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An occupational hazard is a hazard that is experienced in the workplace. Occupational hazards can be of various types like chemical hazards, biological hazards, psychosocial hazards, and physical hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establish enforceable standards to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses.


Occupational Hazards: –


Occupational illness normally develops over a period of time because of workplace conditions. Such conditions might include exposure to disease-causing bacteria and viruses for example to chemicals or dust Danger to health, limb, or life that is inherent in, or is associated with, a particular occupation, or work environment. Occupational hazards include the risk of accidents and contracting occupational diseases.


After studying this chapter students should have sufficient knowledge regarding Occupation related common diseases that arise at work sites. Diseases due to physical hazards, Chemical hazards, biological, etc. Diseases arising from dust and its control measures.


Occupational diseases, Lung diseases, Skin diseases & Other diseases: Occupational Disease:

An occupational disease is any chronic ailment that occurs as a result of work or occupational activity.


It is an aspect of occupational safety and health.


An occupational disease is typically identified when it is shown that it is more prevalent in a given body of workers than in the general population, or in other worker populations.


Occupational hazards that are of a traumatic nature such as falls by roofers are not considered to be occupational diseases.


Under the law of workers’ compensation in many jurisdictions, there is a presumption that specific diseases are caused by the worker being in the work environment and the responsibility is on the employer or insurer to show the cause of diseases.


Lung diseases: –

Occupational lung diseases include asbestosis among asbestos miners and those who work with friable asbestos insulation, as well as black lung (coal worker’s pneumoconiosis) among coal miners, and byssinosis among workers in parts of the cotton textile industry.

man with two girls

Occupational asthma has a vast number of occupations at risk. Bad indoor air quality may predispose to diseases in the lungs as well as in other parts of the body.

Skin diseases:

Occupational skin diseases and conditions are generally caused by chemicals and having wet hands for long periods while at work. Eczema is by far the most common skin cancer which is also of concern.


Other diseases concern: –

Carpal tunnel syndrome is among persons who work in the poultry industry and information technology Lead poisoning affects workers in many industries that processed or employed lead or lead compounds.

Disorders due to physical agents: -

injured people

Temperature: –

When working in a hot environment, humans maintain normal body temperature by perspiring and by increasing the blood flow to the surface of the body.


The large amounts of water and salt lost in perspiration then need to be replaced.


In the past, miners who perspires profusely and drink water to relieve their thirst experienced intense muscular pain-a condition known as miner’s cramps as a result of restoring their water but not their salt balance.


When salt in the requisite amount was added to their drinks, workers no longer developed miners’ cramps.


Atmospheric pressures: –

Decompression sickness (caisson disease) can result from exposure to high or low atmospheric pressure.


Under increased atmospheric pressure (such as that experienced by deep-sea

divers or tunnel workers), fat-soluble nitrogen gas dissolves in the body fluids and Issues.


During decompression the gas comes out of the solution and, if decompression is rapid, forms bubbles in the tissues. These bubbles cause pains in the limbs (known as the bends), breathlessness, angina, headache, dizziness, collapse, coma, and in some cases death.


Noise: –

Exposure to excessive noise can be unpleasant and can impair working efficiency.


Temporary or permanent hearing loss may also occur, depending on the loudness or intensity of the noise, its pitch or frequency, the length and pattern of exposure, and the vulnerability of the individual.


Prolonged Exposure to sound energy of intensity above 80 to 90 decibels is likely to result in noise-induced hearing loss, developing fest for high frequencies and progressing downward.


The condition can be prevented by enclosing noisy machinery and by providing effective ear protection. Routine audiometric give an indication of the effectiveness of preventive measures adopted to reduce noise.



Whole-body vibration is experienced in surface and air transport, with motion sickness causing the most familiar effect.


A more serious disorder, known as Reynaud’s syndrome or vibration white finger (WWF), can result from the extensive use of vibratory hand tools, especially in cold weather The condition is seen most frequently among workers who handle chain saws, grinders pneumatic drills, hammers, and chisels.


Forestry workers in cold climates are particularly at m Initial signs of WWF are tingling and numbness of the fingers, followed by intermittent blanching redness and pain occurring in the recovery stage.

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