Reportedly, 50 - 70% of current global labor force is exposed to poor working conditions. This study examined exposure and hazards of workers in a vegetable oil industry and the perceived health effects in Southwestern, Nigeria. A descriptive cross-sectional survey (including environmental monitoring) was employed to assess the workplace hazards and their perceived health effects on workers. The sampling covered 102 respondents across 15 departments within the industry. Data obtained were statistically analyzed using SPSS version 16. Common identified health and safety hazards were backache (17.6%), eye irritation (5.9%), breathing difficulty (6.9%), heat exhaustion (31.4%), bruises (2%), cuts and injuries (2%), and skin irritation (7.8%). Noise levels varied from section to section with the power plant recording the highest maximum mean noise level of 103.7dB though a lower mean noise level of 86.7dB was recorded for the office section. The noise level of 88.6dB was recorded at the boiler section; crushing floor had a noise level of 91.8dB at the work area while the office section had a lower noise level of 80.3dB. A noise level of 96.5dB was recorded at the Solvent Extraction Plant section; the office area had 78.2dB while agro laboratory and margarine section recorded 62.6dB and 73.3dB respectively. The study findings reveal that occupational health and safety in the workplace is inadequate with a wide range of hazards, physical, chemical, and ergonomic, which suggests implementation of stringent safety measures.
Published Date: 2020-02-25; Received Date: 2019-11-21