2017-03-01 12:00 - Messages

Shift work and colorectal cancer risk in the MCC-Spain

Case-control study
The role of shift work in colorectal carcinogenesis is unknown. This research examined the association between lifetime shift work exposure in a variety of occupations and colorectal cancer risk in the MCC-Spain case–control study. Long-term rotating shift work was associated with an increased risk for colorectal cancer. These findings support the need of cancer preventive measures in shift workers.

Source: Papantoniou, K., Castaño-Vinyals, G., Espinosa, A., Turner, M. C., Alonso-Aguado, M. H., Martin, V., ... & Ardanaz, E. (2017). Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.

Does age modify the association between physical work demands and deterioration of self-rated general health?

The study findings suggest that physical work demands, in particular demanding body postures, have a stronger impact on health among older employees than among younger employees.

Source: Burr, H., Pohrt, A., Rugulies, R., Holtermann, A., & Hasselhorn, H. M. (2017). Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.

Training to safety rules use. Some reflections on a case study

This article proposes to consider training in occupational risk prevention as situated at the crossroads between regulated safety (based on prescribed safety rules and procedures)- and managed safety (based on operators' knowledge and experience). A case study in the field of ready-mixed concrete delivery to worksites is presented. It demonstrates the redefinitions of a safety rule within companies, giving it little operational value for operators, and the resources that they have built with experience. These resources are also shown to be limited. Indeed, not everything can be learned through in situ experience and peer mediation. Thus, the “professional knowledge of reference” needs to be identified in order to design training content that combines the “regulated safety” and “managed safety” that are necessary to produce safe working conditions. This approach to training design, based on the analysis of activity in situ, represents a shift away from the technical-regulatory and behavioral approach that still dominates the field of training in occupational risk prevention.

Source: Vidal-Gomel, C. (2017). Safety Science, 93, 134-142.

Lean et santé au travail

Il traîne derrière lui une image négative de dégradation des conditions de travail. Pourtant le lean, parfois rebaptisé excellence opérationnelle, peut se présenter comme une opportunité pour prévenir les risques professionnels en entreprise. À condition de s'approprier la démarche sans brûler les étapes et sans en dénaturer l'esprit.

Source: (2017).Travail & Sécurité. (781)

Workplace Violence Toward Mental Healthcare Workers Employed in Psychiatric Wards

Background: Workplace violence (WPV) against healthcare workers (HCWs) employed in psychiatric inpatient wards is a serious occupational issue that involves both staff and patients; the consequences of WPV may include increased service costs and lower standards of care. The purpose of this review was to evaluate which topics have been focused on in the literature and which are new in approaching the concern of patient violence against HCWs employed in psychiatric inpatient wards, in the past 20 years.
Methods: We searched for publications in PubMed and Web of Science using selected keywords. Each article was reviewed and categorized into one or more of the following four categories based on its subject matter: risk assessment, risk management, occurrence rates, and physical/nonphysical consequences.
Results:Our search resulted in a total of 64 publications that matched our inclusion criteria. The topics discussed, in order of frequency (from highest to lowest), were as follows: “risk assessment,” “risk management,” “occurrence rates,” and “physical/nonphysical consequences.” Schizophrenia, young age, alcohol use, drug misuse, a history of violence, and hostile-dominant interpersonal styles were found to be the predictors of patients' violence.
Conclusion: Risk assessment of violence by patients appeared the way to effectively minimize the occurrence of WPV and, consequently, to better protect mental HCWs. We found paucity of data regarding psychologic sequelae of WPV. According to these findings, we suggest the need to better investigate the psychologic consequences of WPV, with the aim of checking the effective interventions to assist HCW victims of violence and to prevent psychologic illness.

Source: d'Ettorre, G., & Pellicani, V. (2017). Safety and Health at Work.

Organizational change, psychosocial work environment, and non-disability early retirement

A prospective study among senior public employees
To date, this is the most exhaustive study to examine voluntary early retirement behavior among senior public service employees exposed to organizational change and subsequent assessment of the psychosocial work environment on the work-unit level. Decision-makers should consider the impact of organizational change and the psychosocial work environment in strategies to maintain senior public employees in the labor market.

Source: Breinegaard, N., Jensen, J. H., & Bonde, J. P. (2017). Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.

The Effect of Working Hours on Health

Does working time causally affect workers' health? We study this question in the context of a French reform which reduced the standard workweek from 39 to 35 hours, at constant earnings. Our empirical analysis exploits variation in the adoption of this shorter workweek across employers, which is mainly driven by institutional features of the reform and thus exogenous to workers' health. Difference-in-differences and lagged dependent variable
regressions reveal a negative effect of working hours on self-reported health and positive effects on smoking and body mass index, though the latter is imprecisely estimated. Results are robust to accounting for endogenous job mobility and differ by workers' occupations.

Source: http://ftp.iza.org/dp10524.pdf

What makes for fulfilling work in later life?

The Centre for Ageing Better today releases a new report, Fulfilling work: what do older workers value about work and why? which identifies the characteristics of work that are important to people aged 50 and over, and explores actions employers can take to attract and retain them. Understanding what older workers want is the first step in helping employers, policy makers and others create age-friendly workplaces. Ageing Better commissioned the Institute of Employment Studies to carry out the study.
The report finds that health is the most important factor affecting older workers' decisions to continue in work, ahead of job satisfaction and job quality. The report recommends that employers should provide full and equal access to flexible working arrangements, occupational health support and appropriate workplace adaptations to help older workers to manage health conditions at work.

Source: https://www.ageing-better.org.uk/news/makes-fulfilling-work-later-life/

Workplace Accidents and Workplace Safety: On Under-reporting and Temporary Jobs

Statistics on workplace accidents do not always reflect workplace safety because workers under-report for fear of job-loss if they report having had an accident. Based on an analysis of fatal and non-fatal workplace accidents and road accidents in 15 EU-countries over the period 1995–2012, we conclude that there seems to be cyclical fluctuations in reporting of non-fatal workplace accidents. Workers are less likely to report a workplace accident when unemployment is high. Furthermore, analyzing data from Italy and Spain on both workplace accidents and commuting accidents, we conclude that workers on temporary jobs are likely to under-report accidents.

Source: Palali, A. and van Ours, J. C. (2017). Labor, 31, p. 1-14.

Managing Employee Stress and Wellness in the New Millennium

It has been almost a decade since Journal of Occupational Health Psychology published back-to-back meta-analyses on occupational stress management interventions (Richardson & Rothstein, 2008) and organizational wellness programs (Parks & Steelman, 2008). These studies cited the need for systematic reviews given the growing body of literature in the field and the proliferation of stress management interventions and mental health wellness programs, which have traditionally been viewed as two distinct initiatives. More recent research has shown a trend toward incorporating stress management as a component of workplace wellness programs. As part of the special series Journal of Occupational Health Psychology at 20, the purpose of this paper is to reflect back on the findings of the 2008 meta-analyses to review what was learned, see what new studies have added to the literature, and assess recent social and political changes that present new challenges—and opportunities—for the field.

Source: Richardson, K. M. (2017). Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

Occupational factors and markers of ovarian reserve and response among women at a fertility centre

Objectives: To explore whether work schedules and physically demanding work were associated with markers of ovarian reserve and response.
Methods: This analysis included women (n=473 and n=313 for ovarian reserve and ovarian response analysis, respectively) enrolled in a prospective cohort study of couples presenting to an academic fertility centre (2004-2015). Information on occupational factors was collected on a take-home questionnaire, and reproductive outcomes were abstracted from electronic medical records. Generalised linear models and generalised linear mixed models were used to evaluate the associations.
Results: Women who reported lifting or moving heavy objects at work had 1.0 fewer total oocytes ( p=0.08), 1.4 fewer mature oocytes ( p=0.007) and 0.7 fewer antral follicles (p=0.06) compared with women who
reported never lifting or moving heavy objects at work. The inverse association between heavy lifting and oocyte yield was stronger in women >37 years and with a Body Mass Index ≥25 kg/m2. Women who worked evening/night/rotating shifts had 2.3 (p<0.001) fewer mature oocytes, on average, compared with women who worked day-only shifts. None of the occupational exposures were associated with day 3 follicle-stimulating
hormone or peak oestradiol levels.
Conclusions: Women working non-daytime shifts and those with physically demanding jobs had fewer mature oocytes retrieved after controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. Our results provide insight into possible
mechanisms linking these occupational exposures with decreased fecundity.

Source: Mínguez-Alarcón, L., Souter, I., Williams, P. L., Ford, J. B., Hauser, R., Chavarro, J. E., & Gaskins, A. J. (2017). Occup Environ Med.

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