250407 Use of occupational safety measures and health hazards among coal mine workers in Sindh, Pakistan

Wednesday, November 2, 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
Jawaria Khan , Hamdard College of Medicine & Dentistry, Hamdard University, Karachi, Pakistan
Background: Pakistan has huge coal reserves involving large number of workers for its extraction. These workers are at-risk for various health hazards especially related to lung. The Coal Mine Act of Pakistan documents separate sections of health and safety of coalmine workers. The objectives are to assess the safety measures adopted by coal mine workers working in Sindh, Pakistan. It further identifies the various occupational health hazards present among coal mine workers. Methods: A cross-sectional study done on 100 coal miner of Sindh by a structured questionnaire. Information was sought on their socio-demographic characteristics, their use of health safety equipments and the presence of health hazards. Peak flow meter and X-ray chest was done. All ethical considerations were taken into account. Results: All miners were males with a mean age of 31.64 10.1 years. The literacy rate was 23%. Overall, 62% coal miners don not possess a helmet and boots during their work. Only 5% miners posses face mask and jackets. The majority had hand and back pain (59%) and productive cough (55%). Others included burns (20%), injuries (24%), heartburn (39%) and difficulty in breathing (38%). Sixty-three percent miners have decreased vital capacity (FEV) whereas X-ray chest showed nodular densities (30%), fibrosis (24%) and flattening of domes of diaphragm (39%). Conclusion: There is a lack of use of protective equipment along with health hazards of varying degrees among coal miners. There is a dire need for developing awareness and training programmes for these workers.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. To assess the safety measures adopted by coal mine workers in Sindh, Pakistan 2. To identify the various occupational health hazards present among coal mine workers.

Keywords: Occupational Disease, Occupational Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified because I have received the education. I hold a MPH from University of Melbourne. I am professor at I have been involved in Occupational Health related projects for several years. A list of my publications can be send upon request.
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.