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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 359-366

Morbidities of rice mill workers and associated factors in a block of West Bengal: A matter of concern

Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Soumit Roy
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_858_19

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Context: Rice mill workers usually belong to unorganized sector and lack in training regarding hazard prevention. Unprotected exposure to suspended particles and fumes can lead to respiratory morbidities among them. Workers, especially loaders, were susceptible to work-related musculoskeletal diseases. Aim: To find out the morbidity profile and associated factors among rice mill workers. Methodology: A cross-sectional workplace-based study was conducted during July--September 2018 among 143 workers of two rice mills in Indas block, West Bengal. Workers, employed for at least 6 months in the rice mills and who gave informed written consent was interviewed using a predesigned pretested questionnaire and were clinically examined. Nonfasting capillary blood glucose estimation and spirometry were carried out. Workers contraindicated to spirometry were excluded. Result: Commonest morbidities were musculoskeletal discomfort (65%), hypertension (20.9%), and chronic respiratory morbidity (16.9%). No personal protective equipment (PPE) was used by these workers. Significant association of musculoskeletal discomfort was found with tobacco abuse (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) =2.90), job of loader (AOR = 3.51), and central obesity (AOR = 3.39). Hypertension was significantly associated with increasing age (AOR = 1.06), and increasing body mass index (AOR = 1.17). Whereas increasing age (AOR = 1.08), working inside mill (AOR = 7.58), working more than 48 hours a week (AOR = 7.37) were significantly associated with chronic respiratory morbidity. Conclusion: Optimization of working hours, effective continuous use of PPE, and use of proper ventilation technology are recommended. Proper work placement, preplacement examination, and periodic health screening with spirometry are also needed.

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