Occupational Hazards: Awareness and Level of Precautions Among Physiotherapists in Selected Health Institutions in Lagos, Nigeria
Background: Exposure to Occupational hazards can be very detrimental to the health of workers. Physiotherapists are healthcare professionals with immense burden to deliver on musculoskeletal and other aspects of health of patients and clients. Exposure to Occupational hazards can affect the discharge of their duties and negatively affect the quality of healthcare delivery. Identification, precaution and control of occupational hazards in the workplace are imperatives to the health and well-being of physiotherapists.
Methodology: This analytical cross-sectional survey involved 112 physiotherapists who were evaluated using a 52-item questionnaire which sought information on bio-data, job content, physical, mechanical/ergonomic and psychosocial health hazards, precautionary measures, physiotherapy specific hazards and influence of occupational hazards. Data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20 and summarised using descriptive and inferential statistics of bar charts, pie charts, mean, standard deviation, and Chi Square.
Results: Forty-nine (43.8%) respondents agreed that they suffer musculoskeletal symptoms during their work while thirty-seven (33%) respondents agreed that they are often exposed to communicable diseases such as Tuberculosis, HIV, and Hepatitis. However, less than half (38.4%–48.2%) of the respondents disagreed that occupational hazards led to their frequent musculoskeletal symptoms, lack of motivation, reduced job output, permanent injury or disability, and frequent days off work. Also, 33–35.7% respondents agreed that they had either a pre-employment training or pre-employment entrance health examination when newly employed. There was no significant association between highest educational attainment and level of precaution. However, a significant association (p < 0.05) was found between duration of time spent at work a day and level of precaution
Conclusion: The opinion of physiotherapists garnered from this study concerning occupational hazard is an indication of their knowledge and perception of occupational hazard and their practice of Occupational Health and Safety. Good knowledge of occupational hazard will influence the level of precaution of physiotherapists and also encourage the healthcare system in general to promote Occupational safety at work.
KeywordsOccupational hazard Awareness Precaution Physiotherapist
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