Chemical hazard and healthcare workers; findings from a tertiary health institution in south-western Nigeria

Patrick A. Akinyemi, Adeleye A. Adeomi, Abdurrahman Ogundiran, Nnamdi Okoro, Kamil Madaki


Background: Improvement in diagnostic and therapeutic services has further increased the hazards in healthcare facilities, particularly the chemical hazard. Therefore, the need for more focus on chemical hazard exposure among healthcare workers. This study aimed to assess the perception of healthcare workers about chemical hazards associated with their job and the pattern of adopted preventive measures.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was employed. One hundred and seven healthcare workers were enrolled in the study. The sample size was proportionally allocated to various departments that provide care directly to patients. Data on workers’ perceptions about chemical hazard exposure and utilization of preventive measures were obtained using self-administered questionnaire.

Results: Majority of the respondents had high level of awareness (86.0%) and knowledge (81.3%) of chemical hazards. About one-fifth, 24 (22.4%), had experienced inadvertent exposure to chemical hazards. Gender, knowledge, and perception of chemical hazards had statistically significant associations with the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Females are more likely to use PPE than male (odds ratio=5.1, p=0.008) and respondents with good perception of chemical hazard exposure are more likely to use PPE relative to respondents with poor perception (odds ratio=11.8, p=0.018). Standard operating procedures were available to less than half of the respondents, 52 (48.6%).

Conclusions: There is a need for continuous strengthening of available safety measures to further reduce incidences of inadvertent chemical hazard exposure. The hospital management should ensure availability of standard operating procedures at all service locations.


Chemical hazards, Healthcare workers, Tertiary health institution

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