Characterization and general health conditions of workers in a Chilean industrial area: a worrying reality

Introduction: Within the occupational field, changes in the characteristics of work have revealed risks associated with static, repetitive work and little physical activity, which together with individual health conditions of workers can trigger diseases and musculoskeletal disorders. Objectives: To obtain a preliminary characterization of workers in an industrial area, including theirhealth and working conditions. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study with a quantitative approach, developed with 69 men who worked in the industrial area of Viña del Mar, Chile. A clinical and occupational evaluation was carried out with the application of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire as well as the Standardized Nordic Questionnaire. Results: The following risk factors were identified: 53.6% of the workers were smokers, 92.8% presented low levels of physical activity, and 70.3% reported feeling pain in body segments that were physically required during their work tasks. Among all workers, 63% were overweight according to their body mass index and 62% presented high systolic pressure. Pain was mostly detected in the spine, and it was slightly associated with forklift operation by older workers (t-test p < 0.05). Conclusions: Workers were in the presence of cardiovascular and occupational risks. It is necessary to promote timely education and training on health conditions and to evaluate risks associated with machinery operation in order to prevent work-related pain.
Occupational risks, Health, Industry, Cardiovascular risk