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ISSN (Impresso) 1679-4435 - ISSN Online 2447-0147
Acesso aberto Revisado por Pares

The importance of discussing topics relevant for workers’ health

A importância de discutir tópicos relevantes para a saúde do trabalhador

João Silvestre Silva-Junior

DOI: 10.5327/Z167944352018v16n2ED

In May 2015, a truck drivers’ strike caused considerable problems to the Brazilian society1. An extensive agenda of demands led this population of workers to fight for their rights, but little appeared in the media as to a quest for better working conditions. The present issue of Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Trabalho includes an opinion article by Rocha, Fischer and Moreno that discusses the need for a broader scoped intersectoral policy to protect the health of this category of workers. The authors address the need for reorganization of work to minimize conditions deleterious to health.

Ergonomic aspects are the focus of several studies on the physical and mental health of workers published in this issue. I call the attention to the study performed by Faoro et al., which detected statistically significant difference in the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain as a function of presence or not associated mental suffering in a population of more than 1,000 employees of a poultry processing company in Southern Brazil. Considering the socioeconomic impact of orthopedic disorders, Maciel et al. performed a systematic review with meta-analysis to establish whether physical exercise in the workplace influences the occurrence of low back pain among workers.

In partnership with the International Commission on Occupational Health–ICOH, we present the Dublin Statement on Occupational Health, a result of the 32nd ICOH Congress, held in April and May in Ireland. In this document, ICOH commits itself to establish partnerships to develop actions for prevention of occupational cancer and asbestos-related diseases. Recently published global data indicate that 233,000 deaths occur every year from occupational exposure to asbestos, which reinforces the need for specific approaches to the prevention of these diseases2.

Workers’ health surveillance is essential to ground public policies. The study by Lima et al. presents data collected in interviews with professionals responsible for reporting work accidents in sentinel units in Fortaleza, Ceará. The authors further discuss possible actions to reduce underreporting. Facing this scenario, medical undergraduate students should be encouraged to think of work as a social determinant of health, as described in the study by Daniel et al. on an academic league for occupational medicine in Paraná.

Finally, we also include two technical-scientific contributions that resulted from partnerships established by the National Association of Occupational Medicine (Associação Nacional de Medicina do Trabalho–ANAMT). One is the article by Guimarães et al., which describes the cross-cultural adaptation of a North American instrument to measure the effectiveness of health, safety and well-being actions in different work environments. This article is a product of ANAMT Technical Committee of Health Promotion. The other is “ANAMT Technical Guideline (TG #4) — Accidents, Sudden Death, Syncope and Work: Screening with Electrocardiogram,” prepared together with Project Guidelines, Brazilian Medical Association (Associação Médica Brasileira–AMB). Here Myung et al. discuss the efficacy of resting electrocardiogram screening in the workplace for prevention of accidents, sudden death and syncope among asymptomatic adults.

Enjoy this issue!



1. Carvalho C, Carneiro M, Fernandes T. Caminhoneiros voltam ao Planalto com pauta mais extensa e cobram promessas no papel. Folha de S.Paulo. 27 mai 2018[citado 5 jun. 2018]. Disponível em:

2. Furuya S, Chimed-Ochir O, Takahashi K, David A, Takala J. Global Asbestos Disaster. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018;15(5):1000.


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