2015-08-01 12:00 - Messages

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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

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