Occupational Safety Precautions among Nurses at Four Hospitals, Nablus District, Palestine

IA Al-Khatib, W El Ansari, TA Areqat, RA Darkhawaja, SH Mansour, MA Tucktuck, JI Khatib


Occupational hazards, exposure to blood and body fluids (BBF) accidents and safety precautions constitute an important public health issue. We assessed the prevalence and determinants of exposure to occupational hazards among nurses, and their knowledge of occupational safety precautions. In a cross-sectional study, we surveyed 332 nurses working in 4 hospitals, Nablus, West Bank, Palestine, by a questionnaire. Bivariate analysis tested the associations between ever exposure and the high likelihood of BBF exposure and the independent socio-demographic and occupational variables. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to assess the associations between the same two exposures and selected independent variables (those significant in the bivariate analysis). Prevalence of ever exposure to BBF was 51.7%, and was associated with working in private and charitable hospitals (OR 2.62, 2.68, respectively), having 4–6 family members (OR 0.52) and “nursing” being as one's top career choice at university (OR 0.48). The prevalence of high likelihood of BBF exposure was 62.2%, and was associated with working in charitable and private hospitals (OR 7.81, 2.43, respectively) and “nursing” being as one's top career choice (OR 0.57). Regarding knowledge, most respondents believed it is necessary to enact laws and regulations regarding occupational safety precautions, reported the use of sharps containers, immediate disinfection after an accident, reporting an accident, and using personal protective equipment. Nurses had adequate knowledge of the risks of their hospital work. Nevertheless, they exhibited high prevalence of exposure to BBF accidents. Future studies are needed to re-evaluate existing occupational safety guidelines in hospitals, establish monitoring and evaluation protocols for health care workers' adherence to the guidelines, and institute well-defined policies for reporting occupational injury incidents so these can be handled appropriately.


Occupational safty; Occupational exposure; Nurses; Blood safety; Body fluids; Health knowledge, attitudes, practice; Palestine

doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2015.581

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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