Saf Health Work.  2011 Sep;2(3):260-272.

Risk Assessment of Physical Hazards in Greek Hospitals Combining Staff's Perception, Experts' Evaluation and Objective Measurements

Affiliations
  • 1Faculty of Nursing, University of Peloponnese, Sparta, Greece. stziaferi@nurs.uoa.gr
  • 2Faculty of Nursing, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.
  • 3Chemical Engineering, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.
  • 4Electrical Engineering, Technological Foundation of Larissa, Larissa, Greece.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The promotion of health and safety (H&S) awareness among hospital staff can be applied through various methods. The aim of this study was to assess the risk level of physical hazards in the hospital sector by combining workers' perception, experts' evaluation and objective measurements.
METHODS
A cross-sectional study was designed using multiple triangulation. Hospital staff (n = 447) filled in an H&S questionnaire in a general hospital in Athens and an oncology one in Thessaloniki. Experts observed and filled in a checklist on H&S in the various departments of the two hospitals. Lighting, noise and microclimate measurements were performed.
RESULTS
The staff's perception of risk was higher than that of the experts in many cases. The measured risk levels were low to medium. In cases of high-risk noise and lighting, staff and experts agreed. Staff's perception of risk was influenced by hospital's department, hospital's service, years of working experience and level of education. Therefore, these factors should be taken into account in future studies aimed at increasing the participation of hospital workers.
CONCLUSION
This study confirmed the usefulness of staff participation in the risk assessment process, despite the tendency for staff to overestimate the risk level of physical hazards. The combination of combining staff perception, experts' evaluation and objective measures in the risk assessment process increases the efficiency of risk management in the hospital environment and the enforcement of relevant legislation.

Keyword

Occupational safety; Health hazards; Attitude of health personnel; Risk assessment; Hospital legislation
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