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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 97-99

Risk rating in the tea planting industry: The employees' opinion

Department of Community Health, St. John's Medical College, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
Bobby Joseph
Department of Community Health, St. John's Medical College, Bangalore 560034
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.75698

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Background: Workers in the tea planting industry are exposed to a variety of occupational health and safety hazards. Whether the workers perceive the risks involved and to what degree is an interesting point in question. Aims: To identify occupational health and safety risks involved in the tea planting sector and to rate these risks from the workers' perspective. Settings and Design: Permanent workers from four estates belonging to one tea planting company in southern India were enlisted in this descriptive study . Materials and Methods: The sample was randomly and then proportionately selected to give a total number equal to the calculated sample size of 341. Data were collected by reviewing medical records, conducting focus group discussions with field officers and supervisors, worker interviews and key informant interviews with the management in these four estates. Proportions were used to describe occurrence and distribution of work-related injuries. The risks as perceived by the workers were rated on their severity and frequency, using a Risk Rating Matrix. Results and Conclusion: The incidence of injuries was greater among male workers, those working both in the field and factory and those handling multiple tasks. The most common morbidities suffered were "small cuts and abrasions" in about 53%of the workers. Backache and insect bites were assigned the highest risk rating scores. Continued monitoring of the risk assessment by the workers could help in a planned reduction of commonly occurring injuries by agreeing on a specified risk limit.


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