Author(s): Ahmed HO, NewsonSmith MS
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Abstract BACKGROUND: In United Arab Emirates (UAE), the rate of industrialization has increased significantly over the past decades. However, few studies have been conducted to investigate the occupational hazards and the knowledge & practice of the working population relevant to these hazards. OBJECTIVES: To assess the knowledge and practice of workers in cement factory in Ras Al-Khaimah, UAE on the occupational hazards of their work. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study involving 153 cement factory workers. A semi- structured interview questionnaire was used to assess the knowledge and practice of workers towards occupational hazards in general and dust in particular. RESULTS: The majority 114 (74.5 \%) of the workers knew that exposure to the dust was a serious hazard to their health, but only 52.9 \% of the workers knew the hazards other than the dust that were associated with their work. All the workers mentioned that they had been provided with masks to protect them from dust, however, only 28.8 \% of them claimed that they used the masks all the time during working hours. The variables: years of education, being informed about the hazards associated with the worker's job, and attending a training course about occupational health and safety were found to have a significant influence on the workers' knowledge about the occupational hazards and on their use of the personal protective equipment at work. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Despite the relatively high knowledge of the cement factory workers about the adverse health effects of exposure to dust, the use of respiratory protective equipment was poor. A program to promote safety education and the use of personal protective equipment among cement factory workers is recommended.
This article was published in J Egypt Public Health Assoc
and referenced in International Journal of Public Health and Safety