Online Program

Am I safe in here? an assessment of building safety perception of a sample of puerto rican islanders

Monday, November 4, 2013

Victor Emanuel Reyes-Ortiz, PhDc, MCH Program Department of Human Development Graduate School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR
René R. Dávila-Torres, MS, DBA, PhD, Maternal and Child Health Program, Puerto Rico School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
NFPA and OSHA pose that the majority of the persons are unaware about how to act safely during emergency situations, however much of the people safety correlates to the structure in which they cohabit. This study aimed to assess the perception a group of Puerto Rican regarding the safety measures their building offers to help them survive in case of emergency. An electronic survey was conducted among Puerto Ricans workers and students using snowball sampling technique. 308 participants completed a 33 items original questionnaire containing 10 questions measuring perception of building safety in case of an emergency event. Internal reliability of the scale scored a Crobanch á of .83. Approximately 25% of the participants reported their building had 70% of the safety measures required in the regulations; only 1 in 10 of the participants reported full compliance. Bivariate analysis showed statistically significant differences in compliance perception by gender, geographical areas, educational level of participants (p < .001), but not age. Also moderate to strong correlation was found among that those who had been in an emergency situation, know the emergency preparedness plan, practice it at least once a year, and know the NFPA OHSA regulation (p < .001). Last multiple regression analysis is used to model effective interventions for the population. In conclusion, although perception of compliance is low among participants, results suggest that knowledge and participating in emergency preparedness exercises could help reduce the risk of injury and death due to bad perceptions of building safety.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Identify social and demographic characteristics impacting the perception of building safety in a Puerto Rican Population. Compare the perception of safety measures buildings offer to help survive people in case of emergency, of those who had been previously involved in an emergency or disaster event and those who had not.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I'm the intellectual author of the project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.