2018-11-01 12:00 - Messages

Night and rotational work exposure within the last 12 months and risk of incident hypertension

Objectives: Shift work, such as alternating day and nights, causes chronobiologic disruptions which may cause an increase in hypertension risk. However, the relative contributions of the components of shift work ? such as shift type (eg, night work) and rotations (ie, switching of shift times; day to night) ? on this association are not clear. To address this question, we constructed novel definitions of night work and rotational work and assessed their associations with risk of incident hypertension.
Methods: A cohort of 2151 workers at eight aluminum manufacturing facilities previously studied for cardiovascular disease was followed from 2003 through 2013 for incident hypertension, as defined by ICD-9 insurance claims codes. Detailed time-registry data was used to classify each worker's history of rotational and night work. The associations between recent rotational work and night work in the last 12 months and incident hypertension were estimated using adjusted Cox proportional hazards models.
Results: Elevated hazard ratios (HR) were observed for all levels of recent night work (>0–5, >5–50, >50–95, >95–100%) compared with non-night workers, and among all levels of rotational work (<1, 1–10, >10–20,
>20–30, and >30%) compared with those working <1% rotational work. In models for considering the combination of night and rotational work, workers with mostly night work and frequent rotations (≥50% night and
≥10% rotation) had the highest risk of hypertension compared to non-night workers [HR 4.00, 95% confidence interval (CI )1.69–9.52].
Conclusions: Our results suggest recent night and rotational work may both be associated with higher rates of incident hypertension.

Source: Ferguson, J.M., Costello, S., Neophytou, A.M., Balmes, J.R., Bradshaw, P.T., Cullen, M.R., Eisen, E.A.. (2018). Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.

Mental health first aid in the workplace: A feasibility study

Increasing people's awareness of mental health, reducing stigma, and promoting and facilitating early help-seeking are recognised as key strategies for a mentally healthy workplace. However, people may delay seeking help because workplace support systems are not available, not accessible, or not known. In this context Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) has emerged as an international programme that seeks to raise awareness of mental ill health and improve attitudes. It also educates people about the ways that they can support those experiencing a mental health crisis, through a range of training programmes.
However, MHFA is not specifically a workplace intervention and there has been little research conducted around its impact or success in the workplace or on the mental health of those receiving MHFA. This study seeks to address the gaps in the evidence-base by investigating the implementation, use and utility of MHFA in the workplace.

Source: https://www.iosh.co.uk/MHFAworkplace

Third party audits of the psychosocial work environment in occupational health and safety management systems

Occupational health and safety management (OHSM) systems certified according to OHSAS 18,001 are gaining importance. A key element in OHSAS 18,001 is third party audits. Psychosocial risks are only briefly mentioned in the standard, and the question therefore remains whether audits in practice cover these risks to a sufficient extent. The article provides a first answer to this question through a study of the whole value chain from accreditation of certification bureaus to the subsequent audits and workplace reactions. The results indicate that the accreditation body pays limited attention to psychosocial risks. Furthermore, auditors are often uncertain as to how they should handle such risks. As a consequence, although auditors may pin point psychosocial work environment issues, auditing practices do not ensure a consistent and encompassing coverage of these issues in their audit reports. Of particular concern is the fact that the strongest instrument (non-conformity) is not utilised at all when auditing psychosocial work environment issues. In sum, the results call for stronger inclusion of the psychosocial work environment in the standard as well as in the accreditation and audit processes.

Source: Hohnen, P. et Hasle, P. (2018). Safety Science, 109, 76-85.

Role stressors in Australian transport and logistics workers

Psychosocial implications
Psychosocial injury is an important issue for the transport and logistics sector. Indeed, these workers typically face multiple role stressors that compromise mental health and, in turn, have a deleterious effect on safety outcomes. The present study investigated the interactive effects of three roles stressors on employee strain (psychological strain and sleep disturbances) and employee morale (job dissatisfaction and turnover intentions) in 443 Australian road transport and logistics workers. Regression analyses using PROCESS revealed significant three-way interactions among role overload, role ambiguity, and role conflict. When both role ambiguity and role conflict were low, the negative consequences of role overload on employee outcomes were buffered. In other words, low role conflict and low role ambiguity helped insulate employees from the impact of role overload. Conversely, when both role ambiguity and role conflict were high, psychological strain, sleep disturbances, job dissatisfaction, and turnover intentions remained high, regardless of the level of role overload. Implications for theory and practice in the transport and logistics sector are discussed.

Source: Tucker, M. K., Jimmieson, N. L. et Jamieson, J. E. (2018). Safety Science, 109, 12-19.

Live Theatre and Events Industry Survey 2018

Late in 2017, elected MEAA entertainment, crew, and sport representatives from across the live theatre and events industry decided to join together to build an industry-wide campaign to improve members' working lives across the sector. The first step is this survey. The survey provides a snapshot of the wages, conditions, and health and safety standards that crew, technical, front-of-house, and events workers in live theatre and venues are faced with every day.
Some parts of the survey were developed in response to the 2017 Sexual Harassment in Live Theatre survey conducted by MEAA Equity, but prior to the release of the Code of Practice: Preventing discrimination, sexual harassment, and bullying that Live Performance Australia has developed in partnership with MEAA.
Workers in the theatre, live events, and entertainment industries often work long, unsociable hours to provide the community with the creative outlets that enrich our lives. They are skilled and dedicated workers who, as we will see, do not consistently receive the payments or entitlements commensurate with the work they do, particularly when it comes to overtime and higher duties; and who often deal with inconsistent health and safety standards, bullying, harassment, or fatigue.

Source: https://www.meaa.org/download/live-theatre-and-events-industry-survey-2018/

Strategies to improve the implementation of workplace-based policies or practices targeting tobacco, alcohol, diet, physical activity and obesity

Implementation strategies are meant to improve the adoption and integration of evidence-based health interventions into routine policies and practices within specific settings.
This review examined whether using these strategies improved the implementation of policies and practices in the workplace promoting:
•Healthy eating
•Physical activity
•Weight control
•Tobacco cessation
•Prevention of risky alcohol consumption
The review authors also wanted to know if these strategies changed employees' health behaviours, caused any unintended effects, and were good value for money.
Workplaces are a good setting for programmes that aim to improve health-related behaviours like diet, physical activity and tobacco use, as adults spend a long time at work each day. However, these kinds of workplace-based interventions are often poorly implemented, limiting their potential impact on employee health. Identifying strategies that are effective in improving the implementation of workplace-based interventions has the potential to increase their impact on chronic disease prevention. Examples may include a workplace healthy catering policy, employee gym membership subsidies, or tobacco control policies.

Source: Wolfenden, L., Goldman, S., Stacey, F.G., Grady, A., Kingsland, M., Williams, ... Yoong, S.L. (2018). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Workplace bullying among employees in Germany

Prevalence estimates and the role of the perpetrator
Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of workplace bullying in Germany while also taking the perpetrator and severity level (measured by frequency) into account and considering the role of gender, age and socioeconomic status.
Methods: We used data from a large representative sample (N = 4143) of employees in Germany subject to social security contributions. Self-reported bullying was assessed for different combinations of perpetrators (co-workers, superiors) and according to severity, i.e., being exposed at all and to severe bullying (at least weekly).
Results: Prevalence estimates varied from 2.9% for severe bullying by co-workers to 17.1% for overall bullying (i.e., without distinguishing by perpetrator, less severe bullying also included). Unskilled workers reported more bullying by both perpetrators than academics/managers. We also observed an age trend for severe bullying by superiors (i.e., bossing), with younger employees being more affected from bossing than elder. No gender differences were detected.
Conclusions: The findings indicate that it is crucial to consider type of perpetrator and severity of the behaviors when examining the prevalence of workplace bullying. The way bullying is defined and operationalized strongly contributes to the prevalence estimates. Differences between subgroups and associations or cause-effect relationships should be analyzed with these variations in mind.

Source: Lange, S., Burr, H., Conway, P. M. et Rose, U. (2018). International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health.

Risk Perceptions and Barriers to Protective Behavior Use Among Chemical Tank Cleaners

An Exploratory Study
Chemical tank cleaners' occupational diseases and injuries are largely unknown due to a lack of monitoring and limited research. Their potential exposure to highly corrosive chemicals—including sodium hypochlorite, sodium hydroxide, and ferric chloride—suggests that tank cleaners represent an at-risk occupational group. This pilot study explored tank cleaners' risk perceptions and barriers to using personal protective equipment and other protective behaviors in their workplace. Data sources included a survey (n = 29) and interviews (n = 9) with sodium hypochlorite tank cleaners in the United States. Although sodium hypochlorite may become reactive under high temperatures, 12 questionnaire respondents indicated not being concerned about high temperatures within the tank, and 15 were not concerned about exposure via ingestion. Analyses of survey and interview results provide evidence of inadequate training among tank cleaners, their lack of understanding of basic chemical properties and routes of exposure, and limited access to and an incomplete understanding of how to properly use personal protective equipment, particularly respiratory protection. These findings can inform researchers, educators, and safety engineers in developing future studies, interventions, and training to improve tank cleaners' health and safety.

Source: Persaud, E. et LePrevost, C. (2018). The Journal of Primary Prevention.

Chaîne logistique

Si le fonctionnement des chaînes logistiques est pensé avant tout pour faire gagner en efficacité et en productivité, il peut aussi être vecteur de prévention. Encore faut-il que les différents acteurs se coordonnent pour considérer l'ensemble des maillons de leur organisation et ainsi pouvoir mettre en place une stratégie « gagnant-gagnant » en matière de santé et sécurité au travail.

Source: (2018). Travail & sécurité.

Does paid vacation leave protect against depression among working Americans

A national longitudinal fixed effects analysis
Objectives: The United States is the only advanced economy globally that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation leave. Although empirical studies have linked paid vacation leave to happiness and stress, no study has investigated the association between paid vacation leave and depression. Using a nationally-representative longitudinal sample of 3380 working men and women aged 45–52 years from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, this study explored whether paid vacation leave may protect against depression.
Methods: Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were employed to estimate the impacts of the number of annual paid vacation days of leave measured at age 40 on depression measured using the 7-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) short form (CES-D-SF) scale at age 50. Models were adjusted for demographic and socioeconomic factors, physical health, weekly hours, and individual fixed effects.
Results: For every ten additional days of paid vacation leave, the odds of depression in women was 29% lower [odds ratio (OR) 0.71, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.55–0.92, P=0.01); there was no association in men. Linear regression models showed no association in either men or women. For every 10 days of paid leave, the odds of depression were 36% lower in White women and 38% lower in women with ≥2 children.
Conclusions: This study provides the first evidence on the linkage between paid vacation leave and depression, and supports a protective effect in White women with ≥2 children. Should this association be truly causal, and assuming a uniform effect across all ages in working adult women, the results from this study would suggest that a hypothetical increase in the average number of days of paid vacation leave of 10 days could avoid an estimated 568 442 cases of depression in women each year and lead to a cost savings of US$2.94 billion annually. Policies that mandate paid vacation leave may have marked positive impacts on the population health and economic burden of depression among working women in the USA.

Source: Kim D. (2018). Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health

Social influence and safe behavior in manufacturing

This research presents a model designed to explore the cognitive and social mechanisms that mediate the relationship between organizational safety climate and safety behaviors. Specifically the presented research demonstrates the usefulness of Sussmann and Vecchio (1982) social influence interpretation of worker motivation to understand safety motivation. Survey data was collected from 428 employees in seven factories within the electronics industry in China. The data were analyzed using structural modelling. The results suggest that factory workers with more knowledge about the products, organization, goals/objectives and customers of the factory engage in safer work behavior. From social influence theory this may be understood as a process of identification, where factory workers through their involvement and increased knowledge of the factory are socially committed and influenced to work safely via their increased attractiveness of membership in the organization. This complements existing research and shows how other types of knowledge not directly related to safety knowledge may be important for improving safe work behavior. Another finding from the presented research indicate that the total effects of a factory workers experience with safety and health problems seems to affect safe work behavior negatively, and that this is caused by a decrease in confidence and abilities to work safely. In relation to practical implications the present study demonstrate how manufacturing managers can purposely adopt value related; identity related and utility related interpersonal influence processes to influence and improve factory workers commitment to work safely.

Source: Hald, K. S. (2018). Safety Science, 109.

Bibliometric analysis of safety culture research

The concept of safety culture is characterised by complexity. On the one hand, the concept is challenging content-wise, and on the other hand, is it a multi-dimensional and cross-disciplinary research domain. In this paper, bibliometric analysis has been applied to the field of safety culture to identify fundamental influences and to obtain a structured overview of the characteristics and the developments in this research domain. In total, 1789 publications published between 1900 and 2015 related to safety culture were identified in Web of Science. The 1789 publications cover 4591 authors, 775 journals, 76 countries or territories, and 1866 institutions. Two main research areas can be distinguished in the domain of safety culture: (1) organisational safety culture and (2) health-care and patient safety culture. The latter research area stands in a dominant position in safety culture research nowadays. Key publications are from Guldenmund (2000) and Sexton et al. (2006). Furthermore, ‘Safety Science' is the key journal publishing on safety culture research, and the USA, England and China are the countries that dominate the publication production. It can be concluded that there is much collaborative research in the safety culture domain as multi-authored publications make up about three quarters of all publications. Also, safety culture research is characterised by a wide variety of research themes and multidisciplinarity. Geographical inequality in the publication output is identified as a point of concern. A movement away from technical aspects towards more human aspects could be detected as a noteworthy change in research focus.

Source: van Nunen, K., Li, J., Reniers, G. et Ponnet, K. (2018). Safety Science, 108, 248-258.

Systematic literature review on the effects of occupational safety and health (OSH) interventions at the workplace

Objectives: The aim of this review was to assess the evidence that occupational safety and health (OSH) legislative and regulatory policy could improve the working environment in terms of reduced levels of industrial injuries and fatalities, musculoskeletal disorders, worker complaints, sick leave and adverse occupational exposures.
Methods: A systematic literature review covering the years 1966?2017 (February) was undertaken to capture both published and gray literature studies of OSH work environment interventions with quantitative measures of intervention effects. Studies that met specified in- and exclusion criteria went through an assessment of methodological quality. Included studies were grouped into five thematic domains: (i) introduction of OHS legislation, (ii) inspection/enforcement activity, (iii) training, such as improving knowledge, (iv), campaigns, and (v) introduction of technical device, such as mechanical lifting aids. The evidence synthesis was based on meta-analysis and a modified Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach.
Results: The search for peer-reviewed literature identified 14 743 journal articles of which 45 fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were eligible for meta-analysis. We identified 5181 articles and reports in the gray literature, of which 16 were evaluated qualitatively. There was moderately strong evidence for improvement by OHS legislation and inspections with respect to injuries and compliance.
Conclusions: This review indicates that legislative and regulatory policy may reduce injuries and fatalities and improve compliance with OHS regulation. A major research gap was identified with respect to the effects of OSH regulation targeting psychological and musculoskeletal disorders.

Source: Andersen, J. H., Malmros, P., Ebbehoej, N. E., Flachs, E. M., Bengtsen, E. et Bonde, J. P. (2018). Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.

Understanding Small Enterprises: Proceedings from the 2017 Conference

Focus on Safety and Health in Small Businesses
Given the disproportionate burden of occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities experienced by small businesses in the United States and worldwide, small business occupational safety and health (OSH) is of increasing concern to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Although researchers in public health have addressed multiple OSH issues, the very large group of academics and researchers specializing in the area of OSH has not been very active in the area of small business OSH. The USE 2017 conference brought together experts in the area of small business OSH and researchers from public health to build connections and to move forward a research agenda for small business OSH. This conference represents the leading thinkers in the small business OSH research community from around the world. The conference is relatively new, having convened three times since 2009, but it has already had a significant impact in moving the OSH community to focus on small businesses. The conference aims to enhance the work environment for people within small firms.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2019-108/default.html

Bilans du Conseil d’orientation sur les conditions de travail

Ces ouvrages, préparés annuellement par le ministère chargé du travail et présenté aux partenaires sociaux réunis au sein du Conseil d’orientation sur les conditions de travail (COCT), dessinent un panorama global de l’action en faveur de la prévention des risques professionnels et de l’amélioration des conditions de travail.

Source: https://travail-emploi.gouv.fr/ministere/documentation-et-publications-officielles/rapports/article/rapports-bilans-du-conseil-d-orientation-sur-les-conditions-de-travail-coct

Organizational change and employee mental health

A prospective multilevel study of the associations between organizational changes and clinically relevant mental distress
Objective: The goal of this paper was to elucidate the relationship between exposure to separate, multiple or repeated organizational change at both individual- and work-unit level and subsequent clinically relevant mental distress amongst employees two years after change had taken place.
Methods: A full panel, prospective design was utilized. Data were collected at two time-points two years apart, by self-administered, online questionnaires. Organizational change was measured by six items pertaining to separate types of change. Mental distress was measured using HSCL-10, with cut-off set to ≥1.85 to identify clinically relevant distress. Baseline sample consisted of 7985 respondents, of whom 5297 participated at follow-up. A multilevel analytic strategy was chosen as data were nested within work-units. Effects associated with exposure to organizational change at both individual- and work-unit level were estimated.
Results: Separate change: At the individual level, company reorganization [odds ratio (OR) 1.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01?1.65], downsizing (1.51, 95% CI 1.12?2.03) and layoffs (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.01?2.12)
were prospectively associated with mental distress. At work-unit level, company reorganization (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.04-2.04) was associated with mental distress, but the statistically significant association diminished when adjusting for the work factors job control, job demands and support. Multiple changes: At the individual level, exposure to multiple organizational changes at baseline were associated with mental distress at follow-up (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.28?2.38). Repeated change: At the individual level, exposure to repeated organizational change was associated with mental distress at follow-up (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.29?2.63).
Conclusions: Exposure to organizational changes at the individual level indicated an elevated risk of subsequent clinically relevant mental distress following both separate, multiple and repeated organizational changes. These associations were also present at work-unit level, but diminished when adjusting for certain work factors, indicating a possible mediating effect.

Source: Fløvik, L., Knardahl, S. et Christensen, J. O. (2018). Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.

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