Introduction Brazilian regulations oblige employers to prevent, track and make an early diagnosis of health problems related to work and to make a compulsory notification of occupational diseases. However, there is a great number of sub notification in Brazil, mostly due to ineffective programs of occupational hygiene and ergonomics. This paper suggests a strategy to make these programs more reliable for musculoskeletal condition prevention.
Methods This is a descriptive cross-section case study of an industrial plant in Nova Santa Rita, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. An intervention of Brazilian labour inspection due to a complaint of sub notification occurred in 2016, and secondary data source as official reports, ergonomic analysis and an injured-based spot map from 2010 to 2016 have been used. A spot map is used to display the location of each health-related state or event that occurs in a defined place and time. As an evidence, it may highlight a possible link between injury and professional activities.
Results Non-notified musculoskeletal disorders and nerve injuries (101 cases) exceed the notified ones (52 cases) in 94,23%; in 4 of 15 industrial lines, the difference was even bigger: 210%. 13 non-notifieds cases had the same ICD-10 classification and workplace as 7 notifieds. An ergonomic study proved that non-notified injuries could be work-related, depending on individual anamnesis.
Conclusion Adopting a spot map is a strategy that helps the identification of worker’s injury risks and the implementation of ergonomics solutions. It ends up preventing illness and minimising sub notification. By showing where injuries take place in a facility, occupational safety and health staff can prioritise control measures of identified ergonomics or other work-related risks. Authorities prerogatives, such as determine the alteration of working conditions to secure compliance with legal provisions on occupational safety and health, gain assertiveness if based on that organised data.
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