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Original Research Articles

Selected aspects of occupational health and safety practices in small scale factories in the area of Medical Officer Health, Kotte

Authors:

D. B. D. L. Samaranayake ,

University of Colombo, LK
About D. B. D. L.
Lecturer, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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M. W. Gunathunga

University of Colombo, LK
About M. W.
Senior Lecturer, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Objectives

The objective of this study was to describe the health hazards, welfare facilities and health and safety related practices in small-scale factories in a selected MOH area.

 

Methodology

A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted among small scale factories in the MOH area Kotte. The entire population of 82 factories with less than SO workers was studied. The occupiers were interviewed using an interviewer administered questionnaire to identify the health related practices, and an observation schedule was used to assess the health hazards and welfare facilities.

 

Results

Availability of sanitary conveniences (94%), drinking water (84%) and washing facilities (99%) was satisfactory. The availability and adequacy of dining rooms, rest rooms and first aid facilities were extremely poor. The workers were exposed to multiple health hazards in the workplaces. The commonest hazards identified were poor house keeping (90%), electrical hazards (88%), excessive noise (80%), unguarded machinery (73%), ergonomic hazards (70%) and poor cleanliness (57%). Only 25% of factories trained the workers on safe use of machinery. Welders' eye guards were provided in all the factories that carried out welding but no other personal protective devices were provided to the workers were exposed to multiple hazards like dust, chemicals and fumes. Provision of health services was limited to taking the patient to the hospital in an emergency. Only 10% of the factory managers were aware of the accident notification system and almost all the factories did not comply with it.

 

Conclusions

The occupational health status of small scale factory workers was found to be highly unsatisfactory with exposure to multiple hazards and poor welfare facilities. The coordinated action of labour authorities, the primary health care team and the factory management is recommended to improve this situation.
How to Cite: Samaranayake, D.B.D.L. and Gunathunga, M.W., 2006. Selected aspects of occupational health and safety practices in small scale factories in the area of Medical Officer Health, Kotte. Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka, 11(2), pp.10–15. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v11i2.8253
Published on 20 Dec 2006.
Peer Reviewed

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