Compliance to Occupational Safety Measures among the Paramedical Workers in a Tertiary Hospital in Karnataka, South India

P Phukan


Background: The guidelines for minimizing occupational health risk from exposure to highly infectious diseases is already established but little information exists on the compliance of these measures among paramedical workers in India.

Objective: To study the awareness of occupational safety measures such as universal precautions, biomedical waste handling, disposal and its compliance in their daily practice.

Methods: A hospital-based cross-sectional study was undertaken in a tertiary private hospital in Karnataka, Bangalore, India. Data was collected using a pretested and predesigned proforma from 120 respondents: 85 nurses and 35 laboratory technicians.

Results: 27 (32%) nurses and 20 (57%) laboratory technicians could relate universal precautions to infection prevention. Only 6 (7%) nurses and 2 (6%) technicians had knowledge about proper hospital waste segregation. 45 (52.9%) nurses and 15 (42.8%) technicians had knowledge about post-exposure prophylaxis. 3 (4%) nurses and 9 (26%) technicians were formally trained in following universal precautions. Adequate hand washing was practiced among 17 (20%) nurses and none of the technicians. Faulty practice such as recapping of needle was prevalent among 57 (67%) nurses and 29 (83%) technicians. 32 (38%) nurses and 10 (29%) technicians received hepatitis B vaccine.

Conclusion: As knowledge and practice regarding different aspects of universal precautions was not satisfactory, training was warranted urgently in the study population. Also, suggestions were made to develop and implement institutional policies on the universal precautions and ensuring supply of personal protection equipment.


Universal precautions; Needle-stick injury; Occupational health; Medical waste; India

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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