Female workers have to work both in the industry as well as at the home to meet their family’s daily need. The work pattern in food processing units is very repetitive and exposes workers to several health risks. Lack of protective clothing and equipment also exposes workers’ health to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) hazards and diseases, thereby reducing their efficiency and productivity. The present study was, therefore, undertaken to explore the awareness and incidents of occupational health hazards among female workers of small scale food processing units. The study was carried out on 30 women workers engaged in small scale food processing units. The sample was randomly selected from five randomly selected food processing units of Punjab state. Personal interview method, using an interview schedule, and observation technique were adopted to collect the relevant data. Results revealed that most of the respondents were aware about many of the occupational health hazards related to their work and all the respondents were suffering from muscle pain and discomfort because of working in awkward posture for long working hours. Majority (85 %) of the respondents were aware about the regular use of Personal Protective Equipment/Clothing (PPE/PPC) at workplace, but only 33.3 per cent were using apron, 36.7 per cent were using gloves, 26.7 per cent were using face mask and 40 per cent were using head cover at the workplace. Also because of the pain in the lower back of the respondents, many of their routine activities got affected. The present study highlighted the occupational health hazards faced by the workers of small scale food processing units and the causes of health hazards. It will be beneficial for the workers and the employers of food processing units to take preventive measures to avoid or reduce any health risks at the workplace.
Agro-enterprise, Food processing units, Health hazards, Low back pain, Personal protective equipment
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