Situation Analysis of Occupational and Environmental Health Among Rice Farmers: Health Status and Work Behavior

Authors

  • Thanee Kaewthummnukul Assistant Professor, Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University
  • Weeraporn Suthakorn Assistant Professor, Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University
  • Kunlayanee Tantranont Assistant Professor, Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University

Keywords:

Health status, Accident and work related injury, Work Behaviors, Rice Farmers, Occupational Health Nurses

Abstract

Rice farmers are largely part of the informal workforce and face work and non-work related health risks or health problems.  The purpose of this descriptive research study was to examine the health status and work behaviors of 385 rice farmers in Wang Thong District, Phitsanulok Province.  The study sample was purposively selected based on the inclusion criteria.  Data were collected using a structured interview-form developed by the researcher and confirmed for both content validity and reliability.  Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

          The results revealed that:

In terms of general health, 16.4% and 34.3% of the sample had body mass indices in the overweight and obesity ranges, respectively.  About 38.7% of the sample had underlying diseases.  Over the past month, 75.3% of the sample had moderately good health, while 68.0% and 82.6% had moderately good psychological and physical health.  For work-related health risk in the past month, the participants experienced stress/anxiety from situations beyond their control (61.0%), fatigue and thirst (64.2%), and bodily pain (73.5%). Only 8.8% experienced work-related injuries in the past three months. Regarding work behaviors, 61.1%, the lowest proportion across behaviors, regularly practiced personal protective equipment [PPE] use at work (61.1%), while 75.6% of the sample inspected the condition of PPE prior to use, 76.9% cleaned and properly stored PPE after use, and 80.6% replaced PPE when damaged.  With regards to adherence to workplace safety rules, 87.0% always cleaned the work area after completing work, 87.7% avoided drinking alcohol before or during work, and 90.6% properly stored tools following use. Avoiding work when fatigued was the rule followed by the smallest proportion of workers (77.9%).  

These findings provide a significant foundation for occupational health nurses and related personnel to develop effective health promotion and behavioral modification programs for rice farmers.  This is anticipated to prevent and reduce work-related health risks among rice farmers.

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Published

2020-12-08