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Assessment of Students Behavioral Risk to Environmental Hazards in Academic Institutions in Ghana

This paper used a multi-staged analytical approach and the hierarchization matrix method to identify and evaluate scientific information on the most affecting and most sensitive elements in an academic environmental management system (AEMS) and assessed students’ behavioral tendencies likely to invoke risk. The hierarchization matrix analysis used, identified university administrators and students asthe most affecting and sensitive human elements(MSHE) respectively. Correlation was established between behavioural instincts, adherence to safety nets and risk minimization as the likelihood of fire outbreak in a lecture hall or fighting in a parked canteen (Food plaza) both registered high-risk levels (4.5 and 4.2 respectively) on the scale. Some members of the MSHE (68%), sampled from three universities (n=325), were found to be ignorant of activities strongly perceived to predispose them to environmental hazards and risks (EHRs), and ‘Always’ or ‘Sometimes’ indulged in them. The paper also confirmed some members of the MSHE to be highly at risk due to motivations behind some choices made and concluded on the need for institutionalizing EHRs and safety culture, rolling out a comprehensive environmental management systems’ manual in the AEMS and embarking on an effective EHRs knowledge dissemination campaigns.

Author(s): Edward Kweku Nunoo, Eric Twum and Anthony Panin

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