Determinants influencing health status of welders in a sub-urban slum of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Keywords:Welders, Occupational injuries, Personal protective measures, Urban slum
Background: One of the jobs that contribute to occupational injuries is the welding process, especially in developing countries. The welders are exposed to risk factors such as metallic fumes, thermal burns, mechanical stress etc. which make them susceptible to certain occupational diseases. Lack of knowledge regarding the personal protective measures puts them at higher risk of occupational hazards. Hence the study was conducted to assess the health status and morbidity patterns in welders and evaluate the epidemiological determinants influencing them.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out amongst 113 welders working in the area during the study period of December 2015 to February 2016. Socio-demographic profile and work related problems and addictions details were collected. Data was analysed for descriptive statistics.
Results: In this study, 82.3% workers suffered from eye-related symptoms as well as musculoskeletal pain, and 16.8% suffered from dental caries. Majority 21 (18.5%) had either one or more smoking/tobacco habits. Most of the welders (16.8%) gave a history of tobacco chewing followed by 15.9% alcohol.
Conclusions: Eye problems and musculoskeletal problems are a major concern among welders. Nearly all workers use at least one protective equipments but still suffer from eye problems which may be due to the poor quality of the equipment. Their poor socio-economic status and health seeking behaviour makes them more vulnerable to occupational injuries.
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