Published: 2019-04-27

An epidemiological study to evaluate morbidity patterns among wood workers belonging to unorganized sector

Aritra K. Bose, Dilip D. Kadam, Anusha C. P.


Background: Wood workers are predisposed to many occupational diseases. Studying work place environment and its association with the morbidities would provide practical insights to promote the health and prevent disease in wood workers. Present study intends to study the epidemiological determinants of health and morbidity in wood workers.

Methods: Quantitative method of research is used. All One hundred and five wood workers in the study area were recruited after taking informed consent. A semi-structured, pre-validated, questionnaire consisting of questions on sociodemographic profile, working pattern, morbidities experienced and working environment was prepared. Data was collected using one to one interview at their workplace. Environmental factors like iIllumination (In LUX) and noise level (in db) at the work place was measured using a Lux meter and sound level meter respectively. Association between different variables were analysed using Chi-square test or t-test wherever applicable.

Results: Participants were all male belonging to economically productive age group. They were predominantly Muslims, belonging to lower socioeconomic status. Morbidities experienced by the wood workers were musculoskeletal pain (52%), skin problems (57%), eye problems (57.14%) and ear problems (32.38%). Inadequate illumination (<100 LUX) and noise levels more than 90 db were significantly associated with increased accidents and ear morbidities respectively.

Conclusions: Poor working environment and non-compliance with the working standards prescribed by ILO (Indian Labour Organisation) are associated with morbidities among the workers. Environmental modification, use of protective devices, availability of basic minimum facilities for working and continuous monitoring of the workplaces by competent authority would help in decreasing the prevalence of morbidities among woodworkers.


Wood, Dust, Unorganised sector, Occupational exposure

Full Text:



Theorell T. Occupational Health. Int Encycl Soc Behav Sci Second Ed 2015:133–40.

Osman E, Pala K. Occupational exposure to wood dust and health effects on the respiratory system in a minor industrial estate in Bursa/Turkey. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2009;22:43–50.

Payne SR, Waller JA, Skelly JM, Gamelli RL. Injuries during woodworking, home repairs, and construction. J Trauma 1990;30:276–80.

EA T, TF E, OH O, DA A. Occupational Exposure to Wood Dust and Respiratory Health Status of Sawmill Workers in South-South Nigeria. J Pollut Eff Control 2015;04:1–6.

Sbihi H, Teschke K, MacNab YC, Davies HW. Determinants of Use of Hearing Protection Devices in Canadian Lumber Mill Workers. Ann Occup Hyg 2009;54:319–28.

Odusanya OO, Babafemi JO. Patterns of delays amongst pulmonary tuberculosis patients in Lagos, Nigeria. BMC Public Health 2004;4:18.

Rogoziński T, Szwajkowska-Michałek L, Dolny S, Andrzejak R, Perkowski J. The evaluation of microfungal contamination of dust created during woodworking in furniture factories. Med Pr 2014;65:705–13.

Jerry Clere and Frank Hearl. NIOSH Method 0500: Particulates Not Otherwise Regulated, Total 1994:5–7.

Singh DP. Migration and occupation in Mumbai issues and implications. 2019.

Ministry of labour and employment. The Factories Act. Factories Act 1948.

Adeoye OA, Adeomi AA, Olugbenga-bello AI, Bamidele JO, Abodunrin OL, Sabageh OA. Respiratory symptoms and peak expiratory fl ow among sawmill workers in South Western Nigeria. J Environ Occup Sci 2014;3:141–3.

Gómez ME, Sanchez JF, Angélica M, Cardona JFP, Paula T, Deisy S, et al. Health and Working Conditions in Carpenter’s Workshops in Armenia (Colombia). Ind Health. 2010;48:222–30.

Sakariya K, Chavda B, Sorani A, Kakaiya M, Joshi V, Professor A. A study on dynamic lung volumes of sawmill workers In Jamnagar City. Int J Basic Appl Physiol IJBAP. 2014;3:1.

Ali BO. Fundamental principal of occupational health and safety. 2007;136:46-52.