Exposure to chemicals, biological agents, physical factors and adverse ergonomic conditions,
allergens, safety risks, and psychological factors often afflict working population of all ages. People also suffer from injuries, hearing loss, respiratory, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, reproductive, neurotoxic, dermatological, and psychological effects. Such risks are often preventable. The illness resulting from such exposures is not identified properly due to lack of
adequate expertise. The work up of the cases by physicians lacking skills to identify such illness leads to unnecessary use and waste of scarce medical resources as well as their own time. Freedom from occupational illness is essential in today’s competitive world where workers’ productivity is an important determinant of growth and development.
The objectives of occupational health initiative during the Eleventh Five Year Plan will be to promote and maintain highest degree of physical, mental, and social well-being of workers in all occupations; identify and prevent occupational risks of old as well as newer technologies such as Information and Nano technology; build capacity for prevention, that is, early identification of occupational illness; create an occupational health cell under NRHM in each district headquarter, well-equipped to be able to promote primary, secondary, as well as tertiary prevention; and establish occupational health services in agriculture, health and other key sectors for placement of workers in suitable work and propagating adaptation of work to humans.
During the Eleventh Five Year Plan, following strategies will be implemented to reduce occupational health problems:
• Creating awareness among policymakers on the cost of occupational ill health including injuries
• Ensuring use of technologies that are safe and free from risks to health of the workers
• Sensitizing employers as well as workers’ organizations for their right to safety and the implication of injuries in their lives
• Instituting legislation and ensuring proper enforcement for prevention and control of occupational ill health and compensating those who suffer intractable illness due to work
• Building a national data base of occupational illness and injuries
• Monitoring and evaluating programmes and policies related to pollution prevention and control
• Establishing surveillance and research on occupational injuries and building capacity in health
sector to be able to participate in preventing work related illness and injuries
• Enforcing safety regulations and standards
• Introducing no-fault insurance schemes for all workers in the formal and informal sectors
- ▼ November (6)