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1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Organizations are established to achieve specific goals and objectives. The attainment of these goals and objectives principally depends on the employees. Other resources such as machines and capital are needed for the attainment of organizations objectives but out of all the factors employees have the highest priority and they play the most pivotal role because they utilize the other resources and give output. The roles employees play differ depending on the nature of the organization. They mainly carry out tasks like production, transportation, marketing, purchasing, and distribution. All these activities are interrelated to reach organizations targets and this makes it necessary for employees to properly perform their jobs as this will have great impact on the total production, sales, profit, progress and market position of the company in the market. Job performance in any organization is therefore fundamental to organizational outcomes and success. Performance however is not only essential for the growth of the organization but also for the growth of individual employee (Ibrahim, H, 2015).
Job performance indicates how well an individual worker achieves in accomplishing daily work (Hasselink, Oeiji and Kraan, 2017). It entails the ability of employees to carry out their work related activities efficiently in order to reach the set goals of the organization. Since employees’ performance is important to organizations and employers expect workers to perform well, it is therefore important to identify factors that may enhance or lower performance at the work place. Various factors either positively or negatively affect job performance that employers should be aware of at all times and work to improve because strengthening employee performance ultimately benefits the company. Among factors that positively affect or enhance performance are; motivation, salary and packages, training, management policies, good leadership, communication, job satisfaction and comfortable workplace environment. All these encourage employees to give their best to the work. On the other hand, factors such as high level of work stress, job insecurity, role ambiguity, lack of motivation, job dissatisfaction and personal problems are factors which various research have shown to lower job performance. However, an under researched factor which affects job performance is occupational hazard despite its prevalence and great potential to lower job performance.
Globally, there are 2.9 billion workers who are exposed to hazardous risks at their workplace. Annually, there are two million deaths that are attributable to occupational diseases and injuries while 4% of gross domestic product is lost due to occupational diseases and injuries (Eyayo, 2014). The annual global number of cases of non-fatal work related diseases is estimated to be 160 million. Occupational hazards have been said to account for more than 10 million DALY’S and 8% of unintentional injuries worldwide (Azuike et al., 2016). In the World Health Report for year 2000, the conclusion was that workplace hazards are responsible globally for 37% of back pain, 16% of hearing loss, 13% of Chronic Obstructive Plumonary Disease (OCPD), 11% of athsma, 10% of lung cancer and 2% of lukaemia (WHO, 2000). The magnitude of the problem is said to be grave for developing countries. In spite of difficulty in obtaining information concerning occupational diseases and injuries in developing countries due to lack of comprehensive and harmonious data collection system, ILO still estimates that 2 million workers die each year from work related injury and illness. In 2002, in sub-saharan Africa alone, ILO estimated more than 257,000 total work related fatalities, including about 55,000 injuries (Ezeijiofor et al., 2014). In Nigeria, not less than 200 industrial accidents occur in the workplace daily with an equally high rate of fatalities (Nwachukwu, C &Ikeije, U, 2016). It is estimated that at least 50 million workers are at risk of occupational hazards (Ngawma, 2016).
Since the dawn of civilization, virtually all occupations have had associated hazards and petroleum refining and distribution is among the occupations regarded as hazardous. In fact, it is one of the riskiest when it comes to the health and safety of the employees. Workers in petrochemical industry are always at risk of toxic chemical exposure which may result in corrosiveness, burns, problems with skin and other organs at levels relying on the lengthy of exposure. Continuous exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to headaches and mental disturbances, breathing petroleum vapors can cause nervous system effects such as nausea and dizziness as well as respiratory irritation. Asphalt, a component of petroleum hydrocarbons can cause severe burns and eye irritation. Health risk assessment for exposure to benzene in petroleum refinery environment suggest a potential cancer risk for exposure to benzene. Long term exposure to coke dust, silica and hydrogen sulphide can lead to chronic lung disease. A threefold increase in kidney cancer has been noted for exposure to hydrocarbons following occupational exposures to crude oil in oil refining activities (Ezejiofor, 2016). Petroleum’s potentially mix of toxic and inflammable ingredients means the risk for explosion always exists in a crude oil refinery. Refining activities also involve heavy equipments that produce vibrations, radiations, heat, and noise, thus contributing to other forms of hazards (Ezeijiofor, 2014). These hazards undoubtedly affect job performance of employees in the petrochemical industry because their health is affected and the result is inability to work, absenteeism and, declined productivity.
Therefore, exposure to hazards is of immense danger to the attainment of the fullest benefits from employees of the petrochemical industry. Despite the enormous gains accrued to petroleum in Nigeria, the required attention has not been paid to occupational hazards which affect the job performance of the refinery and petrochemical workers. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no recent study to determine the impacts of occupational hazards on the job performance of refinery and petrochemical workers in this part of Nigeria. There are a number of studies on the impacts of other variables on job performance but there is a gap in knowledge on impacts of occupational hazards. It is on this ground that this study aims to fill the gap in knowledge and ascertain the impacts of occupational hazards on the job performance of the employees of Kaduna refinery.
1.1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The human, social and economic cost of occupational accidents, injuries and diseases and major industrial disasters have long been a cause for concern. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), in every 15 seconds, a worker dies from a work-related accident or disease. Every 15 seconds, 153 workers have a work-related accident. 317 million job- related accidents occur annually, many of these resulting in extended absences from work. More than 160 million people suffer from occupational and work-related diseases most of them due to exposure to chemicals and there are 313 million non-fatal accidents per year. More so, recent data from the International Labour Organization and from the World Health Organization indicate that overall occupational accident and disease rates are gradually declining in most industrialized countries but are increasing in developing and industrializing countries like Nigeria (Eyayo, 2014). The rising trend of occupational accidents is inevasible if appropriate safety measures are not adopted.
Petrochemical industry exposes workers to an array of hazards. Oil refineries are inherently complex in their equipment and structural design that combined with the multitude of chemical used, workers are at endless risk of accidents involving fires, transportation accident,explosions, chemical spills and burns as well as numerous health effects many of which may remain latent even onto or post-retirement from active service (Eziejioforet al., 2014). There is evidence that occupationally exposed people in the petroleum refining industry have an increased risk of skin cancer and leukemia (John, 2016). Petrochemical workers are also exposed to many and varied health hazards, accidents or injuries with heavy tools and equipments and adverse ergonomic conditions. The various occupational hazards in the oil refinery affects health of workers which leads to declined productivity and increased absenteeism from work. This in turn affects the country’s economy as the international labour organization (ILO) estimated that occupational accidents, injuries and diseases amount to 4% of loss in global gross domestic product (GDP) or 2.02 trillion US dollars, in direct and indirect cost of occupational injuries and diseases (Nwachukwu, C &Ikeije, U, 2016). Given that apparent empirical links exist between healthy labour force and productivity hazards must therefore be prevented because it serves as a negative catalyst for declined productivity.
However, in Nigeria, there has been heavy dependence on petroleum products for both financial and economic growth which has led to the recurrent exposure of workers in oil industry to health and environmental hazards. Thus, despite the extremely negative effects of occupational hazards on health and job performance, there are no concrete measures to address these hazards that negatively affect job performance. Furthermore, there has not been a conscious establishment of a linkage between occupational hazards and its negative effects on job performance. It is in the light of these problems that this research seeks to bring to the fore the implications of occupational hazards on job performance of the employees of Kaduna refinery.
1.2 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the nature occupational hazard among employees of Kaduna refinery?
- What are the factors affecting the job performance of the employees of Kaduna refinery?
- What are the impacts of occupational hazards on the job performance of employees of Kaduna refinery?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1. To identify the nature of occupational hazards among employees of Kaduna refinery.
2. To identify the factors affecting the job performance of the employees of Kaduna refinery.
3. To determine the impacts of occupational hazards on the job performance of the employees of Kaduna refinery.
1. H1. There is a significantrelationship between occupational hazards and job performance
2. Hii. There is a significant relationship between occupational hazards and job satisfaction
3. Ho. There is no significant relationship between occupational hazards and job performance.
4. Ho. There is no significant relationship between occupational hazards and job satisfaction.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Oil, being the pillar of the Nigerian economy has made a variety of contributions to the Nigerian economy. These include contribution to government revenues, to gross domestic product, and to foreign exchange reserves; and the supply of energy to industry and commerce. Crude oil has had profound impact on the global development of Nigeria than any other single natural resource in recorded history. Considering the importance of the oil sector in Nigeria, the safety of workers in this sector and optimum job performance from them is therefore of utmost importance.
A recent and comprehensive study (GOV.UK- Review of evidence on employee well being and its potential impact on work place performance) suggests improvement in well-being will result in improved workplace performance: in profitability (financial performance), labor productivity and the quality of outputs and services. Injured workers do not produce anything. Safety is therefore necessary for productivity. In Nigeria little has been done as far as assessing the impact of occupational hazards on job performance within organizations is concerned. It is in this light that this study is deemed important as it will create awareness on the need to provide a safer work environment for employees.
Workers in petrochemical industry are exposed to numerous occupational hazards. Occupational hazards have the potential to negatively impact the job performance of employees’. The cost of work-related illness, injury and fatality can take a heavy financial toll on any organization. Putting effort to prevent or minimize these hazards is therefore of utmost important. This study will create greater awareness of occupational hazards among the employees of Kaduna refinery and they are bound to become more knowledgeable of its impacts on them and therefore make them adopt safety measures which will greatly help prevent or minimize occupational hazards they are exposed to and this will help reduce the profit loss associated with occupational hazards. The study will also facilitate the government’s commitment to the need to map out policies and strategies to deal with the risk posed to workers in the Kaduna refinery. This would further aid in enhancing the job performance of workers in the refinery as a result of improved safety in the work environment. Also, while much has been written on the impacts of other variables such as motivation, management policies, job satisfaction on job performance, the impacts of occupational hazards on job performance in oil refineries has not been paid much attention, hence this study will bridge the gap and shed light on the impacts of occupational hazards on job performance among employees of Kaduna refinery.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study was conducted in the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) within a period of three months. Employees within the various departments that the company comprised of made up the sample.
The study identified the nature of occupational hazards among the employees of Kaduna refinery. It identifiedthe factors affecting the job performance of the employees. It also determined the impacts of occupational hazards on the job performance of the employees of the refinery.
The study had some limitations. The study was limited only to the Kaduna refinery due to financial constraint, time constraint and the task involved in carrying out the study beyond the Kaduna refinery. Also as a structured organization, approval to carry out the study was very difficult.
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