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Background: Below each large city, there lies a network of many hundreds of kilometer of sewers, ranging from small pipes to large intercepting sewers. The job of being a sewermen entails several occupational hazards which pose a great danger to the health and wellbeing and life of the worker. Sewage workers are exposed to accidental hazards and suffer from occupational lung diseases and upper respiratory tract infections, eye problems, gastrointestinal problems and musculoskeletal problems.
Objectives: The present study was conducted to assess the morbidity profile and their prevalence among sewage workers in Mumbai city.
Material and Methods: A Cross-sectional study was conducted from May 2005 to October 2005. A total of 150 sewage workers were interviewed and examined. A pretested interview tool was used to collect necessary information such as clinical history, socio-demographic profile, clinical examination findings and investigations performed. Results were analysed using Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) 13.0.
Results: Eye problems were most predominant, seen in 70.6% workers followed by musculoskeletal problems (68.0%), while 58.0% workers presented with gastrointestinal and 52.6% with respiratory ailment, with obstructive pattern observed in 38 (48.1%) subjects being the major finding. Fifty two percent workers had skin problems and injuries were observed in 39 (26.0%) workers including minor injuries such as cuts, abrasions and lacerations.
Conclusion: In this study, large proportion of workers suffered from work related symptomatic morbidities mainly of eye, respiratory, musculoskeletal system, gastrointestinal and skin.