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Prevalence of Self Reported Occupational Health Hazards and Preventive Measures Followed By Male and Female Workers in Livestock Rearing in Uttar Pradesh: A Study of Rural India

Hema Tripathi Bhupendra Nath Tripathi Vishwa Bharti Dixit
Vol 7(3), 149-164
DOI- http://dx.doi.org/10.5455/ijlr.20170226092251

The present study was carried out in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Ex-post facto and exploratory research design was used to carry out the research. Data were collected through an interview schedule from 1080 families (540 female+540 male) covering 54 villages from 18 districts to understand the extent and nature of hazards and preventive measures followed in livestock rearing. The study revealed significant differences between male and female respondents due to the effect of physical, biological, chemical and psychological hazards. Physical hazards ranked first followed by biological, psychological and chemical hazards. A negative and significant relationship was found for extension agency contact with health hazards. The study revealed insignificant differences (P>0.01) between male and female workers with respect to adopting the safety and preventive measures for 22 out of 24 activities except for avoiding stay with the animals under the same roof and use of latrines for urination and defecation. Age and gender of animal workers had a significant impact on the exposure of various occupational health hazards in livestock rearing. Although both male and female workers were found to be at risk of hazards in livestock farming, females reported greater risk and hazards. Specific interventions to prevent animal-associated hazards should target the women farmers first with intense educational efforts.


Keywords : Occupational Health Hazards Rural Livestock Rearing Preventive Measures Gender

Introduction

Occupational hazards constitute a major source of morbidity and mortality among all workers (Driscoll et al., 2005). Animal workers are exposed to numerous hazardous situations in their daily practice and have been reported and documented (Hafer et al., 1996; Mostafa and Batami E, 2003; Adedeji et al., 2011; Olowogbon, 2011). Close association between the workers and the animal, which often have unpredictable behaviour, puts the livestock workers at risk. The proximity to animals renders them susceptible to many harmful health hazards and a variety of strenuous and exhaustive work environment. Majority of the livestock related activities are full of drudgery and have not been supported by the mechanical tools and appliances. These activities involve a lot of physical, chemical, biological and psychological strains, which in long run create health problems particularly on the middle aged group workers. The tools, implements and techniques are either defective in design or do not suit to workers and invariably lead to various health hazards like injury, fatigue, exhaustion, etc. The health of workers on a farm is subjected to risk due to excessive stress, zoonotic diseases, allergies, musculoskeletal strain, exposure to weather extremes, contact with earth, flora, fauna, biological agents (skin diseases) from animals. The high rate of work, awkward work posture and design deficiencies of the hand tools result in cumulative musculo-skeletal strain and injuries in farm activities (Vyas, 2014). A review of studies on health impact assessment of livestock production shows a number of potential human health hazards associated with keeping livestock, as perceived by livestock producers (farmers), consumers, and policy makers (Atukunda,1999; Maxwell and Zziwa;1992; Ishagi et al., 2003). Livestock were the primary source of injury with cattle, swine and sheep constituting 18% of all agricultural injuries and accounting for the highest rate of lost workdays (NIOSH, 1993). This is also true that women and men do not experience the same health problems in the same proportions. They specially adopt long static postures for some of the activities which increase high physiological cost and low productivity (Tripathi, 2010; Tripathi and Pandey 2011; Tripathi et al., 2013; Tripathi et al., 2015). An UN study of 31 countries shows that women work 10 to 30 per cent more hours than men. Data from the African and Asian regions indicate that on average, women work at least 12 hours longer each week than men (United Nations, 1991). According to a study 14.3% of the respondents have experienced occupational related diseases/sickness at one time or the other (Awosile et al., 2013). Skin (30.4%) and respiratory diseases (19.6%) were the most common occupational diseases reported. Rabies, tuberculosis, avian influenza and brucellosis were the common zoonotic diseases associated with works while diseases/infections and death was the common possible implications of zoonoses perceived by the workers.

Although livestock-keeping has been recognized as a source for livelihood security, but there is lack of sufficient information for understanding and assessing the relative risks and hazards to health associated with it. In view of lack of systematic studies and information available on self reported occupational health hazards and preventive measures followed by male and female workers in livestock rearing in rural villages of Indiathe present study aims at revealing many incidents/hazards that have direct concern with their safety measures following in this area. The information generated, thus, would guide the policy makers, administrators and other agencies to understand the actual existing scenario of hazards in rural livestock husbandry.

Materials and Methods

The present study was carried out purposively in the state of Uttar Pradesh due to the familiarity of the researcher with the local language, customs and culture that helped in building up rapport with the respondents and also largest milk producing state that holds a share of more than 17% in the total milk production with a population of 56 million livestock. Ex-post facto and exploratory research design was used to understand the self reported occupational health hazards and preventive measures followed by male and female workers in livestock rearing. The state of Uttar Pradesh has 2, 94,416 sq. kms geographical area (about 8.90 % of India’s total geographical area) occupying the distinction of fourth largest state of India. It is surrounded by Bihar in the East, Madhya Pradesh in the South, Rajasthan, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana in the West and Uttarakhand in the North and Nepal touch the northern borders of Uttar Pradesh. Its area lies between latitude 240 and 310 and longitude 770 and 840 east.

is The state of UP is divided into 18 divisions namely; Agra, Aligarh, Allahabad, Azamgarh, Bareilly, Basti, Chitrakoot, Gonda, Faizabad, Gorakhpur, Jhansi, Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut, Mirzapur, Moradabad, Saharanpur, Varanasi. Out of the 18 divisions, 09 divisions (50%) were selected purposively for data collection to represent the state. Out of 09, two districts from each division (a total of 18 districts) and three blocks from each district, (total 54 blocks) and one village from each of the selected block. Thus a total of 54 villages were selected randomly. Twenty livestock owning families (10 males and 10 females) were selected randomly from each of the selected villages provided they have at least two dairy animals. Thus 1080 families (540 female workers and 540 male workers) were finally interviewed for data collection. The quantitative and qualitative data were collected personally and with the help of Krishi Vigyan Kendras situated in each district through structured and pretested interview schedule supplemented with observation and interaction dialogues.

Data on prevalence of self reported occupational health hazards in categories of physical, biological, chemical and psychological among male and female workers was collected by asking each respondent about the type of hazard, injury, accident he/she faced during the last five years. The responses were taken on three point continuum i.e. ‘Frequent’, ‘Sometimes’ and ‘Never’ with respective scores of 3, 2 and 1. The preventive/safety measures followed by them against work related hazards was assessed through a set of twenty four questions wherein respondents were asked to rate their answers indicating ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. Frequency and percentage were calculated separately for male and female workers against each of the self reported hazards as well as preventive measures. The data so collected were compiled, tabulated analysed using suitable statistical methods of coded data in terms of frequency, percentages, mean, ranking Chi square and correlation etc using MS excel and SPSS.

Results and Discussion

Prevalence of Self Reported Occupational Health Hazards

1. Physical Hazards (Internal/External)

Table 1 indicates a list of fifteen hazards reported by respondents in varied frequency. The analysis showed significant differences in terms of physical hazards encountered by the male and female workers. The most common physical hazards (pooled data) were; sudden fall during work (43.06%), animal kick and scratches (42.96%), headache, shoulder and elbow pain (54.91%), swollen hand (57.69%), sunstroke (46.39%), body fatigue (61.48%), neck pain (56.48%), slip disc and back pain (58.06%). Animal bites, insecticide illness, eye injury, hearing loss, crushing attack by animal were the hazards reported by 30-40% of the respondents irrespective of the gender. Headache, shoulder pain, elbow pain (30.65%), swollen hand (11.39%), neck pain (23.24%), slip disc and back pain (21.94%) were frequently occurring hazards in livestock rearing among the respondents.

Table 1: Physical hazards reported by male and female workers in livestock rearing

Physical Hazards/ Injury Extent of Hazard Male

(n=540)

Female

(n=540)

Pooled

(N=1080)

Chi square test
F % F % F %
Sudden fall during work Never 320 59.26 256 47.41 576 53.33 21.582**
Sometimes 204 37.78 261 48.33 465 43.06
Frequent 16 2.96 23 4.26 39 3.61
Animal kicks/scratches Never 313 57.96 282 52.22 595 55.09 9.451*
Sometimes 216 40.00 248 45.93 464 42.96
Frequent 11 2.04 10 1.85 21 1.94
Crushing/attack Never 405 75.00 349 64.63 754 69.81 19.998**
Sometimes 130 24.07 181 33.52 311 28.80
Frequent 5 0.93 10 1.85 15 1.39
Trauma Never 470 87.04 462 85.56 932 86.30 7.833NS
Sometimes 56 10.37 67 12.41 123 11.39
Frequent 14 2.59 11 2.04 25 2.31
Eye injury Never 405 75.00 416 77.04 821 76.02 10.347*
Sometimes 121 22.41 99 18.33 220 20.37
Frequent 14 2.59 25 4.63 39 3.61
Hearing loss Never 327 60.56 377 69.81 704 65.19 18.294**
Sometimes 204 37.78 161 29.81 365 33.80
Frequent 9 1.67 2 0.37 11 1.02
Headache, shoulder, elbow pain Never 71 13.15 85 15.74 156 14.44 26.264**
Sometimes 334 61.85 259 47.96 593 54.91
Frequent 135 25.00 196 36.30 331 30.65
Swollen hand Never 133 24.63 201 37.22 334 30.93 75.015**
Sometimes 304 56.30 319 59.07 623 57.69
Frequent 103 19.07 20 3.70 123 11.39
Sunstroke Never 212 39.26 284 52.59 496 45.93 79.097**
Sometimes 250 46.30 251 46.48 501 46.39
Frequent 78 14.44 5 0.93 83 7.69
Cardiovascular strain Never 290 53.70 282 52.22 572 52.96 6.544NS
Sometimes 219 40.56 228 42.22 447 41.39
Frequent 31 5.74 30 5.56 61 5.65
Body fatigue Never 81 15.00 102 18.89 183 16.94 29.724**
Sometimes 309 57.22 355 65.74 664 61.48
Frequent 150 27.78 83 15.37 233 21.57
Neck pain Never 90 16.67 129 23.89 219 20.28 67.198**
Sometimes 270 50.00 340 62.96 610 56.48
Frequent 180 33.33 71 13.15 251 23.24
Insecticide illness Never 300 55.56 424 78.52 724 67.04 71.069**
Sometimes 204 37.78 106 19.63 310 28.70
Frequent 36 6.67 10 1.85 46 4.26
Animal bites Never 251 46.48 393 72.78 644 59.63 82.092**
Sometimes 233 43.15 119 22.04 352 32.59
Frequent 56 10.37 28 5.19 84 7.78
Slip disc-back pain Never 89 16.48 127 23.52 216 20.00 49.947**
Sometimes 285 52.78 342 63.33 627 58.06
Frequent 166 30.74 71 13.15 237 21.94

**significant at 1%,* Significant at 5% level of significance, NS- Non significant

2. Biological Hazards

Respondents were asked to report any kind of biological hazards/disease out of the list of seven hazards, if they have encountered/suffered earlier while performing livestock related activities separately by male and female workers. Table 2 shows significant differences between the male and female workers with regard to exposure to biological hazards such as ringworm infection, fever, amoebiasis, conjunctivitis and infestation with internal and external parasites. No significant differences, however, were observed for the hazards like tuberculosis and biting by rabid dog. Thirty three male and 28 among female respondents reported biting by rabid dog. Similarly, 183 respondents (93 males and 90 females) reported for tuberculosis. Respondents were also asked about a few zoonotic diseases such as brucellosis, leptospirosis (data not shown), but majority were unaware of these diseases. However, on presentation of symptoms, it was perceived that they might have been infected with brucellosis and occasionally leptospirosis.

Table 2: Biological hazards reported by male and female workers in livestock rearing

Type of Biological Hazards Extent of Hazard Male

(n=540)

Female

(n=540)

Pooled

(N=1080)

Chi square test
F % F % F %
Tuberculosis Not Suffered 447 82.78 450 83.33 897 83.06 0.63NS
Suffered 93 17.22 90 16.67 183 17.60
Ringworm infection Not Suffered 92 17.04 213 39.44 305 28.24 135.33**
Suffered 448 82.96 327 60.56 775 74.52
Biting by rabid dog Not Suffered 507 93.89 512 94.81 1019 94.35 0.69NS
Suffered 33 6.11 28 5.19 61 5.87
Fever Not Suffered 30 5.56 47 8.70 77 7.13 28.67**
Suffered 510 94.44 493 91.30 1003 92.87
Amoebiasis Not Suffered 38 7.04 71 13.15 109 10.09 21.55**
Suffered 502 92.96 469 86.85 971 93.37
Conjunctivitis Not Suffered 175 32.41 228 42.22 403 37.31 19.6**
Suffered 365 67.59 312 57.78 677 65.10
Infestation with internal and external parasites Not Suffered 192 35.56 300 55.56 492 45.56 64.98**
Suffered 348 64.44 240 44.44 588 54.44

**significant at 1%level of significance, NS- Non significant

3. Chemical Hazards

Respondents were asked to report any kind of chemical hazard, if they have suffered/undergone due to livestock rearing from a list of seven kinds of chemical hazards. Chi square analysis showed significant differences with regard to chemical hazards encountered by the male and female workers due to livestock rearing (Table 3).The most common chemical hazards were; allergies (64.44%), eye irritation (75.56%), eczema (60.56%), headache (54.19%), nausea and vomiting (69.26%). Data show that greater number of male workers reported allergies, eye irritation, headache, nausea and vomiting compared to female workers. About 38% of the workers reported respiratory problems and 15.46% reported pesticides intoxication. Respiratory irritations and to a lesser extent gastrointestinal irritation, conjunctivitis and dermatitis account for the clinical conditions associated with chemical exposures (Awosile et al., 2013).

Table 3: Chemical hazards reported by male and female workers in livestock rearing

Chemical Hazards Extent of Hazard Male

(n=540)

Female

(n=540)

Pooled

(N=1080)

Chi square test
F % F % F %
Allergies Never 146 27.04 184 34.07 330 30.56 14.32**
Sometimes 372 68.89 324 60.00 696 64.44
Frequent 22 4.07 32 5.93 54 5.00
Eye Irritation Never 62 11.48 94 17.41 156 14.44 23.55**
Sometimes 439 81.30 377 69.81 816 75.56
Frequent 39 7.22 69 12.78 108 10.00
Eczema Never 35 6.48 69 12.78 104 9.63 53.38**
Sometimes 293 54.26 361 66.85 654 60.56
Frequent 212 39.26 110 20.37 322 29.81
Headache Never 21 3.89 26 4.81 47 4.35 48.76**
Sometimes 246 45.56 347 64.26 593 54.91
Frequent 273 50.56 167 30.93 440 40.74
Nausea and Vomiting Never 84 15.56 139 25.74 223 20.65 21.26**
Sometimes 394 72.96 354 65.56 748 69.26
Frequent 62 11.48 47 8.70 109 10.09
Respiratory problems

(bronchitis/sinusitis/rhinitis/asthma)

Never 305 56.48 334 61.85 639 59.17 8.89*
Sometimes 218 40.37 193 35.74 411 38.06
Frequent 17 3.15 13 2.41 30 2.78
Pesticides intoxication Never 449 83.15 459 85.00 908 84.07 6.70NS
Sometimes 88 16.30 79 14.63 167 15.46
Frequent 3 0.56 2 0.37 5 0.46

**significant at 1%level of significance, NS- Non significant

4. Psychological Hazards

Psychological hazards affect the human health. Table 4 shows significant differences in the suffering due to eleven psychological hazards between the male and female workers in livestock rearing. The most common psychological hazards reported by animal workers were; aggression (61.94%), boredom (67.59%), physical tiredness (55.46%), depression (55.56%), psychological fatigue (48.33%), irritability (45.28%), forgetfulness (53.43%), low concentration (51.57%) and low energy (52.41%). Data further shows that greater number of male respondents reported for psychological hazards viz., aggression, boredom , hostility (27.78%), low concentration (58.15%) and low energy (55%) as compared to female workers whereas greater number of female workers, however, reported hazards like physical tiredness, depression, lack of sleep, irritability and forgetfulness.

Table 4: Psychological hazards reported by male and female workers in livestock rearing

Type of Psychological Hazards/Condition Extent of Hazard Male

(n=540)

Female

(n=540)

Pooled

(N=1080)

Chi square test
F % F % F %
Aggression Never 71 13.15 155 28.70 226 20.93 56.63**
Sometimes 391 72.41 278 51.48 669 61.94
Frequent 77 14.26 105 19.44 182 16.85
Boredom Never 99 18.33 183 33.89 282 26.11 36.8**
Sometimes 406 75.19 324 60.00 730 67.59
Frequent 35 6.48 33 6.11 68 6.30
Hostility Never 248 45.93 355 65.74 603 55.83 75.59**
Sometimes 150 27.78 142 26.30 292 27.04
Frequent 142 26.30 43 7.96 185 17.13
Physical Tiredness Never 59 10.93 110 20.37 169 15.65 46.40**
Sometimes 201 37.22 111 20.56 312 28.89
Frequent 280 51.85 319 59.07 599 55.46
Depression Never 114 21.11 203 37.59 317 29.35 119.14**
Sometimes 284 52.59 316 58.52 600 55.56
Frequent 142 26.30 21 3.89 163 15.09
Psychological Fatigue Never 192 35.56 197 36.48 389 36.02 9.46*
Sometimes 251 46.48 271 50.19 522 48.33
Frequent 97 17.96 72 13.33 169 15.65
Lack of Sleep Never 195 36.11 274 50.74 469 43.43 70.35**
Sometimes 224 41.48 235 43.52 459 42.50
Frequent 121 22.41 31 5.74 152 14.07
Irritability Never 106 19.63 197 36.48 303 28.06 102.784**
Sometimes 220 40.74 269 49.81 489 45.28
Frequent 214 39.63 74 13.70 288 26.67
Forgetfulness Never 151 27.96 200 37.04 351 32.50 49.85**
Sometimes 275 50.93 302 55.93 577 53.43
Frequent 114 21.11 38 7.04 152 14.07
Low Concentration Never 174 32.22 270 50.00 443 41.02 40.82**
Sometimes 314 58.15 243 45.00 557 51.57
Frequent 52 9.63 27 5.00 79 7.31
Low Energy Never 168 31.11 204 37.78 371 34.35 9.45*
Sometimes 297 55.00 269 49.81 566 52.41
Frequent 75 13.89 67 12.41 142 13.15

**significant at 1% and * at 5% level of significance, NS – Non significant

Comparative Analysis and Ranks on Various Self Reported Hazards and Risks in Livestock Rearing

Table 5 revealed gender wise self reported occupational health hazards and risks associated in livestock rearing. Significant differences were observed between male and female respondents with respect to physical, biological, chemical and psychological hazards suffered by the respondents while performing various livestock related activities. No differences were found in terms of ranking mentioned by male and female respondents. Physical hazards ranked first followed by biological, psychological and chemical hazards.

Table 5: Comparative analysis and the ranks on various self-reported hazards and risks in livestock rearing

Type of Hazards Male

(n=560)

Rank Female

(n=560)

Rank Total

(N=1120)

Rank t test value
Physical hazards 27.34 I 24.28 I 25.81 I 11.60**
Biological hazards 26.14 II 23.41 II 24.78 II 12.13**
Chemical hazards 13.12 IV 12.32 IV 12.72 IV 5.48**
Psychological hazards 22.74 III 20.21 III 21.48 III 9.93**

** Significant at 1 % level of significance

Correlation Analysis between Socio-Personal, Economic and Communication Characteristics of Respondents with Occupational Health Hazards

Nine independent variables were subjected for correlation analysis with self reported occupational health hazards. Extension agency contact was the only variable that had highly significant but negative correlation indicated that increase in extension agency contact lead to increase in awareness that ultimately resulted in reduction of incidence of hazard. A perusal of the Table 6 suggests that irrespective of gender, annual income (-0.001), income from livestock (-0.043), livestock holding (-0.036) and yield from milch animals (-0.048) had insignificant and negative correlation with the occupational health hazards in livestock activities. The overall correlation coefficient value ‘r’ was 0.140** for age and its relation to occupational health hazard was significant as well as positive indicating that elder persons were more prone to hazards. The variable such as annual income, income from the livestock, herd size and yield of milch animals were negatively correlated with the occupational health hazard in livestock activities.

Table 6: Correlation analysis between socio-personal, economic and communication characteristics of respondents with self reported occupational health hazards

Socio-personal, Economic and

Communication Characteristics

Correlation Coefficient ‘r’ Value
Occupational Health Hazards in Livestock Activities
Male Female Overall
Age 0.111** 0.065 0.140**
Annual income 0.041 -.106* -0.001
Income from livestock -0.037 -0.044 -0.043
Experience in livestock rearing 0.045 0.058 0.03
Family size 0.051 0.038 0.055
Land holding 0.049 -.107* 0.009
Livestock holding 0.006 -0.03 -0.036
Yield from milch animals 0.009 -0.051 -0.048
Extension agency contact -0.235** -0.032 -0.127**

** Significant at the 0.01 level, * Significant at the 0.05 level

Preventive Measures against Work Related Risks/Hazards

The fine tuning of the expertise in handling animals and the knowledge of animal behaviour is a handful of armour for self-protection and safety of others as well. The preventive measures against work related risks /hazard were assessed through a set of twenty four questions. Respondents were asked to rate their answers indicating either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on various preventive measures (Table 7). There were no significant difference between male and female with regard to 22 preventive measures except the two, adopted by respondents. Our results show that majority of the male and female workers (>96%) were boiling/cooking the raw milk/meat properly before drinking/eating, wash hands properly after work (~90%), keep proper ventilation in buildings and silos (~67%), avoid working with animals during sickness (~74%), avoid eating of dead and diseased meat products(~68%), disinfect the utensils etc (~73%) and keep their healthy animals separate from eczema infected animals (~61%). The other important findings of the study revealed that approximate 60-90% of respondents irrespective of gender had negatively responded and avoided to adopt the crucial preventive measures such as use of protective clothing/gloves, living with the animals under the same roof, proper washing of affected part bitten by dog, monkey , dehorning, fumigation of animal houses, use of mosquito net/odomos/mosquito coil, separate grazing areas for the diseased and healthy animals, anti-rabies vaccination of own, animal vaccination against contagious diseases and immunization of tetanus toxoid. Chi square analysis also revealed insignificant differences (P>0.01) between male and female workers for follow of safety and preventive measures to check the occupational health hazards in livestock rearing for majority of the activities except for avoiding stay with the animals under the same roof in the house and use of latrines for urination and defecation wherein significant differences were observed.

Table 7: Preventive measures against work related hazards and risks followed by male and female workers in livestock rearing

Preventive Measures Category Male

(n=540)

Female

(n=540)

Pooled

(N=1080)

Chi square test
F % F % F %
Use of protective clothing / gloves /masks etc No

Yes

479 88.70 484 89.63 963 89.17 3.28NS
61 11.30 56 10.37 117 10.83
Proper boiling of raw milk before drinking and proper cooking before eating of raw meat No

Yes

18 3.33 18 3.33 36 3.33 3.273NS
522 96.67 522 96.67 1044 96.67
Proper washing of hands after work with animals, farm before eating and before food preparation No

Yes

54 10.00 58 10.74 112 10.37 3.466NS
486 90.00 482 89.26 968 89.63
Proper ventilation in buildings and silos at the time of feeding to control organic dust No

Yes

172 31.85 179 33.15 351 32.5 0.207NS
368 68.15 361 66.85 729 67.5
Quarantine No

Yes

310 57.41 304 56.30 614 56.85 3.092NS
230 42.59 236 43.70 466 43.15
Avoid working with animals when you are sick, weak, pregnant and old No

Yes

138 25.56 134 24.81 272 25.19 3.024NS
402 74.44 406 75.19 808 74.81
Avoid eating of dead and diseased meat products No

Yes

182 33.70 163 30.19 345 31.94 4.24NS
358 66.30 377 69.81 735 68.06
Avoid living with the animals under the same roof in a house No

Yes

335 62.04 367 67.96 702 65.00 7.461*
205 37.96 173 32.04 378 35.00
Proper washing of affected part bitten by dog, monkey etc. with phenyl containing soap No

Yes

439 81.30 440 81.48 879 81.39 3.021NS
101 18.70 100 18.52 201 18.61
Disinfecting the utensils, mangers and the place used for diseased animals by boiling water No

Yes

156 28.89 140 25.93 296 27.41 3.903NS
384 71.11 400 74.07 784 72.59
Keeping healthy animals separately from eczema

infected animals

No

Yes

209 38.70 203 37.59 412 38.15 3.076NS
331 61.30 337 62.41 668 61.85
Regular use of disinfectants and spraying of pesticides in the animal sheds, shelters, walls and surrounding areas to prevent tick borne disease No

Yes

235 43.52 230 42.59 465 43.06 4.043NS
305 56.48 310 57.41 615 56.94
Dehorn dangerous animals No

Yes

394 72.96 397 73.52 791 73.33 3.077NS
146 27.04 143 26.48 289 26.67
Keep floors free of broken concrete and slippery areas No

Yes

224 41.48 219 40.56 443 41.02 0.096NS
316 58.52 321 59.44 637 58.98
Fumigation of animal houses No

Yes

507 93.89 500 92.59 1007 93.24 4.477NS
33 6.11 40 7.41 73 6.76
Use of mosquito net/odomos/mosquito coil No

Yes

426 78.89 406 75.19 832 77.04 5.64NS
114 21.11 134 24.81 248 22.96
Use of separate grazing areas for the diseased and healthy animals No

Yes

389 72.04 373 69.07 762 70.56 4.482NS
151 27.96 167 30.93 318 29.44
Use of latrines for urination and defecation No

Yes

87 16.11 129 23.89 216 20.00 14.549**
453 83.89 411 76.11 864 80.00
Avoid bathing of children in the same pond where animals are cleaned / bathed No

Yes

252 46.66 235 43.52 487 45.09 3.836NS
288 53.33 305 56.48 593 54.91
Proper disposal of diseased /dead animals by deep burying No

Yes

294 54.44 295 54.63 589 54.54 3.029NS
246 45.56 245 45.37 491 45.46
Anti-rabies vaccination of farmers No

Yes

488 90.37 490 90.74 978 90.56 0.011NS
52 9.63 50 9.26 102 9.44
Animal vaccination against contagious diseases No

Yes

340 62.96 355 65.74 695 64.35 0.908NS
200 37.04 185 34.26 385 35.65
Tetanus toxoid immunization No

Yes

411 76.11 425 78.70 836 77.41 3.737NS
129 23.89 115 21.30 244 22.59
Have you ever hospitalized due to the animal work related hazard by physical/ biological /chemical/psychological No

Yes

498 92.22 502 92.96 1000 92.59 3.249NS
42 7.78 38 7.04 80 7.41

**significant at 1% and * 5%level of significance, NS – Non significant

Discussion

The study revealed that physical hazards ranked first followed by biological, psychological and chemical hazards. Both male and female workers encountered physical hazards in varied frequency however, females reported more physical hazards such as sudden fall during work, animal kicks/scratches, crushing/attacks, trauma, swelling of hands, body fatigue etc. as compared to male workers, may be due to their high involvement in livestock rearing activities. A number of physical hazards; some of them quite similar to our study have been reported among farm workers involved in poultry, dairy, piggery husbandry or during involvement in animals in various agricultural operations (Holness and Nethercott, 1994; Driscoll et al., 2005; Popendorf, 2011; Stallones, 2011; Ghosh, 2014). Dangerous environment such as slippery floor, manure pits, corrals, and dusty feed areas, in cattle, sheep and goat production lead to various type of physical hazard has also reported by Myers et al., in 1997. In the present study, significant differences were found between the male and female workers with regard to exposure to biological hazards such as ringworm infection, fever, amoebiasis, conjunctivitis and infestation with internal and external parasites due to lack of awareness about the use safety precautions for safe handling of animals. Majority of the respondents were also unaware about zoonotic diseases however, on presentation of symptoms, it was perceived that they might have been infected with brucellosis and occasionally leptospirosis. This data however were not based on laboratory confirmation of the hazards. It is suggested that such type of study should also include laboratory backup to assess the real situation of the disease. Pandey and Meena, 2013 also revealed that low awareness of zoonoses, combined with food consumption habits and poor animal husbandry among rural respondents of Basti and Gorakhpur districts of Uttar Pradesh increased the risk of contracting zoonoses. Study on hazards exposure of workers of animal related occupations in Nigeria revealed a prevalence of 69.6% occupational hazard exposures, workers were at risk of myriad of occupational specific and non- specific hazards, 6.5% work related hospitalization was observed among the workers and thirty three (14.3%) of the respondents had experienced occupational related diseases/sickness (Awosile 2013). A study from India, where cattle generally roam free, revealed over 5% of rural inhabitants suffering from ringworm infections (Chatterjee et al., 1980). Again chemical hazards were reported both by male and female respondents but significant differences were reported with regard to extent of chemical hazards encountered. It shows that respondents suffer due to use of chemicals in disinfection, decontamination, control of vectors of diseases, cleaning in animal related activities. Harmful chemical compounds in the form of solids, liquids, gases, mists, dusts, fumes and vapours exert toxic effects by inhalation (breathing), absorption (through direct contact with skin), or ingestion (eating or drinking) on the workers. The study also reported significant differences in the suffering due to eleven psychological hazards between the male and female workers in livestock rearing. Though comparable studies on psychological parameters are not available in India, reports available from abroad had shown female farmers were vulnerable more than the male farmers to psychological hazards (Walker and Walker 1987; Weigel and Weigel; 1987; Wilson et al., 1991; Kelly et al., 199; Malmberg et al.,1997; Melberg 2003). The overall correlation coefficient value ‘r’ was 0.140** for age and its relation to occupational health hazard was significant as well as positive indicating that elder persons were more prone to hazards. It may be because the old age livestock farmers, whether males and females were less aware of causes of hazards in livestock activities due to poor participation in the extension related activities or practicing unscientific animal husbandry activities with minimum personal hygiene and protective aids. The variable such as annual income, income from the livestock, herd size and yield of milch animals were negatively correlated with the occupational health hazard in livestock activities. The results suggest that increase in family income, larger herd size and more milk yield obviously lead to better standard of living, good nutritional and health status of the livestock farmers. The development of larger herds of more intensely handled livestock also increased the likelihood of injuries, thus were contrary to the finding of this study (Kendall et al., 1997). Insignificant differences (P>0.01) were found between male and female workers with respect to safety and preventive measures to check the occupational health hazards in livestock rearing for majority of the activities except for avoiding stay with the animals under the same roof in the house and use of latrines for urination and defecation wherein significant differences were observed. In a study in Nigeria, majority of the workers irrespective of gender were unaware of the various preventive measures about work related hazards and risk in livestock rearing (Awosile, 2013). Multiple injuries were more frequent amongst respondents who took risk and perceived that farm related injuries were inevitable than those who practiced safe farming like wearing protective clothing, operating machinery safely (Harrell 1995). In a cross-sectional study in Zimbabwe, it was observed that less than 50% of the workers were aware of various preventive measures against work related zoonotic diseases. Use of protective coverings (23.5%), good hygienic practices (7%) and washing of hands after work period (6.5%) were the most common preventive measures against work related zoonotic diseases noted by workers (Chikerema et al., 2013). In the present study ~65% of farmers live with their animals under the same roof with objective to guard them. This increases the probability of exposure to zoonotic disease conditions of bacterial origin, such as Salmonella spp, internal parasites such as tapeworms (Taenia solium), and ectoparasites like mites and fleas (Nasinyama et al., 1998; Nasinyama et al., 2000).

Summary and Conclusion

The present research discussed many of the hazards and risks as raised by male and female workers in a variety of tasks in livestock rearing and provided a significant data on livestock-related human health problems in Uttar Pradesh. The findings of this study could be well used to develop suitable strategy/interventions/ procedure for the rural livestock owners. Further, an investigation to find out the occupational health hazards of livestock owners had a personal as well as social significance. Having understood causes for occupational hazards coupled with their correlates, efforts were made rightly to launch and improve the situation by minimizing the hazards. Age and gender of livestock workers had a significant impact on the occurrence of various occupational health hazards in livestock rearing. Females in comparison to male workers were more susceptible to risk factors responsible for health hazards due to high participation in livestock rearing activities thus there is need for education and training of livestock workers to increase the knowledge and skills in animal related occupations on health hazards and necessary preventive measures.

It is recommended to institute a comprehensive programme on appropriate interventions including the capacity building programs among the livestock owners with respect to age and gender to educate them at doorstep about the severity of effects of these hazards and the safety precautions and the appropriate measures to reduce the burden of injury, risks and hazards.

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