Occupational Morbidity among Municipal Solid Waste Loaders in Mumbai

Pradeep Salve, Dhananjay W. Bansod


Municipal solid waste loaders collect and load waste into waste carrying compactor from different areas of the Mumbai city. Waste loaders are vulnerable to develop communicable and non-communicable disease due to the nature of work. This paper attempts to understand the occupation related morbidities and health seeking behavior of solid waste loaders. A primary survey was conducted with a total 160 municipal waste loaders in M/East ward of Municipal Corporation of Greatem Mumbai. The waste loaders are found to have high prevalence rate of low back pain, shoulder pain and hip/thigh pain in past 12 months. Almost 75 per cent of them reported eye related problems; two-thirds had breathlessness and 42 per cent workers reported injuries in past six months. The years of working, smoking, alcohol consumption and chewing tobacco significantly contribute for raising the prevalence of morbidities. Loaders with higher age, income and years of working spend more on their health treatment. At the outset waste loaders have higher prevalence of injury/accident, skin disease ,respiratory disease, eye disease and musculoskeletal disorders. The municipal corporation should take preventive measures and hold periodical health camps for minimizing the health risk among the waste loaders.

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