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Occurrence of Occupational Physical Injuries among Workers in Onshore Oil Drilling Operations in Turkana County, Kenya

Kamol CO, Akunga DN and Warutere P

Objective: To determine the occurrence of occupational physical injuries among workers in onshore oil drilling operations in Turkana County, Kenya. Design: Cross-sectional descriptive study. Setting: Turkana County, Kenya. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among 164 workers. Convenience sampling and systematic random sampling were used to select study participants. Data were collected through pretested semi-structured questionnaires. Data collected were analyzed using SPSS version 20. Results: It was established that among the sampled workers, 9.8% had experienced occupational physical injuries. The research study further revealed that an equal proportion (18.75%) of the respondents missed either 1-7 days or more than 1 month due to occupational injuries. A significant segment (13) 81% of the reported injuries were categorized as first aid cases (FAC) while only (3) 19% cases were categorized as medical treated cases (MTC). It was further established that injuries to the fingers (8) 50% and wrist (3) 18.75% were most common. Eye injuries accounted for 6.25% of all the body injuries reported, while back injuries accounted for 12.5% of the injuries reported. Among those workers who reported to have ever been injured, an equal proportion 31.25% suffered lacerations and cuts while the rest experienced fractures (18.75%) and abrasions (6.25%) respectively. Conclusion: Workers in onshore oil drilling operations in Turkana County, Kenya were affected by physical injuries with the most common types being lacerations and cuts. Fingers and wrists were the commonly affected body parts. The number of days workers miss work due to the reported occupational physical injuries is important injury severity metric in terms of the direct and indirect costs incurred. It is therefore critical that oil drilling workers should be protected from occupational physical injuries that are risk of disability and fatalities.