Background: This study was aimed at assessing the knowledge of sawmill workers on occupational hazards in Kwara State.
Subjects and methods: It was a cross-sectional analytical study using a multi-stage sampling technique to recruit sawmill workers into the study group in Kwara State. One hundred and ninety-six workers who had been in continuous employment in sawmill factories for a minimum of 6 months were studied. Semi-structured questionnaire adapted from British Medical Council questionnaire on occupational hazards was used for data collection. A 15-point scale was used to assess knowledge of respondents by awarding 1 and 0 point to correct and wrong responses, respectively. Respondents with total score of >5, 5-7 and >7 were classified as having poor, fair and good knowledge of occupational hazards. The data generated were entered and analysed using SPSS version 16 computer software. A P > 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant at 95% confidence level for the study.
Results: The knowledge of sawmill workers on occupational hazards was low, 61.7% of the respondents had poor knowledge, whereas 15.8% had good knowledge. Half of the respondents knew that exposure to hazards could be reduced by limiting their work hours to a maximum of 8 hours per day. More than three-quarters had experienced noise, closely followed by heat and injuries among the study group.
Conclusion: Sawmill workers experience various work-related hazards and health problems. This study revealed the need for an increased knowledge on occupational hazards and its prevention among sawmill workers in Kwara State.