Assessment of Safety Practices and Injuries Associated with Wood Processing in a Timber Company in Ghana


This paper reports the assessment of safety practices and injuries in a timber company in Ghana. A cross-sectional survey design was used for the study. Data were collected from 300 respondents at a sawmill in Ghana using a 5-point Likert-type scale questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for the data analyses. The result indicates that the mean rating of the respondents on their use of personal protective equipment ranged from 1.09 to 2.51. This implies that the workers of the sawmill rarely or never wear: gloves, overall, goggles, face shield, nose and mouth mask, earplugs or helmet during wood processing. Additionally, the mean ratings of the respondents regarding safety practices, machine and maintenance ranged from 2.42 to 4.03 with three out of the eight items having mean ratings higher than the theoretical mean of 3.0. The ratings of the respondents of the saw doctoring department on their practice of safety on machine and maintenance were significantly higher than those of the other departments. The result of the study further suggests that the workers of this sawmill do rarely report of: skin irritation/dermatitis, eye irritation, lack of appetite, arm/leg amputation, neck pains, hearing loss and poor eye sight problems. However, they usually report of headaches, nausea, respiratory problems, small cuts, back pains, and hip and leg pains. The outcome of this study therefore suggests that the management of the sawmill studied needs to do more to enforce practice of safety, especially the use of personal protective equipment, to reduce hazards and injuries associated with wood processing in the firm.

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Mitchual, S. , Donkoh, M. and Bih, F. (2015) Assessment of Safety Practices and Injuries Associated with Wood Processing in a Timber Company in Ghana. Open Journal of Safety Science and Technology, 5, 10-19. doi: 10.4236/ojsst.2015.51002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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