Document Type

Article

Department

Community Health Sciences; School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan

Abstract

Objective: To determine the perceived health and safety needs identified by textile workers, managers and experts as well as direct observation of the prevailing health and safety practices in the textile industry.
Methods: The qualitative study using the needs assessment conceptual framework was conducted in July-August 2015 in Karachi, and comprised focus group discussions with textile workers, in-depth interviews with factory managers and health and safety officers, and key informant interviews with relevant stakeholders and experts. A walk-through survey was also conducted in selected mills for which the Checklist of hazards in textiles was used.
Results: A total of 6focus group discussions, 6 in-depth interviews and 5 key informant interviews were conducted. Workers were found to have limited knowledge of occupational hazards, preventions and diseases. They identified lack of awareness and non-existent safety mechanisms as areas for improvement. Managers thought preventive practices and health services were not standardised while influence of buyers in the form of international business regulations and legislations were thought to be the enabling factors for enforcing health and safety standards. Poor governance, lack of knowledge regarding labour rights, low literacy level, poor compliance and low wages were the barriers for health promotion at workplace, as identified by the experts. Walk-through survey found mechanisms in place for fire safety, but the workers and managers were generally not using Personal Protective Equipment despite the presence of several hazards at workplace.
Conclusions: There was found a need for context-specific occupational health and safety interventions at individual, organisational and policy levels.

Publication

JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association

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