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Building occupational health capacity in Mexico: an ongoing collaboration.

Sussell AL; Baron S; Tennassee M
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1998 May; :18
In 1995, at the request of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Secretary of Health of Mexico, NIOSH detailed a medical epidemiologist to Mexico to develop long-term collaboration with Mexican institutions to improve occupational safety and health. A collaboration was begun with the Mexican Institute for Social Security (IMSS), which has the most extensive research and training role in occupational safety and health. IMSS is supported by payroll taxes and provides comprehensive services for health and welfare to about 9.5 million workers and 30 million family members. In February and March 1997 the speaker went to Mexico to develop a plan for industrial hygiene research and training in support of the NIOSH/PAHO project. He interviewed leading industrial hygienists in government and industry, accompanied IMSS and other government inspectors during 10 plant site visits, collaborated with Mexican investigators during 2 health hazard evaluations, and developed and taught 2 industrial hygiene courses. The plant site visits included small and medium-sized Mexican enterprises, as well as foreign-owned maquiladoras. At the current time, industrial hygiene is only beginning to develop as a profession in Mexico. There is lack of university training programs, and the regulatory agencies have not developed industrial hygiene expertise, promoting instead third-party private inspections. However. only a small group of the private industrial hygienists have education and professional experience comparable with U.S. standards. These hygienists reported that better government enforcement of the new Mexican occupational safety and health law of 1997 is needed to expand the market for their services in Mexico. NIOSH, PAHO, and the World Health Organization are working with other public and private institutions to help develop industrial hygiene in Latin America. Planned activities are to develop a standard curriculum and promote continuing education of professionals.
Occupational-health-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Racial-factors; Sociological-factors; Training; Industrial-hygiene-programs; Industrial-hygienists; Health-services; Education; Health-standards
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia
Page last reviewed: April 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division