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   2011| January-April  | Volume 15 | Issue 1  
    Online since July 16, 2011

 
 
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REVIEW ARTICLES
A review on the occupational health and social security of unorganized workers in the construction industry
Guddi Tiwary, PK Gangopadhyay
January-April 2011, 15(1):18-24
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.83003  PMID:21808496
Construction is one of the important industries employing a large number of people on its workforce. A wide range of activities are involved in it. Due to the advent of industrialization and recent developments, this industry is taking a pivotal role for construction of buildings, roads, bridges, and so forth. The workers engaged in this industry are victims of different occupational disorders and psychosocial stresses. In India, they belong to the organized and unorganized sectors. However, data in respect to occupational health and psychosocial stress are scanty in our country. It is true that a sizable number of the workforce is from the unorganized sectors − the working hours are more than the stipulated hours of work - the work place is not proper − the working conditions are non-congenial in most of the cases and involve risk factors. Their wages are also not adequate, making it difficult for them to run their families. The hazards include handling of different materials required for construction, and exposure to harsh environmental conditions like sun, rain, and so on. On account of this, in adverse conditions, it results in accidents and adverse health conditions cause psychosocial strain and the like. They are victims of headache, backache, joint pains, skin diseases, lung disorders like silicosis, other muscular skeletal disorders, and so on. The repetitive nature of the work causes boredom and the disproportionate earning compared to the requirements puts them under psychological stress and strain and other abnormal behavioral disorders. The Government of India has realized the importance of this industry and has promulgated an Act in 1996. The state government are being asked to adhere to this, although only a few states have partially enforced it. In this article, attempts have been made to review some of the important available articles for giving a broad idea of the problem and for furtherance of research in this field.
  9,909 395 11
Occupational health assessment of chromite toxicity among Indian miners
Alok Prasad Das, Shikha Singh
January-April 2011, 15(1):6-13
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.82998  PMID:21808494
Elevated concentration of hexavalent chromium pollution and contamination has contributed a major health hazard affecting more than 2 lakh mine workers and inhabitants residing in the Sukinda chromite mine of Odisha, India. Despite people suffering from several forms of ill health, physical and mental deformities, constant exposure to toxic wastes and chronic diseases as a result of chromite mining, there is a tragic gap in the availability of 'scientific' studies and data on the health hazards of mining in India. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Odisha State Pollution Control Board and the Odisha Voluntary Health Association data were used to compile the possible occupational health hazards, hexavalent chromium exposure and diseases among Sukinda chromite mines workers. Studies were reviewed to determine the routes of exposure and possible mechanism of chromium induced carcinogenicity among the workers. Our studies suggest all forms of hexavalent chromium are regarded as carcinogenic to workers however the most important routes of occupational exposure to Cr (VI) are inhalation and dermal contact. This review article outlines the physical, chemical, biological and psychosocial occupational health hazards of chromite mining and associated metallurgical processes to monitor the mining environment as well as the miners exposed to these toxicants to foster a safe work environment. The authors anticipate that the outcome of this manuscript will have an impact on Indian chromite mining industry that will subsequently bring about improvements in work conditions, develop intervention experiments in occupational health and safety programs.
  9,474 210 18
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Health problems among migrant construction workers: A unique public-private partnership project
Balkrishna B Adsul, Payal S Laad, Prashant V Howal, Ramesh M Chaturvedi
January-April 2011, 15(1):29-32
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.83001  PMID:21808498
Background: Construction sector is a booming industry and involves many hazardous activities. Migrant labor in the industry is susceptible to various health and occupational hazards. In a unique public-private partnership project, a medical team from a public sector teaching hospital in Mumbai provided comprehensive on-site health care services to the construction workers of a private construction company. Objective: To study socio-demographic profile and morbidity pattern of construction workers. Setting and Design: A cross-sectional study at construction site Vidyavihar (West), Mumbai, was carried out over the period of May to November 2010. Materials and Methods: A medical team provided comprehensive on-site health care services, and a Health Card was devised to maintain the record of socio-demographic, occupational details, and complete physical examination findings of the workers who participated in the study. Statistical Analysis Used: Statistical analysis was done using SPSS 15.0. Results: Of the 1337 workers (all males) examined, 1289 (96.4%) belonged to 15-45 years age group. The mean age of the workers was 26.25 ± 8.49 years. A third of the migrants belonged to West Bengal. The average number of health problems in the workers was 1.41. Regular consumers of tobacco and alcohol were 50.48 and 14.65%, respectively. Nearly one-fifth of the workers had febrile illness, of which 20.71% had suspected malaria; 12.6% had respiratory infections, while 3.4% were found to have hypertension. There was a statistically significant association (P < 0.05) between type of occupation and morbidity status.
  7,618 333 8
Preliminary study: Formaldehyde exposure in laboratories of Sharjah university in UAE
Hafiz Omer Ahmed
January-April 2011, 15(1):33-37
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.82997  PMID:21808499
Objectives : Laboratory technicians, students, and instructors are at high risk, because they deal with chemicals including formaldehyde. Thus, this preliminary study was conducted to measure the concentration of formaldehyde in the laboratories of the University of Sharjah in UAE. Materials and Methods: Thirty-two air samples were collected and analyzed for formaldehyde using National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) method 3500. In this method, formaldehyde reacts with chromotropic acid in the presence of sulfuric acid to form a colored solution. The absorbance of the colored solution is read in spectrophotometer at wavelength 580 nm and is proportional to the quantity of the formaldehyde in the solution. Results: For the anatomy laboratory and in the presence of the covered cadaver, the mean concentration of formaldehyde was found to be 0.100 ppm with a range of 0.095-0.105 ppm. Whereas for the other laboratories, the highest mean concentration of formaldehyde was 0.024 ppm in the general microbiology laboratory and the lowest mean concentration of formaldehyde was 0.001 ppm in the environmental health laboratory. The 8-hour (time-weighted average) concentration of formaldehyde was found to be ranging between 0.0003 ppm in environmental health laboratory and 0.026 ppm in the anatomy laboratory. Conclusions: The highest level of concentration of formaldehyde in the presence of the covered cadaver in anatomy laboratory exceeded the recommended ceiling standard established by USA-NIOSH which is 0.1 ppm, but below the ceiling standard established by American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists which is 0.3 ppm. Thus, it is recommended that formaldehyde levels should be measured periodically specially during the dissection in the anatomy laboratory, and local exhaust ventilation system should be installed and personal protective equipment such as safety glass and gloves should be available and be used to prevent direct skin or eye contact.
  5,928 78 9
Night work and inflammatory markers
Sadeghniiat Khosro, Safaiyan Alireza, Aminian Omid, Sharifi Forough
January-April 2011, 15(1):38-41
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.82996  PMID:21808500
Background: Various adverse health effects associated with shift work have been documented in the medical literature. These include increased risk of cardiovascular disorders, cerebrovascular disorders, and mortality. Sleep deprivation has been shown to be associated with an elevation in inflammatory makers such as interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and C-reactive protein (CRP). It is hypothesized that the increased risk of many disorders associated with shift work may be due to inflammatory processes resulting from sleep deprivation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between night work and inflammatory markers. Materials and Methods: Fifty workers were selected according to the specified inclusion and exclusion criteria and randomly assigned to one of two groups in a cross over study. The 25 workers in group 1 were scheduled to work the following consecutive shifts: three day shifts, one day off, and three night shifts. Group 2 were scheduled to work the following consecutive shifts: three night shifts, one day off, and three day shifts. Blood samples were obtained between 7:A.M. and 8:A.M. after the periods of day work and night work and tested for inflammatory markers. Statistical Analyses: SPSS 11.5 and S-data were used to analyze data using the Student's t-test and paired t-test. Results: There was a statistically significant increase in IL-6, CRP, white blood cells, neutrophils, lymphocytes, and platelets following night work compared with day work. TNF-α was increased but it was not statistically significant, and also the change in monocyte counts was not significant. Conclusion: This study demonstrated an increase in inflammatory markers following night work, as reported in several pervious studies on sleep deprivation. No significant changes in monocyte count can be justified by the results of a study which showed that the elevation in blood levels of inflammatory markers is due to increase in gene expression, not in monocyte counts.
  4,835 109 12
REVIEW ARTICLES
Ergonomics: A bridge between fundamentals and applied research
Subrata Ghosh, Anandi Bagchi, Devashish Sen, Pathikrit Bandyopadhyay
January-April 2011, 15(1):14-17
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.83000  PMID:21808495
Ergonomics is becoming a subject of applying fundamentals on anthropocentric dimensions for holistic welfare. The so-called conflict between Basic science and Applied research finds one of its edges in Ergonomics. Be it cutting-edge technology or frontiers of scientific innovation-all start from understanding basic scientific aptitude and skill, and the best way to get familiar with the situation is practicing basic science again and again at a regular basis. Ergonomics is diversified in such paradigms that truly set an example of such harmony between two apparently never-ending straight lines. If the spirit of Science is true human welfare, be it in the form of environmental development, machine development, technological advancement, human resource development, or development of consecutive interfaces between these components, Participatory Ergonomics is one of the vivid examples of such conglomeration. Although fundamental science may appear to be of very little practical significance, it turns out that eventually it has far greater impact on human society than much of the so-called "applied research."
  4,779 163 -
EDITORIAL
Occupational health legislation: Recent amendments (The Maharashtra Factories Rules): Issues and concerns
GK Kulkarni
January-April 2011, 15(1):1-2
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.82994  PMID:21808492
  4,582 221 -
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Study of occupational stress among railway engine pilots
Devesh Kumar, Jai Vir Singh, Poonam S Kharwar
January-April 2011, 15(1):25-28
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.83002  PMID:21808497
Background: Traffic volume and speed is going to be increased in Indian Railways successively, leading to higher stress in staff connected with train operations. The jobs of railway engine pilots come under the category of high-strain jobs, necessitating a need to conduct multicentric study to unfold the factors associated with occupational stress and organizational strategies. Materials and Methods: Present study covered 185 railway engine pilots and office clerks working in various railway zones by incidental method. Occupational Stress Index (OSI) test developed by Srivastva and Singh, questionnaire of specific stressors constructed by authors and laboratory test battery for psychological screening of high-speed train pilots were used as tools. Results: Means of OSI and all the 12 occupational stressors of railway engine pilots were found significantly higher to that of office clerks. Means of OSI and occupational stressors of goods train pilots were significantly higher in comparison to high-speed train pilots and passenger train pilots. Study revealed positive correlation of speed perception and complex reaction time tests and negative correlation of other constituent tests of laboratory test battery to OSI test. Highest subgroup of stressor observedwas role overload followed by role conflict. Conclusions: These findings provide a prima facie evidence of higher occupational stress among railway engine pilots because of identified specific stressors prevalent in their job and explore the possible intervention strategies for its reduction. Significant correlation is noticed between OSI and laboratory test results, indicating its relevant utility in preliminary psychological screening.
  4,530 183 1
REVIEW ARTICLES
Online resources for occupational health physicians
Sanjay P Zodpey, Himanshu N Negandhi, Rajnarayan R Tiwari
January-April 2011, 15(1):3-5
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.82995  PMID:21808493
Periodic retraining ensures that experts are updated in the advances in the science and methods of their profession. Such periodic retraining is sparsely accessible to Indian occupational health physicians and researchers. However, there is significant material that is available online in occupational health and related fields. This information is open-source and is freely available. It does not require any special subscription on the client's part. This information can supplement the efforts of motivated occupational health practitioners in India.
  4,427 225 -
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Assessment of awareness regarding climate change and its health hazards among the medical students
Harshal T Pandve, Atul Raut
January-April 2011, 15(1):42-45
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.82999  PMID:21808501
Background : Climate change has emerged as one of the most devastating environmental threat and there is overwhelming evidence of wide range of implications for human health. To mitigate this, well-prepared medical man power is required. Objectives : The objectives of this study were (1) to assess the awareness regarding climate change and its health hazards among the medical students and (2) to recommend the awareness campaigns regarding climate change and its health hazards for students based on the results. Settings and Design: This observational study was conducted at the Medical College in Pune city. Materials and Methods: Medical students from all years of M.B.B.S. (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) who had given the written consent were included in this study. A self-administered, pre-tested, questionnaire was used. Responses were evaluated. Statistical Analysis Used: Proportions, percentage, and Chi-square test. Results: A total of 250 medical students were included in this study. In all, 246 (98.40%) students commented that global climate is changing, while 245 (98%) students opined that human activities are contributing to climate change. The commonest source of information about climate change was newspaper and magazines (78.20%). Majority commented that deforestation and industrial and vehicular pollution contribute most to climate change. According to 47.50% of the students, health-related issues are priority for climate change prevention strategy. According to 65.10% students, direct physical hazards of extreme climatic events are most important health-related impact of climate change, followed by natural disaster-related health hazards (43.50%), waterborne diseases (27.60%), vector-borne diseases (17.60%), and malnutrition (10%). There was statistically significant difference found between year of MBBS of the students and the awareness regarding United Nations Federation on Climate Change, Kyoto protocol (χ2 = 7.85, P = 0.02), and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (χ2 = 12.77, P = 0.002). A significant difference was found between the awareness about health impact of climate change at different places (χ2 = 11.25, P = 0.001). Conclusion: Students had awareness regarding health hazards of the climate change, but improvement for mitigation is required. It is suggested that a large nation-wide awareness survey regarding climate change and its health hazards is necessary to determine the preparedness of medical students and also to suggest any changes in the current curriculum.
  4,463 187 5
LETTERS TO EDITOR
A warmer world means more beetles and more dermatitis
Engin Senel, Ceren Sahin
January-April 2011, 15(1):47-47
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.82993  PMID:21808503
  3,974 73 -
Organophosphate exposure, symptoms, and blood biomarker
Viroj Wiwanitkit
January-April 2011, 15(1):46-46
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.82992  PMID:21808502
  2,442 78 -