250360 Health hazards and safety measures taken by welders of Karachi, Pakistan

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mubeen Syed Muhammed, MBBS, MES, MCPS, MPH (Uni of Melbourne) , Hamdard College of Medicine & Dentistry, Department of Community Health Sciences, Hamdard University, Karachi, Pakistan
Kazim Ali , Hamdard College of Medicine & Dentistry, Hamdard University, Karachi, Pakistan
Background: Welding is an overlooked occupation in Pakistan concerning the occupational health hazards and the considerable morbidity that it accompanies. Mostly attracting the lower working class, this occupation is a source of income of a large number of households. The ignorance and preventability of the occupational hazards necessitates intervention. The objectives are to assess the utilization of safety practices, identify the existence of health hazards and the intervention taken by welders for various hazards. Methods: A structured questionnaire was administered on a cross-section of 300 welders in the city of Karachi in Pakistan. Information was sought on their socio-demographic characteristics, their awareness of occupational hazards and adherence to safety measures. All ethical considerations were taken into account. Results: All welders were males with a mean age of 31.74 11.02 years. The literacy rate was 73%. Overall, 58.3% responded that there is no risk to their health in welding profession. Although 93% respondents do have eye goggles, 34% never or occasionally utilizes. The most common injuries sustained were arc eye injuries/foreign bodies, cut/injuries to the hands and fingers, burns, back/waist pain. The majority (72.7%) of the respondents did not have any special training regarding their work. Seventy-six percent responded that it was not necessary to take safety measures and they could work easily without them. Conclusion: There is a lack of standard safety practices leading to injuries among welders. There is need for health and safety education of these workers for health and increased productivity.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. To assess the utilization of safety practices by the welders of Karachi. 2. To identify the existence of occupational health hazards among welders in Karachi. 3. To list the intervention taken by welders for various occupational health hazards.

Keywords: Occupational Safety, Workplace Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: MBBS, MES, MCPS, MPH(Uni of Melbourne)
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.