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Research Article Open Access
The wide-scale urbanization has affected every aspect of life. The dietary habits and pattern has also changed. To meet the ever-increasing demand for new cuisines, the catering industry in India is becoming more prominent day by day. In India, many restaurants are usually operated individually particularly the road side dhabas. The present study was conducted with the aim of mapping the hazards posed by dhabas workers, to observe the current workplace condition of roadside small sized dhaba and to understand the occupational health and safety provisions for these workers. To map the health hazards to these workers detailed literature survey was done. This was followed by walk through survey of dhabas to directly observe the health and safety issues at workplace and lastly communication with owners and workers was carried out regarding occupational health and safety provisions.
The first strategy revealed that these workers are at risk of developing morbid conditions like respiratory, dermatological, musculoskeletal, infections and injuries. The walk through survey suggested that the workers are mainly exposed to hazards like heat produced by stoves and tandoor, road side dust and smoke through vehicles plying on highways and poor illumination at the workplace.
Questionnaire survey of 50 subjects suggested that only 14% considered that their occupation poses health hazards while only 16% mentioned that they have provision for health care at their workplace. Majority (70%) of the workers were resorting to traditional methods in case of illness while only 30% said that they use a piece of cloth to prevent inhalation of smoke near stoves. Thus to conclude this study suggests that the dhaba workers are at risk of several occupational hazards which is further increased by the poor working conditions and lack of awareness about the protective measures.
Restaurant, Dhaba, Infections, Occupational Therapy, Occupational Exposures