Hazards and Health Risks Encountered by Manual Sand Dredgers from Udupi, India: A Cross-Sectional Study LC11-LC17
Dr. Sidhiprada Mohapatra,
Assistant Professor, Department of Physiotherapy, SOAHS, Manipal University, Udupi, Karnataka, India.
Introduction: Globalization and urbanization have resulted in an increased demand on sand dredging. Legal and environmental restrictions on automated dredging have led to a rise in manual technique. The working techniques and environment involved in manual sand dredging may expose the workers to multiple work related disorders.
Aim: To determine the health risks and occupational hazards involved in manual sand dredging.
Materials and Methods: An assessment schedule was developed and content was validated by five experts for the study. A cross-sectional study was then conducted using this assessment schedule. Thirty manual sand dredgers were recruited from three randomly selected docks on Swarna riverbed in Udupi district, Karnataka, India. A detailed work and worksite assessments were conducted using systematic observation and close-ended questions. Work-related health risk evaluation included onsite-evaluation and self-reported health complains.
Results: The prevalence of musculoskeletal pain and discomfort was 93.34% with lower back (70%), shoulder (56.7%) and neck (46.7%) involvements being most common regions. Prevalence of sensory deficits at multiple site and ear pain was 66.6% and 76.6% respectively. All the workers recruited, complained of dermatological and ophthalmic involvements. Also, lack of health and safety measures like personal protective devices and security schemes were identified.
Conclusion: This study shows a high prevalence of multiple work-related disorders and hazards involved in manual sand dredging, a highly demanding job in coastal Karnataka. Lack of health and safety measures were also identified.