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Under-recognition & under-reporting

of Work Related Ill-Health: 1 


There is limited awareness of the contribution of occupation to ill-health.  
What are the possible causes of the non-recognition, of non-reporting and therefore under-estimation of occupational ill-health? 
What steps might be taken to improve this situation?

How does one tackle this subject ?

Let us assume that it is an examination question (indeed for a number of students, a version of the above has been an exam question!). The first step is to read and re-read the question carefully and to make sure that it is understood. It means what it says. It is not intended to address why occupation can cause ill-health, nor what hazards exist in the workplace. These are important issues of course (and are considered elsewhere) but they are not the matter in question. 

Look for clues and cues in the questions. There is already an assumption that awareness is poor, so presumably one does not need to start from first principles to demonstrate this, although it will have to be considered to an extent when one looks for the possible causes. Note also that the question has already begun to "decompose" the issues into "recognition", "reporting" and "estimation". This structure might be reflected in the reply. The attempt to suggest "steps that might be taken to improve" the situation must not be overlooked, but it is clearly presented as an issue which follows logically from the other parts of the question. 

Planning the answer

One should not rush headlong into attempting to answer a question. Planning is time well-spent. Even if references are provided (as they have been on occasions when the above question was posed as an assignment for continuous assessment purposes) it pays to ponder on the question and to plan a structure and to decide what further information or thoughts need to be marshalled before proceeding. One should pick up a piece of paper and pencil and "brain storm" to generate the various sub-headings of the answer, and try to organise and rank these in a rational and justifiable way. Some would argue that the structure need not necessarily mirror exactly the sequence of points made in the question, unless you are explicitly asked to do so, and that therefore you can use your own structure, so long as you address all the points made in the question. 

While brainstorming, you should begin to jot some key items of knowledge or of concepts, that will introduce the essay, and/or conclude it as well as to support the main text. But remember: do not start by missing the wood for the trees! 

Now attempt to structure your response to the above question, by composing the bare bones of an answer. Only when you have done so, Click Here for one possible scenario.