Health, labor and subjectivity: considerations about absenteeism-disease of workers at a public university

Solange Vianna Dall'Orto Marques Gabriela de Brito Martins Oswaldo Cruz Sobrinho About the authors

Labor is a socio-historical construction and it is constantly changing. It is an unstable process, a human invention that is established in every workplace and every worker. Ergonomics aims to contribute to the understanding of work in its complexity. The guideline in this article will be health within a working context. Thus, the focus is on studies of ergonomics, such as those of Wisner and Falzon, and particularly works by the authors Schwartz and Clot, that were based on French Ergonomics to expand the proposal analysis of labor activity, the first with Ergology and the second with Activity Clinics. As the methodological option, we chose to conduct documentary, descriptive and quantitative research by primary data, which mapped the sick leave claimed by the civil servants at the University under study from March, 2007 to February, 2009 to justify why they were absent from work. With the understanding that labor takes shape as a major factor in the process of health and illness in workers and the possibility of the impact of new ways of living and working on the health of workers. The gains of this reflection are plural, not only in the sense of everyone involved in the process, but in the possibilities that open up further developments in the theme. Data from this study indicate that it is not possible to think about the workers' illness, absences from work in a way that detaches them from life. The mental and behavioral disorders and diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissues that predominate in the population under study only emerge from other processes that support them, resulting, therefore, not in isolated factors, but in labor contexts in interaction with the body and the psychic apparatus of the workers. Granted the inevitable interaction of man and labor, these considerations also allow a reflection on the work of health professionals in the institution under study, opening up a discussion that not only prevents the degradation of health, but which, in an active approach to the workers' health, extends the possibilities of construction and reinvention of health and labor.

Absenteeism; University; Health; Labor; Subjectivity

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