ASSESSMENT OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY SYSTEM IN LATVIA
Free (open access)
Volume 2 (2012), Issue 4
305 - 316
M. EGLITE, I. VANADZINS, L. MATISANE, M.A. BAKE, D. SPRUDZA, Z. MARTINSONE, I. MARTINSONE, I. KALVE, J. RESTE, J. CIRULE & A. SEILE
The aim of this study was to analyse working conditions and occupational morbidity in order to assess development of occupational health and safety (OHS) system in Latvia during the last 15 years. Analysis of database on workplace risk factor measurements (provided by Laboratory of Hygiene and Occupational diseases) from more than 7000 workplaces, carried out during 1995–2010, was also provided. The results revealed that occupational risk factor values exceeded the recommended limits for one third of the measurements. The traditional work risk factors (chemical, physical, biological, etc.) have been partly replaced by new risks (ergonomic and psychosocial factors). Results of the study indicated that the main risk group for non-compliance with legislation, regarding OHS, is comprised by small and medium companies from private and non-governmental sector and from companies working in industries, such as construction, metal processing and wood processing. The study reveals poor knowledge and evaluation of OHS issues both by employees and employers. The study also shows a direct correlation between a good working environment, and the company’s efficiency and sustainability in general. Statistical data shows that the number of firstly diagnosed occupational diseases and patients has gradually increased. The total number of firstly diagnosed and registered occupational patients per 100000 employees was 11.2 in 1995 and 140.5 in 2009. The structure of occupational diseases reveals that musculoskeletal diseases (46.1%) comprise the leading group of diseases followed by diseases of the nervous system and organs of sense (29.3%), traumatic disorders and intoxications (11.7%).
occupational health and safety, occupational health system, occupational morbidity, occupational risk factors, structure of occupational diseases