may affect/influence employee health and   safety hazard in the workplace.
  3. To investigate the extent to which workers comply to the laid down occupational safety and health measures.
  4. To examine the factors that influence workers poor compliance to occupational safety and health measures.
    1. RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research questions will guide this topic:

  1. To what extent is the awareness of workers about the knowledge and practice of occupational safety?
  2. What are the various factors that may affect/influence workers health and safety hazard in the workplace?
  3. To what extent do workers comply to the laid down occupational safety and health measures?
  4. What are the factors that influence workers poor compliance to occupational safety and health measures?
    1. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study aims at enabling organizations to entrench s principles in a way that will reduce the large numbers of serious and fatal accidents and cases of which occur eve year in the construction Industry.

There are many organizations with many workers in their employ, yet maintaining little or haphazard attention to safety program. They may see such program as a wasteful venture without considering the negative cost implications of such perception. This Research revealed that greater percentage of organizational success is based on the maintenance of effective safety management system. Therefore, to enable management reduce hazards, accidents and effect of disasters in the work place, in order to reduce costs associated with unsafe work environment in organizations, recommendations will be made in this study which will help management develop a safe place of work and effective safety policy and ensure its effective implementation within the organization.

Also, it would enable employers and employees know their rights and responsibility within the workplace in relations to safety management.

Therefore, the findings of this study will be of significant to policy makers especially government and its agencies in charge of labor administration and productivity in Nigeria. Besides, the study will be relevant to organization development and change agent who may conduct similar studies in the future on safety management and on how it should be effectively managed.

    1. SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This study will be focused on assessing the knowledge and practice of occupational safety among workers. Furthermore, it will be specifically be focused on examining the extent of awareness of workers about the knowledge and practice of occupational safety, examining the various factors that may affect/influence employee health and   safety hazard in the workplace, investigating the extent to which workers comply to the laid down occupational safety and health measures and examining the factors that influence workers poor compliance to occupational safety and health measures.

Staff of Jalingo bakery, Taraba State will serve as enrolled participants for this study.

    1. LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

This study will be limited to assessing the knowledge and practice of occupational safety among workers. Furthermore, it will be specifically limited to examining the extent of awareness of workers about the knowledge and practice of occupational safety, examining the various factors that may affect/influence employee health and   safety hazard in the workplace, investigating the extent to which workers comply to the laid down occupational safety and health measures and examining the factors that influence workers poor compliance to occupational safety and health measures.

This study will be limited to Jalingo bakery, Taraba State will serve as enrolled participants for this study thus further research is needed if this study is to be used else where.

    1. DEFINITION OF TERMS

Knowledge: facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

Occupational safety: occupational safety and health: this can be said to be a multidisciplinry field concerned with the safety, health, and welfare workers.


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