Introduction Onshore oil drilling involves the use of heavy machinery and tools which contribute to occupational injuries. In Kenya, onshore oil drilling attracts workers from varied socio-economic backgrounds who operate in isolated locations coupled with harsh environmental conditions. Such conditions not only influence occupational hazards, but give rise to occupational injuries. The study sought to assess the occupational physical injuries among workers in onshore oil drilling operations in Turkana County, Kenya.
Methods A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among workers from October 2015 to February 2016. A total of 164 workers were included in the study. Convenience sampling followed by systematic random sampling were used to select the study participants. Data were collected through pre-tested semi-structured questionnaires. Data collected were analysed using SPSS version 20. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to assess the relative effect of independent variables on the outcome variable. The level of significance was set at p<0.05.
Results 9.8% of the workers experienced physical injuries. Duration worked in oil drilling industry (χ2=11.557, df =4 p=0.021), level of education (χ2=8.273, df =3 p=0.016), hazard awareness (χ2= 3.655, df =1 p=0.056), worker awareness of activities at work that pose risks of injuries (χ2=7.697,df =1 p=0.006), awareness of occupational health and safety legal frameworks (χ2=7.87, df =1 p=0.005), worker participation in fire drills (χ2=3.724, df =1 p=0.054) and on job training (χ2=1.359, df =1 p=0.038) were associated with occurrence of physical injuries at bivariate analysis. Age (AOR=0.354, p=0.014, 95% CI: 0.154 to 0.811) and issues experienced while using Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) (AOR=3.652, p=0.053, 95% CI: 0.984 to 13.553) were significant predictors to occupational physical injuries at logistic regression.
Conclusion There is a clear interplay between risk factors; socio-demographic factors, environmental factors, and behavioural factors with occurrence of physical injuries. This could be tapped to formulate occupational health and safety specific intervention strategies for the oil and gas industry.
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