Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine   Official publication of Indian Association of  0ccupational  Health  
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13-20

A study of occupational health and safety measures in the Laundry Department of a private tertiary care teaching hospital, Bengaluru

Division of Occupational Health Services, Department of Community Medicine, St. John's Medial College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
M. Shashi Kumar
#620, Raghava Nilaya, 6th Cross, Bhuvaneshwari Nagar, T. Dasarahalli, Bengaluru 560 057, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.134951

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Introduction: The Laundry Department plays an important role in preventing the spread of infection and continuously supplying clean linen to various departments in any hospital. Objectives of the Study: To identify existing practices and occupational safety and health (OSH) measures in the Laundry Department and to assess the use of personal protective equipments (PPEs) among health care workers. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in a private tertiary care teaching hospital. An observation checklist was developed, which was partially based on occupational hazard checklist of OSHA for Laundry Department. This was field tested and validated for applicability for this study. Results: The potential biological hazards are infections through exposure to aerosols, spills and splashes during various activities, fungal infection due to wet clothes and environment and infections through fomites. The potential physical hazards are injuries due to slips and falls, exposure to heat, humidity, dust, noise, and vibration. The potential chemical hazards are contact dermatitis and allergic asthma due to exposure to detergents, phenyl solution, bleaching powder, and soap oil solution. The potential ergonomic hazards are musculoskeletal diseases and repetitive stress injuries at the shoulder, elbow, and small joints of the hands. PPEs were not used consistently in most areas of the department.


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