Background of the study
Workers play an important role in achieving company goals and objectives. When the workplace is either unhealthy or hazardous for employees to perform designated jobs, this centrality is undermined, regardless of their knowledge, skills, experience, or competence. This means that employee health and safety are important determinants in workplace productivity. It is only a safe worker who can be comfortable at work to perform his or her obligations, and it is only a healthy worker who can be productive. Workers are exposed to occupational dangers, which may lead to a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular problems. Quarrying, crushing, mixing, and kiln burning are all examples of this in the cement production process. When running equipment, pollution emissions such as noise, dust, fumes, and vibration are also frequent. These may induce alterations in the respiratory tract and affect pulmonary functions, as well as industrial accidents and injuries (Sadullah, 2009). As a result, occupational dangers have a significant detrimental influence on employees’ health and performance. Numerous studies have sought to uncover the elements that come from occupational risks, such as frequent absenteeism, poor worker commitment, and other counterproductive work behavior. Workers’ well-being and, as a result, their levels of job performance are affected by health and safety risks as components of occupational hazards. For example, a research by Okoye, Odumegwu, and Omuku (2012) found that most Nigerian employees were uninformed of the dangerous nature of their workplace and the repercussions of working in such environments without taking the necessary safety precautions. Despite cement mill employees’ relatively high awareness of the negative health impacts of dust exposure, Ahmed and Newson-Smith (2010) observed that their utilization of respiratory protection equipment was low. Lighting, temperature, noise, and climatic conditions are among the main elements impacting employees’ well-being and performance in the workplace (Akintayo, 2012), with current research pointing to additional key issues such as defective working equipment and the lack of a health insurance system (Yusuff, Adegbite, Awotedu, & Akinosho, 2014). Apart from a lack of expertise to do a task (Akintayo, 2012), poor work performance may be ascribed to a combination of health and safety dangers, which can cause health problems or discourage people from exercising the desired degree of devotion to their jobs. One of the greatest obstacles to occupational health and safety is assessing, preventing, and controlling work-related stress risk [Thangaraj, 2017]. Workplace stress is the second most prevalent work-related health complaint among European Union (EU) employees, and new data from big European surveys point to a rising frequency of workplace stress concerns. This could be due in part to the rapid changes in technology and work organization over the last few years, with an increase in the use of nontraditional employment contracts and non-standard working hours, but it could also be due to other socio-economic and demographic factors indirectly influencing the world of work, such as economic globalization, an aging workforce, and an increase in the number of women entering the workforce. There is also plenty of evidence that high-risk work-related stress has a negative influence on employees’ health and safety, with a clear link to cardiovascular illnesses, mental and musculoskeletal problems, and workers’ psychosocial well-being [Agbana, 2016]. Workplace stress may have a negative influence on an organization’s productivity and competitiveness, as well as social and economic expenses. Several research published in the recent decade have shown that some critical indicators of social and occupational determinants of health exist [Adie,2011]. As a result, there has been a lot of demand for such societal and individual elements to be included as determinants of workers’ health and, according to Marmot, health disparities. In the measurement and treatment of work-related stress risk, socio-demographic and occupational characteristics are becoming more important. Gender disparities in work-related stress perception proved consistent across occupational categories in a large multicenter European sample, but varied depending on geographical origin. Different patterns of occupational stress creation were also identified in men and women. Age and work stress have an inverted U-shaped association [Adebola, 2014]. A greater incidence of mental health issues was linked to a higher emotional strain in younger persons and a lack of social support in older personnel. In a sample of family doctors, older age and longer service were linked to greater levels of stress and emotional tiredness. In a large sample of French employees, lower occupational rank and educational level were linked to a greater risk of work-related stress. According to a major study conducted in the United States, education may be able to hide the negative effects of work-related stress on health, maybe in a gender-specific fashion [Adebola, 2014]. There was just a little amount of evidence that night shifts exacerbated the impact of job stress on various health outcomes. A recent critical assessment found a link between short-term contracts and stress, which is most likely due to the effectiveness of national assistance systems [Adie, 2011].
Statement of the problem
Occupational hazards arise as a result of physical, chemical, social, biological, and psycho-social variables that employees come into contact with during work (Dockery,2000). According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2012), poor health as a consequence of job activities and a decline in an employee’s capacity to work may result in commercial losses of up to 10%-20% of a country’s gross national product (GNP). Workplace fatalities and morbidity are expected to cost the global economy four percent of its GDP (Ahmed,2010). However, while the relationship between demographic and occupational hazard is a result of the natural environment in which a company or work place is located, there are some factors that contribute to occupational hazards, such as a lack of supervision and control, a lack of training, the use of untrained employees, a crowded working area, the use of old machinery and equipment, employee overloading, violation of safety rules, employee overloading, and poor housekeeping practices. The association between demographic characteristics and occupational hazard in Rivers State is examined against this backdrop.
Objective of the study
The primary objective of the study is as follows
1. To examine the perceived causes of occupational hazards.
2. To find out the effect of occupational hazards on an employee.
3. To evaluate the relationship between the improperly built structures of a work place and occupational hazards.
4. To investigate the relationship between lack of effective protective gear and occupational hazards.
5. To offer probable solution to occupational hazards.
The following questions have been prepared for this study
1) What are the perceived causes of occupational hazards?
2) What are the effect of occupational hazards on an employee?
3) Is there a relationship between the improperly built structures of a work place and occupational hazards?
4) Is there a relationship between lack of effective protective gear and occupational hazards?
5) What are the probable solution to occupational hazards?
The following hypotheses have been formulated for this study
H01: there is no relationship between the improperly built structures of a work place and occupational hazards
H02: there is no relationship between lack of effective protective gear and occupational hazards
Significance of the study
The study focuses on the correlation between environmental factors and occupational hazard. Hence the study will be of benefit to manufacturing companies as it will expose them on the need to work on some factors that could cause occupational hazard.
The study will also be of benefit to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.
Scope of the study
This study will examine the perceived causes of occupational hazards. The study will also find out the effect of occupational hazards on an employee. The study will further evaluate the relationship between the improperly built structures of a work place and occupational hazards. More so, the study will investigate the relationship between lack of effective protective gear and occupational hazards. Lastly, the study will offer probable solution to occupational hazards. Hence the study will be delimited to shell oil company in Rivers state.
Limitation of the study
This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:
just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data
Financial constraint , was faced by the researcher ,in getting relevant materials and in printing and collation of questionnaires
Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher
Definition of terms
Demographic: the study of statistics such as births, deaths, income, or the incidence of disease, which illustrate the changing structure of human populations.
Occupational hazard: a risk accepted as a consequence of a particular occupation.