Occupational Health Around the World. Developed World

Occupational Health Around the World The Occupational Environment EOH 466A Fall 2004 Developed World • Occupational health is recognized concern. • U...
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Occupational Health Around the World The Occupational Environment EOH 466A Fall 2004

Developed World • Occupational health is recognized concern. • US is not the leader in all aspects. • Working conditions are better than they were.

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US History • Poorer people took more dangerous jobs. • Gauley Bridge Tunnel. – Workers dug through silica rock. – Black workers brought in to do most dangerous work. – During the depression.

• Dangerous Dust: Silicosis Hazard in American Industry (1936) – http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA01/Davis/survey/articles /health/health_dec36_1.html

US History • Within 5 years of leaving work, many died of acute silicosis. – – – –

581 of 2197 black workers. 183 or 1690 white workers. 35 % of black workers in dustiest areas. 22 % of white workers in dustiest areas.

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US History • This pattern repeats in other industries: more desperate workers in more dangerous jobs. – Coke ovens. – Chromate production. – Cotton mills.

• Triangle Shirtwaist Fire – (http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/trianglefire/)

Occupational Health in the US • Problems still exist. • Most workplaces not inspected. • Undocumented workers not inclined to complain. • Fire in a poultry processing plant. • Slave laborers in a sweatshop in Los Angeles. • GAO report: 7000 sweatshops in 5 major cities.

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Occupational Health in the Developed World • Regulations exist. • Enforcement. • Professional Recognition.

Control of Health Hazards • Body of regulations exist. • US has national system. • European nations also control hazards. – ISO 14000, Environmental Management Systems. http://www.iso.org/iso/en/iso900014000/index.html

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Control of Health Hazards • Some European regulations more protective than US. – Example is PEL for noise.

• TLV s often adopted as regulations.

Certification of Industrial Hygienists • • • •

Professional recognition. Demonstrated knowledge. Certification vs. Registration. US system established in 1956 – American Board of Industrial Hygienists established in 1960. – CIH: Education, 5 years work, examination.

• Over 6500 in active practice today.

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Certification of Industrial Hygienists • Following the US lead, 6 nations have established certification plans (professional groups do this) – – – – – –

United Kingdom Japan Australia Canada Italy The Netherlands

Developing World • Poverty. • Need for money. • National debt.

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Mexico Maquiladora Industries • Booming development in the 1990s. • Investment was expanding here. • Model: high technology plus low cost labor.

Facts of Life • Per capita income in Latin America – Argentina $12,000 (52 % below poverty line.) – Brazil $7,400 (22 % below poverty line.) – Chile $10,000 (21 % below poverty line.) – Ecuador $3,000 (65 % below poverty line.) – Mexico $9,000 (40 % below poverty line.) – Uruguay $9,200 (24 % below poverty line.)

• US household income: $42,000 (12 % below poverty line.

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Facts of Life • Poverty level is high in Maquiladora region (border region with United States). • 51 % at or below poverty level ($3 per day). • 18 % extreme poverty ($2 per day). • Mexican government spends 7.8 % of GDP on social services (12th among 17 Latin American countries.

Maquiladora Industry Practice • 65 % of maquiladoras fail to document hazardous waste. • US exported 230,000 tons of toxic waste to Mexico in 1996. • Waste flows into rivers; affects US.

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Maquiladora Industry Practice • GAO study of US-owned auto parts plants. • H&S Program. – 4/6 no written program. – 7/7 no annual audit. – 3/8 sent data to corporate office. – 0/6 regular visits from corporate office.

• Injury and Illnesses under-reported.

Maquiladora Industry Practice • • • • • • •

8/8 plants unguarded machinery. 6/8 not enough exits. 5/8 English only warning signs. 6/8 noise > 90 dBA. 5/7 partial HCA. 3/7 no hearing tests. 6/6 employees misuse protectors.

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Latin America • Columbia – 1978 - 1989 5618 pesticide poisonings, 660 deaths.

• Columbia – 71 % of workers in battery factory blood lead above 50 µg/dl.

• Bolivia – 40 % of 8500 miners had silicosis

• Peru – Up to 37 % of miners and metalworkers had silicosis.

China • Rapidly expanding industrial production. • Push to move to more developed status.

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China • Painters in a ship yard: neurologic problems. • Foundry workers: zinc oxide exposures up to 36.3 mg/m3 (TLV = 5 mg/m3)

China • Pesticide poisoning. – Very big problem in the 1980s. – Reported to be lower now. – Common non-occupational problem. – Carbofuran production facility 25 acute cases observed.

• Benzene exposure. – 30.7 ppm measured in rubber industry. – Blood disorders observed.

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China • Mines: major producer of coal. – Many are not state-run, but illegal or local government. – 1993: 10,000 workers died in mine accidents. – Recent regulation addresses this issue. – Accidents continue.

Small-scale Mines World Wide • 13 million people work in small mines. – 4 million women.

• • • • •

Unregulated, under funded. Little safety and health protection. Silicosis and metal poisoning. Fatality rate 90 X large mines. Growing 20 % annually.

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India • Leptospirosis as an occupational disease. – 976 cases in the mid-1980s.

• Tannery work. – Low back pain 61 %. – Dermatitis 23 %. – Bronchitis 14 %. – Accident 17 %.

India • Brucellosis an an abattoir. – Up to 100 % (blood collectors).

• Lead poisoning among paper mache workers applying paint. – Blood lead average 68 ug/100 ml blood.

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India • Byssinosis in textile mills. – Up to 1992: no cases reported by government. – Independent study: • 17 – 30 % byssinosis. • 45 % if > 30 years work. • 40,000 cases in Bombay.

Africa • TB/HIV very high prevalence. – Health Care Workers examined. – 108/3042 (3.6 %) have TB. – Case fatality rate 24 %. – Relative risk = 11.9.

• South African Battery Factory – Mean blood lead 53.5 µg / 100 ml.

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Africa • South African Carpet Weaving – Abnormal PFT 37.3 % – Nasal symptoms 62.8 %. – Cough 58.1 %

• South African Gold Mines – TB 0.9 % - 3.9 % – Silicosis 9.3 % - 12.8 %.

The Informal Sector • Worldwide issue, particularly developing nations. • A large part of the economy. Up to 61 % of work force is in the informal sector. • Few formal jobs available. • Escape regulation. • Wages are low, workers easily exploited.

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The Informal Sector • Home workers. – Done in the home. – Contract work common. – Mostly female. • Child care. • Household work. • Lower cultural value.

– India beedi workers. • 90 % of 2.5 million female.

– Child labor very common.

The Informal Sector • Advantages to workers. – Flexible hours. – Available work. – Personal control.

• Disadvantages to workers. – Low pay. – Delayed pay. – Broken contracts. – Poor working conditions.

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The Informal Sector • • • • • •

Familial exposures. Long work hours. Poor workplace design. Piece work is common. Ergonomic hazards likely. Low mechanization.

The Informal Sector • Acute effects recognized. – Acids in jewelry making.

• Protective equipment rare. • Training rare. • Knowledge of hazards limited.

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The Informal Sector • • • • •

Survey in Zimbabwe. 130.6 / 1000 overall injury rate. 19 % resulted in permanent disability. No compensation for injuries. Illnesses attributed to work: – 12 % of workers. – Respiratory. – Musculoskeletal, headaches, eye problems.

Child Labor • 250 million children. – 5 – 14 year old.

• • • •

120 million full time. 70% hazardous work. Slavery is common. Video

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Child Labor • International Labor Organization convention 182. • Ban “the most intolerable forms of child labor”. • Slavery / indenture. • Dangerous or hazardous work. • Sexual exploitation. • War or illegal activity.

World Occupational Health • • • • • • •

ILO Estimates for 2002 2.3 million deaths world wide. 626,000 communicable disease. 100,000 due to asbestos. 250 million lost-time accidents. 355,000 accidents and violence. Video

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World Occupational Health • Fatality rates – European Union 5.89 / 100,000 workers – India and China 11.0 / 100,000 workers • (under reported)

– Asia and Islands 23.1 / 100,000 workers – Latin America 13.5 / 100,000 workers – World average 14.0 / 100,000 workers

Resources • Maquiladora Health & Safety Network – http://mhssn.igc.org/

• International Labor Organization – World of Work magazine is published online – www.ilo.org

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