Response Rate
Questionnaire respondents were supposed to be forty-six but five of them were off duty/on leave during the data collection period. Forty-one questionnaires were therefore distributed and only thirty were returned. This translated to 73% response rate, which is a reasonably high response. On the other hand, all seven interviewees managed to participate in the study as was expected. Analysis would be based on the actual number that participated in the study, which are thirty questionnaire respondents and seven interviewees. The relative frequency% would be rounded off to the nearest whole number though with some exceptions.

Section A: Demographic Data
Table: Questionnaire respondents’ sex composition.

Sex Absolute Frequency Relative Frequency %
Male 21 70
Female 9 30
Total 30 100
Seventy percent of the questionnaire respondents were males and 30% were females, reflecting more male participants than females. Male workers account for the majority of respondents as shown in table…These results suggest that the activities at WCRC attract more males than females.

Table: Questionnaire respondents’ work experience.

Years of Experience Absolute Frequency Relative Frequency %
0-5 3 10
5-10 15 50
10-20 4 13
20 Yrs and above 8 27
Total 30 100
Ten percent of the respondents had zero to five years experience, fifty percent had five to ten years. Thirteen percent had ten to twenty years whilst twenty-seven percent had twenty and above years of work experience. These results indicate that the organisation has not been recently taking more new employees. Most employees seem to have five years and more experience while at the same time falling within the productive age judging from their experience ranges. In this research, work experience did not have much influence especially on the way the participants were responding. Their perceptions towards OSH issues seemed to be more or less the same regardless of their experience differences.

Table: Questionnaire respondents’ highest academic or professional qualifications.

Qualifications Absolute Frequency Relative Frequency %
‘O’ level 11 37
Certificate 2 7
Diploma 3 10
HND 4 13
Skilled worker (Journey man) 2 7
Degree 4 13
Masters 1 3
No response 3 10
Total 30 100
Most respondents (37%) are O level certificate holders whilst very few workers (3%) are masters’ degree holders. Three percent did not respond to the question. Results in table..are an indication of high literacy rate in Zimbabwe. As revealed in this study, most respondents seemed to be qualified and skilled to execute their jobs as their qualifications were ranging from ‘O’ level certificates up to masters degrees. It again means that most of the employees are educable or trainable as they are able to read and write. Their levels of education may mean their ability to interpret and follow programmes and policies. The majority of the respondents seem to be qualified professionals who can execute their duties confidently. There are indications that the company is trying by all means to match jobs with relevant qualifications right from lower grades going up. The degreed respondents were mainly those occupying higher posts. The findings depict a variety in terms of qualifications which points to the varied expertise and operations undertaken at WCRC.

Section B: Major causes of occupational injuries
Table: Questionnaire respondents’ reactions on the major causes of occupational injuries in their departments.

Response Frequency %
Human behavior 19 63
Unsafe conditions 6 20
Lifting of objects/patients 5 17
Total 30 100
Sixty-three percent of the respondents felt that most of the injuries in their departments were as a result of human behavior whilst 20% believe that the injuries are attributed to various unsafe conditions.Also, 17% felt that the injuries were as a result of lifting of objects and patients.

Table: Questionnaire respondents’ reactions on whether they had ever been involved in an accident /near miss or not.

Reponses Frequency %
Yes 15 50
No 14 47
No response 1 3
Total 30 100
Fifty percent of the respondents acknowledged that they once experienced an injury or near miss and 47% said they did not. Three percent did not respond to the question. Such confirmation by the majority that they wants experienced an injury or near miss means that WCRC remains equally unsafe work place area. Such response may also mean that there are some incidents which go unreported.

Table: Questionnaire respondents’ body parts injured.

Body Parts Frequency %
Hand/Finger 21 70
Back 5 17
Eye 1 3
Other parts 3 10
Total 30 100
The findings reveal that seventy percent once experienced some hand/finger injuries whilst 17% experienced back injuries. Only a few (3%) experienced eye injuries and 10% experienced injuries on some other body parts. Most injuries at WCRC seem to affect the hands/fingers and the back. Nature of operations determines the nature of injuries. Most operations in sections like the vocational training and maintenance involve excessive manual handling and use of tools thereby rendering workers prone to hand/finger injuries. On the other hand, more back injuries emanate from workers’ involvement in lifting heavy patients and other objects. As cited in the reviewed literature chapter 2 part 2:3,such musculoskeletal challenges are prevalent to all medical staff like nurses, nurse aids and physiotherapists technicians.

Table: Causes of injuries at WCRC
Responses Frequency %
Unsafe Acts/Human behavior 18 60
Unsafe Conditions 1 3
Both 11 37
Total 30 100
This question was asked as a follow up to question number five and here 60% said that injuries were due to unsafe acts or human behavior. Only 3% believed that injuries occur because of unsafe conditions whilst 11% were of the opinion that injuries do happen due to both unsafe acts and unsafe conditions.

The respondents seem to concur with previous researchers as the majority confirmed that most accidents are as a result of unsafe acts. The literature reviewed in chapter 2 part 2.1 show that 99% of the accidents are due to either unsafe acts or unsafe conditions or both. Generally, it is argued that 88% of accidents are caused by unsafe acts, 10% are caused by unsafe conditions while 2% occur naturally and are unpreventable. There are indications from the above statement that 98% of accidents are caused by people who perform unsafe acts and create unsafe conditions. Similarly, some respondents suggested that both unsafe acts and unsafe conditions have the same impact. Other research statistics by employers indicate that 96% of accidents are caused by unsafe acts while 4% of accidents are caused by unsafe conditions. The study is therefore in agreement with all the reviewed literature. The researcher feels that unsafe conditions were believed to be rarely contributing to accidents during operations may be because WCRC was recently renovated and modified to suit the workers’ needs.
Table: Unsafe acts that are aligned to injuries at WCRC work places.

Responses Frequency %
Negligence 7 23
Ignorance 11 36
Short cuts 2 7
Improper use of PPC/E 4 13
No response 6 20
Total 30 100
Thirty-six percent cited ignorance as an unsafe act aligned to most injuries; twenty-three percent mentioned negligence whilst 13% stated improper use of PPC/E.Shortcuts were noted by 7% of the respondents and 20% ignored the question. The out lined unsafe acts in table 4 look more or less similar to the examples given by previous researchers in chapter 2 part 2.1.Negligence and ignorance were dominant and people tend to use the words interchangeably. The findings revealed an experienced staff at WCRC and somehow negligence tend to develop as someone develop experience which in most cases brings overconfidence when executing work processes. Interestingly, overconfidence also lead to short cuts. However, ignorance may be pointing on workers’ lack of safety and health knowledge. Similarly, those who did not respond to the question may not be knowing what unsafe acts are. Once the work force is negligent and ignorant, it means there may be no proper use of ppc/e which in other words reflect short cuts during operations.

Table: Unsafe conditions that are aligned to injuries at WCRC work places.

Responses Frequency %
Use of chemicals 3 10
Dust 1 3
Unguarded machinery 1 3
High temperatures 1 3
Over use of manual tools 3 10
Poor lighting 1 3
Poor ventilation 2 7
Slippery floors 1 3
Limited space 1 3
Work overload 4 13
Lack of safety awareness 1 3
Un serviced equipment 2 7
No response 9 30
Total 30 100
Thirty percent of the respondents did not answer that question. Thirteen percent stated work overload as the unsafe condition that causes injuries whilst both use of chemicals and work overload account for 20% respondents. The findings show that use of chemicals, use of manual tools and work overload are worrying conditions prevailing at WCRC.Due to the nature of services delivered, the workers are exposed to various chemicals which include medical related chemicals, agro based chemicals, detergents and those for manufacturing purposes. There are indications also that most operations are still done manually, a condition which is unfavorable for most workers as they believe that they become prone to injuries. Most workers now expect more electrical power driven and computerized work gargets for speed, accuracy and easy of doing business. Work overload at WCRC is a unique condition which emanated from the voluntary retrenchment which occurred in the year 2016. Some workers work long hours whilst others struggle with very large volumes of work since those who left were not replaced. It should however be noted that some unsafe conditions were mentioned by very few workers possibly because the WCRC condition is still appealing since the institution was renovated and recapitalized recently. Again, those who did not respond to the question may be showing some lack of knowledge about unsafe conditions.

Table: occupational hazards found at WCRC
Responses Frequency %
Chemical hazards 4 13
Psychosocial hazards 1 3
Physical hazards 9 30
Biological hazards 3 10
Ergonomic hazards 2 7
No response 11 37
Total 30 100
Thirty percent of respondents pointed out physical hazards, 13% thought of chemical hazards whilst 10% listed the biological hazards. Ergonomic hazards were outlined by 7% of the respondents and 37% did not respond to the question. Only 3% mentioned the psychosocial hazards. The investigation showed the dominants of physical, chemical and biological hazards. Most workers engage in day today physical manual operations thereby remain more exposed to physical hazards. Also, the use of chemicals is common at a hospital set up like WCRC.Chemicals are important for medical use, disinfecting premises ,cleaning utensils and linen and other maintenance and vocational training purposes. On the other hand, a considerable number of medical staff is also exposed to biological hazards. Of much interest are ergonomic hazards which tend to affect all work force regardless of the nature of jobs. Like most organizations, WCRC workers seem to encounter ergonomic hazards which unfortunately tend to get little attention as they are sometimes difficult to detect. Failure to respond by most workers can be a sign of little knowledge about workplace hazards.

Section C: Awareness levels of occupational safety and health issues.

Table: Use of injurious/hazardous equipment or material.

Responses Frequency %
Yes 18 60
No 11 37
No response 1 3
Total 30 100
Sixty percent of the respondents acknowledged that they use injurious/hazardous equipment/material. Thirty –seven percent said they do not use and three percent did not respond to that question. The research results indicate that like in any work place, WCRC workers carry out operations and use equipment and material which is injurious or hazardous to health. Generally, it may be difficult to find a hazard free work place and hence the claim by some workers that they work under hazard free environment may need to be dismissed.

Table: Availability of safety procedures at work place
Responses Frequency %
Yes 29 97
No 1 3
Total 30 100
Ninety-nine percent of the respondents confirmed the availability of safety procedures and 3% said there are no safety procedures at their work place. The findings indicate that WCRC has some laid down sequence of operations which are meant to be observed by workers to reduce injuries. All workers seem to concur about that.
Table: Effectiveness of safety procedures.

Responses Frequency %
Excellent 5 17
Above average 12 40
Average 11 37
Below average 2 7
Total 30 100
Forty percent of the respondents stated that the effectiveness of safety procedures is above average and 37% said it’s on the average. Seven percent considered it to be below average. Generally, the investigations reflect that the safety procedures are followed at WCRC and are effective in reducing occupational injuries to a greater extent.

Table: occupational Safety and health training.

Response Frequency %
Yes 29 97
No 1 3
Total 30 100
Ninety-seven percent accepted that they received safety and health training whilst 3% said they did not receive that training. The results show that at one point, most workers received some OSH training though they may not be receiving it more often. A few that did not receive are most likely to be new in the organization.

Table: Safety and health training ratings
Responses Frequency %
Excellent 8 27
Above average 11 37
Average 9 30
Below average 1 3
No response 1 3
Total 30 100
Thirty-seven percent noted that the trainings were above average and 30% percent rated the trainings as average. Excellent rating was suggested by 27% of the respondents whilst 3% rated it at bellow average. Three percent failed to respond. The majority ratings seem to speak to effective trainings.

Table: access to occupational safety and health information at WCRC.

Response Frequency %
Through legislation 4 13
Through safety magazines 3 10
Through safety committee meetings 19 63
Through safety bulletins 2 7
Other 2 7
Total 30 100
Sixty-three percent said they gain access to safety and health information through safety committee meetings and 13% said through legislation. Ten percent cited magazines whilst bulletins and other methods constitute 14%. Workers seem to agree that they receive most of OSH information through safety committee either orally or through the circulation of safety minutes. Safety committee is composed of members drawn from various sections for effective representation and therefore is an effective agent of communication at WCRC.Of much importance is the fact that a considerable number of employees also have access to safety legislation and magazines. Some legislation and magazines are domesticated in various sections as they are department specific.

Table: WCRC occupational safety and health practice ratings.
Response Frequency %
Excellent 7 23
Above average 11 37
Average 12 40
Total 30 100
Forty percent of the respondents rated the WCRC occupational safety and health practices as average whilst 37% put the rating at above average. Twenty-three percent rated the practices as excellent. The results above are a clear testimony that most workers feel that WCRC has good OSH practices. Since the institution is a hospital set up, most workers feel secure when dealing with OSH issues. According to the previously read literature review in chapter 2, healthcare workers generally think that they are safe and tend to see no OSH threats, instead they tend to be worried about treatment and proper handling of patients at the expense of their safety. The above results may therefore need to be treated cautiously since they may be misleading.

Table: knowledge adequacy on occupational hazards, safety procedures and regulations at WCRC.

Responses Frequency %
Yes 28 93
No 2 7
Total 30 100
Ninety-three percent of the respondents agreed that they have adequate knowledge on occupational hazards, safety procedures and regulations whilst 7% disagreed. Results show that most workers at WCRC are aware about occupational hazards, safety procedures and regulations.

Section D: Injuries control measures in place at WCRC.

Table: Use of standard operational procedures at WCRC.

Responses Frequency %
Yes 30 100
Total 30 100
All respondents were in agreement that they follow some standard operational procedures when working. These results clearly reflect an organization which follow laid down procedures since the majority were in agreement that there is use of standard operational procedures.

Table: Supervision of work at WCRC.

Responses Frequency %
Always 13 43.3
Sometimes 16 53.3
Never 1 3.3
Total 30 100
The highest number of respondents said that they are sometimes supervised whilst another considerable number confirmed that they are always supervised. Very few said they are never supervised. Considering the nature of some duties at WCRC, there is need for constant supervision to avoid injuries and disappointing patients or rehabilitees. This explains why there are a considerable number of workers who are always supervised. The previous results showed an educated staff with varied and vast experience and expertise. This may translate to workers who are able to work under minimum supervision and hence the reason why some are not always (sometimes) supervised.

Table: Knowledge of accident reporting procedure at WCRC.

Responses Frequency %
Yes 28 93.3
No 1 3.3
No response 1 3.3
Total 30 100
Ninety-three percent have got the accident reporting procedure knowledge whilst only 3% do not have. There are indications from the research findings that most workers at WCRC are aware of the accident reporting procedures. This can be possible since the findings also exposed that there are some workers who at one point got injured and had their cases reported and investigated.

Table: Investigations of minor injuries at WCRC.

Responses Frequency %
Yes 18 60
No 11 37
No response 1 3
Total 30 100
Sixty percent of the respondents showed that minor injuries are investigated and thirty-seven said the minor injuries go uninvestigated.

Table: Investigations of major injuries at WCRC.

Responses Frequency %
Yes 25 83.3
No 4 13.3
No response 1 3.3
Total 30 100
The highest percentage concur that the major injuries are investigated whilst only a few said they are not investigated.

Table: Feedbacks on occupational injuries by the WCRC management
Responses Frequency %
Yes 10 33
No 18 60
No response 2 7
Total 30 100
Sixty percent showed that management does not give feedbacks on occupational injuries and 33% acknowledged receiving feedbacks.

Table: Availability of personal protective clothing/equipment at work place
Responses Frequency %
Yes 23 77
No 5 17
No response 2 7
Total 30 100
Seventy-seven percent of the respondents confirmed the availability of ppc/e whilst 17% were for non availability. Seven percent chose not to answer the question.

Table: Accidents/injury prevention at WCRC during operations.

Response Frequency %
Engineering methods 10 33
Education and training 11 37
Management and enforcement 3 10
Personal Protective Clothing/Equipment (PPC/E) 3 10
No response 3 10
Total 30 100
Thirty-seven percent of the respondents mentioned education and training as an injury prevention strategy and 33% suggested various engineering methods. Enforcement and ppc/e had 10% of the respondents each whilst the other 10% did not respond to the question.

As planned, relevant documents were scrutinized. An OSH policy which caters for the whole organization (NSSA) in general is available but there is no specific OSH policy for WCRC.The general NSSA OSH policy is readily available in all sections and its contents provides for the promotion of safety and health education and awareness. It also clearly points out the need to establish systems meant to curb occupational injuries for example the use of ppc/e.The document is silent about the possible causes and nature of occupational injuries that are likely to occur at WCRC.

Two emergency preparedness plans to do with fire and medical issues are there but in draft form as they still need to be approved by senior management. It therefore means that these documents are not known by most workers. The fire emergency preparedness plan states fire, smoke and stampede as the possible causes of injuries at work. The document provides for safety and health awareness through the promotion of fire drills and evacuation training sessions. It also outlines some mitigatory measures in the event of fire which among others include the use of escape routes, fire assembly points, fire alarms, emergency phone numbers, fire blankets and fire extinguishers. On the other hand, the medical emergency preparedness plan which seems to be aligned more to one section (clinic and paraplegic unit) outlines a few causes of injuries like the needle prick injury which is prevalent in nursing operations. This document again provides for training and education to enhance safety and health awareness and further embraces some mitigatory measures but with no mention on preventive measures.

Standard operational procedures were not there and instead, the workers only have the procedure manuals which focus more on the sequence of operations and processes at the expense of safety and health issues during those operations. However, in some procedure manuals, electrical faults, chemicals and sharp objects like needles were mentioned as the possible causes of injuries. Generally, very limited safety aspects are embraced in procedure manuals and much is not said about injury prevention.

Twenty-two copies of safety committee minutes for the period from January 2016 up to May 2018 were exhibited. This means that seven safety meetings were not done since such meetings are supposed to be done at least once a month showing that the safety committee is struggling to observe their safety and health calendar. Several unsafe acts and conditions were stated as the causes of occupational injuries in most copies of the minutes. There is a record which proves that the safety minutes are always circulated and read by the workers. The copies of safety minutes also show that only five OSH trainings were done during the same period covering issues to do with accident prevention, fire management, and evacuation techniques, lifting and handling techniques and the vision zero strategy. Each copy of the minutes has a section which outlines the corrective measures in order to circumvent some hazards and injuries.

An updated accident register for the period from January 2016 up to May 2018 was also exposed for scrutiny. The register show that three accidents occurred in the year 2016 whilst four were experienced in 2017.Further to that, already two accidents were recorded just before May 2018.

Table: Accidents as shown in the registerfrom January 2016 up to May 2018
Year 2016 2017 2018
Frequency 3 4 2
Table: Sections that experienced some injuries from January 2016 up to May 2018
Section/Department Clinic and paraplegic unit Kitchen and laundry Maintenance Vocational Training
Frequency 2 2 1 4
The accident register show that more injuries were experienced in Vocational training section whilst only one was recorded under maintenance section. It also means that no accident was experienced during the same period in both the Physiotherapy and Administration sections. The register further indicate that the injuries were minor and involved such body parts as eyes, hands/fingers and the back. Again, there are indications from the register that hand injuriesdominated. As shown in the accident register, the causes of those injuries seem to point on lack of knowledge when carrying out some operations like in the case of manual lifting and handling of patients.Complacents during work and inadequate ppc/e are circumstances surrounding some of the injuries experienced. The accident register shows the injury treatment or management procedure only and not the injury prevention measures.