Occupational Environment

Occupational Environment means, the external condition and influence of place of work and has a bearing on the health of the worker. The workers are placed today in a highly complicated environment and it is becoming more complicated day by day. There are mainly three types of interaction in a working environment:

    • Man and man.
    • Man and machine.
    • Man and physical, chemical and biological agents.
      1. Man and man: There are many factors like social, psychosocial etc. which play a role in working environment. There is also human relationship among the workers and with superiors. Psychosocial factors are job satisfaction, service condition, leadership, type of work, communication, payment, welfare state, trade union activity, incentives etc. In modern occupational health, importance is given to the condition in which people work, their attitude toward their job, there hopes and fear etc. The occupational environment of a worker can not be separated from his domestic environment. They are complementary to each other. They take worries of work place to home and from home he brings domestic problems. Stress at work can disturb sleep the same way stress at home can disturb work. Occupational health is a dynamic equilibrium between the worker and his occupational environment.
      2. Man and Machines: The following are the causes of industrial accident: unguarded machines, poor installation of machines, protruding and moving parts and lack of safety measures and employee education. Other causes are fatigue due to long working hours, bad postures which cause backache, joint disease etc.
      3. Man and physical, Chemical and Biological agents:
        • Physical factors: Physical factors that effect health of worker are, heat, cold, noise, vibration, ionizing radiation, light, air movement (ventilation), humidity and heat radiation. These factors acts singly or in combination. The washing & bathing facility, toilet facility as well as amount of working space effect health of a worker.
        • Chemical factors: These are harmful chemicals toxic dusts, toxic gases and are harmful to the health of the worker. Some chemicals are irritant to skin, some causes respiratory problems and some maybe highly poisonous.
        • Biological agents: Workers may be exposed to bacterial, viral, rickettsial and parasites. All these are health hazards may arise due to close contact with animals, contaminated water, contaminated soil, contaminated food etc.

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