Prevalence and factors associated with occupational injuries among workers in the formal steel processing plants in the Kampala Industry and Business Park, Uganda
Background: Uganda is observing an accelerated industrialization with over 22 industrial parks designated in line with the national development vision 2040. Steel industry is one of the industries that are leading the industrial development in the parks. However workers safety issues are not being prioritized in implementation of the industrialization strategy. The current prevalence and factors associated with occupational injuries among workers in the steel processing plants in Kampala Industry and Business Park (KIBP) remain unknown. Objective: To assess the prevalence and factors associated with occupational injuries among workers in the formal steel processing industries in KIBP. Methodology: This was a questionnaire based cross-sectional survey conducted from May to June, 2017. A total of 344 participants from the three steel processing plants currently operating in the KIPB were involved. Trained data collectors administered the pre-tested and standardized questionnaire. Data were collected from the participants on their experience occupational injuries and individual and workplace factors and analyzed using SPSS® version 23 for descriptive and logistic regression analysis. Results: The annual prevalence of occupational injuries was 55.5%. Male workers were significantly more likely to be injured at work (AOR=3.084, 95% CI: 1.01-9.99). Working in an environment perceived as hazardous was associated with occupational injuries (AOR=7.424, 95%CI: 2.45-22.49). When compared to working in the night (7pm-8am) shift, day time shifts were significantly (p<0.05) associated with occupational injuries. Workers who had on-job training on top of school based training were 0.23 times (AOR=0.229, 95% CI: 0.065-0.806) as likely to be injured as those who had only school safety training. Conclusion: The annual prevalence of occupational injuries among workers in the formal steel processing plants in KIBP was very high and significantly varied with processing plant, respondent sex, perceived work place risk, time of shift and the nature of safety training undertaken by the workers. Recommendations: More efforts are needed to curb this high burden of occupational injuries especially among workers in the steel processing plants. Strategies should put extra focus on male workers, among those assigned daytime shifts and On-job safety training. Workers perception of work-place risk levels may be a useful indicator of safety of workplaces during safety audits and inspection exercises.