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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 116-121

Occupational injuries among building construction workers in Mangalore, India: A cross-sectional study


Department of Public Health, K S Hegde Medical Academy, Nitte (Deemed to be University), Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission03-Jun-2019
Date of Decision18-Nov-2019
Date of Acceptance12-Dec-2019
Date of Web Publication9-Apr-2020

Correspondence Address:
Mackwin Kenwood D'mello
Department of Public Health, K. S. Hegde Medical Academy, Nitte (Deemed to be University), Mangalore - 575 018, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_44_19

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  Abstract 


BACKGROUND: The construction industry is one of the hazardous industries in the world. Injuries that are taking place in the construction sector are one of the significant public health problems, and this can be prevented if appropriate measures are taken.
AIM: This study aimed to identify the pattern and factors associated with occupational injuries.
SETTINGS AND DESIGN: A cross-sectional study was conducted in building construction sites located in Mangalore city in Dakshina Kannada district.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The research was carried out in 19 construction sites located in Mangalore during the period between January and April 2017. A total of 576 respondents were selected using multistage sampling techniques. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect the information using the interview method. The inferential test, such as Chi-square test, and the likelihood test were used to find the associations and odds ratio, and its 95% confidence interval was obtained.P < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant.
RESULTS: Occupational injuries during 12 months were reported by 36.28% of the workers. The most common body parts injured were lower limb (48.3%) and upper limb (17.7%). The majority of injuries were abrasions (73.6%) and cuts (24.4%). Age, work experience, and various other risk factors were significantly associated with occupational injuries.
CONCLUSION: Attention should be given to reduce the occurrence of accidents in the construction industry. Occupational health and safety training should be provided to the workers to raise the awareness of occupational hazards, which will help to reduce the injuries.

Keywords: Building construction workers, occupational injury, personal protective equipment


How to cite this article:
Serrao AJ, D'mello MK. Occupational injuries among building construction workers in Mangalore, India: A cross-sectional study. Int J Health Allied Sci 2020;9:116-21

How to cite this URL:
Serrao AJ, D'mello MK. Occupational injuries among building construction workers in Mangalore, India: A cross-sectional study. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 May 30];9:116-21. Available from: http://www.ijhas.in/text.asp?2020/9/2/116/282136




  Introduction Top


According to the World Health Organization in developing countries, occupational injury is an epidemic problem in the field of public health.[1] The hazards which are taking place in the construction industries are eight times more compared to the manufacturing industry.[2] Lack of supervision of the workers, unsafe behavior of the workers, and lack of commitment of management toward safety are significant causes of injury.[3]

In India, no much focus is given on health of the construction workers and very few studies have been conducted on occupational injuries among construction workers. Hence, this study was conducted to identify the pattern and factors associated with occupational injury.


  Materials and Methods Top


Ethical approval was obtained from the institutional ethics committee. The permission was taken from the building construction authority. The purpose of the study, voluntary participation, duration of the interview, and right to refuse or withdraw the participation in the study were explained before starting an interview. A cross-sectional study was done in Mangalore municipal city corporation, India. A semi-structured interview schedule was used for collecting the information from construction workers. The study was conducted between January and April 2017. A multistage sampling technique was used for this study. Mangalore municipal city corporation had 62 construction sites, where the project was ongoing. At the first stage, out of 62 construction sites, 19 construction sites were selected using 30% proportion, and in the second stage, respondents were selected conveniently out of 19 construction sites. The construction workers belong to the age group of above 18 years; both skilled and unskilled workers were included in the study. Informed written consent was obtained from all participants. Privacy and confidentiality were ensured for each respondent.


  Results Top


Sociodemographic characteristics of the respondents

A total of 576 construction workers were included in the study, and a complete response (100%) was obtained from all respondents. The mean age of the respondents was 33.19 ± 9.05 years. The majority of the respondents (54.9%, 316) were aged more than 30 years, followed by 45.13% (260) <30 years of age. The majority of the respondents (82.4%, 475) were males, followed by 17.5% (101) females. The majority of the respondents (75.1%, 433) were Hindus, followed by 6.3% (36) Christians and 18.6% (107) Muslims. The majority of the respondents (47.6%, 274) were interstate migrants, followed by 33.50% (193) intrastate migrants and 18.9% (109) nonmigrants. Majority of the respondents' monthly salary was 10,000–15,000; 63.5% (366) were earning <10,000, followed by 19.4% (122) earning >15,000. Majority of the respondents (41.31%, 238) completed their 5th standard, followed by 21.4% (123) less than 5th standard and 18.6% (107) 10th standard; 15.8% (91) of the respondents were illiterate, 1.6% completed Pre-University Course (P. U. C), and 1.4% completed their graduation. Majority of the respondents (71.9%) were married, 21.5% were unmarried, 6.1% were widow, and 0.52% were divorced [Table 1].
Table 1: Sociodemographic characteristics

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Occupational characteristics of the respondents

Majority of the construction workers (50.17%) were unskilled workers, followed by 49.8% skilled workers. Majority of the workers (86.4%) were making a temporary contract, followed by 13.54% making a permanent contract. Majority of the respondents (42.01%) had 1–5 years of experience, 25.86% had 6–10 years of experience, 17.53% had >10 years of experience, and 14.5% had <1 year of experience [Table 2].
Table 2: Occupational characteristics of the respondents

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The pattern of occupational injuries

Among 576 construction workers, 36.28% of the respondents had an injury. Out of 209 injured workers, 56.9% injured once, 14.40% hurt 2–4 times, and 1.21% were injured >4 times. Out of 209 wounded workers, 38 (18.2%) were hospitalized. Around 80 (38.3%) of them lost their working days. The number of working days lost due to injury is 7–30 days. The number of days of hospitalization is 6–30 days [Table 3].
Table 3: Pattern of occupational injuries

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Majority of the workers (64.6%) had an injury to the upper limb, and 48.3% and 17.7% of the workers had damage to the lower leg and head, respectively [Figure 1]. The respondents reported that 73.6% had injury abrasions, 24.4% had cuts, 5.74% had a fracture, and 3.82% and 2.87% had fracture and sprain, respectively [Figure 2]. The mode of injury reported by respondents was hand tools (30.6%), injury due to fall (24.8%), injury due to machines (21.04%), falling objects (17.7%), sharp objects (16.2%), fall from height (10.5%), lifting heavy objects (2.87%), due to hazardous chemical (2.39%), and electricity (1.91%) [Figure 3].
Figure 1: Distribution of construction workers according to body part injury

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Figure 2: Distribution of construction workers according to type injury

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Figure 3: Distribution of respondents according to the cause of injury

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Work environment-related characteristics of the respondents

Majority of the respondents (69.79%) were working extra hours; most of the respondents (78.6%) responded that the reason for working extra hours is as per the advice of the supervisor, 54.5% replied that to earn extra money, and 42.0% responded that to complete the work. Majority of the respondents (90.1%) did not get occupational safety training.

Behavioral characteristics of the respondents

Majority of the workers (47.7%) had sleep disturbance sometimes, 29.4% had rarely, and 22.7% often had. The reason was due to stress in the workplace (65.4%), followed by heavy work (37.5%) and working more than 8 h (28.7%). Majority of the respondents (80.72%) said that personal protective equipment (PPE) was available always at the job, 14.4% acknowledged that sometimes, and 84.86% responded that never. Out of 548 respondents who said PPE availability on the job occasionally and always, the majority of the respondents (61.1%) did not use PPE properly; the primary reason was due to lack of comfort to use PPE (72.2%) and decrease the work performance (34.7%). Majority of the respondents (72.2%) said that the reason for not using PPE is not comfortable to use, 34.7% decrease the work performance, 10.5% said others (not necessary for job), and 5.7% said that due to lack of PPE. Majority of the respondents (64.93%) do not drink alcohol and 35% were drinking alcohol; most of the respondents (62.5%) do not chew tobacco and 37.5% chew tobacco. Majority of the respondents (62.1%) do not smoke cigarette/bidi and 37.8% were smoking cigarettes/bidi. Majority of the respondents (83.5%) satisfied with the job and 16.4% were not satisfied with the situation [Table 4].
Table 4: Behavioral characteristics of the respondents

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Bivariate analysis

Bivariate analysis is carried out for comparing between injured workers and noninjured workers. Those variables which were significant in the Chi-square test were further analyzed to calculate the risk (odds ratio) at a 95% confidence interval.

Association between sociodemographic factors and occupational injury

Age group was found to be significant. Those who belong to the age group of <30 years are more likely to injure than those who are >30 years (crude odds ratio [COR]: 3.69 and confidence interval [CI]: 2.554–5.219). Work experience was found to be significantly associated with occupational injury. Workers who had work experience of <1 year were more likely to injure than those who had >10 years' experience (COR: 37.48 and CI: 15.85–88.6); similarly, those who had work experience of 1–5 years were more likely to injure than those who had more than 10 years of experience (COR: 8.807 and CI: 4.245–18.269). Employment status was found to be significant (P = 0.002); workers who were making permanent contract were less likely to injure than those who were making a temporary contract (COR: 4.07 and CI: 0.229–0.727) [Table 5].
Table 5: Association between sociodemographic factors and occupational injury

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Association between behavioral factors and occupational injury

The results showed that sleep disturbance was significantly associated with injury (P < 0.001), where those who have sleep disturbance were more likely to injure than those who do not have sleep disturbance (COR: 5.277 and CI: 3.493–7.975). The use of PPE was found to be significantly associated with injury (P < 0.001), where those who use PPE were less likely to injure than those who do not use PPE (0.198 [0.131–0.300]). Drinking alcohol and injury were found to be statistically significant with injury (P < 0.001), where those who drink alcohol were more likely to injure than those who do not drink alcohol (COR: 3.43 and CI: 2.396–4.926). Chewing tobacco was found to be significantly associated with injury (P < 0.001), where those who chew tobacco were more likely to injure than those who do not chew tobacco (COR: 3.017 and CI: 2.116–4.302). Smoking cigarettes/bidi was significantly associated with injury (P < 0.001), where those who smoke cigarettes/bidi were more likely to injure than those who do not smoke cigarettes/bidi. Job satisfaction also was statistically significant with injury (P < 0.001); it was found that those who satisfied with the job were less likely to injure than those who did not feel satisfied with the job (COR: 0.209 and CI: 0.131–0.335) [Table 6].
Table 6: Association between behavioral factors and occupational injury

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  Discussion Top


In the current study, the prevalence of occupational injuries during the past 12 months was 36.2% among construction workers, which is similar to a survey of occupational injuries among building construction workers and was done in Ethiopia (38.7%) and higher than the review study done in India (24.2%) but lower than the research done in Egypt (46.2%) and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (87%).[4],[5],[6],[7] The current study showed that the most common body parts among construction workers injured were upper limb (64.5%), lower leg (48.3%), and head (17.7%) which were similar to the study which was done in Mit Ghamr city, Egypt.[6] The study done in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, showed that the most common types of injuries were cuts (36.2%) and abrasions (26.6%), which is lower than our study which showed abrasion (73.7%) and cut (24.4%).[7] The findings of the present study show that those who belong to the age group of <30 years are more prone to injury, which is in the same lines the study done in Egypt.[6]

The current study witnessed over time as the risk factor for injury, similar to the study done in Gondar city, Ethiopia, and Egypt.[6],[7] This may be due to the fact that working extra hours may lead to fatigue and hence the risk of occupational injuries. The study reported that 49.1% of the respondents were injured due to the lack of PPE use. The most common reasons given by the workers for nonuse of personal protective equipments were less comfort while working, reduce the work performance, which is similar to the studies done in Egypt and Iran and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.[6],[8],[9]

The study reported that drinking alcohol, chewing tobacco, and smoking cigarettes/bidi are significantly associated with occupational injury. These results are similar to the studies done in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Egypt.[6],[9] This may be due to substance abuse is one of the mind-altering substance, which will lead to poor concentration of the employees toward work and poor work performance. The study witnessed occupation satisfaction as a risk factor for injury. The results are similar to the study done in Egypt and Ethiopia.[6],[9] This could be linked to the fact that when the workers are not satisfied with his job they may not take responsibility and use their knowledge and skills in their career, such situations lead to decreased safety in their work and increase the risk of injury. The study witnessed that none of the construction workers (100%) had received preemployment medical checkup.

Limitations of the study

  1. Since this is a cross-sectional study, it may result in recall bias (underreporting and overreporting of the events), where workers might have felt difficulty in recalling the injuries that took place during the past 1 year
  2. Workers also might have felt the challenges to disclose the information due to fear of losing the job.



  Conclusion Top


An occupational injury is also a significant public health problem in India. Accidents can be reduced by giving the importance to safety. Accidents that occur in construction sites should be properly recorded. Education should be provided to the construction workers regarding risk factors of injuries and ways to protect themselves from injury. Along with workplace supervision, safety supervision should be done by owners and contractors.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean Cairo. Occupational Health a Manual for Primary Health Care Workers. World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean Cairo; 2001. Available from: http://www.who.int>publications>emhealt. [Last accessed on 2016 Oct 08].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Tiwary G, Gangopadhyay PK. A review on the occupational health and social security of unorganized workers in the construction industry. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2011;15:18-24.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
3.
Khosravi Y, Asilian-Mahabadi H, Hajizadeh E, Hassanzadeh-Rangi N, Bastani H, Behzadan AH. Factors influencing unsafe behaviors and accidents on construction sites: A review. Int J Occup Saf Ergon 2014;20:111-25.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Mesafint MA, Kassahun AG, Getahun K, Hardeep R, Walelegn W. Occupational injuries among building construction workers in Gondar city Ethiopia. Occup Med Health Aff 2013;1:1-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Shah CK, Mehtha H. Study of injuries among construction workers in Ahmedabad city, Gujarat. Indian J Pract Doct 2009;5:1-2.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Abbase AR, Zalat M, Ghareeb N. Non-fatal occupational injuries and safety climate: A cross-sectional study of construction building workers in Mit-Ghamr city, Dakahlia Governorate, Egypt. J Saf Sci Technol 2013;3:69-79.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Mersha H, Mereta S, Dube L. Prevalence of occupational injuries and associated factors among construction workers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. J Public Health Epidemiol 2017;9:1-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Moradinazar M, Kurd N, Farhadi R, Amee V, Najafi F. Epidemiology of work-related injuries among construction workers of Ilam (Western Iran) during 2006–2009. Iran Red Crescent Med J 2013;15:e8011.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Tadesse S, Israel D. Occupational injuries among building construction workers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. J Occup Med Toxicol 2016;11:16.  Back to cited text no. 9
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6]



 

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