Occupational health risk for workers from basic occupational groups employed at copper and zinc ore mining enterprises: Assessment and management

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E.R. Shaykhlislamova1,2, L.K. Karimova1, N.A. Beigul1, N.A. Muldasheva1, A.Z. Fagamova1, I.V. Shapoval1, A.D. Volgareva1, E.A. Larionova1,3


1Ufa Research Institute of Occupational Medicine and Human Ecology, 94 Kuvykina Str., Ufa, 450106, Russian Federation
2Bashkir State Medical University, 3 Lenina Str., Ufa, 450008, Russian Federation
3Ufa State Aviation Technical University, 12 K. Marksa Str., Ufa, 450008, Russian Federation


A great share of workers employed at polymetallic ores mining have to face harmful working conditions at their workplaces. To provide safe working conditions for them and to preserve their health is a vital task occupational medicine has to tackle.

Polymetallic ore mining enterprises employ certain common technological processes; nevertheless, there are specific features depending on ore mining techniques and the mineralogical composition of different ores. These features determine differences both in working conditions and in occupational risks of developing occupational morbidity (OM) and work-related morbidity (WRM).

By now, there have been enough studies on peculiarities of occupational health risks for workers employed at sulfide ore mines, copper-nickel ore mines and ferruginous quartzite mines. Considerably less attention has been given to assessing occupational risks for workers dealing with mining and processing copper-zinc ores.

We performed complex clinical and hygienic examinations at a major copper-zinc ore mining enterprise located in the Southern Urals. The research results gave grounds for determining a category of working conditions, establishing formation peculiarities and the structure of occupational and work-related diseases among workers from various occupational groups.

Occupational risks were assessed considering hygienic and medical-biological indicators.

We established the highest occupational health risks for shaft sinkers, followed by drilling unit operators, timberers, excavator drivers, load haul dumper (LHD) operators and underground self-propelled machine (USPM) operators.

The research results gave grounds for developing a conceptual model of assessing and managing occupational risks in the branch. The urgency of developing and implementing activities aimed at risk mitigation should be determined depending on how validated a risk is and on its rates established for specific occupational groups.

occupational risk, workers, copper-zinc ores, ore mining, workers' health, hygienic and biomedical aspects
Shaykhlislamova E.R., Karimova L.K., Beigul N.A., Muldasheva N.A., Fagamova A.Z., Shapoval I.V., Volgareva A.D., Larionova E.A. Occupational health risk for workers from basic occupational groups employed at copper and zinc ore mining enterprises: assessment and management. Health Risk Analysis, 2022, no. 2, pp. 107–118. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2022.2.10.eng
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