A follow-up study with register linkage
Objective: This study aimed to investigate the possibility of a prospective association between long working hours and use of psychotropic medicine.
Methods: Survey data drawn from random samples of the general working population of Denmark in the time period 1995–2010 were linked to national registers covering all inhabitants. The participants were followed for first occurrence of redeemed prescriptions for psychotropic medicine. The primary analysis included 25 959 observations (19 259 persons) and yielded a total of 2914 new cases of psychotropic drug use in 99 018 person-years at risk. Poisson regression was used to model incidence rates of redeemed prescriptions for psychotropic medicine as a function of working hours (32–40, 41–48, >48 hours/week). The analysis was controlled for gender, age, sample, shift work, and socioeconomic status. A likelihood ratio test was used to test the null hypothesis, which stated that the incidence rates were independent of weekly working hours.
Results: The likelihood ratio test did not reject the null hypothesis (P=0.085). The rate ratio (RR) was 1.04 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.94–1.15] for the contrast 41–48 versus 32–40 work hours/week and 1.15 (95% CI 1.02–1.30) for >48 versus 32–40 hours/week. None of the rate ratios that were estimated in the present study were statistically significant after adjustment for multiple testing. However, stratified analyses, in which 30 RR were estimated, generated the hypothesis that overtime work (>48 hours/week) might be associated with an increased risk among night or shift workers (RR=1.51, 95% CI 1.15–1.98).
Conclusion: The present study did not find a statistically significant association between long working hours and incidence of psychotropic drug usage among Danish employees.
Source: Hannerz H, Albertsen K. Scand J Work Environ Health, 2016.
The past 40 years have witnessed significant changes to work arrangements globally. Overall, the changes have been characterised by less contract duration and job
security, more irregular working hours (both in terms of duration and consistency), increased use of third parties (temporary employment agencies), growth of various forms of dependent self-employment (like subcontracting and franchising) and also bogus/informal work arrangements (i.e. arrangements deliberately outside the regulatory framework of labour, social protection and other laws). The factors underpinning these changes are complex but include shifts in business/employment practices, weakening union influence and government policies/regulatory regimes to promote labour market ‘flexibility’ and weaken collectivist regimes (where these existed).1 The growth of international supply chains means that work has often been relocated to countries where union presence and regulatory protection is weak or non-existent.
A synthesis of the literature
Background: The U.S. Department of Labor has identified the health care industry as a major source of all U.S. workplace injuries. Studies have shown that injury within the health care workforce is related to high turnover rates, burnout, poor job satisfaction, and leaving the health care workforce permanently, thus contributing to the existing health care workforce shortages.
Purpose: The purpose of this synthesis of the literature was twofold. The first was to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the occupational health and safety literature to determine the key antecedents to health care provider injury. The second was to utilize the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) framework to organize the findings.
Methodology: Empirical studies published between 1985 and 2013 examining work-related injuries sustained by nurses and nurses' aides were systematically reviewed and evaluated for inclusion in the synthesis of the literature. Thirty-six studies met the criteria for inclusion. Using the NIOSH framework, antecedent variables to workplace injury were identified and then grouped into three broad categories that were highlighted during the synthesis: organization of work, job characteristics, and safety programs and training. A fourth category, individual characteristics, was added based on its use by many studies.
Findings: Over half of the studies (n = 20) included factors within the organization of work category. Over two thirds of the studies (n = 26) included job characteristics such as task and demand. Nine studies contained information related to safety programs and training, whereas 17 studies included information on individual factors. The findings suggest that the NIOSH framework, with the addition of individual characteristics, provide a foundation for conceptually organizing occupational health and safety studies.
Practice Implications: Health care administrators and leaders should be aware and understand the antecedents to workplace injury that will assist their organizations in developing training programs to reduce the current excessive rates of health care provider injury.
Source: McCaughey, Deirdre; Kimmel, Ashley; Savage, Grant; Lukas, Tiana; Walsh, Erin; Halbesleben, Jonathon. Health Care Management Review: January/March 2016, Volume 41, Issue 1, p. 42-55.
A 3-wave prospective follow-up study
Objective: This study aimed to examine the course of workplace bullying and health correlates among Danish employees across a four-year period.
Methods: In total, 7502 public service and private sector employees participated in a 3-wave study from 2006 through 2011. Workplace bullying over the past 6–12 months and data on health characteristics were obtained by self-reports. We identified major depression using Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry interviews and the Major Depression Inventory. We performed cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of outcomes according to self-labelled bullying at baseline using logistic regression.
Results: Reports of bullying were persistent across four years in 22.2% (57/257) of employees who initially reported bullying. Baseline associations between self-labelled bullying and sick-listing, poor self-rated health, poor sleep, and depressive symptoms were significant with adjusted odds ratios (OR) ranging from 1.8 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.5–2.4] for poor sleep quality among those bullied “now and then” to 6.9 (95% CI 3.9–12.3) for depression among those reporting being bullied on a daily to monthly basis. In longitudinal analyses adjusting for bullying during follow-up, all health correlates except poor sleep quality persisted up to four years.
Conclusion: Self-reported health correlates of workplace bullying including sick-listing, poor self-rated health, depressive symptoms, and a diagnosis of depression tend to persist for several years regardless of whether bullying is discontinued or not. Independent measures of bullying and outcomes are needed to learn whether these findings reflect long lasting health consequences of workplace bullying or whether self-labelled workplace bullying and health complaints are correlated because of common underlying factors.
Source: Scand J Work Environ Health, 2016; 42 (1), p. 17-25.
Objectives: This study aimed to investigate whether sedentary work is a distinct risk factor for ischemic heart disease (IHD) when the effect of occupational sitting is disentangled from that of occupational physical activity.
Methods: Data on occupational sitting time and several covariates were derived from the Danish Work Environment Cohort Study (DWECS) conducted every five years from 1990–2005 among the active Danish population. This study was designed as a multi-wave longitudinal study including participants employed at entry. Respondents were followed in national registers, first for death or hospital treatment due to IHD and second for purchase of medication that may prevent IHD from (re)occurring serving as a proxy for IHD.
Results: During 145 850 person-years of follow-up, 510 cases of fatal and non-fatal IHD occurred. After adjustment for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), and socioeconomic status, no difference in risk of IHD was observed between sedentary and non-sedentary employees [hazard ratio (HR) 0.95, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.78–1.16]. During 44 949 and 42 456 person-years of follow-up among men and and women, respectively, 1263 men and 1364 women purchased IHD-related medication. No differences in risk were observed between sedentary and non-sedentary participants, either for men or women. A dose–response relationship between occupational sitting time and the risk of IHD was also not detected.
Conclusions: This study could not confirm the hypothesis that sedentary work is a distinct risk factor for IHD. Future studies may further investigate the association with objective measures of occupational sitting time.
Source: Scand J Work Environ Health, 2016; 42 (1), p. 43-51.
In this study, I examine whether the resilience engineering concept is related to the implementation of occupational safety and health management systems (OSH MSs) and to safety levels in Polish enterprises of different sizes and activities. A relative risk category was applied to the surveyed enterprises to allow for comparability among enterprises representing different hazards resulting from different types of activities and employment levels. The results showed that there is no relationship between the presence of OSH MSs and either the safety level or the level of the resilience concept. However, statistically significant differences were observed between enterprises in the extremely high-risk category and enterprises in the other risk categories.
Source: Safety Science, Volume 82, February 2016, p 190-198.
Si elle partage avec l'ergonomie une préoccupation pour la question de l'action, la psychodynamique du travail porte l'investigation sur l'élucidation du rapport subjectif au travail et du chaînon capital des défenses. Cela la conduit à mettre l'accent sur les obstacles qui viennent entraver la démarche de transformation en les situant non pas seulement du côté des contraintes externes de l'organisation du travail, mais aussi comme le résultat de contraintes internes aux sujets. De la prise en compte de la vulnérabilité, de la souffrance et de la pathologie découle une conception spécifique de l'action qui ne peut se passer d'une préoccupation majeure pour les enjeux identitaires du rapport au travail et de ses possibles réaménagements.
Source: Travailler, 2015, n° 34.
Exploring the perceptions of HSE's communications to promote and support sensible risk management
This research was commissioned to explore the viewpoints of school staff responsible for managing day-to-day health and safety in schools. This study explored what guidance schools use to support their management of health and safety and, in particular, examined how HSE's education-specific materials were used.
The study found that HSE is not the primary source of information and guidance used by the schools. Instead, the primary sources are the Local Authorities (LAs) or other bought-in health and safety advisory services.
Participants reported using a wealth of HSE and non-HSE information and guidance to inform their health and safety decision making. HSE is considered to be a trusted and authoritative source of health and safety advice, which is valued by schools, but not always used directly.
Bureaucratic burdens and paperwork were not described by school staff as posing a barrier to sensible and proportionate risk management in schools.
Although not all schools in this study have used HSE's education-specific health and safety resources those that have used them find them very useful. Schools that subscribe to a membership subscription service use it as their main point of access for health and safety guidance and information about school trips.
Le développement de systèmes de surveillance électronique sur les plateformes d'appels téléphoniques permet l'enregistrement et la mesure de la performance des salariés de manière continue.
L'expérimentation dont rend compte ce Connaissance de l'emploi vise à mieux comprendre le fonctionnement des systèmes de surveillance électronique dans un contexte de travail réel. Elle teste les effets d'une diminution de l'intensité de la surveillance électronique sur la qualité de vie au travail et la performance des conseillers téléphoniques.
Les résultats de l'expérimentation apparaissent paradoxaux : un maintien, voire une amélioration, des indicateurs de performance mais une détérioration de la qualité de vie au travail, une surveillance ressentie comme plus excessive et plus permanente, alors même que l'expérimentation visait à réduire son intensité.
Ces résultats conduisent à s'interroger sur l'impact de la surveillance sur les relations entre acteurs, notamment la confiance, sur les pratiques professionnelles des conseillers et des superviseurs et sur les enjeux éthiques associés.
The Management Standards (MS) approach is a key component of the HSE’s ‘stress toolbox.’ It was developed to reduce the levels of work-related stress reported/experienced by working people in Britain. Although a study by Cox et al, 2009 identified a number of weaknesses and limitations in the current version of the Management Standards, research suggested that there were good prospects for correcting these and building on them to evolve a more generic toolbox.
The aim of the project was to look at the feasibility of developing a toolbox for the management of common health problems in the workplace. Reliable and valid evidence identifies the two most common health problems at work as musculoskeletal disorders and psychological ill-health (stress, anxiety and depression). It was anticipated that the tool could bring together work on work-related stress (ie Management Standards) and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and contribute to HSE’s specific aim of developing the applicability of the Management Standards to a wider range of health issues in particular, to extend their scope to cover musculoskeletal disorders.
Un questionnaire a permis de recueillir des éléments sur les conditions de travail des salariés d'une entreprise du secteur de l'aide à domicile. Les résultats montrent des contraintes physiques importantes ainsi qu'une charge mentale élevée.
Suite aux préconisations du service de santé au travail, de nombreuses actions ont été mises en place sur des thématiques importantes telles que les accidents du travail, le renforcement de l'accompagnement de l'encadrement auprès des intervenants, la formation ou la communication. Une évaluation approfondie des risques professionnels a également été initiée.
Source: Références en santé au travail, no 144, Décembre 2015.
Involving young workers in occupational safety and health (OSH) is a powerful tool to help strengthen workplace safety culture and performance. Getting young people to buy in to the safety culture of a workplace involves engaging them in OSH; empowering them; and giving them a voice that is heard. This E-fact advises how.
n the last two decades, training in occupational health and safety has gained increasing attention in many countries within the Africa region, and demand is on the increase. Driving this is the economic growth of most countries, and diversification in economic sectors such as oil, gas, mining and other extractive industries, commercial farming, and construction. This growth is also accompanied by the emergence of new technologies at the workplace, which, although they improve efficiency and productivity, are also accompanied by new risks that require new knowledge and innovative methods for their safe use and application. Improvements in economies are accompanied by new demands for improved social standards and quality of life, including at the workplace. This phenomenon is further
amplified by globalization, meaning that countries now face new unforeseen occupational safety and health (OSH) challenges. This is to the detriment of low-resourced countries, especially as regards OSH knowledge, research and information. Countries are therefore challenged to implement training programmes that not only respond
to their immediate national needs but also anticipate emerging risks. This requires long-term investment in training, based on a multidisciplinary approach.
Source: African Newsletter, Volume 25, number 3, December 2015.
OBJECTIVES: Eldercare workers in Denmark have a higher prevalence of poor psychological health than other occupational groups. We examined the association between working conditions assessed by trained observers and depressive symptoms assessed by self-report in a study of female Danish eldercare workers.
METHODS: Working conditions were observed based on action regulation theory and defined as (1) regulation requirements, a workplace resource providing opportunity for decision-making and skill development and (2) barriers for task completion. We examined the associations of individual and work unit averaged working conditions with depressive symptoms in a sample of 95 individually observed eldercare workers. Further, we examined the association of work unit averaged working conditions with depressive symptoms in a sample of 205 care workers, including both observed and non-observed individuals. We used regression models that allowed for correlations within work units and care homes and adjusted these models for demographics, job characteristics and stressful life events.
RESULTS: Higher levels of regulation requirements were associated with lower depressive symptoms at the individual level (p=0.04), but not at the workplace level. Barriers were not associated with depressive symptoms at the individual level. At the workplace level, a higher number of qualitatively different barriers (p=0.04) and a higher number of barriers for equipment use (p=0.03) were associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms in the age and cohabitation adjusted model, however statistical significance was lost in the fully adjusted model.
CONCLUSIONS: Low level of regulation requirements was associated with a high level of depressive symptoms. The study highlights the importance of examining both individual and workplace levels of working conditions.
Source: Jakobsen LM, Jorgensen AF, Thomsen BL, Greiner BA, Rugulies R. BMJ Open, 2015; 5(11).
La Fondation européenne pour l'amélioration des conditions de vie et de travail (Eurofound) vient de publier les premiers résultats de sa 6e Enquête européenne sur les conditions de travail.
Elle révèle que 23 % des travailleurs considèrent que leur travail représente un risque pour leur santé. Un chiffre en recul constant depuis 2000. Mais, selon l'ETUI, cette tendance a priori positive est à interpréter avec précaution, car les perceptions varient fortement selon le sexe, le pays et l'âge des personnes interrogées. Par exemple, les hommes reconnaissent plus facilement que les femmes que leur travail à une influence négative sur leur santé (27 % contre 19 %).
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