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Background: Injuries are a public health concern accounting for 2.78 million fatalities globally. Welders are exposed to a broad range of injuries (e.g. cuts, burns, eye injuries, skin irritations, and musculoskeletal disorders) and yet, there is paucity of information on context specific determinants to inform injury prevention and control. This study determined the factors associated with occupational injuries among welders in Uganda.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among welders in Wakiso District, Uganda. Pretested and translated questionnaires were used to collect data from 327 randomly selected respondents using face to face interviews. 2 parishes were purposively selected, and 20 metal workshops were systematically selected in each parish. Descriptive statistics and adjusted odds ratios were computed
Results: A high prevalence 287 (87.8%) of self-reported occupational injuries was found among welding workers with cuts/burns 242 (84.3%) and eye injuries 180 (62.7%) reported as the most sustained injuries. Occupational injuries were associated with being a causal labourer with informal training (AOR 4.70 (2.03-10.84)) and working for longer hours (AOR 2.63 (1.26-5.51)). Those with more work experience were less likely to be involved in occupational injuries (AOR 0.30 (0.11-0.84)).
Conclusions: The prevalence of occupational injuries among small-scale welding workers was high and this was associated with learning their trade at work and working for longer hours. Mitigation measures that focus on safety at workplace, advocating for capacity training, and enforcement of workplace regulations should be instituted.