Active behaviour change safety interventions in the construction industry

A systematic review
The aims of this paper were to systematically review the evidence for the effectiveness of active behaviour change safety interventions in the construction industry; and to determine the intervention characteristics most commonly associated with effectiveness in reducing injury rates and improving safety behaviour - intensity/frequency/duration, behaviour change techniques (BCTs) and theory-base. An electronic literature search (June 2014) was conducted to identify eligible interventions: those involving active involvement from workers/management in the construction industry; targeted one/both of the primary outcomes. All intervention designs involving construction workers aged >18 years, published in English and in a peer-reviewed journal were included. Fifteen studies were included, half of which successfully improved injury rates. Longer interventions and those that included active/volitional BCTs (feedback/monitoring rather than instruction/information) were more effective. The methodological quality of the interventions was poor and use of theory was inconsistent and infrequent. Despite some positive results, very few interventions achieved all their aims. More rigorous, theory-driven research is needed to structure intervention efforts and determine the mechanism of action of effective interventions.

Source: Mullan B, Smith L, Sainsbury K, Allom V, Paterson H, Lopez AL. Safety Sci. 2015; 79: 139-148.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2015.06.004

High Job Demands, Job Strain, and Iso-Strain Are Risk Factors for Sick Leave due to Mental Disorders

A Prospective Swedish Twin Study With a 5-Year Follow-Up
Objective: To investigate whether psychosocial work environment and health behaviors are risk factors for sick leave due to mental disorders, and whether familial confounding (genetics and shared environment) explains the associations.
Methods: Respondents (n = 11,729), given to complete a questionnaire in 2004 to 2006, were followed up approximately 5 years for sick leave spells due to mental disorders, using national registry data. Data were analyzed using logistic regression, and conditional logistic regression for twin pairs discordant for sick leave (cotwin control).
Results: High job demands, job strain, and iso-strain were independent risk factors for sick leave due to mental disorders. Familial factors seem to be of importance in the associations between job support, smoking, a combination of unhealthy behaviors and sick leave.
Conclusions: Improving the psychosocial work environment may be effective in preventing sick leave due to mental disorders.

Source: Mather, Lisa; Bergström, Gunnar; Blom, Victoria; Svedberg, Pia. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Médicine, August 2015, Volume 57, Issue 8, p. 858-865.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000504

Prevention in dangerous industries: does safety certification prevent tree-faller injuries?

Prevention in dangerous industries: does safety certification prevent tree-faller injuries?
Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate if safety certification reduces the risk of work injury among experienced manual tree-fallers.
Methods: This study used a retrospective cohort study design. Experienced manual tree-fallers employed in the Canadian province of British Columbia (N=3251) between 2003–2008 were enumerated from a mandatory faller registry. Registry records with demographic and certification data were linked to workers' compensation claims for injury outcomes. Data were analyzed using discrete time survival analysis over a two-year period, centered on certification date with pre- and post-certification demarcated into four three-month periods. Models were adjusted for demographic, occupation/industry, previous injury, and seasonal/temporal effects.
Results: The relative risk (RR) of work injury during the post certification periods were elevated in comparison to the pre-certification reference period, but the 95% confidence intervals included “1” for all estimates by the end of follow-up, suggesting no statistically significant increased risk of injury. Results were consistent across different outcome measures of acute injury (ie, fracture or amputations) (N=186), musculoskeletal injury (ie, back strain) (N=137), and serious injury claims (ie, long duration, high cost and/or fatal) (N=155).
Conclusion: Certification did not reduce the risk of work injury among experienced tree-fallers in the province of British Columbia. Non-statistically significant increases in the observed risk of work injury in the months immediately following certification may be attributable to an intervention effect or a methodological limitation related to a lack of individual-level, time-at-risk exposure data.

Source: McLeod C, Sarkany D, Davies H, Lyons K, Koehoorn M. Scand J Work Environ Health, 2015. 
http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3517

Mindfulness of work health and safety in the workplace

How aware workers are of factors in their workplace that may impact work health and safety has been identified as an area of interest in the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022 under the action area of Leadership and culture: Leadership in communities and organisations to promote a positive culture for health and safety.
In the context of work health and safety, mindfulness is the conscious awareness of factors that affect or may affect health and safety in the workplace. The report presents findings on mindfulness relating to work health and safety among Australian employers, sole traders (operators of non-employing businesses) and workers as measured by the Perceptions of Work Health and Safety Survey 2012. This report includes three measures of mindfulness: What do businesses count on; preoccupation with failure and sensitivity to operations.

Source: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/mindfulness

Results of a community-based survey of construction safety climate for Hispanic workers

BACKGROUND: Hispanic construction workers experience high rates of occupational injury, likely influenced by individual, organizational, and social factors.
OBJECTIVES: To characterize the safety climate of Hispanic construction workers using worker, contractor, and supervisor perceptions of the workplace.
METHODS: We developed a 40-item interviewer-assisted survey with six safety climate dimensions and administered it in Spanish and English to construction workers, contractors, and supervisors. A safety climate model, comparing responses and assessing contributing factors was created based on survey responses.
RESULTS: While contractors and construction supervisors' (n = 128) scores were higher, all respondents shared a negative perception of safety climate. Construction workers had statistically significantly lower safety climate scores compared to supervisors and contractors (30·6 vs 46·5%, P<0·05). Safety climate scores were not associated with English language ability or years lived in the United States.
CONCLUSIONS: We found that Hispanic construction workers in this study experienced a poor safety climate. The Hispanic construction safety climate model we propose can serve as a framework to guide organizational safety interventions and evaluate safety climate improvements.

Source: Marin LS, Cifuentes M, Roelofs C. Int. J. Occup. Environ. Health, 2015.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/2049396714Y.0000000086

Sources of work health and safety information in Australian workplaces

How businesses and workers gain access to work health and safety information has been identified as an area of interest in the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022 under the action area of Health and safety capabilities: Improved work health and safety capabilities.
The report presents findings on how employers, sole traders (operators of non-employing businesses) and workers source information about work health and safety as measured by the Perceptions of Work Health and Safety Survey 2012 and the Health and Safety at Work: Your experience and costs Survey 2014. How employers provide information to their workers is also examined.

Source: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/sources-of-whs-info

Association Between Organization Culture, Health Status, and Presenteeism

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine relationships of organizational culture and health behaviors with presenteeism.
Method: Data of a self-reported questionnaire were collected from 816 employees, who joined the study on a voluntary basis, in seven enterprises in northern Taiwan.
Results: Organizational culture and health behaviors were found to be significantly associated with presenteeism. After adjusting for confounding factors, the number of health complaints seemed to be more suitable than chronic diseases in predicting presenteeism.
Conclusions: This study result implied that advantage could be taken of organizational culture and employees' health behaviors to reduce presenteeism in the workplace.

Source: Chang, Yao-Tsung; Su, Chien-Tien; Chen, Ruey-yu; Yeh, Ching-Ying; Huang, Pai-Tsang; Chen, Chiou-Jong; Chu, Ming. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: July 2015, Volume 57, Issue 7, p. 765-771.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000439

Effects of Social Determinants on Chinese Immigrant Food Service Workers' Work Performance and Injuries

Mental Health as a Mediator
Objective: The effects of social discrimination, job concerns, and social support on worker mental health and the influence of mental health on occupational health outcomes have been documented intermittently. We propose an integrated, theory-driven model to distinguish the impact of social determinants on work performance and injuries and the mediating effects of mental health problems.
Methods: The US Chinese immigrant food service workers (N = 194) completed a multimeasure interview; we tested the integrated model using structural equation modeling.
Results: Mental health problems, which were associated with decreased work performance and increased injuries, also mediated relationships between job/employment concerns and both work performance and injuries but did not mediate the influences of discrimination and social support.
Conclusions: This research reveals mechanisms by which social determinants influence immigrant worker health, pointing to complementary strategies for reducing occupational health disparities.

Source: Tsai, Jenny Hsin-Chun; Thompson, Elaine Adams. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: July 2015, Volume 57, Issue 7, p. 806-813.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000477

Sources of work health and safety information in Australian workplaces

How businesses and workers gain access to work health and safety information has been identified as an area of interest in the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022 under the action area of Health and safety capabilities: Improved work health and safety capabilities.
The report presents findings on how employers, sole traders (operators of non-employing businesses) and workers source information about work health and safety as measured by the Perceptions of Work Health and Safety Survey 2012 and the Health and Safety at Work: Your experience and costs Survey 2014. How employers provide information to their workers is also examined.

Source: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/sources-of-whs-info

La souffrance psychique en lien avec le travail chez les salariés actifs en France entre 2007 et 2012

Introduction: La souffrance psychique en lien avec le travail prend de plus en plus d'importance dans les pathologies d'origine professionnelle. Or, celle-ci ne figure dans aucun tableau de maladie professionnelle reconnue par les différents régimes de sécurité sociale.
Méthode: À partir des données issues du Programme de surveillance des maladies à caractère professionnel (MCP), les taux annuels de prévalence de la souffrance psychique en lien avec le travail ont été calculés pour la période 2007 à 2012. Des régressions logistiques univariées et multivariées ont été réalisées pour tester l'association entre la souffrance psychique en lien avec le travail et l'âge, la catégorie sociale et le secteur d'activité.
Résultats: Le taux de prévalence de la souffrance psychique liée au travail était 2 fois plus élevé chez les femmes que chez les hommes, quelle que soit l'année (3,1% chez les femmes contre 1,4% chez les hommes en 2012). Ce taux a augmenté sur la période 2007-2012, aussi bien chez les femmes que chez les hommes. L'âge et la catégorie sociale étaient fortement associés à la souffrance psychique, contrairement au secteur d'activité.
Discussion-conclusion: L'augmentation des taux de prévalence de la souffrance psychique en lien avec le travail sur la période 2007-2012 s'accompagne d'une dégradation constatée des conditions de travail et d'une médiatisation croissante de cette problématique. Les secteurs d'activité semblent impactés par la souffrance psychique au travers de leur pyramide sociodémographique.

Source: http://www.invs.sante.fr/beh/2015/23/2015_23_2.html

Employer downsizing and older workers’ health

We estimate the effect of employer downsizing on older workers' health outcomes using different approaches to control for endogeneity and sample selection. With the exception of the insrumental variables approach, wich provides large imprecise estimates, our results suggest that employer downsizing increases the probability that older workers rate their health as fair or poor; increases the risk of showing symptoms of clinical depression; and increases the risk of being diagnosed with stroke, arthritis, and psychiatric or emotional problems. We find weaker evidence that downsizing increases the risk of showing high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a measure of general inflammation. We find that downsizing affects health by increasing job insecurity and stress, but that its effects remain statistically significant after controlling for these pathways, suggesting that other mechanisms such as diminished moral and general demotivation also affect worker health. Our findings suggest that employers ought to consider action to offset the detrimental health effects of reducing personnel on their remaining (older) workers.

Source: http://www.cirano.qc.ca/files/publications/2015s-34.pdf

The Impact of Domestic Violence in the Workplace

Results From a Pan-Canadian Survey
Objective: When workers experience domestic violence (DV) at home, impacts are felt in the workplace; however, little research is available on this topic.
Methods: We conducted an online survey regarding the impacts of DV at work.
Results: A total of 8429 people completed the survey. More than a third of respondents reported experiencing DV; among them, more than a third reported that DV affected their ability to get to work, and more than half reported that it continued at or near work. Most reported that DV negatively affected their performance. Almost all respondents, regardless of DV experience, believed that it impacts victims' work lives.
Conclusions: This research identifies the scope and impact of DV on workers and workplaces. The data should assist governments, unions, and employers to enact and evaluate proactive practices to address the impact of DV in the workplace.

Source: Wathen, C. Nadine; MacGregor, Jennifer; MacQuarrie, Barbara. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: July 2015, Volume 57, Issue 7, p. e65-e71.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000499

Research to explore the effect of traditional farming Safety and Health Awareness Days (SHADs) on farmer behaviour

The research explored farmers' perceptions of the extent to which attendance at a Farming Safety and Health Awareness Day (SHAD), established by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), had changed their awareness, attitudes and behaviour in relation to health and safety.
Using a mixture of quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative (interview) approaches provided an opportunity to explore not only how farmers' knowledge, attitudes and behaviour had changed immediately after the SHAD, but also whether any observed changes were sustained three months after attending a SHAD.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1063.htm

Factors Associated With Presenteeism and Psychological Distress Using a Theory-Driven Approach

Objective: To test a model of presenteeism on the basis of established and emerging theories separated into organizational and individual factors that could be mediated by psychological distress.
Methods: This was a Web survey of 2371 employees (response rate of 48%) of a provincial government agency. We assessed theories with validated measures for organizational and individual factors.
Results: Psychological distress was negatively associated to presenteeism, when controlling for sex, short-term work absence in the last year, and social desirability. Both individual and organizational factors were related to psychological distress. The most important factors included the presence of stress events in the preceding 6 months, extrinsic efforts (interruptions, work requirements), self-esteem as a worker, and internal amotivation.
Conclusions: By identifying modifiable factors, our results suggest that the implementation of a work organization structure that promotes stimulation and accomplishment would reduce psychological distress and further presenteeism.

Source: Coutu, Marie-France; Corbière, Marc; Durand, Marie-José; Nastasia, Iuliana; Labrecque, Marie-Elise; Berbiche, Djamal; Albert, Valérie. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: June 2015, Volume 57, Issue 6, p. 6170-626.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000459

Adolescent workers' experiences of and training for workplace violence

Adolescent workers may not be aware that violence is a safety concern in the workplace. As part of a larger mixed-methods pilot study, investigators used a self-administered survey and individual interviews with 30 adolescent workers from a chain of food service stores in a Midwestern metropolitan area to explore experiences of workplace violence (WPV) and ways of learning WPV-specific information. Participants reported experiencing verbal and sexual harassment and robberies. Most participants reported awareness of WPV-specific policies and procedures at their workplace; the ways participants reported learning WPV-specific information varied. Findings support the need for occupational safety training to assist adolescent workers prevent and mitigate potential WPV.

Source: Smith CR, Gillespie GL, Beery TA. Workplace Health Saf. 2015.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2165079915580786

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