Factors influencing the use of personal protective equipment by employees of Kinyara Sugar Limited Masindi District, Uganda
Akello, Florence Kilama
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Introduction Workers in every workplace are faced with several health hazards. To reduce the effect of hazards, personal protective equipments are provided to employees though as the last line of defense. Objectives The general objective was to determine the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), employee knowledge and attitude on occupational hazards /PPE and the other factors that influence the use of PPE by employees of Kinyara Sugar Limited. Methodology The study was conducted among 306 employees from purposively selected departments in Kinyara Sugar Limited. A descriptive cross-sectional study utilizing both quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative (FGD and KIs) data collection methods was used. Quantitative data was analysed using SPSS to generate frequencies and associations between knowledge, attitude, use of PPE and socio demographic characteristics. Qualitative information from focus group discussions and key informant interviews were coded into key themes and used to describe the factors influencing the use of PPE. Data from observation was analysed using SPSS. Results Observations indicated that 91/306 (29.7%) had complete PPE, 177/306 (57.8%) had partial PPE and the rest 38/306 (12.4%) had no PPE. The most reported reasons for non use of PPE was wearing PPE makes one feel hot 135/207 (65.3%), delay in replacement 85/207 (41%) and wrong sizes of PPE 57/207 (28%). These data were consistent with findings from focus group discussions and key informant interviews as follows. A key informant from health &safety office concurred that some work areas e.g. pan flour, boilers are hot and PPE becomes very uncomfortable to wear in such places. A focus group discussion with employees from field (Agriculture) department revealed that employee had challenges with replacement in that except for the general annual replacement for all employees, it is difficult to get replacement, in case PPE is damaged or worn out, you need to bring the old one to the supervisor before you get replacement. Basic knowledge regarding occupational hazards was at 44.8% (137/306) and almost all respondents believed that use of PPE protects against hazards and injuries. Conclusion Basic knowledge on occupational hazards and PPE was moderate (44.8%) and employee attitude on occupational hazards was good. Use of complete PPE was low (29.7%). Recommendation Management of Kinyara sugar limited need to enforce strict measures on the use of Personal Protective Equipment. Procurement and stores management should be improved to address the problem of delay in procurement and replacement of PPE.