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The Relationships Between Work Accident, Educational Backgrounds and Stress Levels of Textile Workers

M. Hülya Ünal Karagüven

Technical Education Faculty
Department of Educational Sciences
Marmara University, Turkey

Paper Presented at the European Conference on Educational Research, Lahti, Finland 22 - 25 September 1999

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between work accident, stress level and educational background of textile workers. The study is conducted in two parts. In the first part, "The Glazer Stresscontrol Life-Style Questionnaire" scale is adapted to Turkish population. And a questionnaire is developed in order to gather information a demographic characteristics of the textile industry workers. In the second part, the relationship among work accident, stress level and educational background is studied. For the first part of the study subjects are 20 English Language Teachers and 32 university student and for the second part of the study subjects are 248 Turkish and 41 English Textile workers. The results indicated that stress level and educational background is significantly related with work accident.

Problem Statement and Theoretical Framework

In recent years there has been a growing recognition of the need to the effect of work related accident. According to WHO (World Health Organisation ) ranking of accidental death remained steadily in both developed and developing countries. Accident and injuries are now a fundamental health problem for all countries. And they are the first cause of early death in developed countries and second after infectious diseases in developing countries. The most recent estimated number of deaths in the work shows that nearly 3 million people die annually because of an injury-producing accident; this represents 5% of the total number of annual deaths (Romer, 1987). Accidents in industry are causing heavily losses in terms of disability and mortality every year in the industrialised countries and are now increasing in developing countries.

Accidents are unfortunate, unpredictable, unavoidable, unanticipated and unintentional interactions with the environment (Oborne, 1988) All accidents involve one or more events which lead to the accident and possible injury. There are direct and indirect results of accidents. The indirect results, as with the indirect causes, can be extremely significant, particularly in terms of cost (Stranks & Dewis, 1986). The most important cause of lost productive life years are accidents. Nearly one million productive-person hours are lost each year due to work related accidents. Work accidents are very expensive events to the employer and to the developing countries economy especially. Yearly accident costs are estimated to be 31.4 billion dollars in lost wages, medical and insurance expenses, and property damage only in U.S. (National Safety Council, 1983).

For all these reasons it is necessary to analysis of the causes of accidents. There has been lots of research and accident models like behavioural and physiological. And the causes and the reasons of accidents can be separated into two categories as direct and indirect in general. (Oborne, 1988, Stranks & Dewis, 1986, Armstrong, 1991). Indirect causes can be classified conveniently into two major categories: Environmental (unsafe chemical, physical or mechanical conditions) and personal factors. Major environmental or technical causes are failure by management and supervision to inform, instruct, maintain and lead in safety procedures, inadequate or careless maintenance of plant, the provision of insufficient or ineffective safety devices on machinery, abnormal wear and tear, lack of preventive maintenance etc. (Stranks & Dewis, 1986; Beach, 1965; Flippo,1966)

In general, automation seems to have resulted in a decreased injury rate and it should produce even more impressive results in the future. Maintenance work on automated equipment may prove to be the most resistant to accident prevention efforts. Electrical hazards are considerable and so is the possibility of the falls. Although operating conditions can be largely standardised and the operator isolated from danger, maintenance and repair will invariably introduce unanticipated circumstances. Thus, it is here that injuries are and will probably continue to be, most frequent and also most serious (Miner, 1973). Therefore, automation is not a solution for work accident that caused by technical reasons. This is the reason way human is an important factor.

Recent analyses of accident statistics reveal that the vast majority are due to a combination of unsafe physical conditions and unsafe acts and most accidents arise from human error (Beach, 1965; Feggetter, 1982; Flippo, 1966). Some of the earlier studies purportedly showed that 85 to 90 percent off all injuries were caused by human error and only 10 to 15 percent by hazardous conditions. In other words four accidents caused by human deficiencies to every one that is caused by technical or mechanical defects (Flippo, 1966). For example, approximately 70% of aircraft accidents and incidents have in the past been attributed to human error, and the importance of human error as a major contributory factor in now universally recognised (Feggetter, 1989). Moreover it is impossible to create a completely safe plant where no one could possibly injury himself (Flippo, 1966). There has been lots of research related with individual characteristics and work accident (Foreman, 1983; Buck & Coleman, 1985; Hansen, 1988, Feggetter, 1989; Smith & Kirkham, 1981). And various "models" of accident-related behaviour have been proposed like as behavioural and physiological models, some of these having at least certain common dominators. As the name suggest behavioural models imply that an accident occurs due to some deficiencies in operator or personal behaviour rather than in the machine itself (Oborne,1988). To be able to better manage with work accidents, it is important to identify personal factors.

A personal factor is defined as "any characteristics or condition of a person that causes or influences that person to act unsafely" (Stranks & Dewis, 1986). Such as accident proneness, introversion-extraversion, aggression, general social maladjustment, locus of control, neurosis, impulsivity, risk taking, age and experience, inadequate education, sex, duration of work, left handedness, stress etc.

Stress is a recent concept of in the twentieth century and it is having a great impact upon individuals. Stress is usually thought of in negative terms. It is defined as the non-specific response of body to any demand made upon it by Selye. Some kind of people become confused easily under stress (Miner, 1973; Betts, 1973 ). It has physical and emotional effects on us (www.ivf.com/stress.html, 29.6.1999).

Research indicates that many disease and conditions incorporate a stress element (Melamed et all., 1989; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984; Cooper, 1983). Whilst stress is not the sole cause, it can play a key role in the promotion of the disease and condition. For example: headaches, inability to sleep, fatigue, over-eating, constipation, lower back pain, allergies, nervousness, nightmares, minor accidents and many others are the sign and symptom of stress. No two people react in the same way to a stressful occurrence; one may become withdrawn and depressed, whilst another is hyperactive, compulsive or abnormally gregarious; one sleeps incessantly, another get insomnia (Stranks & Dewis, 1986). One of these behavioural results of stress can be a cause for a work related accident.

Insufficient education, poor training or illiteration is another personal factor for work accident. Statistics show that accidents at the workplace are seriously an important problem especially for the developing countries. A major factor responsible for this state is illiteration (Asogwa, 1987). Knowledge and skill deficiencies are indirect causes of accidents (Stranks & Dewis, 1986).

Turkey is in industrialisation process. Agriculture, started to diversify and hand tools are replaced by machinery. According to SSK- Sosyal Sigortalar Kurumu (Turkish Insurance Instituted) statistics textile is second industry in Turkey after construction industry related with the number of workers (SSK,1993). As a result of this a large number of new workers are needed and their education not at the same level.. Because of insufficient education work accidents are increasing. Statistical analyses show that, Textile is in the forth order according to work accident rates in Turkey, after from construction, manufacture of metals and coal mines industry.

Statistical analyses of the data of HSE (Health and Safety Executive) and MPM (Milli Prodüktivite Merkezi) results show that work accident rates in Turkey ten times bigger than in England. Textile industry (production of man made fibres) is in the ninety order England, related with work accident. Therefore it is intended to compare educational and stress levels of Turkish and English Textile industry workers related with work accident.

The aim of this study is to determine the effects of educational background and stress levels of workers on work accidents.

Method

Sample

The participants of the adaptation study were 20 English Language teachers and 32 university students at Boğaziçi University. The sample of the second part of the study consist of 248 Turkish textile workers from 9 textile factories in İstanbul and 41 English textile workers from 2 textile factories in Manchester.

Instruments

The demographic and specific characteristics of workers determined by English and Turkish questionnaires.

Stress level of workers were assessed individually by using Turkish and English forms of the Glazer-Stresscontrol Life-Style Questionnaire. The Questionnaire was developed by Dr. Howard I. Glazer, the director of behaviour management systems (Glazer,1985). The scale consisted of 20 seven-point Likert-type items.

At the beginning of the study the Glazer-Stresscontrol Life-Style Questionnaire was adapted into Turkish and Turkish version was called "Glazer Stress Ölçeği". Item-total correlation, test-retest reliability and Cronbah Alpha indicated a high reliability for stress questionnaire. The results have been shown to be related to sex differences. The validity and reliability measures for the Turkish version of the Questionnaire was assessed using 20 English teachers, 31 university students of the Faculty of Education in Boğaziçi University. 248 Turkish and 41 English Textile workers' data were also used in reliability and validity study.

Validity

The validity of English Form of the stress questionnaire

Evidence for the construct validity of questionnaire was based on the examination of the correlation of scores of Manifest Anxiety Inventory (MAI) and State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI). Only English teachers' stress and STAX score were significantly related (Table 1). A significant correlation between the stress level of The English Teachers and STAXI score was obtained.

Table 1

Pearson product moment correlation's between tress, anxiety and Anger cores

Correlation

 

n

MAI

STAXI

STRESS

20

.50

.22**

 

32

.26

.18

 

41

.26

.02

*** P# .001 ** P# .01 * P# .05

The validity of Turkish Form of the stress questionnaire

For the construct validity of Glazer Stress Ölçe?i, the correlation of scores with Manifest Anxiety Inventory (MAI) and State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI) were given in Table 2. Only Turkish workers stress level and STAXI score were significantly related (Table 2). This observed relation was satisfactory and consistent with expectations, and provide construct validity of the inventory.

Table 2

Pearson product moment correlation between Stress, Anxiety and Anger scores

Correlation

 

n

MAI

STAXI

STRESS

20

.45

.17

 

32

.10

.18

 

248

.12

.23

*** P# .001 ** P# .01 * P# .05

Reliability

Reliability for The English form of the Glazer Stress Questionnaire was tested with cronbach-alpha measures in different studies as shown in Table 3.

Table 3

Cronbach Alpha, Mean and Standard Deviation of The Glazer Stress Questionnaire

 

N

Alpha

Mean

SD

English language teachers

20

.89

91.20

18.52

University students

32

.67

87.36

11.70

English textile workers

41

.79

89.82

15.92

Reliability measures obtained for different sample groups as assessed by Cronbach-alpha values are shown in Table 4.

Table 4

Cronbach Alpha, Mean and Standard Deviation of The Glazer Stres Ölçeği

 

N

Alpha

Mean

SD

English language teachers

20

.88

90.25

19.20

University students

32

.72

82.25

13.65

English textile workers

248

.58

89.53

15.93

The reliability coefficients obtained for different age groups suggest an alpha range of .67-.89 for English form (Table 3) and .58-.88 for the Turkish form (Table 4) of the Glazer Stress Questionnaire. These values are satisfactory and provide reliability of the inventory.

Results

All statistical analyses were conducted by using the SPSS/PC+ Statistical Package for IBM PC (1988).

Population of the Sample

Table 5

The Table of Crosstabs - Accident by Nation

   

Turkish

English

Total

   

Female

Male

Total

Female

Male

Total

Female

Male

Total

* Work Accident +

Count

19

65

84

1

8

9

20

73

93

 

Row Pct.

20.4

69.9

90.3

1.0

8.9

9.7

21.5

78.5

100

 

Total Pct.

6.6

22.5

29.1

0.3

2.7

3.1

6.9

25.3

32.2

*Work Accident -

Count

60

104

164

18

14

32

78

118

196

 

Row Pct.

30.1

53.0

83.7

9.2

7.14

16.32

39.8

60.2

100

 

Total Pct.

20.7

35.9

59.7

6.2

4.8

11.1

27.0

40.8

67.8

Total

Count

79

169

248

19

22

41

98

191

289

 

%

27.3

58.4

85.8

6.5

7.9

14.2

33.9

66.1

100

As seen in table 5 the number of the sample of the study is consist of 248 Turkish (85.8%) and 41 (14.2 %) English textile workers. The total number of the sample is 289.

Education and Stress Level

Table 6

Analysis of Variance According to Educational Level in Total Group

Sum of

Mean

F

F

Source

D.F.

Squares

Squares

Ratio

Prob.

Between Groups 3 2657.5274 885.8425 4.5466 .0039
Within Groups 285 55527.8982 194.8347

Total

288

58185.4256

As shown in Table 6, educational background was significantly related with stress levels of workers (p # .005). The result of scheffe indicated that more educated workers' stress level were higher than less educated workers.

Table 7

Analysis of Variance According to Educational Level in Turkish Workers

Source

D.F Sum of squares Mean Squares F Ratio F Prob

Between Groups

3

1420.3866

473.4622

2.5906

.05*

Within Groups

244

44594.1134

182.7628

   

Total

247

46014.5000

     

*p# 0.05

Table 7 indicates that educational background was significantly related with stress levels of workers (p# .05) in Turkish. The result of scheffe indicate that more educated workers have high stress level.

Nationality and Stress Level

Table 8

T-test Analysis Between Turkish and English Workers Stress Mean Scores

  Number of Cases

Mean

Standard Deviation

t Value

Degrees of freedom

2-Tail Prob

Turkish Workers

248

82.2500

13.649

-3.21

287

.001

English Workers

41

89.8293

15.929

     

The results of the t-test analysis indicate that the mean score of stress of English Textile workers is significantly higher than the mean score of stress of Turkish Textile workers with the mean scores being 89.8293 and 82.2500, respectively (Table 8).

Sex and Stress Level

Table 9

T-test Analysis For Men and Women Stress Mean Scores

  Number of Cases Mean Standard Deviation t Value Degrees of Freedom 2-Tail Prob

Women

98 85.4286 14.219 1.81 287 .05

Men

191 82.2461 14.127      

The results of the t-test analysis indicate that the mean score of women was significantly higher than men with the mean scores being 85.4286 and 82.2461, respectively (Table 9).

Work Accident and Stress Level

Table 10

T-test Analysis Between the Stress Levels of Workers Who Have Work Accident and Who do not Have Work Accident

 

Mean

Standard Deviation

Standard Error

 
 

*Work Accid. +

*Work Accid. -

Work Accid. +

Work Accid. -

Work Accid. +

Work Accid. -

T value

P (Prob)

Turkish

71.8214

75.3354

12.759

13.360

1.392

1.043

-2.02

.045*

English

76.8889

83.4375

17.403

14.719

5.801

2.602

-1.06

.324

Total

2.3118

76.6582

13.247

13.880

1.374

.991

-2.57

.01**

*p # 0.05, **p # 0.01, ***p# 0.001

*Work accid. + : Workers who have work accident

*Work accid. - : Workers who do not have work accident

The results of the t-test analysis indicate that the mean score of stress levels of Turkish workers who have work accident significantly lower than the mean score of stress levels of Turkish workers who do not have work accident. In total group the mean score of stress levels of workers who have work accident significantly lower than the mean score of stress levels of workers who do not have work accident (Table 10).

Education and Work Accident

Most of the Turkish workers' education level is primary school (5 years). A chi-square test shows that Education is significantly related with work accident (Cramer's V .137, significance= .09) in Turkish Group and (Cramer's V .180, significance= .009) in total. The education level of the workers who have work accident is significantly lower than the education level of workers who do not have work accident.

Education and Sex

The result of chi-square test shows that there is a significant correlation between sex and education level, in Turkish workers (Cramer's V .144, significance = .07) in total (Contingency Coefficent 295, significance =.09). Educational level of men is significantly lower than women.

Conclusions

What is the role of the education and stress on work accident?

The results indicate that stress level and educational background are significantly related with work accident. Related with educational background of textile workers sex and national differences also significantly related with stress level. In the total group less educated textile workers, in the Turkish group the less educated men textile workers have lower stress than more educated textile workers. Educational levels of Turkish workers are significantly lower than English workers. Less educated workers have low stress level and work accident. In other words those who tend to have accidents have accident have also low educational level and less stress. In conclusion, poor education is a reason for work accident. This is the reason way in order to reduce the accident rate, education level of workers must be high.

References

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This document was added to the Education-line database 23 September 1999