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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Georgia Southern: Examines Compliance of Personal Protective Equipment Among Wastewater Workers.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a significant factor that can reduce or decrease the probability of an accident from hazards in work environments. Unfortunately, the PPE compliance is often neglected in many occupations. The purpose of this study was to examine wastewater worker’s beliefs and practices on wearing PPE through the integration of the Health Belief Model and determine the predictors of PPE compliance among these workers. Data was collected from wastewater workers located at 33 wastewater treatment facilities across the US southeast region. Descriptive statistical analysis was conducted to present frequency distributions of participants’ knowledge and compliance with wearing PPE.  Regression models were applied to determine the association of predictors of interest with PPE compliance. Collected data showed that positive predictors of PPE compliance were perceived susceptibility and perceived severity of contracting an occupational illness (p < 0.05). A negative association was identified between managers setting the example of wearing PPE sometimes and PPE compliance (p < 0.05). Therefore, utilizing perceived susceptibility and severity for safety programs and interventions may improve PPE compliance among wastewater workers.

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Authors are Dr. Tamara Wright – a recently graduated DrPH student of Georgia Southern University  Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH) – and five JPHCOPH faculty members: Drs. Atin Adhikari, Jingjing Yin, Robert Vogel, Stacy Smallwood, and Gulzar Shah.

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