38% workers suffer from back pain globally

38% workers suffer from back pain globally
Highlights

Dr TK Joshi, advisor, ministry of health, Government of India, said that occupational health was very important and that the workforce should be kept healthy and happy.

Dr TK Joshi, advisor, ministry of health, Government of India, said that occupational health was very important and that the workforce should be kept healthy and happy. Joshi was addressing the two-day Greentech national seminar on ‘Occupational Health, Safety and Fire’ in a hotel in Shamshabad which concluded on Sunday. The conference was organised by Greentech Foundation, a Delhi based NGO which works in the areas of environment, occupational health and other fields.

“Globally, the biggest occupation health disorder is low back pain. Nearly

38 per cent of the workers suffer from this problem alone. It is a compensable disease. Employees can sue the company. Back pain comes due to manual lifting of heavy objects by workers,” said Dr Joshi.

Dr Joshi is also the director of occupational environment and medical programme, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi. “If cardiovascular diseases are due to sedentary lifestyles, occupational hazards are detrimental to employees. The estimated global work-related mortality is 1.1 million per year based on 1990-1995 data.

Dr T Vijaya Kumar receiving the Greentech Safety Award from (from left) Cecilie Hersleth, Dr Bhaskar Chatterjee and Kamaleshwar Sharan

Workplace related diseases include cancer (34 per cent), injuries (25 per cent), chronic respiratory disorders (21 per cent), cardiovascular (15 per cent) and others which include pneumoconiosis and renal disorders,” informed the doctor.

“A disease that arises due to the nature of any occupation in which an

employee was employed at any time is regarded as a compensable occupational disease. Low back pain caused by occupational lifting is compensable disease,” Dr Joshi noted.

“Worldwide, lbp (low back pain) arising from ergonomic exposures at work was estimated to cause 21.7 million DALYS (Disability-Adjusted Life Years) in 2010,” he concluded.

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