This was a baseline study on the occupational exposures and health problems among women workers in Export Processing Zone with employers from foreign multinationals such as Americans, Europeans Japanese, Chinese, and Indians. Physical, chemical and ergonomic hazards were evaluated and measured through workplace ambient monitoring, survey questionnaires, and interviews among 24 industries, and 500 respondents (majority were female at 88.8%). The top 5 hazards were ergonomic hazards (72.2%), heat (66.6%), overwork (66.6%), poor ventilation (54.8%) and chemical exposure (50.8%). The most common illnesses were gastro-intestinal problems (57.4%), backache (56%), headache (53.2%) and fatigue/weakness (53.2%). Logistic regression shows association between certain work-related factors and occupational illnesses, and psychosocial problems. Highly significant associations were hearing loss with years spent in the company (p=0.005) and gender (p=0.006); headache and dizziness with poor ventilation (p=0.000); backache with prolonged work (p=0.003). These results will have implications for policy and program formulation for women worker's concerns and issues in the export zones.
- Occupational health and safety
- women workers
- export zones
- occupational illnesses and injuries
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