Knowledge, attitude and practice related to chemical hazards and personal protective equipment among particleboard workers in Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background: Work in the wood industry is often associated with exposure to wood dust and formaldehyde. The aims of this study were to describe the Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) concerning chemical health hazards among particleboard workers and to compare the KAP among temporary and permanent workers. Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used to collect data by structured questionnaires in two particleboard factories in Ethiopia. A total of 159 workers and 13 management personnel participated in this study. Both closed-ended and open-ended questions were included in the interviews. Chi-square tests, T tests and correlation analyses were used for categorical and continuous data. Total knowledge score (range 0–8) was calculated as the sum score of 8 items weighing one point each. Multiple linear regression was applied to estimate the impact of employment status on total knowledge score adjusted for level of education. Content analysis was applied to analyse collected data from open-ended questions. Results: The mean age of the respondents was 28 (SD = 6) years and on average they had 3.7  years of service. The permanent workers were older than the temporary workers (29 vs 26 years, p = 0.001), and a considerably high fraction of the permanent workers had vocational education (90%) compared to the temporary workers (11%). Permanent workers had higher proportion of response on knowledge of 10 of 12 topics regarding chemical hazards and attitudes on 6 of 11 of these topics than temporary workers. Permanent workers had higher knowledge scores (3.7) compared to temporary workers (1.3) (p < 0.001), also after adjusting for education (p = 0.011). Permanent workers were provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) while temporary workers were not. The qualitative data helps to understand the workers and administrative personnel attitude and thinking regarding chemical hazards and PPE. Conclusions: The findings revealed that permanent workers have higher proportion of positive response on knowledge and attitude towards chemical health hazards than temporary workers. However, practice in use of PPE depended on access to PPE. Few temporary workers were provided with PPE.