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Gitau Patrick Martin - Masters Student, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Dr. Rosebella Alungata Iseme - Lecturer, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Dr. Jackim M. Nyamari - Lecturer, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Kenyatta University, Kenya


Noise is one of the most common physical hazards experienced in workplaces. Occupational noise is generally the factory noise received by employees when they are working within an industry. Employees working in tea factories are exposed to the health risks resulting from industrial noise. This study was conducted in selected tea factories in Kericho County to assess the impact of occupational noise on employees' health. The study adopted a cross-sectional research design. The study targeted 259 employees in the production department working for a minimum of eight hours from the selected tea factories using a random sampling technique. The noise level was measured using an ND-9 Digital calibrated sound level meter. The generation of output in the study was achieved by using SPSS version 25. A univariate Chi-square test of independence was used to evaluate the association of noise levels and reported health effects among the workers in the production department of selected tea factories. The predictive ability of the study relied on the binary logistic regression to establish adjusted odds ratio (AOR) that reported a 95% confidence interval. Inferential statistics were presented using charts and tables of percentages, statistical means, and standard deviations. The study considered a P value of below 0.05 as significant. From the findings, most of the respondents were exposed to occupational noise for long hour sometimes for more than 4 hours due to lack of shifts or enough qualified personnel to relieve them at their duty stations. This led to increased risk to the effects of noise pollution on their health. A Chi-square test to determine the independence of health effects to occupational noise was significant at p<0.05 for noise levels (r=0.108, p<0.05), and days worked in the same place (r=0.109, p<0.05). Higher noise levels in a tea factory and more days an employee worked in the same work station were more likely to develop negative health effects. The correlation analysis was not significant between negative health effects produced from exposure to occupation noise and use of PPEs (r=0.146, p<0.001). Understanding the negative effects of occupational noise motivates the use of PPE, reducing the possibility of developing health effects from noise exposure. Therefore, the study concluded that exposure to occupational noise occurs in tea factories because of running machines with constant noise levels. The study recommends that tea factories administration and management should implement a proactive process that will provide guidelines for assessment and management of occupational noise risks, use of PPEs, and implementation of ergonomic solutions like conducive working conditions, initiate shifts in different working areas, always involve the workers in regular health check-ups, and reduce working hours.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)