Safety, Health, and Well-Being of Municipal Utility and Construction Workers

Objective: To provide a baseline description of psychosocial workplace stressors and supports along with safety, injury, health, and well-being indicators in a sample of utility and construction workers for a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health–funded Total Worker Health™ intervention study.
Methods: Survey responses and health assessments were collected from a total of 349 employees in two municipal utility departments.
Results: Participants demonstrated poor weight control and body mass index and provided reports of frequent poor health habits, injury, and pain. Although safety climate was good, less desirable levels of psychosocial workplace stressors and supports were observed. These stressors and supports were found to relate with many of the health, injury, and pain indicators.
Conclusions: These results demonstrate the need for workplace interventions to promote and protect construction worker health and the importance of the psychosocial work environment.


Source: Bodner, Todd; Kraner, Mariah; Bradford, Brittany; Hammer, Leslie; Truxillo, Donald. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: July 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 7 - p 771–778.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000178

Combined Effects of Shiftwork and Individual Working Time Control on Long-Term Sickness Absence

A Prospective Study of Finnish Employees
Objective: To investigate whether the effects of shiftwork on long-term sickness absence vary according to the level of individual working time control (WTC).
Methods: A representative sample of Finnish employees (1447 men and 1624 women) was combined with a register-based follow-up. A negative binomial model was used in the analysis of long-term sickness absence days. The results were adjusted for various background and work-related factors.
Results: Individual WTC decreased long-term sickness absence. The higher rate of sickness absences in shiftwork was mainly due to the lower level of WTC. Working time control decreased sickness absence equally in day work and shiftwork.
Conclusions: The negative health effects of shiftwork may be decreased by offering sufficient WTC. Establishments that use WTC as a human resource instrument may benefit from reduced absenteeism.

Source: Nätti, Jouko; Oinas, Tomi; Härmä, Mikko; Anttila, Timo; Kandolin, Irja. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: July 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 7 - p 732–738
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000176

La performance au travail ne s'amoindrit pas forcément avec l'âge

État des connaissances
"Plus on vieillit, moins on est productif". Plusieurs études tordent cette idée reçue et pointent l'absence de lien systématique entre âge et productivité. La performance est fortement liée aux conditions de travail tout au long de la carrière. L'Anact a réalisé une synthèse des principaux travaux conduits sur le sujet.
Sommes-nous « efficaces a` tout âge ? ». C'est la question posée par Volkoff, Molinie´ et Jolivet, en 2000 dans leur ouvrage éponyme. Depuis une quinzaine d'années, de nombreuses études françaises, qu'elles soient ergonomiques, épidémiologiques ou économiques, se sont intéressées aux liens entre âge et performance au travail. Leurs résultats ont remis en question l'idée communément répandue d'une baisse systématique avec l'âge de la performance au travail. Dans un contexte où l'allongement de la vie professionnelle se pose de façon aigue pour les entreprises et salariés en terme « d'adéquation entre l'évolution des capacités fonctionnelles, les conditions de travail et les performances » et à l'heure d'un nouveau plan gouvernemental en faveur du maintien en emploi des seniors, une note de synthèse fait le point sur les enseignements des travaux menés sur le sujet sous la forme d'une revue des connaissances.

Source: http://www.anact.fr/web/actualite/essentiel?p_thingIdToShow=38535642

Group Purchasing of Workplace Health Promotion Services for Small Employers

Objective: Small employers are underserved with workplace health promotion services, so we explored the potential for group purchasing of these services.
Methods: We conducted semistructured telephone interviews of member organizations serving small employers, as well as workplace health promotion vendors, in Washington State.
Results: We interviewed 22 employer organizations (chambers of commerce, trade associations, and an insurance trust) and vendors (of fitness facilities, healthy vending machines, fresh produce delivery, weight management services, and tobacco cessation quitlines). Both cautiously supported the idea of group purchasing but felt that small employers' workplace health promotion demand must increase first. Vendors providing off-site services, for example, quitline, found group purchasing more feasible than vendors providing on-site services, for example, produce delivery.
Conclusions: Employer member organizations are well-positioned to group purchase workplace health promotion services; vendors are receptive if there is potential profit.

Source: Harris, Jeffrey R.; Hammerback, Kristen R.; Hannon, Peggy A.; McDowell, Julie; Katzman, Avi; Clegg-Thorp, Catherine; Gallagher, John. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: July 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 7 - p 765–770.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000174

Health-related interventions among night shift workers

A critical review of the literature
Objectives: Associations between shift work and chronic disease have been observed, but relatively little is known about how to mitigate these adverse health effects. This critical review aimed to (i) synthesize interventions that have been implemented among shift workers to reduce the chronic health effects of shift work and (ii) provide an overall evaluation of study quality.
Methods: MeSH terms and keywords were created and used to conduct a rigorous search of MEDLINE, CINAHL, and EMBASE for studies published on or before 13 August 2012. Study quality was assessed using a checklist adapted from Downs & Black.
Results: Of the 5053 articles retrieved, 44 met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Over 2354 male and female rotating and permanent night shift workers were included, mostly from the manufacturing, healthcare, and public safety industries. Studies were grouped into four intervention types: (i) shift schedule; (ii) controlled light exposure; (iii) behavioral; and, (iv) pharmacological. Results generally support the benefits of fast-forward rotating shifts; simultaneous use of timed bright light and light-blocking glasses; and physical activity, healthy diet, and health promotion. Mixed results were observed for hypnotics. Study quality varied and numerous deficiencies were identified.
Conclusions: Except for hypnotics, several types of interventions reviewed had positive overall effects on chronic disease outcomes. There was substantial heterogeneity among studies with respect to study sample, interventions, and outcomes. There is a need for further high-quality, workplace-based prevention research conducted among shift workers.

Source: Sarah E Neil, Manisha Pahwa, Paul A Demers, Carolyn C Gotay. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2014.
http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3445

TUC launches its first guide to autism in the workplace

Autism is a term covering a wide range of conditions that reflect neurological differences among people. It can cause social barriers which may affect the lives of people with autism at work. There are about 332,600 people of working age in the UK with autism. However, only 15 per cent of adults with autism are in full-time employment and only 9 per cent are in part-time work.
Autism in the workplace, written for the TUC by Janine Booth, aims to inform union reps and workers of the facts around the condition, and advice on how to support autistic staff to ensure they get the adjustments they may need – and are legally entitled to.
The guide explains the difficulties autistic people can face at work, and suggests a number of changes that an employer can implement to make the workplace more autism-friendly.

Source: http://www.tuc.org.uk/equality-issues/disability-issues/tuc-launches-its-first-guide-autism-workplace

Travail indépendant

Santé et conditions de travail
Ce document rassemble quatorze contributions présentées lors d'un colloque international intitulé « Travail indépendant : santé et conditions de travail » qui s'est tenu le 18 septembre 2013 à Paris. Cette manifestation s'inscrivait dans la suite de recherches récentes renouvelant l'approche du travail indépendant par l'ouverture à de nouvelles questions. L'exploration plus systématique des conditions de l'exercice professionnel de ces travailleurs et l'examen de leur santé sont deux de ces thématiques émergentes que le colloque souhaitait approfondir. Chercheur-e-s, responsables d'études, doctorant-e-s et tout professionnel concerné par la question, étaient donc invités à présenter leurs travaux et à confronter leurs résultats. Les sociologues ont largement répondu à l'appel et une grande partie des textes présentés se réclament donc de cette discipline. S'y ajoutent heureusement les contributions venant de l'épidémiologie, de la statistique, de la santé publique et de la psychologie.

Source: http://www.cee-recherche.fr/publications/rapport-de-recherche/travail-independant-sante-et-conditions-de-travail-actes-du-colloque-du-18-septembre-2013

The Business Case for Managing Road Risk at Work

ETSC's latest PRAISE report gives an overview of the business case for employers to invest in a Work-Related Road Risk Management (WRRRM) programme. It finds that the financial and other benefits of such a programme could outweigh the costs of implementation.
The other benefits such as increasing efficiency in organisational management and administration are also detailed.

Source: https://osha.europa.eu/en/news/the-business-case-for-managing-road-risk-at-work

Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI)

Cette fiche donne des renseignements pratiques sur le Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI) qui permet d'évaluer le syndrome d'épuisement professionnel (burnout) : objectifs, cadre d'utilisation, modalités de réponse et cotation, qualités psychométriques.

Source: http://www.rst-sante-travail.fr/rst/pages-article/ArticleRST.html?refINRS=RST.FRPS 38

Sur le fil

Ce numéro de la revue PISTES pose un regard particulier sur la santé au travail de ceux et celles qui œuvrent dans le secteur de la santé, parfois à la limite du déséquilibre. Lorsque l'équilibre est rompu, le regard se porte ultimement sur la problématique des suicides professionnels, cette fois en agriculture. Toutefois, l'action sur les conditions d'exercice du travail ainsi que le soutien au développement des personnes peuvent contribuer à la reconstruction d'un certain équilibre. Deux contributions s'intéressent aux dimensions stratégique et pédagogique  de l'intervention ergonomique et au développement professionnel comme leviers d'action possibles.

Source: Pistes, 2014, vol. 16, numéro 3.
http://pistes.revues.org/3625

Latino migrant farmworker student development of safety instructional videos for peer education

The purpose of this community-based study was to test effectiveness of a peer-education safety education program that included student-produced videos and photovoice, nested in a 7-week summer Migrant Education Program. The second aim was to evaluate psychometrics of an adapted safety survey from Westaby and Lee used to evaluate changes in safety knowledge and attitudes. This was a one-group pre/post design intervention study. The convenience sample was Latino migrant students (N = 117, middle school [grades 6-8, n = 37], lower school [grades 3-5, n = 80]), with data collected at baseline and post-intervention. Participants were male n = 59, female n = 58. Nine student safety videos were created by the middle schoolers who presented safety to the lower school. There were no statistically significant results comparing pre/post median subscale scores but results showed increased safety knowledge and there was a slight increase in injury experience. Wilcoxon Signed Rank Tests split for middle versus lower school showed statistical difference in middle school students over lower school students (P =.054) in safety knowledge. Kruskal Wallis analysis by gender showed statistical differences in medians in safety consciousness (χ(2) = 5.949, df 1, P =.015); dangerous risk-taking (χ(2) = 5.409, df 1, P =.020). There were positive significant associations between age and dangerous risk taking participation; safety consciousness and dangerous risk taking; safety knowledge with safety activity participation; and safety activities with safety consciousness. Survey showed 0.69% random missing data. Cronbach's alphas ranged.689-.863. Future research needs to review lessons learned and replication with larger samples.

Source: Kilanowski JF. J. Agromed. 2014; 19(2): 150-161.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1059924X.2014.894484

Factors in the design of order picking systems that influence manual handling practices

Order picking can be defined as the retrieval of stock keeping units from a warehouse according to a pick list generated from a customer order prior to the despatch of the completed order to the customer.
There is a variety of order picking systems that are used in warehouses and distribution centres and the choice of system will determine the amount and type of manual handling that occurs within those locations. In order to understand the factors that influence the design of order picking systems a literature review was undertaken and telephone interviews were conducted with six industry stakeholders. The stakeholders included were two retailers with distribution networks operating across the UK, two specifiers who design order picking systems of different types and complexity for the end users, and two major suppliers of order picking systems.
The factors that influence the amount of manual handling within warehouses and distribution centres are complex and inter-locking. The key factor is the design of the order picking system, particularly how much automation is used and whether pickers travel between pick slots or whether items are automatically delivered to them. It also depends on the nature of the goods that the warehouse handles. There are financial trade-offs between high capital costs of automated systems, and increased labour costs in manual systems.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1004.htm

Precarious employment and the risk of serious psychological distress

A population-based cohort study in Japan
Objectives: This study examines whether precarious employment increases the risk of serious psychological distress (SPD) in a nationally representative cohort of Japanese middle-aged people.
Methods: From 2005–2009, we followed 8486 male and 6736 female participants (aged 50–59 years) in the Longitudinal Survey of Middle-aged and Elderly Persons. All individuals were employed and free of SPD, cardiovascular disease, and cancer at baseline. The participants were classified into two groups based on their baseline employment contract: precarious and full-time permanent work. SPD was assessed at each year during the study, using the K6 scale, a self-rated 6-item scale that screens for mood or anxiety disorders. We used discrete-time survival analysis, with a complementary log-log link, to examine the effect of precarious employment on SPD incidence.
Results: During a maximum follow-up period of four years, 374 men and 364 women developed SPD. Male precarious employees were more likely to develop SPD than male full-time permanent employees (hazard ratio 1.79, 95% confidence interval 1.28–2.51) in the full model, after adjusting for sociodemographic and occupational factors, cardiovascular disease risk, and K6 scores at baseline. By contrast, no significant association was observed among female employees. However, an analysis stratified by marital status revealed an association similar to that found among men but only among unmarried women.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that precarious employment is associated with double the risk of SPD incidence among middle-aged Japanese men and – when stratified by marital status – among unmarried women. This highlights a major gender difference in the association between precarious employment and risk of SPD.

Source: Kachi Y, Otsuka T, Kawada T. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2014.
http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3442

Why are occupational health and safety training approaches not effective?

Understanding young worker learning processes using an ergonomic lens
Young workers are frequently injured at work. Education and awareness strategies to prevent injuries among young workers are common but they are often ineffective. These approaches emphasize teaching, rather than learning strategies, and appear to contradict recent competency-based developments in education science. This study aimed to gain insight into the actual safety skills learning process of adolescents in an internship in a high school vocational training program. The results are based on auto and allo-confrontation interviews from an ergonomics intervention study with nine apprentices and five experienced coworkers involved in the training. This technique is suited to obtaining qualitative data on work activities; it consists of interviewing apprentices and co-workers about videotaped work observations to capture the thought processes behind their action. The findings reveal that learning in an actual situation poses challenges because working conditions and also learning conditions are not always optimal. Such conditions prompt apprentices to develop novel strategies to manage unexpected situations. At times, this involved side-stepping a safety rule in order to meet work demands. The use of an ergonomics actual work activity approach allowed the merging of two research topics rarely found together: the socio-ecological paradigm in education and the development of original interventions to prevent occupational injuries among young workers. This intersection of educational theory and injury prevention strategies provides new avenue for improving vocational training programs and developing primary prevention interventions in occupational health and safety programs that target youth.

Source: Laberge, Marie, MacEachen, Ellen, et Calvet, Bénédicte. (2014). Safety Science, 68, 250-257. 
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2014.04.012

Improving health and safety conditions in agriculture through professional training of Florida farm labor supervisors

Because farm labor supervisors (FLSs) are responsible for ensuring safe work environments for thousands of workers, providing them with adequate knowledge is critical to preserving worker health. Yet a challenge to offering professional training to FLSs, many of whom are foreign-born and have received different levels of education in the US and abroad, is implementing a program that not only results in knowledge gains but meets the expectations of a diverse audience. By offering bilingual instruction on safety and compliance, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) FLS Training program is helping to improve workplace conditions and professionalize the industry. A recent evaluation of the program combined participant observation and surveys to elicit knowledge and satisfaction levels from attendees of its fall 2012 trainings. Frequency distributions and dependent- and independent-means t-tests were used to measure and compare participant outcomes. The evaluation found that attendees rated the quality of their training experience as either high or very high and scored significantly better in posttraining knowledge tests than in pretraining knowledge tests across both languages. Nonetheless, attendees of the trainings delivered in English had significantly higher posttest scores than attendees of the trainings delivered in Spanish. As a result, the program has incorporated greater standardization of content delivery and staff development. Through assessment of its program components and educational outcomes, the program has documented its effectiveness and offers a replicable approach that can serve to improve the targeted outcomes of safety and health promotion in other states.

Source: Morera MC, Monaghan PF, Tovar-Aguilar JA, Galindo-Gonzalez S, Roka FM, Asuaje C. J. Agromed. 2014; 19(2): 117-122.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1059924X.2014.886318 

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