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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 65-70

Awareness and compliance with use of safety protective devices and patterns of injury among quarry workers in Sabon-Gari Local Government Area, Kaduna state North-Western Nigeria


Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria

Date of Web Publication7-Mar-2013

Correspondence Address:
Mu'awiyyah B Sufiyan
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0331-3131.108118

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   Abstract 

Background: For years stone quarrying and crushing have been known as highly hazardous work, whereby workers are affected by many debilitating occupational health hazards and diseases. In Nigeria, the majority of quarry workers comprise people who are employed for manual labor, often under-educated and hence are not well grounded in the knowledge of the occupational safety measures required for the job.
Aim: The aim was to determine the level of awareness and compliance with use of safety protective devices and the patterns of injury among quarry workers in Sabon-Gari Local Government Area.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out among 74 quarry workers who were randomly selected using the cluster-sampling technique in Sabon-Gari Local Government Area. A pretested semistructured interviewer-administered questionnaire was used as the tool for data collection. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 19.0 and Epi-info 6.0.
Results: All the 74 respondents interviewed were males, and majority (90.5%) of whom were between the ages of 15 and 44 years, with 25-34 years age group constituting 32.4%. More than one-third of them (39.2%) had Quranic education as their highest level of education, 29.7% and 27.0% of them had primary and secondary levels of education respectively. None of the respondents had tertiary education. On issues of work safety, 68.9% think their work is not safe. Majority of the respondents (97.3%) were aware of safety protective devices. A total of 89.2% use at least one safety protective device or the other at work. However, 71.6% of these use the devices always, showing a high level of compliance. Most of the respondents (81.1%) had experienced at least one workplace injury or the other in the past, most commonly was hand injury (80.0%), leg injury (30.0%), eye injury (11.7%), and facial injury (8.3%). The findings also showed a significant relationship between monthly income and use of safety protective devices at work (χ2 = 6.611, df = 2, P = 0.1) and between number of work-hours per day and stress at or after work (χ2 = 9.509, df = 2, P = 0.1).
Conclusion: This study revealed that majority of the quarry workers in Sabon-Gari Local Government Area knew that their job exposes them to health hazards. They have a high level of awareness on safety protective devices and use several of these devices, though with varying levels of compliance. Intensive health education campaigns and provision of adequately subsidized safety protective devices for the workers by the relevant authorities will go a long way in improving awareness and compliance with use of safety protective devices and reduction of hazards.

Keywords: Awareness, compliance, pattern of injury, safety protective device, quarry workers


How to cite this article:
Sufiyan MB, Ogunleye OO. Awareness and compliance with use of safety protective devices and patterns of injury among quarry workers in Sabon-Gari Local Government Area, Kaduna state North-Western Nigeria. Ann Nigerian Med 2012;6:65-70

How to cite this URL:
Sufiyan MB, Ogunleye OO. Awareness and compliance with use of safety protective devices and patterns of injury among quarry workers in Sabon-Gari Local Government Area, Kaduna state North-Western Nigeria. Ann Nigerian Med [serial online] 2012 [cited 2020 Jan 18];6:65-70. Available from: http://www.anmjournal.com/text.asp?2012/6/2/65/108118


   Introduction Top


In many industrial processes, mineralogical materials are introduced into the environment as dust, fumes, ashes, or other industrial waste. Some of the elements so released into the environment may be toxic and constitute a health risk to humans and animals alike. In Nigeria, the greatest pollution effects come from exploitation of petroleum, limestone, and rocks used in construction work. Large volumes of dust from cement factories and mining operations in the Nigerian quarries are discharged daily into the air. A lot of airborne particulate matter is generated by the numerous stone-crushing industries. [1]

Most of the processes in quarrying and the associated activities of rock drilling, blasting, stone cutting, rock crushing, and aggregate manufacture generate dust which can cause dangerous levels of airborne contamination in the workplace. Local rock has a high silica content which makes silicosis the major health hazard of exposed persons who inhale the dust. [2] Quarries must be properly inspected and maintained to ensure the health and safety of all workers on site. [3] Quarry workers' exposure varies with the job, its proximity to the source of hazards, and the effectiveness of hazard control methods. [4]

Exposure to respirable quartz dust can occur in granite quarrying and processing, including crushed stone and related industries. Geometric mean air concentrations and air concentrations of quartz from personal breathing-zone samples collected during various jobs in the granite quarrying and processing industries and in the crushed stone industries in Finland, the USA, and the United Kingdom ranged from 0.03 to 1.5 mg/m 3 and from not detectable to 135 mg/m 3 , respectively. [5] In US granite quarries and sheds, control measures implemented in the late 1930s and the 1940s resulted in 10- to 100-fold reductions of formerly high dust levels. [5]

Hazardous materials are responsible for annual death of several thousands of workers worldwide. In June, 2006, the International Labour Organisation adopted a convention on promotional framework for occupational safety and health, placing occupational safety and health on the national agenda in order to lower the toll of work-related injuries and diseases. [6]

In a study conducted on environmental impact assessment of cement manufacturing in Edo State of Nigeria, it was reported that in 96.7% of all the industries sampled, no worker used protective devices. [7] Among an unselected group of 126 quarry sites in Kano State Nigeria, radioactive evidence showed traces of silicosis in the quarry workers. [8] In Mumbai, India, it was found that each of the quarry operations generated airborne total dust and respirable dust which contains very high percentage (75.0%) of free silica. [9] It was thus opined that at this level, quarry employees have estimated average exposure to air-borne total dust of 2.36 mg/m 3 as against recommended level of permissible unit of exposure (PLE) of 1.08 mg/m 3 and 0.36 mg/m 3 . [10]

In the United Kingdom, the quarry industry reportedly has the highest injury rate of any industry. In a 10-year period spanning 1991-2000, over 3036 workers in the quarry industry suffered significant injuries and there were 19 fatal injuries. [11]

Comparison of the occurrence of respiratory disease symptoms between manual quarry workers and a control population in Lokpa in Umuchieze, Abia State, showed that there was a higher occurrence of respiratory disease symptoms among the quarry workers. There was also a higher occurrence of dermatoses among the quarry workers than in the control population. [1] Majority of the quarry workers knew that their job exposed them to health hazards. About 87.0% of them acknowledged that their working environment could negatively impact on their health and about 83.0% would prefer other jobs to quarrying. [1]

In Zaria, Aliyu et al. found that out of 74 quarry workers 64.9% of them were aware of the need to use safety devices and also to institute safety/preventive measures at the worksites, despite their low level of education. However, all of the workers had history of one form of occupational hazard or another such as respiratory symptoms (64.9%), cuts from the stones (68.9%), eye irritations (14.9%), and skin irritations (10.8%). [12]

In Abeokuta, Ogun State, the most prevalent health problem of the residents near quarries was identified as nasal infection (29.3%). Similarly, among the quarry workers, the common health problems diagnosed were cough (26.0%), followed by catarrh (20.0%), and sinusitis (15.0%) while silicosis recorded the least number of cases. There was no significant variation in the ailments suffered by quarry workers (P > 0.05). There were similarities in the health problems suffered by the residents living near quarry sites and quarry workers in the study area. [13]

In Delhi, India, no personal protective equipment was provided to quarry workers, helmets, safety belts, masks, safety shoes were "foreign" things. [14] People should not work in a quarry unless they are competent based on knowledge, experience, training and other qualities related to the job they are to do. Competence should not be equally confused with academic qualifications or experience. [15] The worker should be physically fit, be aware of health and safety issues, have an aptitude for mechanical work, have the ability to work as part of a team, be able to follow instructions, and have numeracy skills to work out material quantities needed for a job. [16]


   Materials and Methods Top


Sabon-Gari is an important sector of urban Zaria, which is located at latitude 11o 3'N and Longitude 7o 42'N. The city lies on the high plains of Northern Nigeria, in the Sub-Saharan Africa. It is about 643.7 km from the coast of Nigeria and a land area of undulating landscape of approximately 600 km 2 . However some hilly and rocky areas could be found in places like Hanwa, Palladan, Tsugugi, Zabi, and Gwanda village; this might likely be the reason why most of the quarries in the LGA are located in these places.

This study is a cross-sectional descriptive study that was carried out in March 2011 among quarry workers who work within quarries confined to Sabon-Gari LGA, and were within the age range of 15-55 years irrespective of their gender (could be either male or female). It excluded severely ill workers, those not within the age range of 15-55 years, and those who refused to consent.

A cluster sampling technique was adopted for the study. There were a total of six functional quarry sites in Sabon-Gari LGA at the time of the study which was divided into three clusters of two sites each. Then the total number of workers in each cluster was enumerated based on the estimation given by the employers and fellow coworkers as the quarries do not have official list of all their workers. The total estimated population of workers obtained among all the quarries turn out to be 160, which constituted the sampling frame. Subsequently, a proportionate allocation of the sample size was carried out between the three clusters. Thereafter, a simple random sampling technique by balloting was employed to obtain the required sample size for each of the clusters. The sample size was determined by the following formula:



where n = minimum sample size required,

2 = standard normal deviate at 90% confidence interval = 1.645,

p = prevalence rate taken from a previous study= 64.9% = 0.649,

q = complementary probability of prevalence = 1 - P = 0.351,

d = degree of precision at 90% confidence interval = 0.1.

Therefore, n = = 61.6429788975 ≈ 62 (approx.).

This gives the minimum sample size required as 62. With allowance for an attrition rate of 10% (6.2), the minimum sample size required was then approximated to 70. However, at the point of administration of the questionnaires, the total number of workers available during that shift at their quarry sites was 74. Therefore, the questionnaire was administered to all the workers available at the time of interview as a larger sample size will improve the power of the study.

The data from the study was collected in March 2011 using a pretested semistructured interviewer-administered questionnaire which sought to obtain information on the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents, their level of awareness and compliance with use of safety protective devices on the job, as well as the patterns of injury among them. The collected data was checked for errors and then edited accordingly. It was then entered, validated, and analyzed using SPSS→ software version 19.0 and Epi-info 6.0. For the descriptive aspect of the analysis, frequency distributions were generated. For all categorical variables, means and standard deviations and other descriptive measures were determined. Frequency tables and graphs were constructed to represent quantitative data, while qualitative data was represented with charts by using the Microsoft→Excel→2007 software program. A chi-square test was applied for comparison of proportions and for evaluating associations of categorical variables in contingency tables. Statistical significance was said to be achieved where P values were equal to or less than 0.1.

Approval to carry out the study was obtained from the research ethics committee of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. Also, permission to conduct the study was sought from the Sabon-Gari Local Government Chairman through the Head of health of the LGA. Then, informed consent was obtained from the respondents before administering the questionnaire on them.


   Results Top


A total of 74 quarry workers were interviewed. The socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents are shown in [Table 1]. Majority (90.5%) of the respondents were between the ages of 15 and 44 years, 32.4% of whom were between 25 and 34 years old. All the respondents were males, and more than one-third of them (39.2%) had Quranic education as their highest level of education. A total of 29.7% and 27.0% of them had Primary and Secondary levels of education respectively. None of them had any Tertiary level of education.
Table 1: Distribution of respondents by their socio-demographic characteristics (n = 74)


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Most of the respondents (41.9%) had worked for 1-5 years, while only 2.7% of them had worked for more than 15 years. It is also worth knowing that most of the respondents (85.1%) work for more than 5 days in a week; this includes weekend days.

The specific role played by most respondents (63.5%) was rock breaking, as seen in [Figure 1]. Rock blasting is the next most common role, involving 20.3% of the workers. Rock carrying accounted for 9.5%, while only 6.8% of the respondents engaged in machine operation.
Figure 1: Specific role played by respondents in the quarry

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In terms of work hours per day, most of the respondents (81.0%) work between 5 and 12 hours per day out of which 40.5% work for 5-8 hours, while another 40.5% also work for 9-12 hours. Majority of the respondents (97.3%) were aware of at least one (1) safety protective device that can be used in quarry work. The level of awareness of the types of safety protective devices was however highest for eye goggles accounting for 97.2%, this was closely followed by hand/finger gloves (93.1%), while 54.2% of them were aware of face masks. Half (50.0%) of the respondents were aware of safety helmets while only one-third (33.3%) were aware of ear plugs.

Most of the respondents (89.2%) use at least one safety protective device or the other at work. As shown in [Figure 2], the most commonly used devices among the respondents were hand/finger gloves used by 83.3% and eye goggles used by 77.3%. Only 10.6% of the respondents used face masks, while 9.1% used safety helmets and 9.1% also used safety boots. As little as 4.5% of them used ear plugs. It is worth knowing that none of the respondents used overalls as a safety protective device. A significant proportion of the respondents (80.3%) used these devices always, while 10.6% of them only use the devices whenever they are available at the workplace. Also, 6.1% of the respondents use the devices only when they feel like using them, while 3.0% use them every 2 days.
Figure 2: Distribution of safety protective devices used by the respondents

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Most of the respondents (81.1%) had experienced at least one form of workplace injury at the quarry site. The commonest type of injury among them was hand injury, experienced by 80.0% of respondents; this was closely followed by leg injury (30.0%). Other types of injuries experienced by the respondents were eye injury (11.7%), facial injury (8.3%), fall from height (1.7%), loss of a limb (1.7%), and head injury (1.7%).

The study also showed a significant statistical relationship between respondents monthly income and use of safety protective devices at work (χ2 = 6.611, df = 2, P = 0.1) and between number of work-hours per day by the respondents and stress at or after work (χ2 = 9.509, df = 2, P = 0.1).


   Discussion Top


Majority (41.9%) of the respondents had worked for 1-5 years, with 85.1% working for 5-7 days in a week and 81.0% working for 5-12 hours per day. This day-work profile of 25-84 hours per week, with an average of 54.5 hours, is quite demanding compared to the United Kingdom report in which quarry workers were said to work for 37.5 hours a week with a considerable amount of overtime. [17] This large number of work-hours may be related to the fact that much of the work is carried out by manual labor and so much time and energy may be required to achieve the same results as will be obtainable in developed countries where there is some form of modernization or mechanization. Long work-hours mean long exposure time to occupational hazards at the workplace. Since only 6.8% of the respondents were involved in machine operation, this indicates that a lot of manual work goes on in the quarries. Manual work places a higher demand on the workers than does mechanized work, requiring more energy input as well as more time to do the same thing, thus accounting for a high proportion of accidents in quarries.

The finding that majority (97.3%) of the respondents were aware of safety protective devices that can be used in quarry work is corroborated by the study in Zaria by Aliyu et al. which showed that 64.9% of quarry workers were aware of the need for them to use safety devices and also to institute safety or preventive measures at the worksite. [12]

The study equally indicated that 89.2% of the respondents use safety protective devices, which is quite high. The safety protective devices most commonly used by these respondents were hand/finger gloves (83.3%) eye goggles (77.3%), and face masks (10.6%). None of them used overalls. This is the inverse of the finding by Ogbogu et al., which showed that among the quarry workers involved 0% used eye goggles, 5.9% attempted covering their nostrils, while 12.3% used overalls. [1] About 80.3% of the respondents in this study use the devices always, which shows that there is a high level of compliance with the use of the devices among the respondents who use them.

Majority (81.1%) of the respondents in this study had experienced at least one workplace injury, which is also quite high. This perhaps may influence the need to use safety protective devices, resulting in the high proportion that uses them. In Abeokuta, Olusegun et al. reported that only 1.0% of the respondents were diagnosed of silicosis. [14] The most common type of injury experienced by the respondents in this study was hand injury (80.0%), which was followed by leg injury (30.0%). Other forms of injuries encountered were eye injury (11.7%), facial injury (8.3%), fall from height (1.7%), loss of a limb (1.7%), and head injury (1.7%). These findings were however different from that in the study by Aliyu et al., where the most common type of injury reported among the quarry workers was cuts from stones (68.9%), eye irritations were reported in 14.9% of them and skin irritations in only 10.8%. [12]

A significant statistical relationship was found to exist between respondents monthly income and use of safety protective devices (χ2 = 6.611, df = 2, P = 0.1). Equally a significant statistical relationship exists between number of work-hours per day by the respondents and stress at or after work (χ2 = 9.509, df = 2, P = 0.1).

However, no significant statistical relationship was found between respondents' level of education and use of safety protective devices, between duration of employment and use of safety protective devices, between duration of employment and development of respiratory symptoms and between respondents' specific role in the quarry and the occurrence of workplace injury.


   Conclusion Top


Majority of the quarry workers in Sabon-Gari Local Government Area know that their job exposes them to health hazards. They have a high level of awareness on safety protective devices and use several of these devices, though with varying levels of compliance. Quarry workers, therefore, ought to be in optimum functional state for the highest level of productivity. Hence, the need to properly train and retrain quarry workers to improve their skills at work. Also, pre-employment and periodic medical examination must be provided, with provision of occupational health services or other mechanisms to cater for the workers' health in order to ensure maximum productivity.

 
   References Top

1.Ugbogu OC, Ohakwe J, Foltescu V. Occurrence of respiratory and skin problems among manual stone-quarrying workers. Afr J Respir Med 2009;1:23-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Guidance Notes on Protection of Quarry and Construction Workers from Silicosis. Occupational Safety and Health Branch, Labour Department, Hong Kong Government; 2000. p. 1-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Safe Maintenance-Quarrying Sector, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. Available from: http://www.osha.europa.eu. [Last accessed on 2011 Jan 30].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Weeks JL. Health Hazards of Mining and Quarrying. Available from: http://www.ilo.org/safework_bookshelf/english. [Last accessed on 2011 Jan 30].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.Rice F. Crystalline Silica, Quartz. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; World Health Organisation, Geneva; 2000. p. 5-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.Oginyi RC. Occupational Health Hazards among Quarry Employees in Ebonyi State, Nigeria: Sources and Health Implications. Int J Dev Manag Rev 2010;1:144-9.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.Isah EC. Environment on Trial: A guide to Environmental Law and Policy. 3 rd ed. Toronto: Edmond Montgomery; 1999. p. 743-65.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.Warrel SN. The Occupational Diseases that shouldn't Exist. Am Med Assoc Bull 1997;69:6-12.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.Beckett W. Adverse Effects of Crystalline Silica Exposure. Annu J Respir Care Med 1997;155:761-5.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.Fulekar MH. Quartz Manufacturing Industry. Annu J Occup Hyg 1999;4:73-269.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.Health and Safety Executive. Worker representatives: Reduce Accidents and Ill Health, 2007. Available from: http://www.hse.gov.uk. [Last accessed on 2011 Feb 9].  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.Aliyu AA, Shehu AU. Occupational Hazards and Safety Measures among Stone Quarry Workers in Northern Nigeria. Niger Med Pract 2006;2:42-7.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.Olusegun O, Adeniyi A, Adeola GT. Impact of Granite Quarrying on the Health of Workers and Nearby Residents in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. Ethiop J Environ Stud Manag 2009;1:1-5.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.Azad SA, Mittal A. The Stone Quarrying Industry around Delhi-Impact on Workers and the Environment. Prasar; 2006. p. 6-16. Available from: http://www.prasar.org/research-and-study.html. [Last accessed on 2011 Feb 11].  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.Health and Safety Executive, Quarries-Competence. Available from: http://www.hse.gov.uk./quarries. [Last accessed on 2011 Feb 9].  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.Ogden TL. Hazard Prevention and Control in the Work Environment: Airborne Dust. Geneva: WHO, WHO/SDE/OEH/99.14; 1999. p. 9-12.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.Quarry Worker Profile. Available from: http://www.redgoldfish.co.uk/job-roles. [Last accessed on 2011 Feb 17].  Back to cited text no. 17
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1]


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