Occupational hazards among the abattoir workers associated with noncompliance to the meat processing and waste disposal laws in Malaysia
Authors Abdullahi A, Hassan A, Kadarman N, Yakubu J, Adeyemo O, Lua PL
Received 14 October 2015
Accepted for publication 11 February 2016
Published 13 July 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 157—163
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Professor Frank Papatheofanis
Auwalu Abdullahi,1–3 Azmi Hassan,1 Norizhar Kadarman,2 Yakubu Muhammad Junaidu,3 Olanike Kudrat Adeyemo,4,5 Pei Lin Lua6
1Institute for Community Development and Quality of Life (i-CODE), Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), Kampus Gong Badak, 2Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), Kampus Kota, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia; 3Department of Animal Health and Husbandry, Audu Bako College of Agriculture Dambatta, Kano, Nigeria; 4Center for Human and Environmental Toxicology, Department of Physiological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 5Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria; 6Community Health Research Cluster, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), Kampus Gong Badak, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia
Purpose: This study aims to investigate the occupational hazards among the abattoir workers associated with noncompliance to the meat processing and waste disposal laws in Terengganu State, Malaysia. Occupational hazards are the major source of morbidity and mortality among the animal workers due to exposure to many hazardous situations in their daily practices. Occupational infections mostly contracted by abattoir workers could be caused by iatrogenic or transmissible agents, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites and the toxins produced by these organisms.
Materials and methods: The methodology was based on a cross-sectional survey using cluster sampling technique in the four districts of Terengganu State, Malaysia. One hundred and twenty-one abattoir workers from five abattoirs were assessed using a validated structured questionnaire and an observation checklist.
Results: The mean and standard deviation of occupational hazards scores of the workers were 2.32 (2.721). Physical, chemical, biological, psychosocial, musculoskeletal, and ergonomics hazards were the major findings of this study. However, the highest prevalence of occupational hazards identified among the workers was injury by sharp equipment such as a knife (20.0%), noise exposure (17.0%), and due to offensive odor within the abattoir premises (12.0%).
Conclusion: The major occupational hazards encountered by the workers in the study area were physical, chemical, biological, psychosocial, musculoskeletal, and ergonomics hazards. To ensure proper control of occupational health hazards among the abattoir workers, standard design and good environmental hygiene must be taken into consideration all the time. Exposure control plan, which includes risk identification, risk characterization, assessment of workers at risk, risk control, workers' education/training, and implementation of safe work procedures, should be implemented by the government and all the existing laws governing the abattoir operation in the country should be enforced.
Keywords: occupational health problem, slaughterhouse workers, noncompliance, abattoir laws, Malaysia
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