Indian Journal of Continuing Nursing Education

: 2021  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 227--230

Knowledge and practices towards occupational health and safety management strategies among sculptors

T Asher1, M Shobana1, A Aamina1, A Abarna1, B Bharathi1, Ponnambily Chandy Jobin2,  
1 Final Year B.Sc Nursing Students, Department of Community Health Nursing, Chettinad College of Nursing, Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Assistant Professor, Department of Community Health Nursing, Chettinad College of Nursing, Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Mrs, Ponnambily Chandy Jobin
Department of Community Health Nursing, Chettinad College of Nursing, Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu


Reports of occupation-related accidents are on the increase in India despite the enforcement of the National Occupational Safety and Legislation Act 2020. On the other side, many accidents go unreported. It is time to shift the focus of the research towards the small-scale industries to monitor the occupational environment to protect the minority group as a large workforce. This study was conducted to assess the knowledge and practices towards occupational health and safety management strategies among sculptors in selected sculpture sites of selected villages in Kanchipuram district. A descriptive research design was used. A total of 50 sculptors from four sculpture sites were included in this study. Results showed that the majority of the study participants were illiterate, between 20 and 35 years of age, males and alcohol consumers, had a moderate level of knowledge on occupational health and were exhibiting a moderate level of practice towards occupational safety. It is also reported that there was a lack of basic facilities for the workers in the work environment. Importance of having frequent monitoring and inspection of worksites to keep the workforce safe from adverse health outcomes are suggested.

How to cite this article:
Asher T, Shobana M, Aamina A, Abarna A, Bharathi B, Jobin PC. Knowledge and practices towards occupational health and safety management strategies among sculptors.Indian J Cont Nsg Edn 2021;22:227-230

How to cite this URL:
Asher T, Shobana M, Aamina A, Abarna A, Bharathi B, Jobin PC. Knowledge and practices towards occupational health and safety management strategies among sculptors. Indian J Cont Nsg Edn [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jun 28 ];22:227-230
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The number of occupational injuries is high in various industries in India, and the quantity of reports on occupational injuries is expanding.[1] The increase in injuries is seen despite the public and private occupational health and safety management interventions that have been executed to forestall occupational injuries in recent years. Metalwork is the main occupational group with the highest incidence of work-related injuries, deaths and compensation claims.[2] Metal-cutting saws, power presses, drilling machines and lathes positioned among the main causes of work-related injuries among the workers, especially eye and skin injuries.[3],[4] In addition, in different nations, mechanical industry appears to have a high frequency of machine-related wounds. This industry is reported with the highest incidence of work-related accidents in the developed nations such as the USA.[5],[6]

Small-scale industries represent a significant proportion of occupations and assume an extremely important job in many nations' financial development and prosperity; however, these employments are low paid and with poor job security.[7] As per Webster's New World Finance and Investment Dictionary (2010), a privately owned and operated business activity with a small number of employees is called a small-scale industry. It is also defined as non-manufacturing industries running with less than 20 employees.[8] The drawbacks for employees of small-scale industries are lack of health insurance, safety devices and negligible compensation in case of work-related accidents. There is a dearth of actual and reliable data on the number of workers and related working conditions in quarry sites and stone-sculpture sites, as there is a scarcity of research and survey for the past many years.

Sculptors are routinely exposed to various physical, compound and unplanned risks, chemical and accidental hazards which make them a vulnerable occupational group. The primary reason behind their vulnerability is an absence of training, insufficient knowledge, a lack of awareness about occupational health and safety risks or lack of availability or use of personal protective equipment (PPE).[9] They are least aware of safety and health measures needed for their job and are exposed easily to physical and chemical hazards. The lack of knowledge and awareness on occupational health hazards is directly associated with the reduced usage of PPE among the workers.[7]

A study conducted to assess the knowledge and practices of preventive measures in small-scale industries suggests that lack of education on occupational health and safety management strategies may lead to non-usage of personal protective measures, thus paving the way for work-induced accidents and illness.[10] [Figure 1] and [Figure 2] show the current situation of sculpture sites in selected villages and highlight a need to confront the common challenges of occupational health and safety, including illiteracy, lack of basic infrastructures, poor sanitation and health insurance among vulnerable daily wagers.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}

Within this context, the investigators conducted a study to assess the knowledge and practices towards occupational health and safety management strategies among sculptors in selected sculpture sites in Kanchipuram district.


To assess the knowledge on occupational health and safety management strategies among sculptorsTo assess the existing level of practices of occupational health and safety management strategies among sculptors in the sculpture sites.


A descriptive research design was used. The population was sculptors in the Kanchipuram district. The investigators selected four sculpture sites in Pooncheri area based on convenience. Fifty workers from the four sites who were working in the sculpture site for more than 1 year were included in the study. Sculptors who were deaf and mute and who are not able to understand Tamil or English were excluded from the study. A data collection instrument was developed by the investigators. The reliability and validity of the tool were done with the help of the faculty of the College of Nursing. The tool had two sections: (1) demographic data and (2) knowledge and practice questionnaire. The investigators developed the structured questionnaire based on the guidelines issued by the Directorate General Factory Advice Service and Labour Institutes (DGFASLI, Government of India [GoI]) in collaboration with International Labour Organization.[11] The knowledge questionnaire had three parts: knowledge related to occupational hazard and safety management, preventive measures and the use of PPE such as safety helmets, eye protectors, ear protectors, PVC/leather/rubber hand gloves, safety belt and full body harness, safety shoes, PVC/leather suit/clothing/apron (DGFASLI, GoI) and various sources of information. The practice questionnaire had six divisions focussed on the sculpture sites and working environment, welfare facilities, emergency procedures, management arrangements and use of PPE at work. The investigators applied the interquartile range to score the data and divided it into first (Q1), second (Q2) and third (Q3) quartiles. Theses quartiles named as low, moderate and high level of knowledge or practice, respectively. The duration of the study was 2 weeks. The undergraduate committee and human ethics committee approvals were obtained for the study. Formal approval was obtained from the Head of Community Health Nursing Department and Principal of the selected college. The investigator introduced her/him to the participants and obtained informed consent and the purpose of the study was explained to ensure better cooperation during the data collection period. Descriptive statistics such as frequency distribution, percentage, mean and standard deviation and inferential statistics such as two-proportion test were used to analyse the data.

 Results and Discussion

[Table 1] shows that majority of the study participants are illiterate (54%), between 20 and 35 years of age (70%), and majority (92%) of them were males and alcohol consumers (56%). Understandably, majority of the sculptors were males and the few females who worked on the sites had various assistive jobs rather than actual sculpting.{Table 1}

[Figure 3] shows that the majority of the study participants had a moderate level of knowledge and moderate level of practices towards occupational safety. The majority of the study participants were aware of health-related harm (72%) and effect of dust on health (58%). Sixty six percentage of the participants felt that sound created during sculpturing is harmful. Most of the participants expressed that exposure to chemicals (inhaled sprays, spilled on body) during work causes health problems (58%) and wearing gloves was important while working with chemicals (74%). However, majority (64%) of them perceived that all types of gloves provide same level of protection and 50% perceived protection was not needed if spraying paint for sculpture was done outdoors. Only 34% were aware of the safe working practices in their workplace. In contrast, another study conducted to examine the awareness and attitude towards personal protective devices in the Hong Kong industry showed that the majority of the managers and front-line workers had insufficient knowledge of health and safety hazards.[12]{Figure 3}

In this study, regarding the sources of information for knowledge related to occupational health and safety, the majority of the workers reported that the main sources were television (84%), family/friends (68%) and health workers (82%). The proportion of usage of each personal protective device by sculptors was safety glasses (72%), aprons (80%), gloves (32%), mask (30%) and earplugs (24%), while it was mandatory that all sculptors to wear all the protective equipment listed above (based on the guidelines by DGFASLI, GoI).[11] Only 21 (42%) washed hands after completing work and 28% had used the first aid facilities during any emergency accidents. Similarly, a study conducted in Uganda to assess the usage of PPE among building construction workers showed that there was low use of PPE (15.6%) among the workers, despite the recommendations of the Uganda Occupational Health Safety Act. It is also found that the use of PPE was comparatively higher among permanent employees than workers who employed for short term.[13] A study conducted in the United States to investigate the issue of compliance with the use of PPE among workers across the Southeast Region showed that 79.8% of the workers indicated that the PPE is mandatory while at work; thus, 82% wear safety shoes, 74% use gloves and 62.6% wear safety goggles, as they are continuously exposed to stone dust and chemical particles.[14]

Work-related facilities report in this study showed that 56% were working with adequate space, 32% had free work space without obstruction, 66% reported to have adequate lighting and 38% assured that all construction wastes were discarded appropriately. Twenty-eight per cent of sculptors said that fire exits were available and operational, 50% reported having adequate sanitary and washing facilities, 52% said that there was suitable facility for use during breaks and 56% agreed that gloves were available at workplace. High risk is calculated as 44% in another study on construction site workplace safety in India.[15]

In the context of limited evidence on work-related practices and safety among sculptors, this study conducted by nursing students gives a basic insight into a few sculptors' knowledge, practices and their work environment. Overall, the study highlights that the knowledge and practice related to workplace safety among sculptors are not optimal despite the enforcement of National Occupational Health and Legislation in India, and there is a need for interventions to improve knowledge and practice. The study further gives direction towards the need for improving workplace environment and facilities to optimise working conditions for these workers.


The results of the study reflect the present scenario of occupational safety practices in unreached areas and can effectively contribute to the encompassing research objectives for the next decade. The current study paves the way for encouraging researchers to focus on finding solutions to emerging health issues and unexpected accidents among the workers. As community health nurses, we can play a major role in creating awareness among the sculptors about the importance of safety in their work environment and continuous use of PPE to prevent injuries/accidents and follow safety culture.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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