Night work, long work weeks, and risk of accidental injuries

A register-based study
Danish employees with night work had a higher ratio of accidental injuries compared to day workers. Awareness should be raised in order to prevent injuries in the future. No association between weekly
working hours and accidental injuries were found. Thus it appears that the current regulation ensures that long weekly working hours does not imply an increased risk of injuries.

Source: Larsen, A. D., Hannerz, H., Møller, S. V., Dyreborg, J., Bonde, J. P., Hansen, J., ... & Garde, A. H. (2017). Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.

Making the Case for Contractor Management

Examining the Safety Benefits of Third-Party Management
This report summarizes the results of the National Safety Council research project on the efficacy of outsourced contractor management systems. More specifically, this research investigates if contractors and vendors realize improved safety performance as a result of their participation in these types of programs. The purpose of this study is to examine the actual safety benefit of implementing a third-party contractor
management system and the safety effect on participating contractors.


Mental Disorder Symptoms among Public Safety Personnel in Canada

Background: Canadian public safety personnel (PSP; e.g., correctional workers, dispatchers, firefighters, paramedics, police officers) are exposed to potentially traumatic events as a function of their work. Such exposures contribute to the risk of developing clinically significant symptoms related to mental disorders. The current study was designed to provide estimates of mental disorder symptom frequencies and severities for Canadian PSP.
Methods: An online survey was made available in English or French from September 2016 to January 2017. The survey assessed current symptoms, and participation was solicited from national PSP agencies and advocacy groups. Estimates were derived using well-validated screening measures.
Results: There were 5813 participants (32.5% women) who were grouped into 6 categories (i.e., call center operators/dispatchers, correctional workers, firefighters, municipal/provincial police, paramedics, Royal Canadian Mounted Police). Substantial proportions of participants reported current symptoms consistent with 1 (i.e., 15.1%) or more (i.e., 26.7%) mental disorders based on the screening measures. There were significant differences across PSP categories with respect to proportions screening positive based on each measure.
Interpretation: The estimated proportion of PSP reporting current symptom clusters consistent with 1 or more mental disorders appears higher than previously published estimates for the general population; however, direct comparisons are impossible because of methodological differences. The available data suggest that Canadian PSP experience substantial and heterogeneous difficulties with mental health and underscore the need for a rigorous epidemiologic study and category-specific solutions.

Source: Carleton, R. N., Afifi, T. O., Turner, S., Taillieu, T., Duranceau, S., Lebouthillier, D. M., ... & Hozempa, K. (2017). The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

Shift work and the incidence of prostate cancer

A 10-year follow-up of a German population-based cohort study
Objectives: We investigated the association of shift and night work with the incidence of prostate cancer using data of the population-based prospective Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study from the highly industrialized Ruhr area in Germany.
Methods: Participants of the baseline survey were recruited between 2000–2003. A follow-up survey including, a detailed interview on shift and night work, was conducted from 2011–2014. We included 1757 men who did not report a history of prostate cancer at baseline. We assessed shift- and night-work exposure up to time of the baseline interview. Incident prostate cancers were recorded from baseline through September 2014. We calculated hazard ratios (HR) of shift- and night-work exposure using Cox proportional hazards regression with age at event as timescale, adjusting for smoking status, family history of prostate cancer, education (≤13, 14–17, ≥18 years), and equivalent income (low, medium, high).
Results: We observed a twofold increased HR for prostate cancer among shift and night workers. Ever employment in shift work was associated with HR 2.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43–3.67 and night work with HR 2.27, 95% CI 1.42–3.64. HR increased steadily with duration of employment in shift or night work. Stratifying analyses by preferred midpoint of sleep, yielded strongly elevated HR among subjects with early sleep preference, although these analyses were limited by small number of cases.
Conclusions: We identified increased risks for prostate cancer among men with employment in shift or night work. HR were strongly elevated among long-term employed shift workers and men with early preferred midpoint of sleep.

Source: Behrens T, Rabstein S, Wichert K, Erbel R, Eisele L, Arendt M, Dragano N, Brüning T, Jöckel K-H. (2017). Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.

An Occupational Portrait of Emotional Labor Requirements and Their Health Consequences for Workers

Scholarship has revealed inconsistent evidence on the issue of whether emotional labor represents an occupational health risk. Drawing from emotion regulation theory, the conservation of resources model and the interactive service work literature, we examine the association between occupational emotional labor requirements and worker well-being. Analyses of a national sample of American workers merged with occupational information from the O*NET database reveal no evidence that these requirements are associated with psychological distress or high blood pressure; in contrast, emotional labor requirements are associated with a reduced likelihood of self-rated poor health. Consistent with the conservation of resources model, however, we find health penalties for individuals with emotional labor requirements in resource-deprived work contexts. Our findings suggest that for individuals with limited job autonomy and little access to civil interpersonal relationships with coworkers, emotional labor requirements may impede successful emotion regulation in ways that contribute to negative occupational outcomes and strain.

Source: Singh, D., & Glavin, P. (2017). Work and Occupations.

Outdoor Light at Night and Breast Cancer Incidence in the Nurses’ Health Study II

Background: Animal and epidemiologic studies suggest that exposure to light at night (LAN) may disrupt circadian patterns and decrease nocturnal secretion of melatonin, which may disturb estrogen regulation, leading to increased breast cancer risk.Objectives: We examined the association between residential outdoor LAN and breast cancer incidence using data from the nationwide U.S.-based Nurses' Health Study II cohort.Methods:We followed 109,672 women from 1989 through 2013. Cumulative LAN exposure was estimated using time-varying satellite data for a composite of persistent nighttime illumination at ∼1 km2 scale for each residence during follow-up. Incident invasive breast cancer cases were confirmed by medical record review. We used Cox proportional hazard models to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), adjusting for anthropometric, reproductive, lifestyle, and socioeconomic risk factors.Results: Over 2,187,425 person-years, we identified 3,549 incident breast cancer cases. Based on a fully adjusted model, the estimated HR for incident breast cancer with an interquartile range (IQR) (31.6 nW/cm2/sr) increase in cumulative average outdoor LAN was 1.05 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.11). An association between LAN and breast cancer appeared to be limited to women who were premenopausal at the time of a case [HR=1.07 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.14) based on 1,973 cases vs. HR=1.00 (95% CI: 0.91, 1.09) based on 1,172 cases in postmenopausal women; p-interaction=0.08]. The LAN–breast cancer association was observed only in past and current smokers at the end of follow-up [HR=1.00 (95% CI: 0.94, 1.07) based on 2,215 cases in never smokers; HR=1.10 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.19) based on 1,034 cases in past smokers vs. HR=1.21 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.37) for 300 cases in current smokers; p-interaction=0.08].Conclusions: Although further work is required to confirm our results and to clarify potential mechanisms, our findings suggest that exposure to residential outdoor light at night may contribute to invasive breast cancer risk.

Source: James, P., Bertrand, K. A., Hart, J. E., Schernhammer, E. S., Tamimi, R. M., & Laden, F. (2017). Environmental Health Perspectives.

Work orientations, well-being and job content of self-employed and employed professionals

Drawing on psychology-derived theories and methods, a questionnaire survey compared principal kinds of work orientation, job content and mental well-being between self-employed and organisationally employed professional workers. Self-employment was found to be particularly associated with energised well-being in the form of job engagement. The presence in self-employment of greater challenge, such as an enhanced requirement for personal innovation, accounted statistically for self-employed professionals' greater job engagement, and self-employed professionals more strongly valued personal challenge than did professionals employed in an organisation. However, no between-role differences occurred in respect of supportive job features such as having a comfortable workplace. Differences in well-being, job content and work orientations were found primarily in comparison between self-employees and organisational non-managers. The study emphasises the need to distinguish conceptually and empirically between different forms of work orientation, job content and well-being, and points to the value of incorporating psychological thinking in some sociological research.

Source: Warr, P., & Inceoglu, I. (2017). Work, employment and society.

Conférence sur la contribution des travailleurs à des lieux de travail plus sûrs

En partenariat avec diverses sociétés d'ergonomie, l'ETUI a organisé les 26 et 27 juin 2017 à Bruxelles une conférence sur la manière dont les travailleurs contribuent à l'amélioration des conditions de travail.
Intitulée « Travailleurs et créativité : comment améliorer les conditions de travail par des méthodes participatives », la conférence a réuni des ergonomes, des experts en sécurité et santé au travail, des travailleurs et des représentants syndicaux de l'Europe entière. Ils ont débattu de la manière dont l'expérience de terrain des travailleurs peut enrichir les connaissances des experts et améliorer la prévention.
Cette approche provient de l'observation que les travailleurs développent des procédures opérationnelles qui leur permettent de faire face à des situations imprévisibles qui se produisent sur les lieux de travail. Jusqu'à quel point la créativité des travailleurs peut-elle corriger des situations de travail à risques ? ; La créativité des travailleurs en tant qu'experts de leurs conditions de travail peut-elle contribuer à améliorer la prévention en général ? ; Dans le contexte de la « numérisation de l'économie », l'ergonomie participative peut-elle apporter des réponses aux changements des statuts d'emploi et de la qualité du travail ? sont quelques-unes des thématiques qui ont été abordées par les participants.
La conférence a été organisée conjointement avec la Fédération des sociétés européennes d'ergonomie (FEES), la Société belge d'ergonomie (BES) et le Centre for Registration of European Ergonomists (CREE).


Use of the Psychomotor Vigilance Test in Fitness for Work Assessments

Objective: The objective of the pilot program was to evaluate the utility of the psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) in aiding clinicians in making fitness for work determinations.
Methods: A 10-minute PVT was incorporated into fitness for work examinations by occupational health staff at two integrated refining/petrochemical plants. Based on all evidence from the clinical examination, including PVT results, clinicians made their fitness for work determination.
Results: Employees who were determined to be fit for work had significantly fewer PVT errors than did employees determined to be unfit for work or fit for work with limitations, with t(98) = −14.71, P < 0.001.
Conclusions: The pilot assessed a new application of the PVT as an adjunct to occupational health evaluations focused on determining fitness for work. Results demonstrated that the PVT can be a valuable tool for this purpose.

Source: Lerman, S., Mollicone, D., & Coats, S. (2017). Use of the psychomotor vigilance test in fitness for work assessments. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 59(8), 716-720.

The Evolution of Workplace Mental Health in Canada (2007-2017)

The focus of the project was to examine the evolution of Canadian workplace mental health policies and strategies over the past ten years (2007-2017). There were several major streams of activities for our project, including conducting reviews of the empirical and gray literature; key informant interviews, and a national survey. Evolution was examined across several key thematic domains: Legal and Standards; Business; Education and Training; Media; Research; and, Sector-Specific Evolution. Significant developments were observed across each thematic area.


Does influence at work modify the relation between high occupational physical activity and risk of heart disease in women?

Purpose: To investigate whether influence at work modifies the association between demanding and strenuous occupational physical activity (OPA) and risk of ischaemic heart disease (IHD).
Methods: A sample of 12,093 nurses aged 45–64 years from the Danish Nurse Cohort Study was followed for 20.6 years by individual linkage to incident IHD in the Danish National Patient Registry. Information on OPA, influence at work, other occupational factors and known risk factors for IHD was collected by self-report in 1993.
Results: During follow-up 869 nurses were hospitalised with incident IHD. Nurses exposed to strenuous OPA and low influence at work had a 46% increased risk of IHD [hazard ratio (HR) 1.46 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02–2.09)] compared to the reference group of nurses with moderate OPA and high influence at work. Nurses exposed to strenuous OPA and high influence at work were not at an increased risk of IHD [HR 1.10 (95% CI 0.59–2.06)]. An additive hazards model showed there were 18.0 (95% CI −0.01 to 36.0) additional cases of IHD per 10,000 person years among nurses with strenuous OPA and low influence at work compared to nurses with moderate OPA and high influence at work. A detrimental additive interaction between strenuous OPA and low influence at work that could explain the additional cases of IHD among nurses with strenuous OPA and low influence at work was indicated.
Conclusion: The findings suggest that high influence at work may buffer some of the adverse effects of strenuous OPA on risk of IHD.

Source: Allesøe, K., Holtermann, A., Rugulies, R., Aadahl, M., Boyle, E., & Søgaard, K. (2017). International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 1-10.

Risk-taking behaviors of Hong Kong construction workers

A thematic study
A qualitative approach was employed to explore the attitudes and experiences of construction workers toward risk-taking behaviors and to identify the underlying reasons that may explain why construction workers take or do not take risks at work. Forty face-to-face individual interviews with construction workers were conducted. NVivo software was utilized to analyze the qualitative data. The data were categorized using grounded theory techniques and a three-stage coding approach. The grounded theory model that was established shows that risk-taking behavior was affected by factors in three contexts, namely, personal, behavioral, and environmental contexts. The findings of this study provide useful recommendations to reduce the risk-taking behaviors of construction workers, which include meeting the expectations of construction workers and optimizing benefits, such as convenience, work effectiveness, physical comfort, safety training that emphasizes on the unfavorable consequences of risk-taking behaviors, close safety supervision, safety fines, safety incentives, and time-sufficient work schedule.

Source: Man, S. S., Chan, A. H., & Wong, H. M. (2017). Safety Science, 98, 25-36.

Experiences of arrangements for health, safety and welfare in the global container terminal industry (2016)

This report presents the findings of a study of the experience of health and safety in container terminals operated by national and global companies in several countries. It explores indications from a previous,
preliminary study concerning workers' experiences and the effectiveness of the management systems to support their health, safety and welfare at work. It builds on the earlier findings with a more in-depth
analysis, using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. It discusses the new findings in the context of an analysis of the relationship between corporate strategies for the governance and management of occupational health and safety (OHS) and the national regulatory and socio-economic contexts in which terminals operate and such strategies are implemented.


Scénarios d’accidents occasionnés par une perturbation du mouvement dans les secteurs de la construction et de la métallurgie

Pour une prévention locale et diversifiée
La prévention des lésions consécutives à des heurts, des glissades, des coincements ou toute autre perturbation du mouvement au travail constitue un enjeu considérable. Cent quarante-trois récits d'accidents survenus dans les secteurs de la construction et de la métallurgie ont été analysés au moyen d'une approche probabiliste pour en extraire les scénarios récurrents. Ces récits ont été décrits par 30 facteurs génériques puis par 8 scénarios récurrents. Les perturbations du mouvement se produisaient le plus souvent alors que le travailleur manipulait un objet. Elles s'expliquent par l'intervention notamment d'incidents techniques, de coactivité ou de contraintes liées au travail collectif, soulignant le rôle de l'organisation du travail. Les facteurs/scénarios identifiés étaient plus ou moins présents (voire absents) suivant le secteur d'activité considéré. Les résultats plaident pour une prévention locale et diversifiée, croisant les logiques de production et de sécurité et recherchant un équilibre entre une conception défensive de la sécurité et une augmentation de la résilience du système.

Source: Leclercq, S., Abdat, F., Cuny, X. et Tissot, C. (2017). Pistes, 19(2).

Adapter les mesures préventives de santé et de sécurité pour les travailleurs qui cumulent des précarités

Les obligations d'équité
Cet article rapporte les constats d'une revue de la littérature et d'une consultation d'experts sur la santé de travailleurs cumulant des précarités : ceux embauchés par des agences de location de main-d'œuvre, les petites entreprises non syndiquées et les étrangers temporaires. On constate que : a) il est difficile de dresser un portrait de l'état de santé de ces travailleurs ; b) faute de pouvoir les distinguer au sein des entreprises, ils ne bénéficient d'aucune attention particulière ; c) ils sont souvent embauchés dans des secteurs non prioritaires, où la surveillance n'est pas assidue ; d) ils sont en marge des pratiques de SST parce qu'ils sont de passage dans les entreprises. Ces faits contribuent à les mettre à l'écart, alors qu'il serait possible d'adapter les pratiques préventives aux travailleurs cumulant des précarités en recadrant les obligations scientifiques, administratives, légales et morales de justice sociale des instances de santé et de sécurité au travail (SST).

Source: Gravel, S., Lippel, K., Vergara, D., Dubé, J., Ducharme, J-F. et Legendre, G. (2017). Pistes, 19(2).

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