Objective: Farmworkers are at an increased risk of skin cancer from exposure to excessive amounts of ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate sun protection behaviors.
Methods: A cross-sectional study of Latino farmworkers in eastern North Carolina was conducted using personal interviews followed by a full-body examination for skin cancers (N = 157).
Results: Participants were predominately, young, males from Mexico who spent 9 or more hours each work day in the sun. Most reported wearing long sleeved shirts (85.7%) and long pants (98.0%). Few workers rarely used sunscreen (90.8%) or wore sunglasses (87.4%). Skin cancers were not identified among workers.
Conclusions: In general, farmworkers lack sufficient information and knowledge about the risks of skin cancer from the sun. Interventions for reducing excessive ultraviolet radiation exposures are warranted.
Source: Kearney, Gregory D. Phillips, Charles; Allen, Daniel Landon; Hurtado, Giovanny A.; Hsia, Ling-Lun Bob. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: December 2014, Volume 56, Issue 12, p. 1325–1331.
BACKGROUND: This analysis describes work safety climate, personal protective equipment (PPE) use, and injuries among Latino residential roofers, and examines the associations of work safety climate with PPE use and injuries.
METHODS: Eighty-nine North Carolina residential roofers completed a baseline interview and daily logs about perceptions and use of PPE, occurrence of injuries in last 12 months, and work safety climate.
RESULTS: The mean work safety climate score was 26.5 (SD = 5.6). In the baseline interview, participants reported that the majority of employers provided PPE and that they used it most or all of the time; daily log data indicated that PPE was used for half or fewer of hours worked. 39.9% reported any injury in the last 12 months. Work safety climate was significantly correlated with the provision and use of most types of PPE, and was inversely associated with injury.
CONCLUSIONS: Supervisors promoting safety may increase the PPE use and decrease injuries.
Source: Arcury TA, Summers P, Rushing J, Grzywacz JG, Mora DC, Quandt SA, Lang W, Mills TH. Am. J. Ind. Med, 2014.
L’objectif principal de cette activité de recherche était d’identifier des facteurs de risque associés aux accidents de glissade en vue de proposer des avenues de recherche pour répondre aux besoins des travailleurs en collaboration avec les organismes de prévention et de santé au travail.
Cette activité a été réalisée en trois étapes : 1) Une revue de la littérature scientifique a permis de faire un bilan de connaissances sur la problématique des glissades afin d’identifier de manière générale les facteurs de risque, de comprendre la mécanique du mouvement humain sur surface glissante et plan incliné, et d’établir les liens entre les chaussures et les accidents; 2) Un examen des statistiques descriptives des accidents/incidents de glissade chez les policiers et chez les brigadiers scolaires pour les années 2007-2009 a été réalisée de façon à déterminer les circonstances dans lesquelles ces événements se produisent et ainsi qualifier l’importance des différents facteurs de risque pour les deux populations ciblées; 3) Des groupes de discussion ont été tenus avec des policiers, des brigadiers et des contrôleurs routiers pour comprendre les liens qui peuvent s’établir entre les divers facteurs de risque et pour aborder la question des chaussures portées par les travailleurs.
Ce guide se veut un outil d'information pour les employeurs de la construction qui auront à fabriquer, à installer ou à utiliser des systèmes d'ancrage pour la protection contre les chutes conformes à la nouvelle règlementation du Code de sécurité pour les travaux de construction (RLRQ, chap. S-2.1, r.4).
From bench scale test to instrumented manikin test
Hot liquid hazards existing in work environments are shown to be a considerable risk for industrial workers. In this study, the predicted protection from fabric was assessed by a modified hot liquid splash tester. In these tests, conditions with and without an air spacer were applied. The protective performance of a garment exposed to hot water spray was investigated by a spray manikin evaluation system. Three-dimensional body scanning technique was used to characterize the air gap size between the protective clothing and the manikin skin. The relationship between bench scale test and manikin test was discussed and the regression model was established to predict the overall percentage of skin burn while wearing protective clothing. The results demonstrated strong correlations between bench scale test and manikin test. Based on these studies, the overall performance of protective clothing against hot water spray can be estimated on the basis of the results of the bench scale hot water splashes test and the information of air gap size entrapped in clothing. The findings provide effective guides for the design and material selection while developing high performance protective clothing.
Source: Lu Y, Song G, Wang F. Ann. Occup. Hyg. 2014.
The following procedures provide detailed guidance on the types of personal protective equipment (PPE) to be used and on the processes for donning and doffing (i.e., putting on and removing) PPE for all healthcare workers entering the room of a patient hospitalized with Ebola virus disease (Ebola). The guidance in this document reflects lessons learned from the recent experiences of U.S. hospitals caring for Ebola patients and emphasizes the importance of training, practice, competence, and observation of healthcare workers in correct donning and doffing of PPE selected by the facility.
Filtering face-piece respirators (FFRs) are one method of protecting health care workers from airborne particles; however, research suggests adherence is poor, perhaps due to worker discomfort. Three separate focus groups were conducted at two Veterans Affairs health care facilities. Seventeen health care workers who reported using FFRs as part of their job duties were in the focus groups. Focus group transcripts were coded using qualitative descriptive coding techniques. Participants described experiences of discomfort and physical mask features they believed contributed to discomfort. Participants believed FFRs influenced patient care because some patients felt uneasy and changed health care workers' behaviors (e.g., doffing procedures, loss of concentration, rushed patient care, and avoidance of patients in isolation resulting from FFR discomfort). Assessment of comfort and tolerability should occur during fit-testing. These factors should also be taken into account by management when training employees on the proper use of FFRs, as well as in future research to improve comfort and tolerability.
Source: Sara M. Locatelli; Sherri L. LaVela; Megan Gosch, Workplace Health Saf, 2014; 62 (9) :362–368.
A new article from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that recommended safe handling practices for workers who administer antineoplastic drugs in healthcare settings are not always followed. This study will be published in the November issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene and is currently available as an e-pub.
Results are derived from the 2011 Health and Safety Practices Survey of Healthcare Workers, the largest federally-sponsored survey of healthcare workers in the U.S. which addresses safety and health practices relative to use of hazardous chemicals. This paper presents findings on current administrative and engineering control practices, personal protective equipment (PPE), and barriers to using recommended PPE during administration of antineoplastic drugs by nearly 2,100 oncology nurses and other healthcare personnel who completed a module addressing antineoplastic drug administration.
Results from a prospective and crossover study
Several studies have indicated that slip-resistant shoes may have a positive effect on reducing the risk of slips and falls, a leading cause of injury at work. Few studies, however, have examined how duration of shoe usage affects their slip-resistance properties. This study examined the association between the duration of slip-resistant shoes usage and the self-reported rate of slipping in limited-service restaurant workers. A total of 475 workers from 36 limited-service restaurants in the USA were recruited to participate in a 12-week prospective study of workplace slipping. Of the 475 participants, 83 reported changing to a new pair of shoes at least once during the 12-week follow-up. The results show that slip-resistant shoes worn for less than six months were moderately more effective than those worn for more than six months. Changing to a new pair of shoes among those wearing slip-resistant shoes at baseline was associated with a 55% reduction in the rate of slipping (RR = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.23-0.89). Further research is needed to develop criteria for the replacement of slip-resistant shoes. Practitioner Summary: The duration of usage impacts the slip-resistance properties of slip-resistant shoes. Slip-resistant shoes worn for less than six months were moderately more effective in reducing slips than slip-resistant shoes worn for more than six months. Shoe use policies should not only encourage or require their use but also include guidance on replacing slip-resistant shoes at regular intervals.
Source: Verma SK, Zhao Z, Courtney TK, Chang WR, Lombardi DA, Huang YH, Brennan MJ, Perry MJ. Ergonomics, 2014.
Partout au Canada, les travailleurs sont tenus de protéger leurs pieds des dangers présents sur les lieux de travail en sélectionnant des chaussures de protection certifiées par Groupe CSA et en les utilisant adéquatement. La marque CSA indique aux consommateurs que leurs chaussures ont été certifiées en fonction des normes de performance en vigueur en matière de protection.
La nouvelle édition de la norme CSA Z195 énonce les exigences relatives aux chaussures antidérapantes, dotées ou non d'autres caractéristiques de sécurité. En outre, une nouvelle catégorie en matière de protection antistatique (« super SD ») a été ajoutée à l'intention des personnes qui travaillent avec des appareils électroniques et des instruments sensibles.
Firefighters wear fireproof clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) during rescue and fire suppression activities to protect against acute effects from heat and toxic chemicals. Fire services are also concerned about long-term health outcomes from chemical exposures over a working lifetime, in particular about low-level exposures that might serve as initiating events for adverse outcome pathways (AOP) leading to cancer. As part of a larger US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study of dermal exposure protection from safety gear used by the City of Chicago firefighters, we collected pre- and post-fire fighting breath samples and analyzed for single-ring and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as bioindicators of occupational exposure to gas-phase toxicants. Under the assumption that SCBA protects completely against inhalation exposures, any changes in the exhaled profile of combustion products were attributed to dermal exposures from gas and particle penetration through the protective clothing. Two separate rounds of firefighting activity were performed each with 15 firefighters per round. Exhaled breath samples were collected onto adsorbent tubes and analyzed with gas-chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) with a targeted approach using selective ion monitoring. We found that single ring aromatics and some PAHs were statistically elevated in post-firefighting samples of some individuals, suggesting that fire protective gear may allow for dermal exposures to airborne contaminants. However, in comparison to a previous occupational study of Air Force maintenance personnel where similar compounds were measured, these exposures are much lower suggesting that firefighters' gear is very effective. This study suggests that exhaled breath sampling and analysis for specific targeted compounds is a suitable method for assessing systemic dermal exposure in a simple and non-invasive manner.
Source: Pleil JD, Stiegel MA, Fent KW. J. Breath Res. 2014.
The current study applied a fault tree analysis to represent the causal relationships among events and causes that contributed to fatal falls in the construction industry. Four hundred and eleven work-related fatalities in the Taiwanese construction industry were analyzed in terms of age, gender, experience, falling site, falling height, company size, and the causes for each fatality. Given that most fatal accidents involve multiple events, the current study coded up to a maximum of three causes for each fall fatality. After the Boolean algebra and minimal cut set analyses, accident causes associated with each falling site can be presented as a fault tree to provide an overview of the basic causes, which could trigger fall fatalities in the construction industry. Graphical icons were designed for each falling site along with the associated accident causes to illustrate the fault tree in a graphical manner. A graphical fault tree can improve inter-disciplinary discussion of risk management and the communication of accident causation to first line supervisors.
Source: Chi CF, Lin SZ, Dewi RS. Accid. Anal. Prev. 2014; 72C: 359-369.
Ladder falls frequently cause severe injuries; yet the factors that influence ladder slips/falls are not well understood. This study aimed to quantify (1) the effects of restricted foot placement, hand positioning, climbing direction and age on slip outcomes, and (2) differences in climbing styles leading to slips versus styles leading to non-slips. Thirty-two occupational ladder users from three age groups (18-24, 25-44 and 45-64 years) were unexpectedly slipped climbing a vertical ladder, while being assigned to different foot placement conditions (unrestricted vs. restricted toe clearance) and different hand positions (rails vs. rungs). Constraining foot placement increased the climber's likelihood of slipping (p < 0.01), while younger and older participants slipped more than the middle-aged group (p < 0.01). Longer double stance time, dissimilar and more variable foot and body positioning were found in styles leading to a slip. Maintaining sufficient toe clearance and targeting ladder safety training to younger and older workers may reduce ladder falls. Practitioner Summary: Ladder falls frequently cause severe occupational fall injuries. This study aims to identify safer ladder climbing techniques and individuals at risk of falling. The results suggest that ladders with unrestricted toe clearance and ladder climbing training programmes, particularly for younger and older workers, may reduce ladder slipping risk.
Source: Pliner EM, Campbell-Kyureghyan NH, Beschorner KE. Ergonomics, 2014.
Perceived slipperiness rating (PSR) has been widely used to assess walkway safety. In this experiment, 29 participants were exposed to 5 floor types under dry, wet and glycerol conditions. The relationship between their PSR and objective measurements, including utilized coefficient of friction (UCOF), gait kinematics and available coefficient of friction (ACOF), was explored with a regression analysis using step-wise backward elimination. The results showed that UCOF and ACOF, as well as their difference, were the major predictors of the PSR under wet and glycerol conditions. Under wet conditions, the participants appeared to rely on the potential for foot slip to form their PSR. Under glycerol conditions, some kinematic variables also became major predictors of PSR. The results show how different proprioceptive responses and ACOF contributed to the prediction of PSR under different surface conditions.
Source: Chang WR, Lesch MF, Chang CC, Matz S. Gait Posture, 2014.
Fabric-based protective clothing is widely used for occupational safety of firefighters/industrial workers. The aim of this paper is to study thermal protective performance provided by fabric systems and to propose an effective model for predicting the thermal protective performance under various thermal exposures. Different fabric systems that are commonly used to manufacture thermal protective clothing were selected. Laboratory simulations of the various thermal exposures were created to evaluate the protective performance of the selected fabric systems in terms of time required to generate second-degree burns. Through the characterization of selected fabric systems in a particular thermal exposure, various factors affecting the performances were statistically analyzed. The key factors for a particular thermal exposure were recognized based on the t-test analysis. Using these key factors, the performance predictive multiple linear regression and artificial neural network (ANN) models were developed and compared. The identified best-fit ANN models provide a basic tool to study thermal protective performance of a fabric.
Source: Mandal S, Song G. Ann. Occup. Hyg. 2014.
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