Occupational skin hazards and prevalence of occupational skin diseases in shoe manufacturing workers in Indonesia
Purpose Shoe manufacturing workers are exposed daily to an extensive range of potential physical and chemical occupational hazards. Shoe manufacturing in Indonesia is one of the industrial sectors that has shown sustained growth amongst the newly industrialized countries (NICs). In this study, we investigated the possible potential exposure of the workers to physical and occupational hazards and determined the prevalence of occupational skin diseases at a shoe manufacturing factory in Indonesia.
Methods A cross-sectional study on the observation of the working process and an inventory and risk assessment of exposure to the chemicals used. Classification of chemicals as potential sensitizers/irritants and qualitative assessments of these chemicals were done. Workers were examined and interviewed using the Nordic Occupational Skin Questionnaire-2002/LONG.
Results The risk of Occupational skin diseases (OSD) at the shoe factory was mainly related to the exposure of the workers’ skin to potential physical and chemical hazards in hot and humid environmental conditions. From a total of 514 workers, 8.5 % reported current OSD and 4.8 % reported a history of OSD. Occupational skin diseases were diagnosed in 29 % of the workers by dermatologists and 7.6 % had an occupational contact dermatitis (OCD). Of the 39 workers with contact dermatitis, 33 consented to being patch tested, 14 (3 %) workers showed a positive results and considered as having an occupational allergic contact dermatitis (OACD) and 25 (4.9 %) had an occupational irritant contact dermatitis (OICD).
Conclusion We observed a repeated and prolonged exposure of the workers to numerous physical and chemical skin hazards at this factory.