LITERATURE REVIEW ON ONE OF THE DETERMINANT OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH-PHYSICAL DETERMINANT

This assessment item requires you to select a specific occupational hazard that
you identified in Assessment item 1. Hence, this assessment item is directly
related to your first assessment item. You will prepare a literature review on
the topic, using an extensive range of publications.

The first occupational health determinant is the physical environment. It is simply the
environment where the workers work. As such, it is a large classification that comprises the
physical setting (e.g. temperature, equipment, structure, machines, chemicals.(Briner, 2000, p.
300). The physical work environment contains the hazards that have the intensity to kill or
injure the workers. It includes physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic, mechanical and
energy hazards respectively (e.g. noise, CO, HIV, awkward postures, musculoskeletal
disorders and electric shocks (Burton, 2010, p.84). There is a common understanding that
physical health can only be harmed by physical conditions, for example; a worker cut his finger
from a cutting edge of a machine, but sometimes a physical injury can happen to a worker due
to non-physical or psychosocial hazards, for example; the excessive workload, worker’s lack
of sleep, heavy drinking, anxiousness, depression or nervousness etc., can be a reason of the
physical injury because these conditions will create stress and distract the worker and lead him
towards errors which eventually causes the physical disorder as shown in appendix 1 Fig:2
(Burton, 2010, p.25; Briner, 2000, p.300). Moreover, harassment or bullying, in particular for
women workers, will grow anger and frustration which will force the employer to make an
error and get themselves injured as an outcome (Agervold* & Mikkelsen, 2004, p. 336).
Another good example of physical harm at workplace due to non-physical work environment
is; smoking which increases the OH allergies, so if a smoker is exposed to asbestos, the risk of
lung cancer will be double comparing to the non-smoker worker and it will be considered as a
physical exposure but reason behind it is the behavioural choice of the worker(Gustavsson et
al., 2002).

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