Magnitude of occupational exposure to noise, heat and associated factors among sugarcane factory workers in Ethiopia, 2017

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



Industrialisation in Ethiopia is gaining momentum, with the objective of transforming the traditional, agriculture-dependent economy. However, occupational health and safety is not in place to address health risks.


Thus, the aim of this study was to assess the magnitude of occupational exposure to noise, heat and associated factors among Metehara sugarcane factory workers.


To this effect, a cross-sectional study was employed involving 552 workers and using stratified random sampling techniques. Data were collected by a pre-tested, structured, interview-administered questionnaire and hazard and risk analysis checklist. Noise levels were measured by hand-held, model HD600 sound level meters. Heat levels were assessed using “heat stress (HT) 30” area heat stress monitors. Data were entered into Epi Info 7 software and exported to SPSS version 20 for analysis.


The results show that 418 (75.7%) and 243 (44%) workers were exposed to excessive heat and noise, respectively. Lack of labour inspections and safety audits, lack of personal protective equipment, absence of job rotation and job dissatisfaction were associated significantly with adjusted odds ratios (AORs) at 6.74 (2.65, 7.12), 6.62 (2.48, 7.62), 2.13 (1.35, 3.36), 2.44 (1.31, 4.53) and 5.4 (3.22, 9.06), respectively. Occupational exposure to heat and noise were found to exceed occupational exposure limits. Hence, the prevention of occupational exposure targeted at the identified factors is crucial.


Occupational exposure Noise Heat Sugarcane factory Ethiopia 



The authors thank the participants for their contribution to this research and the plantation managers for their support in conducting this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All participants were instructed about the objective of the study and assured of confidentiality and anonymity; their informed consent was also obtained. Ethical clearance was obtained from the Institutional Review Board of Mekelle University, College of Health Sciences and a letter of support was written by the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10389_2019_1070_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public Health, College of Health SciencesMekelle UniversityMekelleEthiopia
  2. 2.Federal Police Communion and Medewelabu UniversityBale RobeEthiopia

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