Article Text


Global health
SP4-1 Interaction between subjective and objective occupational conditions in affecting physical health of women workers in multinational establishments
  1. S F Lu,
  2. J L Lu
  1. National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila, Manila, The Philippines


The Philippines has established many export zones as a response to the Structural Adjustment Programs of the World Bank in order to stabilise its economy. The study aimed at looking into the problems caused by organisational factors such as job autonomy, content of job, nature of task, hazard exposure and management styles to mental health of women workers. This was conducted in an export zone involving 31 industries and an interview with 613 women workers. The results showed that there were several interactions between variables which include the following- the need for new quality for products is associated with the need to upgrade knowledge and skills, fast-pace work is associated with heavy physical load, poor health and safety policies at work with exposure to vapours, and participation in benchmarking with better policies on promotion and training. Other significant associations were: exposure to vibration with noise, and awkward positions while working and prolonged standing in the workplace. Correlation matrix was also done for the factorised variables in the worker's questionnaire. The significant associations show the following statistical conclusions. Boring and repetitive jobs and work pressure were correlated with absence of programs other than health and safety while sufficient salary and compensation was correlated with the presence of such programs. Workers who have no autonomy in applying their own strategy to accomplish their work are likely to have low mental health. Workers also tend to have low mental health when they are subjected to close monitoring, hazardous work pressure and, poor work quality. Medium industries are less likely to have cases of low mental health among workers. This study has policy implication and can serve as a basis for advocacy work and program implementation for the promotion of mental health counselling.

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