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O09-3 Work and health in latin america based on working conditions surveys of colombia, argentina, chile, central america and uruguay
  1. Pamela Merino-Salazar1,2,
  2. Lucía Artazcoz3,4,
  3. Cecilia Cornelio5,
  4. María José Itatí Iñiguez5,
  5. Marianela Rojas1,6,
  6. David Martínez-Iñigo7,
  7. Alejandra Vives8,9,
  8. Lorena Funcasta10,
  9. Fernando G. Benavides1,4,11
  1. 1Centro de Investigación en Salud Laboral (CISAL), Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
  2. 2Secretaría Nacional de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación, Quito, Ecuador
  3. 3Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  4. 4CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain
  5. 5Superintendencia de Riesgos del Trabajo. Ministerio de Trabajo, Empleo y Seguridad Social, Argentina
  6. 6Programa Salud, Trabajo y Ambiente América Central (SALTRA), Universidad Nacional, Heredia, Costa Rica
  7. 7Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain
  8. 8Departamento De Salud Pública, Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago de Chile, Chile
  9. 9CEDEUS, Conicyt-Fondap; ACCDiS, Conicyt-Fondap, Santiago de Chile, Chile
  10. 10Universidad de la República, Uruguay
  11. 11IMIM (Instituto Hospital del Mar de Investigaciones Médicas), Barcelona, Spain


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.

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