Journal of Public Health

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 203–210 | Cite as

Magnitude of occupational exposure to bagasse dust and associated factors among Metehara Sugarcane Factory workers, east Shoa, Ethiopia

  • Mitiku Bonsa
  • Getachew Redae TaffereEmail author
  • Mulubirhan Assefa Alemayehu
Original Article



Occupational exposure to bagasse dust is known to pose direct and indirect costs to workers. However, the paucity of information on the extent of occupational exposure to sugarcane workers in Ethiopia is a challenge. Hence, the purpose of this study was to investigate the magnitude of occupational exposure to bagasse dust and associated factors.

Study area and period

The study was conducted at Metehara Sugarcane Factory from February 15–May 15, 2017.

Study design

A cross-sectional study design was employed among 552 participants. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire adapted from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. In addition, the DustTrak™ Aerosol Monitor, CELL-880, brand name Casella, was used to measure exposure. Then, the data were entered and cleaned using Epi Info version 7 and exported to SPSS version 21 for analysis. Finally, the crude odds ratio (COR) and adjusted OR (AOR), together with their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs), were computed. p ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant in this study.


Lack of labor inspections and safety audits, lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), absence of job rotation, absence of ventilation, weekly working hours and job dissatisfaction were significantly associated, with AOR = 6.12 (2.52, 7.48), 7.17 (4.05, 8.87), 1.96 (1.27, 3.02), 3.63 (2.28, 5.78), 5.9 (3.64, 9.56), 6.34 (3.79, 10.62) and 2.19 (1.05, 4.57), respectively.


Lack of safety audits and labor inspections, lack of PPE, absence of job rotation, absence of ventilation and current job dissatisfaction were found to be predictors of occupational exposure to bagasse dust. Hence, the identified factors should be considered to minimize exposure of sugarcane factory workers to bagasse dust.


Occupational exposure Bagasse dust Sugarcane Safety audit Ethiopia 



The authors thank Zewdu Girma and Sara, and other workers in the factory, for their support and collaboration, Dereje, the factory occupational hygienist, and the factory for giving us the opportunity to carry out this study. Thanks to Ashenafi Hailu, Fistum Birhanu and Fikru Keno for their help and advice on sampling materials and methods. We are grateful to the workers for their participation. Last but not least, we thank Mekelle University for the ethical clearance and financial support for data collection.

Author contributions

All the authors made significant contributions to the proposal development, data collection, data analysis and manuscript preparation process of this work. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

There is no competing interest in the presented data with any person or organization.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mitiku Bonsa
    • 1
  • Getachew Redae Taffere
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mulubirhan Assefa Alemayehu
    • 2
  1. 1.Ethiopian Federal Police Commission Referral HospitalAddis AbabaEthiopia
  2. 2.College of Health Sciences, School of Public HealthMekelle UniversityMekelleEthiopia

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