Knowledge and safety practices on occupational health hazards among workers in automobile workshops in Makindye division, Kampala city
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Automobile workshops expose workers to various occupational hazards that could be detrimental to their health and well-being yet the knowledge of auto technicians on health and safety practices is still low. The purpose of this study was therefore to assess the knowledge and safety practices concerning occupational health hazards among workers in automobile workshops in Makindye division, Kampala city. Methodology; A descriptive cross-sectional study design involving both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection was used. Semi-structured questionnaires, observational checklist and a key informant guide were used in obtaining the necessary data. The study unit included all automobile workers directly involved in automobile-repair works at the workshops. The data collected was entered using Epi Data version 3.1. Data analysis was done using STATA version 13. Results; The mean (SD) knowledge and practice level of the workers on occupational health hazards in automobile workshops was 45.85% (22.08) and 69.59% (16.16) respectively. More than half (55.0%) of the respondents had not heard about occupational health hazards before. Media (radio, TV among others) (29.3%) was the most common source from which respondents heard about occupational health hazards. Carelessness (31.2%) was the major exposure to these occupational hazards. Lack of training in health and safety at work [AOR=0.34, 95% CI: (0.13-0.92)], lack of supervision at work [AOR=0.44, 95% CI: (0.23-0.85)] and lack of communication with the supervisors [AOR=6.12, 95% CI: (2.11-17.77)] were statistically significant with knowledge on occupational hazards among automobile workers. Conclusion and Recommendations; There is low knowledge but satisfactory practice on occupational health hazards among automobile workers in Makindye division. There is need for emphasis on health education through programs promoting work place safety among automobile workers. There is also need for regular training on safety guidelines and enforcement of standard/universal safety practices by automobile workers to reduce potential occupational hazards. Automobile workshops should provide appropriate equipment necessary for automobile workers to carry out their duties.