Evaluation of Clinical Findings in Occupational Health Examinations
Rafael Carel, Eynat Scheiner
Dept. of Occupational Medicine, Kupat Holim, Negev Region and Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheba
Findings in occupational health examinations of a regional service are analyzed. The service provides pre-employment, surveillance and work-capacity evaluations for about 150,000 workers from many types of work-sites and occupations. The average number of pre-employment examinations (during 1993-97) was 4,800/year, and there were relevant pathological findings in about 6.6%. Most findings involved the respiratory (11%) and cardiovascular systems (10%) or eyes (10%).
The average annual number of surveillance system examinations was 10,750. There were relevant findings in about 16%, mainly of the respiratory system (17%) and noise-induced hearing damage (about 80%).
Work-capacity examinations constituted about 35% of the work-load (9,250 examinees/year). In 53% a significant health problem affecting an individual's job performance was identified. Pathological findings were found in the musculoskeletal (21%), cardiovascular (7.5%), respiratory (3%), and neurological systems (2%).
Occupational health examinations can identify areas in which prevention and intervention or cooperation with other medical specialties are indicated, as well as specific topics requiring further training of occupational physicians.