Salud Pública de México
versión impresa ISSN 0036-3634
Objective. To identify occupational exposure to hazards among Venezuelan university (UN) workers. Material and Methods. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in 1999 to assess occupational exposure among UN workers. Potentially hazardous events (PH) and their causes were identified. The study population consisted of 90 workers of both genders, working in any of the 24 areas classified as critical by university authorities. Work area and individual surveys were carried out. Data collected included demographic characteristics, occupational clinical history, hazardous occupational exposures, use of personal protection equipment, and knowledge about occupational risks and habits. Clinical-toxicological tests were performed. The major chemical, physical, biological, mechanical, and ergonomic PH were identified, as well as the degree of risk (DR) for each area. Central tendency and dispersion measures were calculated, in addition to association and statistical significance measures, as appropriate. Results. A positive, significant correlation was found between time working in the university and the number of signs and symptoms reported by workers. No correlation was found between the number of signs and symptoms and age and gender. Symptoms were mainly non-specific. Conclusions. There are several potentially hazardous processes in the different occupational areas of the university. Recommendations are issued to implement prevention programs with appropriate recording of occupational accidents, and morbidity and mortality, to aid in the timely detection of occupational illnesses and accidents.
Palabras llave : occupational health; universities; academic institutions; Venezuela.