Análisis de Riesgos Ocupacionales en Aserraderos.
Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica.
Occupational respiratory diseases and nasal cancer are among the major work-related illnesses associated to wood dust exposure. This study will allow a systematic assessment of working conditions in the areas of safety, ergonomics and occupational exposure to chemical and biological agents in sawmills located throughout the country, in order to characterize the main risks and generate information leading to decrease the hazards in favor of the health and safety of workers. For safety assessments checklists and questionnaires were used, photographs and videos for the ergonomic assessment using REBA and OWAS methodologies, measuring equipment for collecting samples of wood dust exposure according to the method MDHS 14/3 subsequently analyzed in the Laboratory of Analytical Hygiene and samples of biological agents according to Pouch (2003) in the Food Laboratory of the University of Costa Rica. The results of compliance for working conditions did not exceed 60 %. For the ergonomic evaluation by REBA method, it was estimated that 95.8 % of workers (n = 92) were found above the ergonomic low risk category. By the OWAS method similar results were obtained. The wood dust concentrations were found in a range of 0.09 to 28.9 mg/m3, with an MLE estimate of 2.33 mg/m3 exceeding national and international regulations. Species of fungi and bacteria were found in samples of wood dust: Aspergillus, Bacillum, and Penicilinum. Is recommended to develop and implement improvement measures in all areas evaluated to prevent injuries and illnesses among sector workers, such as the implementation of safe work practices and training, among others.