Volume 5, Issue 3, September 2019, Page: 63-77
Hazards Exposures and the Common Health and Safety Complaints Among Hospital Laundry Workers: A Comparative Study
Emmanuel Nosa Omoijiade, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
Lucky Evbuomwan, Department of Microbiology, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
Received: Jul. 8, 2019;       Accepted: Jul. 30, 2019;       Published: Sep. 10, 2019
DOI: 10.11648/j.jher.20190503.11      View  46      Downloads  8
Healthcare workers are exposed to various hazards in their workplaces that pose threats to their health and safety, however, exposure depends on the job category and their work environment. In the healthcare facilities, occupational safety and health hazards can be grouped according to location or service offered. Contaminated laundry, noise, heat, lifting, sharps, slips, trips, falls and fire hazards are among those located in the laundry department. In industrial laundries, chemical exposure, injuries from sharps left in linen, slips from wet floors, and exposure to pathogens in contaminated linen are among the most common accidents. The purpose of the study was to provide information on the exposure of hospital laundry workers to previously identified workplace hazards, in order that appropriate interventions to minimize occupational risks due to workers exposures to hazards in the healthcare laundries would be established. Furthermore, it also provides information on the common health and safety complaints among laundry workers. The study adopted a comparative cross-sectional study design, conducted in hospitals with a laundry department in Benin, Nigeria. A survey was conducted as semi-structured questionnaires were issued to the study participants to obtain data on their exposure to different workplace hazards as well as on work-related injuries and diseases. Also, body mapping exercise was conducted to obtain workers’ health information resulting from exposures to ergonomic hazards. All the respondents handled clean linen but only 74% handled dirty linen, while 62% handled soiled linen. In addition, respondents reported that they were exposed to sharps (62%), ergonomic (40%), illumination (2%), noise (28%), electrical (50%), heat (38%) and chemical (68%) hazards in the workplace. The common workplace injuries or illnesses reported were sharps injury (20%), musculoskeletal pain (92%), hearing disorder (4%), burns (8%), electric shocks (6%), slips, trips, or falls (28%) and cuts or bruises (18%). The most common musculoskeletal complaints were that of the lower back (74%), shoulders (42%), upper back (34%), and knee (34%). Various types of hazards were identified in all the health facilities. Hospital laundry workers in both secondary and tertiary health facilities alike suffered from various adverse health and safety conditions due to exposure to occupational hazards in the workplace. It is recommended that laundry workers be frequently educated on the occupational health and safety risks associated with their job.
Hazards Exposures, Hospital Laundry, Health Facilities, Laundry Workers, Accidents, Injuries, Health and Safety, Occupational Health
To cite this article
Emmanuel Nosa Omoijiade, Lucky Evbuomwan, Hazards Exposures and the Common Health and Safety Complaints Among Hospital Laundry Workers: A Comparative Study, Journal of Health and Environmental Research. Vol. 5, No. 3, 2019, pp. 63-77. doi: 10.11648/j.jher.20190503.11
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