172324 Preventing silicosis in stone mines of India

Monday, October 27, 2008: 3:10 PM

Prakash Tyagi, MD , Head Office, GRAVIS, Jodhpur, India
State of Rajasthan is the second biggest resource in mineral wealth in India after Bihar and large numbers of mines of various minerals exist in the state. An estimate suggests that nearly 2 million people are engaged in the industry of mining in the impoverished and drought-affected state. Western part of the state is very famous for its sand stone and marble stone mines. Mine workers working in these stone mines have a long history of difficult work conditions and poor health due to inadequate health safety arrangements. Caused by consistent inhalation of dust particles, mineworkers suffer with occupational lung diseases, particularly with Silicosis. A large number of mineworkers suffer with this disease and die at premature ages causing great losses to their families.

In past, very little interventions have been made in the region to prevent this problem. GRAVIS, an NGO working in the region since 1983, has initiated the process on advocacy on health safety of mineworkers in the region. The organization is engaged in organizing health-screening services for the mineworkers, facilitating referrals of patients to the hospital, advocate with the government and mine owners to ensure safety and organize trainings on Silicosis prevention and control. Research on occupational lung diseases in the region and develop preventive measures is also an important part of GRAVIS work. More comprehensively, GRAVIS organizes holistic development programs for mineworkers focusing on their education, training and national level advocacy on their rights.

Learning Objectives:
- Share the plight of stone mineworkers of India with the audience - Generate a pool of tested and effective ideas to prevent and control silicosis - Network with agencies/individuals working on this issue

Keywords: Occupational Safety, Workplace Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been leading the programmes on occupational health safety for GRAVIS, India since last 7 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.