Development of an innovative index to assess worker’s health risk: the WHRI applied to an oil industry in Bahia, Brazil




Index development. Worker’s health risk index (WHRI). Sustainable working conditions. Risk management


Purpose: The objective of this study was to assess the worker’s health (WH) risk, focused on sustainable development in a work context and based on the development and application of the Worker’s Health Risk Index (WHRI) in the oil extraction and production industry in Bahia, Brazil.

Design/methodology/approach: The sample, obtained by quota sampling, comprised 965 participants. The development stage integrated a group of 10 specialists, including physicians, nurses, nutritionists, dentists and physical educators, all specialists in the WH area, as well as 3 experts in the area of data science. Three risk ranges were defined: "Low", "Moderate" and "High".

Findings: The WHRI validation revealed reliability and reproducibility, as well as the ability to identify differences among the population studied according to sex, age group and education level. The results indicate that the WH risk is higher in men, aged above 50 years old and with a low level of education (p < 0.001). 74% of the participants are in the "Low", 21% in the "Moderate" and 5% in the "High" risk ranges. High-risk workers are also those with diabetes mellitus, altered triglyceride or glycemia levels, hypertension, poor oral hygiene and periodontal conditions, tobacco use, low levels of physical activity (all with p < 0.05), or alcohol abuse.

Originality/Value: The WHRI’s major contribution is to make available a useful tool for the identification of WH risk, helping to define clearer health promotion, prevention and intervention policies in the context of WH.


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Author Biographies

Lilian Monteiro Ferrari Viterbo, University Fernando Pessoa

PhD Student in Ecology and Environmental Health in the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University Fernando Pessoa (Porto, Portugal), master in Health Technologies from the Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health (Bahia, Brazil). She graduated in Nursing in the Salvador Catholic University, Brazil. Lilian is currently North and Northeast Health Sector Manager at Petrobras and Researcher at the UFP Energy, Environment and Health Research Unit of the University Fernando Pessoa. Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

Diogo Guedes Vidal, University Fernando Pessoa

PhD Student in Ecology and Environmental Health in the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University Fernando Pessoa (Porto, Portugal), master in Sociology from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Porto. He graduated in Sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Porto. Diogo is currently Research Fellow at the UFP Energy, Environment and Health Research Unit of the University Fernando Pessoa and Collaborator Researcher at Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health. Porto, Portugal.

André Santana Costa, Federal University of Feira de Santana

Graduated in Nursing in the Federal University of Feira de Santana. André is currently Nurse work at Petrobras and Researcher at the UFP Energy, Environment and Health Research Unit of the University Fernando Pessoa. Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

Maria Alzira Pimenta Dinis, University Fernando Pessoa

PhD in Earth Sciences Health in the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University Fernando Pessoa (Porto, Portugal), master in Materials Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto. She graduated in Metallurgical Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto. Maria is currently Associate Professor at University Fernando Pessoa and Researcher at the UFP Energy, Environment and Health Research Unit. Porto, Portugal.

Walter Leal Filho, HAW Hamburg

Holds the Chairs of Climate Change Management at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany), and Environment and Technology at Manchester Metropolitan University (UK). He directs the Research and Transfer Centre "Sustainability Development and Climate Change Management". His main research interests are in the fields of sustainable development and climate change, also including aspects of climate change and health.

He holds various doctoral degrees, such as the degrees of: Philosophy Doctor (PhD), Doctor of Sciences (DSc), Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil), Doctor of Education (DEd), Doctor of Letters (DL) for his works on environment, sustainable development and climate change. He directs the European School of Sustainability Science and Research at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, in Germany.


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How to Cite

Viterbo, L. M. F., Vidal, D. G., Costa, A. S., Dinis, M. A. P., & Leal Filho, W. (2021). Development of an innovative index to assess worker’s health risk: the WHRI applied to an oil industry in Bahia, Brazil. Revista De Administração Da UFSM, 14(1), 213–240.




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