A job-exposure matrix for research and surveillance of occupational health and safety in Spanish workers: MatEmESp
Background In this study we describe a general-population job-exposure matrix (MatEmESp) for Spanish workers covering the period 1996–2005.
Methods The Finnish job-exposure matrix (FINJEM) provided the default value estimates for occupational exposure to chemical, physical and biological agents. These estimates were adapted to Spanish working conditions by local experts. Spanish surveys were used to obtain exposure estimates for ergonomic and psychosocial risk factors. Employment and socio-demographic conditions for Spanish workers were obtained from the Spanish National Statistics Institute.
Results MatEmESp provides a large amount of national and occupation-specific data on the major occupational exposures in Spain. As some examples, the data show that the most prevalent occupational hazards are repetitive movements and a lack of support from co-workers. In addition, 10% of the Spanish working population perform night shifts, and bricklayers and concrete workers are the job titles with the highest risk of exposure to quartz dust.
Conclusions MatEmESp can be a useful tool for research and surveillance, and can help set priorities for occupational illness and injury prevention in Spain.