Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
SPREEUWERS, Dick; STRIKWERDA, Dagmar C. and WEEL, Andre N. H.. Registration of work-related diseases, injuries, and complaints in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.31, n.2, pp. 109-114. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892012000200003.
OBJECTIVE: To estimate the incidence of work-related diseases, injuries, and complaints in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao and to identify some next steps in the prevention process. METHODS: All of the three countries' 18 occupational health specialists were asked to participate; 100% agreed to report all work-related diseases, injuries, and complaints in 2004-2008. A standard online notification form was used to register cases in a database maintained by the Netherlands Center for Occupational Diseases (NCOD). The public health service of Curaçao analyzed the data and presented the results to the participating physicians during educational and feedback meetings. RESULTS: During the study period, 1 519 cases were reported: 720 (47.0%) work-related diseases; 515 (34.0%) injuries; and 284 (19.0%) complaints. The mean patient age was 42.4 years (range 16-70 years); 924 (60.8%) were males and 571 (37.6%), females. Most frequently reported were musculoskeletal diseases, injuries, and complaints; mental health disorders; and skin injuries. Analysis showed incidence rates of work-related diseases, injuries, and complaints in Aruba to be 157 new cases per 100 000 employee years; in Bonaire, 53/100 000; and in Curaçao, 437/100 000. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that labor protection laws need improvement and that preventive action should be fostered. Further study is needed on working conditions, preventive policy, and the quality of occupational health and safety practices in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao. Funding is imperative for collecting and publishing accurate data, which will keep this problem on the social-political agenda.
Keywords : Occupational health; accident prevention; accidents; occupational; health policy; Netherlands Antilles; Caribbean Region.