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Occupational health hazards among automobile mechanics working in an urban area of Bangalore ľa cross sectional study

Selvi Thangaraj, Nimra Shireen.

Abstract
Background: Occupational health deals with all aspects of health and safety in the workplace and has a strong focus on primary prevention of hazards. Road side automobile mechanics belong to the informal sector of a developing country like India. There are various hazards in the occupational environment to which mechanics may be exposed, like work-related injuries, chronic illness, stress and, disability because of their low literacy rates, following unsafe practices, unfamiliarity with work process and exposures, and inadequate training.

Objectives: 1. To assess the occupational health hazards among roadside automobile mechanics in an urban area of Bangalore 2. To assess the awareness of personal protective equipments among automobile mechanics.

Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out for a period of 3 months, during September, October and November 2015 among 150 mechanics working at the automobile workshops in an urban area of Bangalore. Data was collected using a pre-tested, validated, semi-structured, indigenous, interviewer based questionnaire. Data was entered in Microsoft excel sheet and analyzed using SPSS 21 software. Descriptive statistics such as frequency tables, pie diagrams and bar charts were used wherever necessary.

Result: Musculoskeletal diseases were the most commonly reported health problems by the mechanics (n=93, 62%), followed by cuts and injuries (n=87, 58%). The commonest known personal protective equipment (PPE) were eye goggles (n=131, 87.3%) and hand gloves (n=120, 80%).

Conclusion: Proper education of this economically viable group on workplace hazards, the types and properties of the different protective devices in order to safeguard their health is needed.

Key words: Occupational hazards, automobile mechanics, personal protective equipment (PPE), health problems


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