Association of Smoking with Chest Radiographic and Lung Function Findings in Retired Bauxite Mining Workers

Inhalation hazards are associated with potentially injurious exposure and increased risk for lung diseases, within the bauxite mining industry, especially for the smelter workers. Smoking is related to decreased lung function and leads to chronic lung diseases. This study had the objective to evaluate whether smoking is related to functional and radiographic respiratory changes in retired bauxite mining workers. Methods: This was a retrospective and cross-sectional study involving the analysis of database information of 140 retired bauxite mining workers from Poços de Caldas-MG evaluated at Worker’s Health Reference Center and at the Social Security Brazilian National Institute, from July 1st, 2015 until June 30th, 2016. The workers were divided into three groups: non-smokers (n = 47), ex-smokers (n = 46), and smokers (n = 47). The data included: age, gender, spirometry results, and the presence or not of pulmonary pleural and/or parenchymal changes in chest radiographs. Chi-Squared test was used (p < 0,05). Results: In the smokers’ group, 83% of spirometry tests and 64% of chest x-rays were altered. In the non-smokers’ group, 19% of spirometry tests and 13% of chest x-rays were altered. In the ex-smokers’ group, 35% of spirometry tests and 30% of chest x-rays were altered. Most of the results were statistically significant. Results demonstrated a significant difference between smokers’ and non-smokers’ groups in regard to spirometric and radiographic pulmonary alterations. Ex-smokers’ and non-smokers’ group demonstrated better results when compared to the smokers’ group in relation to altered spirometry and radiograph findings. These data may contribute to planning strategies to enhance smoking cessation programs within the bauxite mining industry.

Program of Health/Safety Integration and the Total Worker Health Concept in the Improvement of Absenteeism of the Work Accommodation Management

Introduction: There is a worldwide trend for the employer to be aware of investing in health promotion that goes beyond occupational hygiene approaches with the implementation of a comprehensive program with integration between occupational health and safety, and social/psychosocial responsibility in the workplace. Work accommodation is a necessity in most companies as it allows the worker to return to its function respecting its physical limitations. This study had the objective to verify if the integration of health and safety in the companies, with the inclusion of the concept of TWH promoted by an occupational health service has impacted in the management of absenteeism of workers in work accommodation. Method: A retrospective and paired cohort study was used, in which the impact of the implementation of the Program for the Health/Safety Integration and Total Worker Health Concept (PHSITWHC) was evaluated using the indices of absenteeism, health attestations, days and hours of sick leave of workers that underwent job accommodation/rehabilitation. This was a cohort study and the data were collected from January to September of 2017, prior to the initiation of the integration program, and compared with the data obtained from January to September of 2018, after the implementation of the program. For the statistical analysis, the student's t-test was used, with statistically significant differences being made at p < 0.05. Results: The results showed a 35% reduction in the number of absenteeism rate in 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. There was also a significant reduction in the total numbers of days of attestations/absences (mean of 2,8) as well as days of attestations, absence and sick leaves (mean of 5,2) in 2018 data after the implementation of PHSITWHC compared to 2017 data, means of 4,3 and 25,1, respectively, prior to the program. Conclusion: It can be concluded that the inclusion of the PHSITWHC was associated with a reduction in the rate of absenteeism of workers that underwent job accommodation. It was observed that, once health and safety were approached and integrated with the inclusion of the TWH concept, it was possible to reduce absenteeism, and improve worker’s quality of life and wellness, and work accommodation management.