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Background: Globally, the oil industry is replete with several high-risk activities as seen in seismic exploration, construction, drilling, production, and maintenance. Generated hazards could impact exposed workers. Exposure to associated hazards and rigour of activities usually puts workers in oil and gas installations at risk of developing several occupational illnesses. Environmental problems have also been reportedly associated with these activities as well. This study was thus aimed at determining the perceived environmental effects and morbidity patterns among staff of an oil and gas installation in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.
Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study design was used in conducting this study in an onshore oil and gas hub in Nigeria. Study group comprised engineers and technicians of various oil and gas specialties. A random sampling method was used to select 256 personnel from the study population. A self-administered questionnaire was administered to the personnel of the facility. Data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Scientific Solutions (SPSS) version 17.0 (statistical software package) for analyses. Ethical considerations were adhered to during this study.
Results: Common complaints include transient tinnitus (97.3%), joint pain of varying degrees (83.6%), occasional prickling sensation in the skin (78.1%) and the lowest frequency of health effects was claims of stressful feeling (56.6%). Environmental problems including the destruction of aquatic biodiversity as well as water contamination were reported in this study.
Conclusion: This study found experience of several morbidities by the respondents. They also reported observation of certain environmental problems related with oil exploratory activities at the oil and gas installation. It is recommended that a regular review of measures be put in place to prevent these health and environmental problems from occurring in or around oil and gas installation located in Nigeria.
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