Morbidity profile of workers and workplace assessment in selected soap industries in Puducherry

Iniyaazh Sundar Raj, Shanthosh Priyan Sundaram


Background: The high risk, fast-paced industrial expansion reflects unique health and safety challenges for occupational health and safety resulting in increasing incidence of various injuries and health morbidities. This warrants the assessment of morbidity profile and workplace assessment of the workers.

Methods: A facility based cross sectional descriptive study was carried out among 305 workers of selected soap industries in Puducherry for a period of four months from September to December 2018. Workers were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire for their morbidity profile and work ability along with skin patch test and spirometry. Finally, workplace assessment was done.

Results: Of 305 workers interviewed, eczema was reported in two workers and generalized pruritus in 4.9% of the workers. In patch test, 9 (34.6%) workers were sensitive to Paraphenylenediamine among 26 workers tested. Upper respiratory tract infection was reported in 17.3% and breathlessness in 4.6% of the employees. Spirometer was abnormal in 5.9% of the workers. Hypertension was diagnosed for the first time in 10.3% of the workers. Work ability index was good in 99.0% of the workers. The most common illness in the past six months was febrile illness. Workers who availed treatment from the private facility were 35.9%. Working environment was better in large-scale industries as compared to the small-scale industries.

Conclusions: The morbidity of workers in selected soap industries were very less as majority of the workers was from the organized sectors with regular periodic examination. Hence further studies concentrating only on the unorganized small-scale industries are recommended.


Cross sectional descriptive, Patch test, Spirometry

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