DETERMINANTS OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ RESPONSE TO SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS ON HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS IN IMO AND ENUGU STATES OF NIGERIA
This study was carried out to find the determinants of University Students’ response to Safety Instructions on Household (pesticide) Products in Imo and Enugu States. Specifically, it sought to find out the determinants of students response to safety instructions, media for receipt and recognition of safety instruction/messages, students’ message reading and comprehension, students’ message storage and recollection and students’ risk perception of safety instructions. Five research questions and hypotheses guided the study. Descriptive survey research design was used and 72 item statement questionnaire and checklist were used for data collection. The questionnaire and checklist were face validated by three experienced University lecturers. The reliability of the instrument was determined using Cronbach-Alpha reliability formula on the responses of 100 undergraduate students randomly selected from Abia State university, Uturu and it yielded a reliability coefficient of 0.98. The population for the study was 54,960 undergraduate students of the four government owned universities in Imo and Enugu States. Proportionate stratified random sampling was used to select 2,748 respondents representing five percent of the population based on university, faculty, department and programme. Out of 2,748 copies of the questionnaire and checklist administered 2,693 were returned and analysed.. The data collected were analyzed using statistical mean and standard deviation to answer the research questions while the checklist was analysed using frequency and percentage. The null hypotheses were tested using z-test. Based on the analyses of data collected, it was found that obviousness of the injury, belief in the controllability, irreversibility and immediacy of effect and the specification of the desired response were determinants of students response to safety instructions, students’ media for receipt and recognition of safety instructions were determined by direct notification, print media, broadcast media and outdoor media etc; Students reading and comprehension of safety instructions were determined by the use of attractive colours, signal words, layout and length of message and students storage and recollection of safety instructions for response were determined by memory limitation, high recall decay rates limited attention span and familiarity with specific instructions. There is significant difference in the mean response of male and female students based on the z-test analyses. Based on the z approximation; the significance difference is in favour of male university students. It wasrecommended that direct notification and broadcasting should be most appropriate when presenting instructions/adverts on household products already in circulation, advertisers should consider their audience and their characteristics before choosing media and method of presentation, safety instructions should be brief and explicit and the required action clearly stated. The researcher concluded that students’ response to safety instructions on household (pesticide) products were determined by many factors that influence the media for students’ receipt, recognition, reading and comprehension of safety instructions as well as the student’s risk perception.
Background of the Study
Technology all over the world is dynamic in the sense that there are better and new methods of production as a result of advancement in technology. The improved method of production has led to mass production of goods and services. As the production increases, consumption also increases. The influence of technological development in the production and consumption of household products has brought about new regulations to protect the consumer. These regulations on the production, sale and consumption of household products tend to influence industries on the quality of their products. As production of goods and services faces different challenges as a result of regulations imposed by regulating bodies, the public are to be assured of their safety. Relevant government agencies are empowered to investigate, seize, destroy and ban potentially unsafe products. With technological advancement, innovation, research and development, a number of regulations are in place such as Chemical and Pesticides Act, 2008, Drugs, Foods and related products Act 1999 (Fatokun, 2003). Manufacturers must be aware of these regulations, when proposing, developing and launching new products for use by consumers. The knowledge of the regulations would help producers to ensure that the products conform to the safety regulations.