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Respiratory morbidity among welders in the shipbuilding industry, Goa

Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd
Publication Date
DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.107069
  • Original Article
  • Economics


Context: Welding is pivotal in shipbuilding. The fumes and gases involved in welding may cause respiratory morbidity. Aim: To study the prevalence of respiratory morbidity (RM) among welders vis à vis among nonwelders and its association with certain relevant factors. Settings and Design: A cross-sectional study of 276 welders and 276 nonwelders was conducted in the shipbuilding industry. Materials and Methods: An interviewer-administered questionnaire was followed by spirometric examination. Statistical Analysis: Odds ratio and its 95% CI and two-way ANOVA. Results: Prevalence of RM was found to be significantly higher among welders compared to nonwelders (who were comparable in age, duration of employment (DOE) and smoking habits,) with odds ratio (OR) of 1.78 (95% confidence interval (CI):1.20-2.63). Obstructive type of RM was predominant in both welders (26% (n = 73)) and nonwelders (17% (n = 49)) with welders being at a significantly higher risk (OR = 1.66 (95%: 1.10-2.49)). RM was commoner after the 40 years of age or after 20 years of employment in both groups. Smoking was associated with RM among welders (OR = 1.48, 95% CI: 1.24-1.75) as well as nonwelders (OR = 2.83, 95% CI: 2.26-3.54). Work-related respiratory symptoms (WRRS) was not found to be related to RM (OR = 1.69, 95% CI: 1.00-2.84). Consistent use of personal protective equipment (PPE) was protective against RM in welders (OR = 0.33, 95% CI: 0.28-0.37). Conclusion: Welders had a greater burden of RM and this was related to increasing age, DOE, smoking and inconsistent use of PPE. WRRS were not indicative of RM.

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