Original Research

Worker knowledge of occupational legislation and related health and safety benefits

Mogale L. Pilusa, Mataniele S. Mogotlane
Curationis | Vol 41, No 1 | a1869 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v41i1.1869 | © 2018 Mogale L. Pilusa, Mataniele S. Mogotlane | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 September 2017 | Published: 28 June 2018

About the author(s)

Mogale L. Pilusa, Department of Nursing Science, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Mataniele S. Mogotlane, Department of Nursing Science, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Environmental hazards such as fumes, gases, poor ventilation and extreme temperatures might lead to occupational illnesses and injuries. To protect workers from potential occupational health and safety risks, the government has promulgated occupational legislation that must be implemented in work settings.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to explore the knowledge of workers about occupational legislation and its benefits for their health and safety. The aim was to make recommendations that would be implemented to improve the knowledge and compliance with occupational legislation as advised by the occupational health nurse.

Methods: A quantitative approach was used for this study. One hundred and ten respondents were sampled from an accessible population of 1590 workers. A self-administered questionnaire was used for gathering data. Data were analysed through descriptive analysis using Statistical Package for Social Sciences.

Results: Research findings indicated that only 18 (16.36%) respondents were knowledgeable about occupational legislation. Eighty-two (75.54%) respondents were unable to mention even one occupational act by name. Respondents mentioned five benefits of occupational legislation for the health and safety of workers. These benefits were that legislation ensured safety, gave rights to workers, ensured compensation for occupational injuries and illnesses, and provided guidance in the prevention of occupational injuries and illnesses.

Conclusion: Most respondents (75.54%) were found not to be knowledgeable about occupational legislation. The positive finding was that respondents knew the benefits of occupational legislation. To improve the respondents’ knowledge about legislation, five recommendations are made by the researcher.


Keywords

Occupational legislation; occupational health risks; occupational safety risks

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