Hina Toufique, Nighat Nisar, Sohail Saadat.
Work Place Related Health Hazards among Dental Laboratory Technicians in Karachi.
J Pak Dent Assoc Jan ;26(4):181-8.
BACKGROUND: Every profession has its own workplace related health risks. Dental practice is a profession in which the health care provider, whether dentist, assistant, hygienist or technician, is at multiple risks including exposure to hazardous chemicals, infections, pollution, posture related risks and stress related health issues. OBJECTIVE: The study aim is to identify work place related health hazards among dental technicians in Karachi. METHODOLOGY: A cross sectional study was conducted by administering a questionnaire to hundred and thirty two dental technicians selected from the laboratories of teaching hospitals and private dental laboratories in Karachi by visiting them at their laboratories. The data collected were analysed by using SPSS version 22. Percentages, mean and standard deviation were calculated. RESULTS:Among hundred and thirty two dental technicians, 75.8% were males with mean age was found to be 31.08 +- 8.29 years. The mean years of experience as a dental technician was 8.08 +- 6.90 years. Working environment of both types of laboratories were found satisfactory with good ventilation, sufficient light and wide working space while safety precaution and infection control measures were not according to the measures recommended and only half of the participants were vaccinated. The most common work place related complaints found were factors causing stress (64%), systemic reactions (50.8%) and musculoskeletal problems in hand and neck (43.2%). Stress was found to be most common work place related hazard with contributing factors found were financial worries(57.6%), dealing with customers (56.1%) and time management (43.2%). Headache (33.3%) and pain (35.6%) were found to be the common work place related health hazards of general systemic reactions and musculoskeletal problems respectively. CONCLUSION:This study concluded that dental technicians suffered from work related problems like job related stress, headache, musculoskeletal problems, time management and dealing with patients. The working environment of both teaching hospitals and private dental laboratories was satisfactory while safety precautions and infection control measures adopted by the technicians were not according to the measures recommended. KEY WORDS: Dental technicians, Dental laboratories, Occupational hazards, workplace related medical issues, Health hazards, Professional risks, Occupational stress.
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