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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 102-110

Assessment of workplace hazards in mortuaries in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

1 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
2 Rivers State Ministry of Health, Rivers State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Kingsley E Douglas
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0795-3038.197752

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Background: Mortuary workers face various hazards in course of carrying out their duties. These hazards may be ignored by employers and employees alike. Identifying these hazards in time before they become risks that cause accidents and even death is recognized mode of prevention and control. This study was to assess the workplace hazards in mortuaries located in Port Harcourt City Area. Methods: Following ethical approval, this descriptive cross-sectional study recruited 100 eligible respondents from private and public mortuaries, respectively, balloted for from six known and registered mortuaries in Port Harcourt city. Respondents answered pre-tested, close-ended, structured, self-administered questionnaires which probed sociodemographics, occupational history, knowledge and behaviour towards hazards encountered while at the workplace. There was also an adapted checklist used for the walk-through survey of the study sites' identification and quantification of hazards. Data obtained were analysed and presented using descriptive and analytical statistical tools. Results: The study had mostly male (95%) respondents with only 15% having acquired tertiary education. The majority (94%) of the hazards respondents were exposed to were mechanical slips, trips and falls. The majority (93%) of respondents had safety training on the hazards associated with the mortuary, while 11% used personal protective equipment (PPE) always. Conclusion: Hazards abound in mortuaries in Port Harcourt City even though most workers had received training on hazards and hazards prevention. There was also a poor use of PPE. It is recommended that health education, provision, enforcement and monitoring of the use of PPE be intensified among this group of workers.

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