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Title: Occupational Injuries among Workers in the cleansing section of the City Council's health services department Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, 2001--2002
Authors: Gonese, Elizabeth
Matchaba-Hove, Reginald
Chirimumba, G.
Hwalima, Z.
Chirenda, J.
Tshimanga, M.
Keywords: Occupational injuries
Health priorites
Issue Date: 2006
Series/Report no.: MMWR Suppl.;Vol.55, No. 1, p. 7-10
Abstract: During 2001-2002, a total of 97 occupational injuries occurred among workers in the cleansing section of the Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, City Council's Health Services Department. This report describes a study that was conducted to describe the nature of these injuries and determine the associated risk factors.A retrospective, descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted concerning occupational injuries incurred by workers in the cleansing section during 2001-2002. A total of 153 workers who had been in the section as of January 1, 2001, and 23 senior managers and section supervisors were interviewed, the occupational injury register was reviewed, and a walk-through survey was conducted to estimate risk factors.The occupational injury register indicated that during the study period, 62 workers sustained 67 injuries, including one that was fatal. Of these 67 injuries, 27 (40%) involved workers who sustained cuts inside a box-type refuse removal truck, and 11 (16%) involved workers who had sprained ankles and wrists as a result of improper lifting. Workers aged 18-25 years were more likely to incur an injury than workers aged >25 years. Working as a bin loader and not having received preemployment training were associated with injuries. None of the bin loaders had received preemployment training. Hazards identified during the walk-through survey included use of small jacks in workshops, contact with biologic and chemical materials on trucks and landfill sites, and poor use of protective clothing. Supervisors cited worker negligence as the main cause of injury, whereas 72 (84%) workers cited lack of adequate protective clothing as a source of injury, and eleven (7%) workers cited use of inappropriate equipment.On the basis of the modifiable risk factors for injury identified in this study, the Bulawayo City Council drafted a new health and safety training manual. New recruits now receive training before starting work on refuse collection trucks.
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