Original Research

Measuring compliance of conducting an occupational health risk assessment in the occupational health nurse’s practice

Nicolene de Jager, Sonya Beukes, Anna G.W. Nolte
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 19, No 1 | a647 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v19i1.647 | © 2014 Nicolene de Jager, Sonya Beukes, Anna G.W. Nolte | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 January 2012 | Published: 29 September 2014

About the author(s)

Nicolene de Jager, Department of Nursing, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Sonya Beukes, Department of Nursing, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Anna G.W. Nolte, Department of Nursing, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Occupational health nurses (OHNs) are qualified registered nurses with a postgraduate qualification in occupational health nursing. An important activity of OHNs is to identify and assess health risks in the workplace. Health risk assessments (HRAs) are conducted by OHNs to determine all the occupational health stressors, for example noise, vibration and chemical substances. The authors conducted legal compliance occupational health audits and observed that 85% (n = 23) of OHNs in different settings conduct HRAs only to a limited extent. The following objective was formulated for the study: To explore and describe the extent to which OHNs conduct HRAs as it is a legal requirement for compliance; and the possible reasons for not adhering to the regulation and conduct them only to a limited extent. A quantitative, descriptive design was used in this study. A sampling frame was developed from a list of all the members of the South African Society of Occupational Health Nursing Practitioners (SASOHN) in Gauteng. From the target population of OHNs in Gauteng, a systematic cluster sampling method was used. A self-developed questionnaire was distributed by mail and e-mail, and authors sent respondents reminders. The authors ensured that validity, reliability and ethical standards were adhered to. The findings revealed that OHNs are mature, experienced, predominately female practitioners who operate on behalf of a disproportionately large number of workers. Four factors influencing these nurses in conducting an HRA to a limited extent were identified: competence, ignorance about the role of the OHN, workload and attitude.

Beroepsgesondheidverpleegkundiges (BGV’s) is gekwalifiseerde geregistreerde verpleegkundiges met ’n nagraadse kwalifikasie in beroepsgesondheidsverpleging wat basiese gesondheidsorg in die beroepsgesondheidsprogram lewer. ’n Belangrike aktiwiteit van die BGV is om alle gesondheidsrisiko’s in die werksplek te identifiseer en te assesseer. Die BGV doen ook ʼn gesondheidsrisiko-analise (GRA) om stressors soos geraas en vibrasie te identifiseer. Die navorsers het met besoeke aan verskillende fabrieke bevind dat 85% (n = 23) van BGV’s GRA’s net in ’n sekere mate doen, alhoewel ’n GRA wetlik vereis word. Die volgende doelwit is vir die studie geformuleer: Om te ondersoek en te beskryf in watter mate BGV’s GRA’s uitvoer, en om die moontlike redes vir die nie-nakoming van die regulasie te ondersoek. ’n Kwantitatiewe, beskrywende navorsingsmetode is gebruik. ’n Sistematiese groepsteekmetode is gebruik om ʼn steekproefraamwerk uit ’n lys van die SASOHN-lede in Gauteng saam te stel. ’n Selfontwikkelde vraelys is aan respondente gestuur. Die navorsers het geldigheid, betroubaarheid asook etiese standaarde gehandhaaf. Daar is bevind dat BGV’s ouer, hoofsaaklik vroulike praktisyns met bo-gemiddelde ondervinding is wat vir ʼn groot getal werkers verantwoordelik is. Vier faktore is geïdentifiseer wat BGV’s beïnvloed om GRA’s net in ʼn sekere mate uit te voer, naamlik bevoegdheid, onduidelikheid betreffende die rol van die BGV, werkslading en houding.


Keywords

Health, occupational health, health risk assessment, occupational health nurse, guidelines, extent (to a certain extent).

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