Peculiarities of morbidity and assessment of occupational health risks for workers who contact aerosols of man-made mineral fibers

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E.A. Hutsich, G.E. Kosiachenko, S.I. Sychik


Scientific Practical Centre of Hygiene, 8 Akademicheskaya Str., Minsk, 220012, Belarus


Our research focused on health of workers who had contacts with aerosols of man-made mineral fibers.

Our research goal was to determine peculiarities related to dynamics and structure of morbidity with temporary disability and to assess occupational health risks for workers who had contacts with aerosols of man-made mineral fibers.

The paper dwells on the results obtained via in-depth interpretation analysis of morbidity with temporary disability among workers who were permanently involved in manufacturing heat insulating boards from mineral wool (the test group); morbidity was analyzed over a 5-year period taking into account workers’ sex, age, and working experience. Occupational conditionality of morbidity was assessed via comparative analysis as the test group was compared with the conditional reference group (workers employed at a workshop where cell concrete blocks were manufactured), overall morbidity parameters taken for the whole country, and morbidity parameters taken for construction materials manufacturing. Risk was assessed via applying occupational risk index, calculated on the basis of relative risk and total coefficient of working conditions.

We detected that morbidity with temporary disability among workers from the test group was authentically higher than morbidity among workers from the conditional reference group, regarding both all disease categories, and respiratory organs diseases in particular. Relative risk and etiological fraction of morbidity caused by working conditions indicates that such conditions have direct influence on morbidity with respiratory organs diseases among workers from the test group. Occupational risk index characterizes occupational risk for workers from the test group as being moderate but still requiring specific activities aimed at reducing it, although there is no urgent necessity to perform them. Workers from the test group also tended to have lower “health index” than those form the conditional reference group.

Morbidity with temporary disability among workers from the test group was authentically lower than in the Republic of Belarus on average as well as than standard parameters fixed for construction materials manufacturing; but it was statistically significantly higher than both in the country on average and in the branch for respiratory organs diseases, musculoskeletal and connective tissue diseases; it was also statistically significantly higher than on average in the country for digestive organs diseases and diseases of skin and subcutaneous tissue.

mineral wool manufacturing, man-made mineral fibers, industrial aerosols, working conditions, morbidity, occupational risk, occupational diseases, morbidity dynamics
Hutsich E.A., Kosiachenko G.E., Sychik S.I. Peculiarities of morbidity and assessment of occupational health risks for workers who contact aerosols of man-made mineral fibers. Health Risk Analysis, 2019, no. 4, pp. 113–121. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2019.4.12.eng
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