Authors: Anita Kiss, Károly Nagy, Balázs Ádám
Introduction. Effective occupational health and safety education plays an important role in the prevention of workplace accidents and work-related illnesses. In 2017, there were 23,387 occupational accidents resulting in incapacity for more than 3 working days and 281 suspected occupational diseases in Hungary. A significant part of these occurred in the manufacturing industry.
Objective. The aim of this study was to investigate the working conditions, work-related health loss and workplace prevention at a manufacturing company, with particular focus on the role of education in preventing harm to workers. Methods. A questionnaire survey was conducted among the employees of a medium-sized manufacturing company. Of the 83 employees, 72 participated in the study. Workers completed an anonymous questionnaire consisting of 24 questions that covered, in addition to demographic characteristics, occupational health and safety training, situation of health and safety at work, preventive measures, occupational accidents and work-related ill health. Data were processed in a descriptive manner and by inferential statistical analysis.
Results. In the survey, the employees reported about having attended regular occupational health and safety trainings, understanding what they have been taught and being familiar with their health and safety tasks, although some shortages in the effectiveness of the education, especially the limited practice, have been identified. Most of the participants evaluated their workplace to be safe and not harmful to health, those who deemed it harmful referred to dust release from the processed materials. Four of the respondents had work accident at their current workplace, and three people experienced ill health that they related to work. Comparative analysis found a significant relationship (p < 0.05) between the modernity of work equipment and the occurrence of occupational accidents. In addition, the use of dangerous equipment, the modernity of work equipment, and the attention of the employer to health and safety at work correlated significantly with the employees’ perception how much they considered their workplace to be harmful to health.
Conclusions. The occupational health and safety education conducted at the examined workplace complied with the regulations but further improvement, especially in practical training, as well as priority given to collective protection is advisable. Provision of modern work equipment can reduce the risk of accidents, and, together with ensuring less dangerous work tools any paying substantial attention to workplace health and safety, is able to increase the perceived level of occupational health and safety leading to physical, mental and social well-being at work.