Evaluation of Occupational Exposure Limits for Heat Stress in Outdoor Workers — United States, 2011-2016

Heat stress, an environmental and occupational hazard, is associated with a spectrum of heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke, which can lead to death. CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) publishes recommended occupational exposure limits for heat stress (1). These limits, which are consistent with those of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) (2), specify the maximum combination of environmental heat (measured as wet bulb globe temperature [WBGT]) and metabolic heat (i.e., workload) to which workers should be exposed. Exposure limits are lower for workers who are unacclimatized to heat, who wear work clothing that inhibits heat dissipation, and who have predisposing personal risk factors (1,2). These limits have been validated in experimental settings but not at outdoor worksites. To determine whether the NIOSH and ACGIH exposure limits are protective of workers, CDC retrospectively reviewed 25 outdoor occupational heat-related illnesses (14 fatal and 11 nonfatal) investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) from 2011 to 2016. For each incident, OSHA assessed personal risk factors and estimated WBGT, workload, and acclimatization status. Heat stress exceeded exposure limits in all 14 fatalities and in eight of 11 nonfatal illnesses. An analysis of Heat Index data for the same 25 cases suggests that when WBGT is unavailable, a Heat Index screening threshold of 85°F (29.4°C) could identify potentially hazardous levels of workplace environmental heat. Protective measures should be implemented whenever the exposure limits are exceeded. The comprehensive heat-related illness prevention program should include an acclimatization schedule for newly hired workers and unacclimatized long-term workers (e.g., during early-season heat waves), training for workers and supervisors about symptom recognition and first aid (e.g., aggressive cooling of presumed heat stroke victims before medical professionals arrive), engineering and administrative controls to reduce heat stress, medical surveillance, and provision of fluids and shady areas for rest breaks.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6726a1.htm?s_cid=mm6726a1_e

Comparaisons européennes des durées du travail - Illustration pour huit pays

Les comparaisons européennes en matière de durée du travail sont complexes, en premier lieu en raison d'une grande diversité législative et institutionnelle sur le temps de travail entre les pays. Dans certains pays, la législation détermine fortement la durée du travail; dans d'autres, elle est quasi-inexistante; dans d'autres enfin, le temps de travail est du ressort de la négociation collective. Au-delà de ces différences, les caractéristiques de la population en emploi (part de femmes, de jeunes, de seniors en emploi, de cadres, d'ouvriers, du tertiaire dans les secteurs d'activité...) peuvent différer entre les pays et faire varier le temps de travail et la part de salariés à temps partiel.
En second lieu, les difficultés inhérentes à la mesure s'ajoutent à cette complexité, de par les lacunes de l'harmonisation des concepts de durée du travail et des modes de collecte dans les enquêtes entre pays. Ainsi, la comparaison des durées annuelles de travail reste encore aujourd'hui fragile. L'étude compare, en s'appuyant sur les informations présentes dans les enquêtes sur les Forces de travail (Labour Force Survey ou LFS) et en prenant les précautions nécessaires dans l'analyse au vu des éléments méthodologiques limitant les comparaisons, les durées habituelles hebdomadaires de travail en 2016 de huit États membres de l'Union Européenne (UE): l'Allemagne, le Danemark, l'Espagne, la France, l'Italie, les Pays-Bas, la Suède et le Royaume-Uni. Les durées habituelles sont moins sensibles que les durées effectives à la façon dont l'enquête est conçue; les comparaisons internationales sont alors plus robustes.

Source: http://dares.travail-emploi.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/de_220_comparaisons_europeennes_des_durees_du_travail.pdf

Platform Workers in Europe - Evidence from the COLLEEM Survey

The recent surge of digital labour platforms has led to new forms of work organisation and tasks distribution across the workforce. This has raised several questions about the functioning and the benefits deriving from the reorganisation of work that those platforms entail and the associated risks.
The European Commission assessed online platforms in a May 2016 communication, focusing on both their innovation opportunities and regulatory challenges. In June 2016 the Commission also adopted its European Agenda for the Collaborative Economy, which clarified the concept and provided some guidance on the employment status of platform workers and the EU definition of worker.
The European Pillar of Social Rights aims to address some of the policy challenges associated to new forms of employment, including platform work. As accompanying initiatives, the Commission presented in December 2017 a proposal for a new Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions, and in March 2018 a proposal for a Council Recommendation on access to social protection for workers and the self-employed.
A crucial issue in designing the policy response to the emergence of digital labour platforms is the lack of reliable evidence. In 2017, the JRC conducted the COLLEEM pilot survey2 an initial attempt to provide quantitative evidence on platform work, responding to calls by the European Council and the European Parliament. The survey provides a basis for an initial estimation of platform work in 14 Member States.

Source: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC112157/jrc112157_pubsy_platform_workers_in_europe_science_for_policy.pdf

Evaluation of the Impact of Ambient Temperatures on Occupational Injuries in Spain

Background: Extreme cold and heat have been linked to an increased risk of occupational injuries. However, the evidence is still limited to a small number of studies of people with relatively few injuries and with a limited geographic extent, and the corresponding economic effect has not been studied in detail.
Objectives: We assessed the relationship between ambient temperatures and occupational injuries in Spain along with its economic effect.
Methods: The daily number of occupational injuries that caused at least one day of leave and the daily maximum temperature were obtained for each Spanish province for the years 1994–2013. We estimated temperature–injuries associations with distributed lag nonlinear models, and then pooled the results using a multivariate meta-regression model. We calculated the number of injuries attributable to cold and heat, the corresponding workdays lost, and the resulting economic effect.
Results: The study included 15,992,310 occupational injuries. Overall, 2.72% [95% confidence interval (CI): 2.44–2.97] of all occupational injuries were attributed to nonoptimal ambient temperatures, with moderate heat accounting for the highest fraction. This finding corresponds to an estimated 0.67 million (95% CI: 0.60–0.73) person-days of work lost every year in Spain due to temperature, or an annual average of 42 d per 1,000 workers. The estimated annual economic burden is €370 million, or 0.03% of Spain's GDP (€2,015).
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that extreme ambient temperatures increased the risk of occupational injuries, with substantial estimated health and economic costs. These results call for public health interventions to protect workers in the context of climate change.

Source: Martínez-Solanas, È., López-Ruiz, M., Wellenius, G. A., Gasparrini, A., Sunyer, J., Benavides, F. G. et Basagaña, X. (2018). Environmental health perspectives, 126(6).

Worsening Workers' Health by Lowering Retirement Age: The Malign Consequences of a Benign Reform

In 2003, the retirement age of Swiss construction workers was lowered from 65 to 60. This reform has been intended to improve their health. Our study shows the opposite outcome. The human capital theory suggests that investments in employees' productivity by the employer and the employees themselves depend on the time remaining until their retirement. Hence, we hypothesize that pension reforms that reduce employees' working horizon decrease investments in work-related human capital, which translates into a higher prevalence of sickness absences, a longer absence duration, and worse health. By econometrically comparing pre- and post-reform cohorts of construction workers with other blue-collar workers, we find that among 56–60-year-old construction workers, their sickness absences increase from 3.2% to 5.6%, their sickness duration increases by 33%, and their probability of having health problems increases from 9% to 12.7% due to the reform.

Source: Bauer, A. B., et Eichenberger, R. (2018). Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).

2018 Report on Work Fatality and Injury Rates in Canada

Canadian workers compensation boards reported that 904 workers died due to work-related causes in 2016. This report provides a jurisdictional comparison of work-related fatality rates in Canada between 2011 to 2016 using data from the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC).
A comparison of fatality rates is important for identifying trends over time both within and between provinces and territories.
Job-related fatalities are classified as injury (e.g., death due to job-related electrocution) or occupational disease related (e.g., death from mesothelioma due to work-related exposure to asbestos).

Source: https://www.uregina.ca/business/faculty-staff/faculty/file_download/2018-Report-on-Workplace-Fatalities-and-Injuries.pdf

Testing a Strategy to Identify Incidence of Nurse Suicide in the United States

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to test a strategy for quantifying incidence of nurse suicide using San Diego County data as a pilot for national investigation.
BACKGROUND: Worldwide, 1 person dies by suicide every 40 seconds; more than 1 000 000 suicides occur yearly. Suicide rates for nurses in the United States have not been evaluated. This methodological article tested a strategy to identify incidence of nurse suicide compared with those of physicians and the general public.
METHOD: Deidentified San Diego County Medical Examiner data from 2005 to 2015 were analyzed with a descriptive epidemiologic approach.
RESULTS: Overall RN (18.51) and physician (40.72) incidences of suicide per 100 000 person-years were higher than the San Diego general population, excluding nurses (15.81) normalized to 100 000 person-years.
CONCLUSIONS: Establishing incidence of nurse suicide is confounded by variation in reporting mechanisms plus incomplete availability of nurse gender data. Relatively small outcome numbers compared with the general population may underestimate results. Research using a larger sample is indicated. Nurse executives may decrease risk by proactively addressing workplace stressors.

Source: Davidson, J. E., Stuck, A. R., Zisook, S. et Proudfoot, J. (2018). Journal of nursing administration, 48(5), 259-265.

A study of leading indicators for occupational health and safety management systems in healthcare

Background: In Ontario, Canada, approximately $2.5 billion is spent yearly on occupational injuries in the healthcare sector. The healthcare sector has been ranked second highest for lost-time injury rates among 16 Ontario sectors since 2009 with female healthcare workers ranked the highest among all occupations for lost-time claims. There is a great deal of focus in Ontario's occupational health and safety system on compliance and fines, however despite this increased focus, the injury statistics are not significantly improving. One of the keys to changing this trend is the development of a culture of healthy and safe workplaces including the effective utilization of leading indicators within Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMSs). In contrast to lagging indicators, which focus on outcomes retrospectively, a leading indicator is associated with proactive activities and consists of selected OHSMSs program elements. Using leading indicators to measure health and safety has been common practice in high-risk industries; however, this shift has not occurred in healthcare. The aim of this project is to conduct a longitudinal study implementing six elements of the Ontario Safety Association for Community and Healthcare (OSACH) system identified as leading indicators and evaluating the effectiveness of this intervention on improving selected health and safety workplace indicators.
Methods: A quasi-experimental longitudinal research design will be used within two Ontario acute care hospitals. The first phase of the study will focus on assessing current OHSMSs using the leading indicators, determining potential facilitators and barriers to changing current OHSMSs, and identifying the leading indicators that could be added or changed to the existing OHSMS in place. Phase I will conclude with the development of an intervention designed to support optimizing current OHSMSs in participating hospitals based on identified gaps. Phase II will pilot test and evaluate the tailored intervention.
Discussion: By implementing specific elements to test leading indicators, this project will examine a novel approach to strengthening the occupational health and safety system. Results will guide healthcare organizations in setting priorities for their OHSMSs and thereby improve health and safety outcomes.

Source: Almost, J. M., VanDenKerkhof, E. G., Strahlendorf, P., Tett, L. C., Noonan, J., Hayes, T., ... et Paré, G. C. (2018). BMC health services research, 18(1), 296.

Les salariés exposés aux agents biologiques

Les résultats de l'enquête Sumer 2009-2010
En 2010, selon l'enquête Surveillance médicale des expositions des salariés aux risques professionnels (Sumer), 22,2% des salariés sont exposés à des agents biologiques (bactéries, virus, parasites, champignons), soit plus de 4,7 millions de personnes.
Les expositions «délibérées» aux agents biologiques sont celles où le processus de recherche ou de production nécessite l'utilisation d'agents identifiés et contrôlés. Elles concernent 0,7% des salariés (158 200 personnes), principalement des fonctionnaires travaillant dans le domaine des études et de la recherche.
Les expositions «potentielles» aux agents biologiques sont les plus fréquentes: 4 738 300 salariés (21,9%) sont ainsi exposés à des agents biologiques, avec un risque d'exposition supérieur à celui de la population générale. De plus, les expositions potentielles surviennent lors d'un contact humain pour 3 121 600 de salariés (14,5%).

Source: http://dares.travail-emploi.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/2018-022.pdf

The Impact of Sickness Absenteeism on Productivity

New Evidence from Belgian Matched Panel Data
We investigate the impact of sickness absenteeism on productivity by using rich longitudinal matched employer-employee data on Belgian private firms. We deal with endogeneity, which arises from unobserved firm heterogeneity and reverse causality, by applying a modified version of the Ackerberg et al's (2015) control function method, which explicitly removes firm fixed effects. Our main finding is that, in general, sickness absenteeism substantially dampens firm productivity. An increase of 1 percentage point in the rate of sickness absenteeism entails a productivity loss of 0.24%. Yet, we find that the impact is much diversified depending on the categories of workers who are absent and across different types of firms. Our results show that sickness absenteeism is detrimental mainly when absent workers are high-tenure or blue-collar workers. Moreover, they show that sickness absenteeism is harmful mostly to industrial firms, high capital-intensive companies, and small- and medium-sized enterprises. This overall picture is coherent with the idea that sickness absenteeism is problematic when absent workers embed high levels of firm/task-specific (tacit) knowledge, when the work of absent employees is highly interconnected with the work of other employees (e.g., along the assembly line), and when firms face more limitations in substituting temporarily absent workers.

Source: https://www.iza.org/publications/dp/11543/the-impact-of-sickness-absenteeism-on-productivity-new-evidence-from-belgian-matched-panel-data

Mortalité prématurée par maladies cardiovasculaires chez les femmes selon la catégorie sociale et le secteur d’activité

Les maladies cardiovasculaires (MCV) regroupent un ensemble de pathologies comprenant les cardiopathies ischémiques, les accidents vasculaires cérébraux, les pathologies vasculaires périphériques, l’insuffsance cardiaque et les cardiopathies congénitales. Ces pathologies sont multifactorielles et sont génératrices de coûts importants directs (années de vies perdues, handicaps, recours aux soins) et indirects (perte de productivité due à la mortalité et à la morbidité) qui risquent d’augmenter en raison du vieillissement de la population.
En France, les MCV représentent une cause majeure de morbidité et la seconde cause de mortalité prématurée chez les femmes. La mortalité prématurée rendant compte du nombre de décès avant 75 ans constitue un indicateur important de la santé des populations du fait qu’elle est la conséquence de comportements ou d’expositions défavorables à la santé, notamment professionnels. Cette mortalité prématurée est en partie évitable avec la mise en place de programmes et de politiques de santé publique adaptés (prévention, prise en charge).
Contrairement aux hommes, les MCV sont moins bien documentées chez les femmes alors qu’elles partagent de plus en plus les mêmes facteurs de risque comportementaux (consommation de tabac, d’alcool) que les hommes. Les principaux déterminants des MCV sont multiples. Il s’agit d’une part des facteurs biocliniques et comportementaux (hypertension artérielle, dyslipidémies, syndrome métabolique, tabagisme, mauvaises habitudes alimentaires, plus récemment consommation d’alcool…) et d’autre part, des facteurs socioprofessionnels en particulier l’exposition au travail posté, au bruit ainsi que les risques psychosociaux. Les femmes connaissent également une exposition à des facteurs hormonaux tout au long de leur vie, des particularités physiopathologiques de la maladie coronaire, et une prise en charge de la pathologie coronarienne moins bonne que pour les hommes avec un dépistage plus tardif ou incomplet et des délais d’appel au Samu plus longs.

Source: http://invs.santepubliquefrance.fr/Publications-et-outils/Rapports-et-syntheses/Maladies-chroniques-et-traumatismes/2018/Mortalite-prematuree-par-maladies-cardiovasculaires-chez-les-femmes-selon-la-categorie-sociale-et-le-secteur-d-activite

Comparative performance monitoring report 19th Edition

The Comparative performance monitoring report 19th edition - Part 3 compares workers' compensation premiums, entitlements and scheme performance across Australia and New Zealand.
The 19th edition is divided into three parts:
?Part 1 – Work health and safety performance
?Part 2 – Work health and safety compliance and enforcement activities
?Part 3 – Premium, entitlements and scheme performance

Source: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/comparative-performance-monitoring-report-19th-edition-part-3

The economic burden of occupational non-melanoma skin cancer due to solar radiation

Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the second most prevalent carcinogenic exposure in Canada and is similarly important in other countries with large Caucasian populations. The objective of this article was to estimate the economic burden associated with newly diagnosed non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) attributable to occupational solar radiation exposure. Key cost categories considered were direct costs (healthcare costs, out-of-pocket costs (OOPCs), and informal caregiver costs); indirect costs (productivity/output costs and home production costs); and intangible costs (monetary value of the loss of health-related quality of life (HRQoL)). To generate the burden estimates, we used secondary data from multiple sources applied to computational methods developed from an extensive review of the literature. An estimated 2,846 (5.3%) of the 53,696 newly diagnosed cases of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and 1,710 (9.2%) of the 18,549 newly diagnosed cases of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in 2011 in Canada were attributable to occupational solar radiation exposure. The combined total for direct and indirect costs of occupational NMSC cases is $28.9 million ($15.9 million for BCC and $13.0 million for SCC), and for intangible costs is $5.7 million ($0.6 million for BCC and $5.1 million for SCC). On a per-case basis, the total costs are $5,670 for BCC and $10,555 for SCC. The higher per-case cost for SCC is largely a result of a lower survival rate, and hence higher indirect and intangible costs. Our estimates can be used to raise awareness of occupational solar UV exposure as an important causal factor in NMSCs and can highlight the importance of occupational BCC and SCC among other occupational cancers.

Source: Mofidi, A., Tompa, E., Spencer, J., Kalcevich, C., Peters, C. E., Kim, J., ... et Demers, P. A. (2018). Journal of occupational and environmental hygiene.

Fatal Falls Overboard in Commercial Fishing - United States 2000-2016

Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States, with a 2016 work-related fatality rate (86.0 deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers) 23 times higher than that for all U.S. workers (3.6). Sinking vessels cause the most fatalities in the industry; however, falling from a fishing vessel is a serious hazard responsible for the second highest number of commercial fishing–associated fatalities (2,3). CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) analyzed data on unintentional fatal falls overboard in the U.S. commercial fishing industry to identify gaps in the use of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention strategies. During 2000–2016, a total of 204 commercial fishermen died after unintentionally falling overboard. The majority of falls (121; 59.3%) were not witnessed, and 108 (89.3%) of these victims were not found. Among 83 witnessed falls overboard, 56 rescue attempts were made; 22 victims were recovered but were not successfully resuscitated. The circumstances, rescue attempts, and limited use of lifesaving and recovery equipment indicate that efforts to reduce these preventable fatalities are needed during pre-event, event, and post-event sequences of falls overboard. Vessel owners could consider strategies to prevent future fatalities, including lifeline tethers, line management, personal flotation devices (PFDs), man-overboard alarms, recovery devices, and rescue training.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6716a2.htm

Évaluation technique de l’extension de la deuxième enquête européenne des entreprises sur les risques nouveaux et émergents (ESENER-2)

Ce rapport expose les conclusions d'une évaluation technique détaillée de la deuxième enquête européenne des entreprises sur les risques nouveaux et émergents (ESENER-2). L'évaluation a notamment été commandée pour étudier l'incidence d'une extension de l'univers de l'enquête afin d'y inclure les micro-entreprises et les entreprises du secteur de l'agriculture, de la sylviculture et de la pêche.
Le fait d'inclure ces entreprises ne semble pas avoir réduit la qualité des données. Il s'agit d'une étape importante vers le développement d'une base factuelle fiable, ces entreprises contribuant de manière significative à l'économie. Le rapport inclut également des recommandations d'améliorations pour les procédures d'échantillonnage, lesquelles pourraient être mises en œuvre préalablement à l'enquête ESENER-3.

Source: https://osha.europa.eu/fr/tools-and-publications/publications/technical-assessment-expansion-second-european-survey/view

Australian Workers’ Compensation Statistics 2016–17

The publication presents an overview of the Comcare scheme and includes statistical data on the scheme's workers' compensation performance.

Source: http://www.comcare.gov.au/news__and__media/news_latest/comcare_schemeworkers_compensation_statistics_201617

Programme COSMOP : surveillance de la mortalité par cause selon l’activité professionnelle

Analyse de la mortalité et des causes de décès par secteur d'activité de 1976 à 2005
Le programme de surveillance Cosmop a pour objectif principal de décrire de façon systématique et régulière, à l'échelle de la population française, la répartition des décès pour différentes causes, selon des caractéristiques professionnelles.

Source: https://www.etui.org/fr/Themes/Sante-et-securite/Actualites/Mortalite-en-France-un-rapport-met-en-evidence-de-tres-grandes-disparites-en-fonction-de-la-profession

Mental Health Expenditures

Association with Workplace Incivility and Bullying Among Hospital Patient Care Workers
Objective: Bullied workers have poor self-reported mental health; monetary costs of bullying exposure are unknown. We tested associations between bullying and health plan claims for mental health diagnoses.
Methods: We used data from 793 hospital workers who answered questions about bullying in a survey and subscribed to the group health plan. We used two-part models to test associations between types of incivility/bullying and mental health expenditures.
Results: Workers experiencing incivility or bullying had greater odds of any mental health claims. Among claimants, unexposed workers spent $792, those experiencing one type of incivility or bullying spent $1,557 (p for difference from unexposed=0.016), those experiencing two types spent $928 (p = 0.503), and those experiencing three types spent $1,446 (p = 0.040).
Conclusions: Workplace incivility and bullying may carry monetary costs to employers, which could be controlled through work environment modification.

Source: Sabbath, E. L., Williams, J. A., Boden, L. I., Tempesti, T., Wagner, G. R., Hopcia, K., ... et Sorensen, G. (2018). Journal of occupational and environmental medicine.

Fatal work-related falls in the United States, 2003-2014

Background: Falls are the second leading cause of work-related fatalities among US workers. We describe fatal work-related falls from 2003 to 2014, including demographic, work, and injury event characteristics, and changes in rates over time.
Methods: We identified fatal falls from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries and estimated rates using the BLS Current Population Survey.
Results: From 2003 to 2014, there were 8880 fatal work-related falls, at an annual rate of 5.5 per million FTE. Rates increased with age. Occupations with the highest rates included construction/extraction (42.2 per million FTE) and installation/maintenance/repair (12.5 per million FTE). Falls to a lower level represented the majority (n = 7521, 85%) compared to falls on the same level (n = 1128, 13%).
Conclusions: Falls are a persistent source of work-related fatalities. Fall prevention should continue to focus on regulation adherence, Prevention through Design, improving fall protection, training, fostering partnerships, and increasing communication.

Source: Socias-Morales, C. M., Chaumont Menéndez, C. K. et Marsh, S. M. (2018). American journal of industrial medicine, 61(3), 204-215.

Gendered Pathways to Burnout: Results from the SALVEO Study

Burnout is a pervasive mental health problem in the workforce, with mounting evidence suggesting ties with occupational and safety outcomes such as work injuries, critical events and musculoskeletal disorders. While environmental [work and non-work, work-to-family conflict (WFC)] and individual (personality) pathways to burnout are well documented, little is known about how gender comes to influence such associative patterns. The aim of the study consisted in examining gendered pathways to burnout. The study analysed data derived from the SALVEO study, a cross-sectional study of 2026 workers from 63 workplaces from the province of Québec (Canada). Study results supported our hypotheses positing that gender distinctively shapes environmental and individual pathways to burnout. OHS prevention efforts striving for better mental health outcomes in the workforce could relevantly be informed by a gendered approach to burnout.

Source: Beauregard, N., Marchand, A., Bilodeau, J., Durand, P., Demers, A. et Haines III, V. Y. (2018). Annals of work exposures and health, 62(4), 426-437.

Prevalence of Asthma, Asthma Attacks, and Emergency Department Visits for Asthma Among Working Adults

National Health Interview Survey, 2011–2016
In 2010, an estimated 8.2% of U.S. adults had current asthma, and among these persons, 49.1% had had an asthma attack during the past year. Workplace exposures can cause asthma in a previously healthy worker or can trigger asthma exacerbations in workers with current asthma. To assess the industry- and occupation-specific prevalence of current asthma, asthma attacks, and asthma-related emergency department (ED) visits among working adults, CDC analyzed 2011–2016 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data for participants aged ≥18 years who, at the time of the survey, were employed at some time during the 12 months preceding the interview. During 2011–2016, 6.8% of adults (11 million) employed at any time in the past 12 months had current asthma; among those, 44.7% experienced an asthma attack, and 9.9% had an asthma-related ED visit in the previous year. Current asthma prevalence was highest among workers in the health care and social assistance industry (8.8%) and in health care support occupations (8.8%). The increased prevalence of current asthma, asthma attacks, and asthma-related ED visits in certain industries and occupations might indicate increased risks for these health outcomes associated with workplace exposures. These findings might assist health care and public health professionals in identifying workers in industries and occupations with a high prevalence of current asthma, asthma attacks, and asthma-related ED visits who should be evaluated for possible work-related asthma. Guidelines intended to promote effective management of work-related asthma are available.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6713a1.htm?s_cid=mm6713a1_e

A combined approach for the analysis of large occupational accident databases to support accident-prevention decision making

Occupational accidents are commonly collected in large databases by National Workers Compensation Authorities and companies' safety and prevention teams. The analysis of the data can be difficult because the database elements are characterized by many parameters, which are not of a numerical nature. Data mining techniques could represent an efficient tool for the identification of useful information in large databases. In 2011, a two-level clustering method, made of SOM and numerical clustering, obtained positive results in identifying critical accident dynamics. The present research proceeds from that initial methodology.
A sensitivity analysis of the coupled clustering method was carried out.
Some improvements have been designed, and an enhanced methodology has been applied to the original case study data set, for validation purposes.
This method represents an efficient tool for the analyst that has to deal with the occupational accidents data, thanks to its capability of grouping and visualizing data in a readable and exportable outcome.
The information acquired by this method can help analysts to better address the measures to be adopted in a work environment, in order to prevent occupational accidents.

Source: Comberti, L., Demichela, M. et Baldissone, G. (2018). Safety Science, 106, 191-202.

Cardiovascular conditions, hearing difficulty, and occupational noise exposure within US industries and occupations

Background: The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of occupational noise exposure, hearing difficulty and cardiovascular conditions within US industries and occupations, and to examine any associations of these outcomes with occupational noise exposure.
Methods: National Health Interview Survey data from 2014 were examined. Weighted prevalence and adjusted prevalence ratios of self-reported hearing difficulty, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and coronary heart disease or stroke were estimated by level of occupational noise exposure, industry, and occupation.
Results: Twenty-five percent of current workers had a history of occupational noise exposure (14% exposed in the last year), 12% had hearing difficulty, 24% had hypertension, 28% had elevated cholesterol; 58%, 14%, and 9% of these cases can be attributed to occupational noise exposure, respectively.
Conclusions: Hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and hearing difficulty are more prevalent among noise-exposed workers. Reducing workplace noise levels is critical. Workplace-based health and wellness programs should also be considered.

Source: Kerns, E., Masterson, E. A., Themann, C. L. et Calvert, G. M. (2018). American journal of industrial medicine.

Economic Evaluation of Occupational Safety and Health Interventions From the Employer Perspective

A Systematic Review
Objectives: The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of occupational safety and health interventions from the employer perspective.
Methods: A comprehensive literature search (2005 to 2016) in five electronic databases was conducted. Pre-2005 studies were identified from the reference lists of previous studies and systematic reviews, which have similar objective to those of this search.
Results: A total of 19 randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies were included, targeting diverse health problems in a number of settings. Few studies included organizational-level interventions. When viewed in relation to the methodological quality and the sufficiency of economic evidence, five of 11 cost-effective occupational safety and health (OSH) interventions appear to be promising.
Conclusion: The present systematic review highlights the need for high-quality economic evidence to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of OSH interventions, especially at organizational-level, in all areas of worker health.

Source: Grimani, A., Bergström, G., Casallas, M. I. R., Aboagye, E., Jensen, I. et Lohela-Karlsson, M. (2018). Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 60(2), 147-166.

Nonfatal Injuries to Law Enforcement Officers: A Rise in Assaults

Introduction: Limited studies exist that describe nonfatal work-related injuries to law enforcement officers. The aim of this study is to provide national estimates and trends of nonfatal injuries to law enforcement officers from 2003 through 2014.
Methods: Nonfatal injuries were obtained from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System−Occupational Supplement. Data were obtained for injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments from 2003 to 2014. Nonfatal injury rates were calculated using denominators from the Current Population Survey. Negative binomial regression was used to analyze temporal trends. Data were analyzed in 2016–2017.
Results: Between 2003 and 2014, an estimated 669,100 law enforcement officers were treated in U.S. emergency departments for nonfatal injuries. The overall rate of 635 per 10,000 full-time equivalents was three times higher than all other U.S. workers rate (213 per 10,000 full-time equivalents). The three leading injury events were assaults and violent acts (35%), bodily reactions and exertion (15%), and transportation incidents (14%). Injury rates were highest for the youngest officers, aged 21–24 years. Male and female law enforcement officers had similar nonfatal injury rates. Rates for most injuries remained stable; however, rates for assault-related injuries grew among law enforcement officers between 2003 and 2011.
Conclusions: National Electronic Injury Surveillance System−Occupational Supplement data demonstrate a significant upward trend in assault injuries among U.S. law enforcement officers and this warrants further investigation. Police−citizen interactions are dynamic social encounters and evidence-based policing is vital to the health and safety of both police and civilians. The law enforcement community should energize efforts toward the study of how policing tactics impact both officer and citizen injuries.

Source: Tiesman, H. M., Gwilliam, M., Konda, S., Rojek, J. et Marsh, S. (2018). American journal of preventive medicine, 54(4), 503-509.

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