Occupational health

Occupational health deals with aspects of health and safety at workplace and has a strong focus on prevention of hazards. Health of workers has several determinants, including risk factors at workplace (e.g. working hours, salary, workplace policies, health promotion and protection provisions of employment and working conditions etc.) leading to accidents, musculoskeletal diseases, respiratory diseases, hearing loss, circulatory diseases, stress related disorders, communicable diseases, cancers and other conditions.

The major occupational diseases/morbidity of concern in India are silicosis, musculo-skeletal injuries, coal workers' pneumoconiosis, chronic obstructive lung diseases, asbestosis, byssinosis, pesticide poisoning and noise induced hearing loss.

Leigh et al. have estimated the annual incidence of occupational disease in India between 924 700 and 1902 300 and deaths to be 121 000 (Source: Leigh J, Macaskill P, Kuosma E, Mandryk J. Global burden of disease and injury due to occupational factors. Epidemiology 1999;10:pp 626–631).

The Directorate General of Factory Advisory Services & Labour Institutes (DGFASLI) is an attached office of the Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India and serves as a technical arm to assist the Ministry in formulating national policies on occupational safety and health in factories and docks. It also advises factories on various problems concerning safety, health, efficiency and well-being of the persons at work places.