Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine   Official publication of Indian Association of  0ccupational  Health  
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   2014| January-April  | Volume 18 | Issue 1  
    Online since June 21, 2014

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Occupational hazard exposure and general health profile of welders in rural Delhi
Anuradha Chauhan, Tanu Anand, Jugal Kishore, Tor Erik Danielsen, Gopal Krishna Ingle
January-April 2014, 18(1):21-26
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.134953  PMID:25006312
Background: Welding is a common industrial process associated with various health hazards. The aspect of duration of hazard exposure among welders at their workplace has been studied to limited extent in India. Objective: To assess the duration of occupational hazard exposure and its association with symptoms among the welders. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted amongst 106 welders in North Delhi. Data was collected using a questionnaire containing items to assess the socio-demographic profile, their medical history and individual hazard exposure. Results: Majority of them were involved in skilled/semi-skilled job (n = 99; 93%). The predominant nature of work for majority was manual. More than half reported their work to be physically hard (n = 56; 53%), involves much lifting of weight (n = 61; 57%), and is dangerous (n = 59; 56%). Dust/smoke followed by noise was reported to be most common hazards at the workplace by them. Most of them were suffering from eye related symptoms (n = 63; 59%) followed by skin conditions (n = 28; 26%). Skin diseases were reported to be significantly common among group of welders who were exposed to dust and radiation for ≥4 hours in a day (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Nearly half of the welders found their job to be dangerous and were being exposed to at least one hazardous substance at their workplace. Majority of them complained of eye symptoms. There is a need for health and safety training of this economically productive group.
  8,253 185 8
A study of occupational health and safety measures in the Laundry Department of a private tertiary care teaching hospital, Bengaluru
M. Shashi Kumar, B. Ramakrishna Goud, Bobby Joseph
January-April 2014, 18(1):13-20
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.134951  PMID:25006311
Introduction: The Laundry Department plays an important role in preventing the spread of infection and continuously supplying clean linen to various departments in any hospital. Objectives of the Study: To identify existing practices and occupational safety and health (OSH) measures in the Laundry Department and to assess the use of personal protective equipments (PPEs) among health care workers. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in a private tertiary care teaching hospital. An observation checklist was developed, which was partially based on occupational hazard checklist of OSHA for Laundry Department. This was field tested and validated for applicability for this study. Results: The potential biological hazards are infections through exposure to aerosols, spills and splashes during various activities, fungal infection due to wet clothes and environment and infections through fomites. The potential physical hazards are injuries due to slips and falls, exposure to heat, humidity, dust, noise, and vibration. The potential chemical hazards are contact dermatitis and allergic asthma due to exposure to detergents, phenyl solution, bleaching powder, and soap oil solution. The potential ergonomic hazards are musculoskeletal diseases and repetitive stress injuries at the shoulder, elbow, and small joints of the hands. PPEs were not used consistently in most areas of the department.
  6,153 194 2
A study on morbidity among automobile service and repair workers in an urban area of South India
Mathew Philip, Reginald G. Alex, Soumya S. Sunny, Anand Alwan, Deepak Guzzula, Rajan Srinivasan
January-April 2014, 18(1):9-12
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.134946  PMID:25006310
Introduction: Service sector in Indian industrial growth has obtained significant numbers. Automobile service industry is one of the largest in the world with a majority of the workers in unorganized sector of the industry. This study was carried out among auto service industry workers in Vellore urban area to assess possible occupation related morbidity. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional observation study was carried out among 106 automobile repair shop workers. Results: Half (47%) suffered work related stress, 32 (30.2%) reported exposure to dust, 81 (76%) to heat, and 50 (17%) to hazardous chemicals and heavy metals. More than 90% reported over exposure to petroleum products. A third reported cough for more than 2 weeks, more than a quarter reported gastrointestinal symptoms associated with work. Half of them reported musculoskeletal complaints associated with work with a quarter reporting un-intentional work place injuries. A tenth of them were found to have reduced pulmonary function on testing and nearly half had impaired sensory functions in peripheries. Reduced pulmonary function was found to be significantly associated with heavy metal exposure (P = 0.001). Peripheral neuropathy was significantly associated with years of occupation (P = 0.001), exposure to petroleum products (P = 0.03) and exposure to heavy metals (P = 0.018). Discussion: Half of the workers were unaware of health problems associated with their occupational exposures and thereby the use of personal protection is abysmally low. A very high proportion of workers had symptoms of cough, breathlessness, abdominal pain, abdominal discomfort and muscle aches. Almost a quarter of the workers had un-intentional occupational injuries in the last 6 months. Though they work in a high-risk environment with chances of fire hazard, falls and chemical exposures, none of the workshops had fire-extinguishers, first aid kits or any such safety devices.
  5,353 145 5
Effect of health education intervention on the awareness and use of personal protective equipments among small scale electric arc welders in Ilorin, Nigeria
Kayode R. Adewoye, Ademola O. Awoyemi, Oluwole A. Babatunde, Oladele A. Atoyebi, Sarafadeen K. Salami, Funsho Y. Issa
January-April 2014, 18(1):3-8
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.134945  PMID:25006309
Introduction: Welding is associated with workplace hazards that can affect the health of those who engaged in it as they are exposed to harmful dust. Subjects and Methods: This was a health education intervention study carried out among self-employed electric arc welder. Data were collected using an interviewer administered questionnaire and health education intervention was carried out between the preintervention and postintervention stages. Epi-info version 3.5.1 software package was used for data analysis and Chi-square analysis was used to determine the statistical significance of observed differences between the study and control groups before the intervention and after intervention. Level of significance was set at a P < 0.05. Results: At the preintervention phase, 285 respondents were interviewed in each of the study and control groups, while 280 study respondents and 275 control respondents were available for the postintervention phase of the study. Before the intervention, 279 (97.9%) of the respondents in the study group were aware of eye goggles as a means of protection, 20 (7%) were aware of welding helmet, 206 (72.3%) were aware of hand gloves and 4 (1.4%) were aware of face mask. All showed a significant increase in awareness postintervention (P < 0.05) while there was no significant increase in awareness in the control group. Conclusion: Health education brought about a significant increase in awareness and use of personal protective equipment among the welders. There is a need for proper education of welders on workplace hazards, the types and use of different protective devices in other to safeguard their health.
  4,856 151 2
Workplace wellness programs: Myth or reality?
Xivananda Priolcar
January-April 2014, 18(1):1-2
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.134939  PMID:25006308
  4,458 136 1
Relationship between depressive state, job stress, and sense of coherence among female nurses
Yoko Kikuchi, Makoto Nakaya, Miki Ikeda, Shoko Okuzumi, Mihoko Takeda, Miyoko Nishi
January-April 2014, 18(1):32-35
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.134959  PMID:25006315
Background: People with a strong sense of coherence (SOC) have a high ability to cope with stress and maintain good physical and mental health. Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between depressive state, job stress, and SOC among nurses in a Japanese general hospital. Materials and Methods: A self-reporting survey was conducted among 348 female nurses in a general hospital. Job stress was measured using the Japanese version of the effort-reward imbalance (ERI) scale. Depressive state was assessed by the K6 scale. SOC was assessed with the SOC scale, which includes 29 items. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was conducted to examine factors that significantly affect depressive state. Results: SOC, over-commitment, effort-esteem ratio, and age were significantly correlated with the depressive state (β = −0.46, P < 0.001; β = 0.27, P < 0.001; β = 0.16, P < 0.001; β = −0.10, P < 0.001, respectively). Conclusions: SOC may have a major influence on the depressive state among female nurses in a Japanese general hospital. From a practical perspective, health care professionals should try to enhance the SOC of nurses.
  4,460 96 11
Acute respiratory distress in a silversmith
Jignesh Mukeshkumar Parikh, Shashank Dhareshwar, Anand Sharma, Raghuveer Karanth, V. S. Ramkumar, Indira Ramaiah
January-April 2014, 18(1):27-28
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.134955  PMID:25006313
A 25-year-old young male patient presented in casualty department with severe respiratory distress on the fourth day from onset of symptoms. The patient was nonsmoker and had no antecedent medical or drug history. Prior to admission, patient had dry cough and bilateral pleuritic chest pain for the last three days. He was in severe respiratory distress with use of accessory muscles of respiration. On examination, he had heart rate of 120 beats/min, blood pressure (BP) of 150/80, respiratory rate of 48-52/min and central cyanosis present. On systemic examination, reduced intensity of breath sounds with extensive rhonchi and crepitation was found in both lung fields, with other examination being within normal limits. On pulse oximetry, oxygen saturation was 28% on room air, which increased up to 36% with the help of 4 L oxygen via nasal prongs. PaO 2 /FiO 2 ratio was 100. Chest X-ray analysis was suggestive of non-cardiac pulmonary edema in view of bilateral fluffy opacity without cardiomegaly. In view of 2/3 positive criteria, his provisional diagnosis was Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). He required mechanical ventilatory support and was gradually weaned over a period of 10 days. The patient was treated with broad spectrum antibiotics and other supportive measures. On re-evaluation of history, we found that he was a goldsmith by occupation, smelting silver and gold for the past 8-10 years. On the day of onset of symptoms, while smelting silver he was exposed to golden yellow fumes for around 15 minutes, with the quantum of exposure more than any other day earlier. From previous experience and analysis of similar silver metals, he was able to tell us that the silver was adulterated with large amount of cadmium on that day than before. Serum level of cadmium was 2.9 μg/L 6 days after initial exposure. At the time of discharge, he had residual opacities in the chest radiograph and resting oxygen saturation was 94% on room air.
  4,025 68 1
Acute formic acid poisoning in a rubber plantation worker
Dattatrai Kashinath More, Mahmedsaeed Vora, Vimod Wills
January-April 2014, 18(1):29-31
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.134957  PMID:25006314
Among the workers in a rubber plantation in South India, ingestion of formic acid either accidentally or with suicidal intention is a common problem. Formic acid is diluted and used for coagulation of rubber latex. Easy availability makes formic acid a common poison. The aim of this article is to study the case of formic acid poisoning, its complications and management. Patient was managed symptomatically. Antidote was not used and no nasogastric aspiration was done. Patient had dysphagia; nutrition was maintained with open gastrostomy done on day 5 and subsequent enteral feeding. Measures to prevent anticipated complications were undertaken. Stricture of the esophagus is a common complication leading to long-term morbidity. After initial management, all patients should be on follow-up for prevention and management of strictures. Workers should be educated on complications of formic acid poisoning and easy availability should be curtailed by enforcing remedial measures.
  3,882 79 1
Understanding epidemiological correlates: A comment on study the epidemiological profile of taxi drivers in the background of occupational environment, stress, and personality characteristics
Kanica Kaushal
January-April 2014, 18(1):36-36
DOI:10.4103/0019-5278.134960  PMID:25006316
  2,528 62 1