Occupational slips, trips and falls amongst workers in the meat sector in Gauteng Province of South Africa

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Maud Maseko
Lindiwe Innocentia Zungu
Sanyi Gabe


Slips, Trips and Falls (STFs) injuries are the second most common cause of lost workday injuries in most industries with workers in the meat sector being at high risk of exposure to STFs owing to poor housekeeping practices.  Research has, however, shown that variables such as age, gender and the type of occupation are common risk factors for STFs. It is within this background that the aim of this study was to determine the incident of occupational STFs among the meat sector workers located in the Gauteng Province of South Africa.  The data collection process involved the environmental inspection of the study sites, record reviews of accident registers and interviews of employees at the study sites. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21, while the Pearson’s Chi-square test was used to determine the strength of relationship between age, gender, number of years spent on the job and the type of occupation as well as the frequency of STF injuries.  The study found out that a majority (73.2%) of males were significantly affected by STFs unlike their female counterparts; with the age of victims ranging from 21 to 62 years and the mean age at 35.87; while STFs were most common among general workers, meat packers and slaughter men; and the most affected body parts being the body, arms and hand/fingers. A prevalence of 25.6% of STFs was found among workers at the study sites. Several factors appear to have contributed to this including poor upkeep of the work environment, design issues and the apparent lack of appropriate safety practices such as signage.

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