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Garrido, Marie A.; Parra, Manuel; Diaz, Juana; Medel, Julia; Nowak, Dennis ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7871-8686 and Radon, Katja ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5271-3972 (2020): Occupational Safety and Health in a Community of Shellfish Divers: A Community-Based Participatory Approach. In: Journal of Community Health, Vol. 45, No. 3: pp. 569-578

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In artisanal fishing communities in Chile, the access to occupational safety and health (OSH) is limited by factors such as the informality of employment. Our objective was to analyze the working and health conditions of workers in a coastal town in Southern Chile, under a community-based participatory approach. We carried out two independent social dialogue workshops within the community. The first one (N of participants = 25) was aimed to identify the strengths, weaknesses and challenges for preventing decompression sickness among divers. The second workshop (N of participants = 10) was set to identify the work processes and to map the occupational risks during seafood harvesting and processing in the community. Community members' training for handling and preventing decompression sickness among divers, and the collaboration between a local health representative, stakeholders and authorities, were identified as contributing factors in reducing fatalities and sequels among divers in the past. Technology and safety on board the vessels, training of healthcare personnel in OSH, and access to health programs, were identified as remaining challenges. Through risk mapping, the participants identified the relationship between working and health conditions in the community, reinforcing the necessity of improving access to health and social security. The community participation in identifying and analyzing working and health conditions could be the first step for a strategy to address OSH through primary health care in rural communities. Community empowerment and involvement in action plans, training on basic OSH for health care workers, and public policies are required.

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