Institute for Research in Occupational Health, University of Guadalajara, Mexico
Received date: July 31, 2013; Accepted date: November 16, 2013; Published date: November 23, 2013
Citation: Beltran CA (2013) Work and Health-Disease In México: Brief Summary. Occup Med Health Aff 1:140. doi: 10.4172/2329-6879.1000140
Copyright: © 2013 Beltran CA. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), all international agencies that oversee the optimization of health and living conditions of the people, in their reports reveal that both occupational diseases and accidents at work are increasing day by day . The ILO for its part, states that since the early 90’s, the mortality figures for labor cases have increased, and that the communicable diseases, cancer, cardiovascular diseases are part of these statistics [2-4].
As for the World Day for Safety and Health at Work (April 20th), the ILO reported that every 15 seconds a worker dies, either because of an accident or a work-related disease .
In Mexico, the Federal Labor Law (LFT) (statutory provisions governing labor-management relations) defines occupational disease as “the pathological condition resulting from the continued action of a cause whose origin or motive is at work or in the mean that the worker is obliged to provide services” . Also, it defines work related accidents as “any organic lesion or functional disturbance, immediately or later, or death; suddenly produced in exercise or in connection with work, whatever the place and time it is provided” .
On the other hand, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) Federal Executive branch agency reveals that more than 1,300 workers die from various labor causes; while in the year 2010, it was announced the existence of 2.9 percent of deaths due to occupational hazards per hundred workers [4,7].
In addition to the aforementioned data by the institutions named, also in Mexico, the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) cornerstone of individual and collective welfare of Mexican society notes that in the companies registered in this agencyduring the year of 1980 there were 598 677 work related accidents. 408 220 accidents were registered in the year 2001; while in the year 2008, there were 506 934 labor risks, of which 3681 were due to diseases caused by work [8,9]. The reported diseases in women were the synovitis, tenosynovitis, inner ear disorders, hearing loss, chronic bronchitis, back pain, phlebitis, pneumoconiosis, dislocations, sprains, strains and other, joining later the pneumoconiosis, respiratory illnesses for various reasons, influenza, pneumonia and viral diseases [9,10].
With respect to that reported by the STPS for the years 2009 to 2011, frequent diseases were hearing loss, pneumoconiosis, synovitis, tenosynovitis and bursitis, enteropathy, respiratory disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome, dorsopathies, contact dermatitis, chronic diseases and eye diseases and its annexes, as well as current occupational diseases .
It is important to remember that from the existence of an underreporting of data on occupational hazards, Salinas-Tovar et al. refer to several reasons why the records of accidents and illnesses are not real; such as deficiencies in the information systems, inadequate coordination between responsible agencies, lack of recognition on the importance of this matter, the inadequate rating of work related risks, among others .
However, various authors statistically and significantly manifest the existence of occupational hazards associated to ill health in people. So much so that the associated diseases include psychological and psychosomatic problems, fatigue and musculoskeletal disorders, anxiety in women, poor mental health, burnout and stress, cardiovascular symptoms and blood pressure, chronic fatigue, depression, skin manifestations, respiratory problems, overweight and obesity, to name a few.
The occurrence probability of an occupational accident or disease depends on the alteration in the triad known as: agent, mean and worker. i.e., if working conditions are not right and additionally the actions performed by the worker (unsafe acts); the consequences will result in any disruption in the worker’s health.
For some time, the literature focuses more towards the first two and not so much to the human factor, that is, to errors, negligence or other personal factors that make a disturbance in worker´s health. In this reference, Reyes-Martínez et al. report that both human errors as individual factors, unsafe conditions and specific organizational factors are causes that lead the employee to suffer a work related accident .
The social support and social support networks are an important part in the buffering of the demonstrations in health and welfare of all human beings due to various occupational risk factors to which the worker is exposed.
It is known that human being is cataloged under the title of “the human, rational animal”, and as a biological being depends on certain organic and spiritual needs to survive; so, to survive, it must meet the basic need of socialization (under the epithet “the human, social animal”). The humans live in groups called human societies, organized or not.
The human is a comprehensive being, bio-psychosocial; and, as a rational animal with thinking capabilities, skills and abilities, abilities to relate to others, to live, to belong as a social animal.
Within these groups, organized or not, the social support and the social support networks are equally necessary and important in any area and stage of life. The social support for the transactions and the relationship that is provided; the social support networks, for having someone to hold, family, relatives, friends, institution, etc., so it follows that social support and social support networks are crucial as protective variables in the health-disease process .
It is known that a good social support (received and perceived) will provide better health and wellbeing levels; physical and biological, psychological and social. Also, a good health would facilitate to maintain a good social support. However, like everything else, social support may intervene in the health-disease process also negatively; and may cause dependence on the person resulting in harmful impacts rather than benefits. In this case, it is possible that the individual could not be able to cope with their problems by himself.
Decreasing occupational risk factors will result in better health, wellness and quality of life. It will depend on the quality of support from the person or people that provide it, on the present critical situation, on the need, duration etc., on the level of satisfaction manifested by the individual, and thus, achieving his/her welfare and health.
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