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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1306-1311
An investigation of the frequency of the occupational accident in Kermanshah, Iran (2009–2013)


1 Department of Occupational Health, Health Faculty, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran
2 Department of Health Education and Promotion, Health Faculty, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran
3 Students Research Committee, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

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Date of Web Publication6-Nov-2017
 

   Abstract 


Background: Occupational accident is an inseparable part of every work especially in the industrialized sections where it has huge adverse economic and social impacts on individuals' lives. Objective: The present study was aimed at investigating the frequency of occupational accidents in Kermanshah, West of Iran. Material and Methods: All registered occupational accidents in the Bureau of Labor and Social Affairs of Kermanshahfrom 2009–2013 were analyzed in this cross-sectional descriptive study. Using the pre-designed checklists, the required information that included demographic information of the casualties, type of job and industry, type of the accident, the limb affected in the accident, and the consequences was gathered. The collected data were then analyzed using software such EXCEL and SPSS 16. Results: Results indicated that the total number of the accidents were 1888 cases with 358, 393, 489, 402, and 246 cases occurring between 2009 and 2013. Kermanshah had the highest number of accidents (776) and Dalahoo had the lowest number of accidents (31). In total, 1455 accidents occurred in the morning shift, 391 in the afternoon, and 42 in the evening. Most of the accidents occurred between 10 am and 13 pm, and the lowest number accidents happened between 4 and 7 am. The most frequent accidents that were 1222 out of 1888 cases were related to construction industry occurring mainly in the form of injuries, fractures, and poisoning. Hand, leg, head, and neck were the most affected limbs during the accidents. The main causes of the accidents were fall from the height, getting trapped in the equipment, crashing into the objects and machinery, and slip and fall. Conclusion: Based on the result of this study and the high frequency of accidents in the workplace, more attention needs to be paid on the training of workers and employers about safety, following the safety rules, using individual safety tools, and controling some of the procedures to reduce the occupational accidents as much as possible.

Keywords: In Kermanshah, Iran, Occupational Accident

How to cite this article:
Ghanbari M, Ashtarian H, Yarmohammadi H. An investigation of the frequency of the occupational accident in Kermanshah, Iran (2009–2013). Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1306-11

How to cite this URL:
Ghanbari M, Ashtarian H, Yarmohammadi H. An investigation of the frequency of the occupational accident in Kermanshah, Iran (2009–2013). Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Dec 16];10:1306-11. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/5/1306/217496



   Introduction Top


Industrial and technological advances have always been accompanied with some adverse consequences. Problems such as rise in the quality and quantity of the home and workplace pollution, occupational accidents, and occupational health problems are among the consequences of this technological and industrial development that are increasingly threatening the human life, in general, and the employees, in particular.[1] Accident is defined as an unplanned and damaging incidence that leads to disrupt the usual pattern of activity and caused by unsafe measures and work conditions or a combination of these two.[2] Occupational accident is an incidence occurring as a result of the work or during the work and leads to fatal/nonfatal occupational injuries.[3] Occupational accidents are the leading cause of the workforce or working time loss.[4] According to the International Labor Organization (ILO) statistics, 300 million occupational accidents occur all over the world every year that result in the absence of from the work for more than 4 days. Overall, each year more than 2.4 million people die because of the unsafe or unhealthy working condition and this in turn results in 4% loss in the gross domestic production.[5] In developing countries, workers are pressured to increase the production rate, without taking into account the safety rules, working hour standards, training the workers, and using appropriate personal tools.[1] In spite of attempts to reduce the occupational accidents,[6] even in present times, this type of accidents are considered as one of the most important problems of the developed and developing countries.[7] According to the ILO reports, 98% of the occupational accidents can be prevented. Occupational accident statistics over the last 20 years shows a significant 20% decrease in accidents in Japan and Sweden, and 62% decrease in Finland the reason for which was changes in the workplace condition from unsafe to safe working environment.[8] In Iran from 2009 to 2013, there has been 9625 human-life losses due to occupational accidents out of which the highest number of deaths (1507) occurred in 2011 and the lowest (461) in 2012.[8] Macedo and Silvas' study that aimed at investigating occupational accidents in Portugal from 1992 to 2001 reported that the working conditions in the country had an impact of occupational accidents and affected employees' performance and consequently led to an increase in the country's social service costs, productivity, and negative impacts on the companies' competitiveness rate.[9] Upon investigating the occupational accident in 175 countries from different angles, Hamalinin et al. argue that unfortunately, recording systems of these accidents were not accurate and reliable enough to be able to predict the future occupational accidents in the third world countries and plan necessary preventive measures. In 1998, 350,000 cases out of 264 million reported accidents were irreparable and fatal.[10] Two-third of the occupational accident costs are feasible and registered and reported, whereas the remaining one-third of the costs are not overt and remain unknown to the manager.[11] The results of the study by Mohammadfam et al. in Iran that evaluated the human losses reported that fatal occupation accidents in Tehran led to the loss of 7552 years of life and 3656 years of economic cooperation and imposed more than 777 billion Rials of damage. The estimated rate of human loss cost for each death is 3.3 billion Rials.[12] Maintaining and promoting the health condition of the workforce of every country would definitively have a positive impact on the economic prosperity of that country. Therefore, adhering to the safety rule and hygiene of the workplace is one of the factors that the governments need to take into account in the job market.[13] Identifying the causes of hazard in the workplace and improving these places in order to prevent accidents are essential.[14] Given the above-mentioned reasons, this was study aimed at investigating the causes and frequency of the occupational accidents in Kermanshah West of Iran from 2009 to 2013.


   Methods and Materials Top


The study study was a cross-sectional descriptive study in which the total numbers of the occupational accidents that had been registered in the Bureau of Labor and Social Affairs of Kermanshahfrom 2009–2013 were analyzed. Using the pre-designed checklists, the necessary information that included demographic information of the casualties, type of job, industry, type of the accident, the limb affected in the accident, and the consequences was collected. The frequency of various types of occupational accidents in different occupations and industries was then counted. Age and sex of the casualties were also taken into account. The data were analyzed using EXCEL and SPSS 16.


   Results Top


Results indicated that the total number of the accidents were 1888 cases with 358, 393, 489, 402 and 246 cases occurring from 2009 to 2013, respectively. Causalities included 8 woman and 1880 men. Among the casualties, 543 were single and 1345 were married. In total, 515 cases held a diploma or higher qualification, whereas the rest (that is 1373) were without such qualification. As for the age, 767 of the causalities were less than 30, whereas 1121 of them were above 30 year olds [Table 1].
Table 1: The frequency of occupational accidents based on the demographic information of the casualties in Kermanshah 2009-2013

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As [Table 2] illustrates that the highest number of accidents with a frequency of 1652 was reported in the private sector, whereas the lowest number of accidents that is 18 cases occurred in foundational ownerships. In total, 1455 accidents occurred in the morning shift and 42 in the evening with the most occurrences between 10 am and 13 pm and the least incidence between 4 and 7 am. Constructional sectors experienced the highest number of accidents, i.e., 1122 cases.
Table 2: Frequency of occupational accidents based on the occupation type of the casualties from 2009-2013

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As [Table 3] indicates, Kermanshah had the highest number of accidents, i.e., (776) and the lowest frequency was related to Dalahoo, i.e., 31 cases.
Table 3: The frequency of occupational accidents in Kermanshah province from 2009-2013 in terms of town

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The results showed that most of the accidents investigated over five years from 2009 to 2013 were mainly in the form of injuries, fractures, and poisoning. In addition, the results indicated that the most affected limbs were hand, leg, head, and neck, followed by chest, abdomen, spine, digestive, and circulatory systems.

The most important causes of the accidents were fall from the height (490), getting trapped in the equipment (329), crashing into objects and machinery (308), and slip and fall (166).


   Discussion Top


The findings of this study regarding the frequency of accidents in men compared to women are in line with other studies [Table 1]. The reason for this could be attributed to the lack of employment of women in high-risk occupations, lack of employment in out of house jobs, or following the workplace safety rules more than their male counterparts.[15],[16],[17],[18]

As [Table 1] demonstrates, approximately two-third of the accidents occurred in married employees that could be due to the demanding life condition and the need to work in high-risk occupations to meet the ends.[19] Total 56% of the casualties in this study were less than 35 years of age that is their age ranged from 20 to 45 [Table 1]. The results of the studies conducted by Ziapou and Vatanishojah et al. revealed that the average age of the affected persons was 32 years and the most frequent number of accidents (73.5%) occurred in 20–40 year olds.[20],[21] Occurrence of accidents in this age range could be due employee being inexperienced and their unfamiliarity with their defined job duties.[22] Insufficient attention of the youth to the safety issues and their boldness are the main factors for the occurrence of accidents in this age range. The high employment rate of the youth in the factories as compared to other age groups could be another reason for this finding.[13] A study by Soori showed that younger and less experienced employees are more affected by occupational stress that consequently exposes them to occupational hazards.[23] Continuous training on safety rules and regulations, in general, and the more experienced persons accompanying the youth, in particular, would result in the reduction in the number of accidents.[13]

Among casualties reported in the present study, only 515 held a diploma [Table 1]. The results of this study were consistent with the results of the study by Esmaili et al. regarding the occurrence of greater number of accidents in the under diploma workers [5] that was mainly due to their inadequate awareness and knowledge about the safety instructions and not following these rules or their employment in the high-risk occupations.[5],[17],[18]

As [Table 4] indicates, most of the accidents occurred between 7 am and 13 pm, which is explicable, as most sectors and industries' working time is in the morning.[13] The study by Bakhtiari, Mehrparvar, and Ghods also found that most accidents were in the morning,[13],[15],[17] which confirms the aforementioned finding of this study.
Table 4: The frequency of the causes of the accident in the Kermanshah province from 2009-2013

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The highest number of the accidents had been recorded in the Bureau of Labor and Social Affairs in Kermanshah and found to be related to the construction industry [Table 2]. Esmaili et al. mentioned construction industry and mining as the most frequent sites of accident [5] and Mehrparvar et al. reported steel industry followed by construction industry as two main sites of the occurrence of the workplace accidents.[17] Studies conducted abroad also confirm these findings, for example, Rhee et al. reported that construction industry, agriculture, and transportation [11] have the highest number of accidents. Camino López et al.[16] reported 215,5954 accidents among construction workers in Spain over 12 years.[24] A study by John et al. in South Korea identified the characteristics of fatal occupational injuries in construction, 4333 out of 10,276 of the deaths occurred from the years 1997 to 2004 that were related to the construction industry.[25] This was consistent with the findings of this study. This can be associated with the employement of young, less experience, and low-educated people in this sector.[5]

The most frequent types of accidents were mainly fractures, injuries, and poisoning. In Beheshti et al.'s study, the most frequent cases were related to injuries, fractures, and death.[22] Mohammadfam reported traumatic injuries, fractures, and burns as the most frequent types of accidents.[26]

The present study reported 139 fatal accidents over 5 years, which makes up about 7.3% of the accidents. Other studies reported that less than 1% occupational accidents led to the death of the injured person. This death rate rised to 3% in Tehran, the capital of Iran. In other words, fatal occupational accidents in Kermanshah are seven times greater than the number of job-related deaths in other parts of the country.[1] The high rate of construction accidents when compared to other producitve services and agriculture sectors and high prospect of the construction industry in Kermanshah are associated with higher rates of fatal occupational accidents. In other countries, the highest and the lowest rates of fatal accidents in the 15 members of the European Committee including Spain, Greek, Portugal, Lozambourg, Germany, Netherland, Italy, France, Finland, United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, and Belgium in 2000 were 0.07% and 0.034.[27] Comparison of the rate of fatal accidents in Iran and EU countries indicates that there was a high rate of occupational accidents in Iran. Several reasons for this high rate have been stated of which the most important includes the lack of a comprehensive recording and reporting system of accidents and consequently not reporting low-frequency accidents, unsafe occupational environments, and inadequacy of the rescue teams and systems in Iran.[1]

Hands and legs were the two most affected limbs in the occupational accidents that could be attributed to the causes of the accidents including fall and crashing into objects. This finding is consistent with the findings of the study by Bakhtiari, Mehrparvar, Dartaj, Robri, and Esmaili.[5],[15],[17],[18] The most important causes of the accident were fall from the height (490), getting trapped in equipment (329), crashing into objects and machinery (308), object fall (253), and slip and fall (166) [Table 4]. Other studies have also reported that fall from height, crashing into objects, and getting trapped in equipment as the main causes of the accidents.[16],[28],[29],[30],[31] Considering the frequency of occurrence of accidents in various industries, control engineering or safety training regarding working with the equipment is recommended for the workers.[5] In this study, the greatest number of accidents was associated with the construction industry, and the most important cause was reported as fall from height. Kayns' study in 2002 in Denmark investigated the workers injured in the fall from height in construction industry. They reported that 19 out 20 fatal accidents were due of fall from height.[32]


   Conclusion Top


In view of the importance of the occupational accident issue in various countries and damages resulting from it, an accurate and standard registering system of accidents and skillful personnel is required in order to be able to get more precise and promising results. Since a significant number of these accidents can be prevented, preventive programs such as using physical safety equipment, training the workers and monitoring the work place and companies, and increasing the workers' educational level could be effective in reducing the number of occupational accidents. Following the work safety principles, teaching work safety rules to the workers and applying appropriate individual safety tools would prevent the occurrence of the accidents and the resulting injuries.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

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Correspondence Address:
Hossein Ashtarian
Department of Health Education and Promotion, Health Faculty, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ATMPH.ATMPH_114_17

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