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Intervention to reduce heat stress and improve efficiency among sugarcane workers in El Salvador: Phase 1

Författare och institution:
T. Bodin (-); R. Garcia-Trabanino (-); I. Weiss (-); E. Jarquin (-); J. Glaser (-); Kristina Jakobsson (Institutionen för medicin, avdelningen för samhällsmedicin och folkhälsa); R. A. I. Lucas (-); C. Wesseling (-); C. Hogstedt (-); D. H. Wegman (-)
Publicerad i:
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 73 ( 6 ) s. 409-416
Artikel, refereegranskad vetenskaplig
Sammanfattning (abstract):
Background Chronic heat stress and dehydration from strenuous work in hot environments is considered an essential component of the epidemic of chronic kidney disease in Central America. Objective (1) To assess feasibility of providing an intervention modelled on OSHA's Water. Rest. Shade programme (WRS) during sugarcane cutting and (2) to prevent heat stress and dehydration without decreasing productivity. Methods Midway through the 6-month harvest, the intervention introduced WRS practices. A 60-person cutting group was provided water supplied in individual backpacks, mobile shaded rest areas and scheduled rest periods. Ergonomically improved machetes and efficiency strategies were also implemented. Health data (anthropometric, blood, urine, questionnaires) were collected preharvest, preintervention, mid-intervention and at the end of harvest. A subsample participated in focus group discussions. Daily wet bulb globe temperatures (WBGT) were recorded. The employer provided individual production records. Results Over the harvest WBGT was >26 degrees C from 9:00 onwards reaching average maximum of 29.3 +/- 1.7 degrees C, around 13:00. Postintervention self-reported water consumption increased 25%. Symptoms associated with heat stress and with dehydration decreased. Individual daily production increased from 5.1 to a high of 7.3 tons/person/day postintervention. This increase was greater than in other cutting groups at the company. Focus groups reported a positive perception of components of the WRS, and the new machete and cutting programmes. Conclusions A WRS intervention is feasible in sugarcane fields, and appears to markedly reduce the impact of the heat stress conditions for the workforce. With proper attention to work practices, production can be maintained with less impact on worker health.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
Hälsovetenskaper ->
Folkhälsovetenskap, global hälsa, socialmedicin och epidemiologi
chronic kidney-disease, mesoamerican nephropathy, central-america, unknown etiology, risk-factors, epidemic, injury, ckd, dehydration, water, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2016-06-27 11:54

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