Occupational Medicine Services
Today, it is also equally important to take into account the impact of harmful substances and physical factors that can lead to changes in the body of workers. These tasks are solved by such areas of knowledge as occupational medicine.
Occupational medicine covers the main issues related to the influence of various production factors on the human body. It is a system of organizational measures and technical means that prevent or reduce the impact of harmful production factors on workers.
Tasks of occupational medicine
- Improvement of the technological process;
- Elimination of unhealthy conditions;
- Establishment of a regime of work and rest;
- Ensuring healthy working conditions;
- Prevention of occupational diseases.
Industrial hazards are divided into three groups
- Hazards related to the labor process. The are caused by the irrational organization of labor (excessive tension of the nervous system, tension of the organs of vision, hearing, high intensity of labor, etc.);
- Hazards related to the production process, but created due to technical shortcomings of the production equipment (industrial dust, noise, vibration, harmful chemicals, radiation, etc.)
- Hazards associated with external circumstances of labor and production – with shortcomings of general sanitary conditions at the workplace (irrational heating of industrial premises, lighting, etc.)
The consequence of exposure to industrial hazards
- Occupational diseases;
- An increase in the disease that the employee already has, and a decrease in the resistance of his body to external factors that cause an increase in general morbidity;
- Decrease in working capacity and labor productivity.
Harmful substances can be in solid, liquid and gaseous states.
They enter the human body through the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal tract, and the skin.
The degree of impact of a harmful substance on the human body depends on the following reasons:
- concentration of the substance;
- chemical composition of the substance;
- solubility in water;
- individual qualities and human health;
- state of the environment;
- duration of exposure.
Harmful substances are classified according to the following criteria
I. According to the degree of impact:
- extremely dangerous;
- highly dangerous;
- moderately hazardous;
- little dangerous.
II. According to the nature of toxicity:
- Irritating – destroying the skin and mucous membranes (fluorine, chlorine, etc.);
- Suffocating – destroying the respiratory system (ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, etc.);
- Narcotic – acting on the blood (acetylene, benzene, finol, etc.);
- Somatic – acting on the nervous system (lead, arsenic, methyl alcohol, hydrogen sulfide)
III. By the nature of the impact on the human body:
- General toxic substances that cause poisoning of the whole organism (carbon monoxide, lead, mercury, benzene, arsenic and its compounds, etc.).
- Irritants that cause irritation of the respiratory tract and mucous membranes (chlorine, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, ozone, etc.).
- Sensitizing substances that act as allergens (formaldehyde, various solvents and varnishes based on nitro compounds, etc.).
- Carcinogenic substances that cause the development of cancer (benzopyrene, asbestos, beryllium and its compounds, etc.).
- Mutagenic substances that lead to a violation of the genetic code, changes in hereditary information (lead, manganese, radioactive isotopes, etc.).
- Substances affecting the reproductive (childbearing) function (mercury, lead, styrene, radioactive isotopes, etc.).
The maximum permissible concentration (MPC) of a harmful substance in the air of the working area is the concentration that, during daily (except weekends) work for 8 hours or another duration, but not more than 40 hours a week, during the entire working experience cannot cause diseases or deviations in the state of health detected by modern methods of research in the process of work or in the remote periods of life of the present and subsequent generations.
Measures taken to reduce the content of harmful substances in the air of the working area
- Exclusion of the use or replacement of harmful substances with less harmful ones;
- Rationalization of technological processes, eliminating the formation of harmful substances;
- Sealing of equipment;
- Mechanization and automation of production processes;
- Moistening of processed materials;
- Arrangement of various ventilation systems;
- Use of personal protective equipment by employees.
High air temperature contributes to rapid fatigue of the worker, can lead to overheating of the body, heat stroke.
Low air temperature can cause local or general cooling of the body, cause colds or frostbite.
High relative humidity at high air temperature contributes to overheating of the body, while at low temperatures, heat transfer from the skin surface increases, which leads to hypothermia.
Low humidity causes discomfort in the form of dryness of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract of the worker.
Air mobility effectively contributes to the heat transfer of the human body and is positively manifested at high temperatures, but negatively at low temperatures.
Optimal microclimate conditions
Optimal microclimatic conditions are established according to the criteria of the optimal thermal and functional state of a person. They provide a general and local feeling of thermal comfort during an 8-hour work shift with minimal stress on thermoregulatory mechanisms, do not cause deviations in health status, create prerequisites for a high level of performance and are preferred in the workplace.
Permissible microclimate conditions
Permissible microclimatic conditions are established according to the criteria for the permissible thermal and functional state of a person for the period of an 8-hour working day. They do not cause damage or health problems, but can lead to general and local sensations of thermal discomfort, tension in the mechanisms of thermoregulation, deterioration in well-being and decreased performance.
Noise is sound vibrations, different in amplitude and frequency.
For the purpose of a special assessment of working conditions, it is considered that the harmful effects of noise appear from 80 dB.
High-level noise adversely affects the central nervous system, stomach, motor functions, mental work, and visual analyzer. The frequency and filling of the pulse, blood pressure change, reactions slow down, attention is weakened, speech intelligibility worsens.
The sensitivity of the organ of hearing decreases, which leads to a temporary increase in the threshold of hearing. With prolonged exposure to high-level noise, irreversible hearing loss occurs.
Vibration can cause changes in tendons, muscles, bones and joints, and can affect the nervous system.
In especially severe cases, irreversible changes occur in the human body, leading to disability.
According to the method of transmission to a person, they distinguish:
- general vibration transmitted through the supporting surfaces to the body of a seated or standing person;
- local vibration transmitted through the hands of a person.
Non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation and fields
- non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation and fields of natural origin;
- static electric fields;
- permanent magnetic fields;
- electromagnetic radiation and fields of industrial frequency and radio frequency range;
- laser radiation.
As a result of a long stay in the zone of action of electromagnetic fields, premature fatigue, drowsiness or sleep disturbance occur, frequent headaches appear, nervous system disorders occur, etc. With systematic exposure, persistent neuropsychiatric diseases, changes in blood pressure, slow pulse, trophic phenomena (hair loss, brittle nails, etc.).
Occupational medicine services
US medicine centers offer their clients a full range of medical services aimed at strengthening and maintaining the health of employees:
- Clinical examination (including civil servants);
- Immunoprophylaxis (vaccination);
- Examination of the relationship of the disease with the profession;
- Organization of primary health care, as well as emergency medical care on the territory of the enterprise;
- Online consulting of employees by highly specialized specialists;
- Development of a preventive action plan for employees;
- Examination of temporary disability;
- Formation of the company’s medical policy;
- Conducting training on provision of first medical aid;
- Carrying out post-traumatic rehabilitation and recovery treatment of employees;
- Development of a preventive action plan.