These Field activities not only beneficial to the community but also they help to develop the skills in planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating field programmes among medical students.
Grinding mills have some serious occupational hazards such as unprotected machinery and uncovered belts causing mechanical injuries, exposure to loud noises causing hearing impairment or permanent hearing loss, exposure to grain dusts causing respiratory tract problems and allergy of the conjunctiva, improper ergonomics in work and other accidents, Which are more in our part of the world.
So an acceptable check list to screen Occupational health in grinding mills has been created and grinding mills in Nalur MOH area have been screened and database on occupational health and safety has been produced.
According to this screening, overall conditions of grinding mills and occupational health practices of workers are not up to the level of standard. Currently the work and the income of grinding mills have been markedly reduced due the increased sales of packed products. So the owners are struggling to maintain good conditions in the grinding mills. This could be one of the main reasons for this.
An extract of the report submitted by Mr. J. Sanjayan to the Department of Community and family medicine has been published bellow.
“Occupational health deals with all aspects of health and safety in the workplace and has a strong focus on primary prevention of hazards. The health of the workers has several determinants, including risk factors at the workplace leading to cancers, accidents, musculoskeletal diseases, respiratory diseases, hearing loss, circulatory diseases, stress related disorders and communicable diseases and others” By World Health Organization.
ILO (International Labor Organization) has evaluated that about two million people die every year from work-related accidents and diseases. An estimated 160 million people suffer from work-related diseases, and there are an estimated 270 million fatal and non-fatal work-related accidents per year. The suffering caused by such accidents and illnesses to workers and their families is incalculable. In economic terms, the ILO has estimated that 4% of the world's annual GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is lost as a consequence of occupational diseases and accidents. Employers face lot of problems due to work-related accidents and diseases. Yet many of these tragedies are preventable through the implementation of sound prevention, reporting and inspection practices.
Grinding mills are having a set of machines or tool which is designed to break a solid material into smaller pieces. There are many different types of grinding mills and many types of materials processed in them. Most of the grinding mills are powered by electricity with the help of motor and some are powered by fuels with the help of engines. Grinding may serve some purposes such as increasing the surface area (making powder), production of a grain with a desired size and pulping of grains.
These grinding mills have some serious occupational hazards such as unprotected machinery and uncovered belts causing mechanical injuries, exposure to loud noises causing hearing impairment or permanent hearing loss, exposure to grain dusts causing respiratory tract problems and allergy of the conjunctiva, improper ergonomics in work and Accidental electric shock.
WHO has implemented a Global Plan of Action on Workers’ health 2008-2017 endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2007 with the following objectives such as devising and implementing policy instruments on workers' health, protecting and promoting health at the workplace, improving the performance of and access to occupational health services, providing and communicating evidence for action and practice and incorporating workers' health into other policies.
ILO standards on occupational safety and health provide essential tools for governments, employers, and workers to establish such practices and to provide for maximum safety at work. In 2003 the ILO adopted a “global strategy to improve occupational safety and health” which included the introduction of a preventive safety and health culture, the promotion and development of relevant instruments, and technical assistance.
Anyhow, we all aware about the level of the occupational health in our district. It’s not followed or not checked regularly. In our part of the world concept of occupational health is poorly developed. So we have to address on that.
Establishing database on occupational health and safety among grinding mills and grinding mill workers in Nallur MOH area. And Empowering them to improve the occupational health conditions.
- Developing a database on occupational safety conditions of grinding mills in Nallur MOH area.
- Developing a database on occupational health of grinding mill workers in Nallur MOH area.
- Analyzing, Identifying and Addressing on most common problem.
Selection of Field Health Activity
I have planned to do my field health activity under the given heading “occupational hazard awareness and prevention among small occupational settings”. I had a discussion about the occupational hazards related to health, vulnerable jobs in the community and risks faced by the workers with Dr.P.D.A. Coonghe, Registrar, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna. Finally I could be able to find out the vulnerable occupational group and institution in the community which can lead to health related issues for my field health activity, which is grinding mill.
Grinding mill workers are facing lot of risks, so I have selected that population to my field activity. There after I had series discussions with Public Health Inspectors and Supervising Public Health Inspector of Nallur MOH area, Central Environmental Authority and Department of labour, District office, Jaffna. All these discussions gave me the confidence and I felt it’s a feasible one. So I’ve finalized this topic in my field of interest.
- This field health activity has been selected within the given headings.
- Proposal has been submitted and permission has been obtaianed from Department of Community and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna.
- Permission has been obtained from MOH, Nallur MOH area.
- Field Health Activity has been discussed with SPHI and PHIs and their support and guidance has been obtained.
- Sources have been referred and the activities have been prepared under the guidance of supervisor Dr.P.A.D Coonghe, Registrar, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna.
- Field Health Activity has been discussed with Central Environmental Authority and Department of labour, District office, Jaffna and their support and guidance have been obtained.
- An acceptable check list to screen Occupational health in grinding mills has been created with the help of experts and the publications of international standard organizations through above mentioned activity (Activity no 5 and 6). Check list has been attached with this report for the future usage.
- List of grinding mills in Nallur MOH area has been taken from Sub offices of Nallur Piradesa saba.
- Grinding mills have been visited for screening and collecting data regarding occupational health and safety among the workers and mills.
- The purpose of field health activity has been explained to the owners or works of grinding mills and the kind cooperation has been obtained.
- Owners and workers have been discussed regarding occupational health during visits and screenings.
- Database on occupational health and safety among the grinding mills and grinding mill workers in Nallur MOH area has been developed, which has been attached with this report for the future plans.
- The database has been analyzed and the most common problems have been identified.
- Posters have been produced with the help of supervisor.
- Grinding mills have been re visited and workers have been explained the most common problems and posters have been distributed.
Results and discussion
Collected data has been computerized and summarized in percentages (Table 1, 2, 3 and 4) and analyzed according to the seriousness of the occupational health practices of grinding mil workers and occupational health conditions of Grinding Mills.
Following outcomes in Nallur MOH area have been produced by this Field Health Activity.
- Check list to screen the Occupational health and safety conditions in grinding mills has been produced. This will make the future screening programs easy.
- Database on occupational safety conditions of grinding mills I Nallur MOH area has been produced. This will help the Public Health Care works for their future planning of the area.
- Database on occupational health practices of grinding mill workers has been produced which will help in arranging future health education programs.
- Initial step for heath education has been taken with the help of posters which has been distributed in grinding mills.
It is a pleasant duty to offer my grateful thanks to everyone who favored me in many ways, gave their full co-operation and support to make my field health activity successful.
In this way my thanks goes to the Head, Department of Community Medicine for giving this golden opportunity to carry out my field activity.
I am very grateful to thank to Dr.P.A.D Coonghe, Registrar, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna for his valuable advice and guidance.
I also expand my sincere thanks to Director, Central Environmental Authority and Factory Engineer, Department of labor, District office, Jaffna for their support and guidance
I thank most grateful to MOH, Nallur MOH area for giving opportunity to carry out my field health activity.
Also I would like to extend my sincere thanks to owners and works of Grinding mills, Nallur MOH area.
Finally I extend my thanks each and every one who have helped me directly or indirectly in completing my field health activity.
- Mr. Jeyarajah Sanjayan, 33rd batch, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna