Objectives To describe working and employment conditions, and health-related outcomes in non-agricultural employees in Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Central America and Uruguay on the basis of the working conditions surveys (WCSs) available in Latin America. In addition, we aimed to discuss the methodological barriers that hinder the comparability of these surveys.
Methods The data have been taken from the first WCSs of Colombia (2007), Argentina (2009), Chile (2009–2010), Central America (2011) and Uruguay (2012). For comparative purposes, we selected a subsample of 15241 employees, aged 18–64 years, engaged in non-agricultural activities. For our analysis, we selected the variables for which data were available in at least three surveys and that were measured with the same or similar questions. We calculated prevalences with 95% confidence intervals for the selected variables on working and employment conditions, and health-related outcomes, separated by sex and country.
Results Overall, regarding employment conditions, a large share of both sexes worked >40 hours a week. The most frequent exposures were repetitive movements, followed by noise and manual handling, with men being more frequently exposed. Regarding psychosocial exposures, working fast was very common among both sexes. In relation to health, while workers in Chile (33.4% of women and 16.6% of men) and Central America (24.3% of women and 19.1% of men) were more likely to report poor self-perceived health, workers in Colombia (5.5% of women and 4.2% of men) were less likely to do so. Moreover, the percentage of workers reporting occupational injuries was always less than 10%.
Conclusions Although there are differences in exposures and health-related outcomes between the studied populations of the Latin American countries, we identified some common patterns. Given that the development of national WCSs in the region contribute to the understanding of occupational health, ongoing efforts focused on improving their comparability should be strengthened.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.