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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337

Abstract

CHETTY, L; JELSMA, J  and  MAART, S. How much do beverage employees of a South African beverage manufacturer know about occupational health and safety regulations?. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2011, vol.41, n.2, pp.18-24. ISSN 2310-3833.

INTRODUCTION: The Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) form an integral part of the occupational healthcare system in South Africa and can improve the health and safety of employees and promote productivity. An analysis of the occupation health and safety knowledge of employees will assist in the development and implementation of effective training programmes by identifying gaps in existing health and safety practice and demonstrate the need for more AHPs to be involved in the occupational health specialty. The purpose of this study was to determine how much beverage employees at a South African beverage manufacturer know about occupational health and safety regulations. METHOD: A descriptive, cross-sectional survey design with anonymous return mailing was used. A questionnaire was used as the measuring instrument to capture information about employees' health and safety knowledge. RESULTS: Two hundred and eighty two employees returned their questionnaires and 83.5% of these were viable for analysis. One hundred and forty employees (51.3%) were unable to list correctly any of the general health and safety rules applicable to this company. Employees felt that more health and safety workshops and in-service training should be implemented, more occupational healthcare professionals employed and specialised safety courses should be introduced to keep them up to date with safety practices. CONCLUSION: It is concluded that the knowledge of the health and safety regulations of employees can be used to inform a more specialised training programme. This specialised training can be provided by AHPs in collaboration with the company's existing medical department, to encourage a more dynamic and proactive attitude towards preventing injuries in the workplace.

Keywords : Health and safety knowledge; Beverage manufacturing company; Employees; Allied health professionals.

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