Prevalence and factors associated with occupational health problems among leather footwear manufacturing workers in Ambur town, Thirupathur district, Tamil Nadu, India

Judyangel D., Thilagavathi R., Prakash M.


Background: In India, the leather footwear manufacturing sector contributes to a significant segment of leather products, and workers were exposed to a wide range of hazardous substances during the manufacturing process. The present study was conducted to identify the prevalence of various work-related health complaints and the factors associated with occupational health problems among leather footwear workers in Tamil Nadu. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 275 leather footwear workers in Ambur town, Thirupathur district, Tamil Nadu from June 2019 to July 2019. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire consisting of socio-demographic and workplace characteristics, work-related self-reported health complaints, and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Descriptive analysis and multivariate analysis were performed to identify factors associated with work-related health problems at a 5% level of significance. Results: The study demonstrated a prevalence of 19.33% respiratory disorders, 16.4% skin ailments, and 37% musculoskeletal complaints. Workers involved in the scouring/finishing process had nearly two times the odds (95% CI: 0.977-3.923); workers who do not use PPE like gloves or masks had two times the odds (95% CI: 1.307-4.346); workers who reported inadequate windows/fans or blowers in their work station had four times the odds (95% CI: 1.421-12.413) and workers who reported lack of regular work training had 3.5 times odds (95% CI: 1.954-6.531) of occupational health problems. Conclusions: Implementation of strict protocols on the use of PPE, periodic monitoring and safety training should be regulated to prevent the workers from these health problems.


Occupational Occupational diseases, Occupational health, Shoes manufacturing industryDiseases, Occupational Health, Shoes Manufacturing Industry

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