AN ASSESSMENT OF CAUSAL FACTORS OF ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES IN POWERLINE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS IN UGANDA. A CASE STUDY IN LUUKA, KALIRO, IGANGA AND BUGWERI DISTRICTS
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ABSTRACT Although, the construction industry contributes to national economic growth, it has been associated with unsafe working environments due to the exposure of workers occupational hazards and injuries. This study assessed the types, prevalence and causal factors of accidents amongst powerline construction workers in Eastern Uganda. A mixed research approach was employed and data collected using both structured and unstructured interviews Descriptive statistics approaches including Chi-square tests and multiple regression model were employed to analyze quantitative data and qualitative data analyzed using thematic analysis. Occupational accidents at worksites included electrocutions, slip, falls from height, overhead power contacts, struck by, struck against and car accident. Injuries included skin pierces, skin peel-offs, swellings and skin cuts. Fatal cases originated from struck-by accidents in (76.4%) and car accidents (23.6).Overhead power contacts (25.2%), struck-by accidents (23.2%) and electric shock (16.4%) accounted for most non-fatal accidents. Only 52% of workers had ever sustained an occupational accident while 69% of them workers had ever sustained an injury. Struck-by accidents (26.5%), struck against (25.7%) and slip accidents (18.6%) were more prevalent accidents while Skin pierce (26.5), skin peel offs (22.8%) and swellings (21.9%) formed the prevalent injuries. Low experience and expertise of workers (68.9%), poor weather conditions (33%), poor conditions & usability of equipment (20.4%), poor communication amongst the workers (25.2%) formed the originating, shaping and immediate influence on accidents. The Duration of work at the powerline construction worksite significantly influenced occupational accidents (P= 0.014). Monthly income (P=0.015), site location (P=0.049), electrician job (P=0.048) and mate electrician job (P=0.034) significantly influenced work-related injuries amongst workers. Investing in work place safeguards and promoting safety behaviour amongst employees should be prioritized by employers.