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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 277-281

Occupational health profile of workers employed in the manufacturing sector of India

Department of Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Associated Hospitals, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Shivali Suri
Department of Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Associated Hospitals, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 28098082

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Background. The occupational health scenario of workers engaged in the manufacturing sector in India deserves attention for their safety and increasing productivity. We reviewed the status of the manufacturing sector, identified hazards faced by workers, and assessed the existing legislations and healthcare delivery mechanisms. Methods. From October 2014 to March 2015, we did a literature review by manual search of pre-identified journals, general electronic search, electronic search of dedicated websites/databases and personal communication with experts of occupational health. Results. An estimated 115 million workers are engaged in the manufacturing sector, though the Labour Bureau takes into account only one-tenth of them who work in factories registered with the government. Most reports do not mention the human capital employed neither their quality of life, nor occupational health services available. The incidence of accidents were documented till 2011, and industry-wise break up of data is not available. Occupational hazards reported include hypertension, stress, liver disease, diabetes, tuberculosis, eye/ hearing problems, cancers, etc. We found no studies for manufacturing industries in glass, tobacco, computer and allied products, etc. The incidence of accidents is decreasing but the proportion of fatalities is increasing. Multiple legislations exist which cover occupational health, but most of these are old and have not been amended adequately to reflect the present situation. There is a shortage of manpower and occupational health statistics for dealing with surveillance, prevention and regulation in this sector. Conclusion. There is an urgent need of a modern occupational health legislation and an effective machinery to enforce it, preferably through intersectoral coordination between the Employees' State Insurance Corporation, factories and state governments. Occupational health should be integrated with the general health services.

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