RESEARCH PAPER
Occupational hazards in opinions of forestry employees in Poland
 
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1
University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Poland
2
Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin, Poland
3
Department of Medical Anthropology, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
4
Department of Biological Health Hazards and Parasitology, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Agnieszka Buczaj   

Uniwersytet Przyrodniczy w Lublinie, Poland
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
Work in forestry has been and continues to be considered a very difficult and risky occupation, with constant exposure to certain factors which create risk for employees’ health or even life. The objective of the study is recognition of the opinions of forestry workers concerning health risk, and to evaluate which of their selected demographic characteristics are connected with opinions concerning hazards at the workplace.

Material and methods:
An author-constructed survey was conducted among 135 forestry employees, containing items concerning primarily hazards occurring at workplaces in forestry. Forestry employees’ opinions pertaining to occupational hazards were analyzed from the aspect of independent variables, such as workplace, period of employment, age and education. The significance of the differences in the subgroups distinguished according to the above-mentioned variables, were assessed using the chi-square test.

Results:
Forestry employees most often indicated risk related with cold (83.7%) and hot (77%) microclimate. A high percentage of respondents (74.1%) were aware of the presence of biological hazards and risk caused by the possibility of contact with wild animals (55.6%) at their workplace. In addition, a considerable part of workers reported that the source of risk at their workplace is noise (34.1%), especially dangerous machinery (26.7%), dust (18.5%), chemical substances (15.6%), and forced body position at work (14.1%).

Conclusions:
Based on the results of the study concerning work safety and occupational hygiene among forestry employees, it was found that they are aware of hazards which may occur at their workplaces. The greatest differences in the perception of hazards were observed according to the type of workplace and period of employment.

 
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