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Cumulative occupational mechanical exposures during working life and risk of sickness absence and disability pension
Prospective cohort study Using a biomechanical job exposure matrix combined with Danish registers, cumulative occupational mechanical exposures throughout life (ie, more years with heavy and frequent lifting, and kneeling work) predicted risk of long-term sickness absence among older workers. Importantly, heavy lifting throughout working life was associated with disability pension. Source: Sundstrup E, Hansen ÅM, Mortensen EL, Poulsen OM, Clausen T, Rugulies R, Møller A, Andersen LL. (2017). Scand J Work Environ Health .
Employees affected by the vibrations of air chisels : The UK vehicule manufacturer was prosecuted.
Two employees in the weld destruct section where air chisels were used to undo welds on cars to test the strength of them developped Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) in December 2006. The subsequent investigation by HSE found that vibrating hand tools were being used across the plant with a lack of assessment and management of risk and when a health surveillance regime was then made effective, other cases came to light. There was no system in place to measure how long was being spent using the tools by each employee or the levels of vibration. The recommended amount of time for one of the tools...
Firefighters may be at an increased risk of exposure to high noise levels
45 male firefighters, aged 41.0 years with around 14 years of experience were followed up to characterize their exposures to noise and carbon monoxide. Noise levels were significantly greater on day shifts, among firefighters in non-supervisory jobs, for those working on engine and rescue trucks, by number of emergency calls they attended and in particular for motor vehicle accident (MVA) and building alarms calls, if subjects worked near or used fire equipment, or if they participated in active firefighting training activities. 1% of CO samples exceeded occupational limits, both full-shift and...
Duration of noise exposure, a better predictor than noise exposure levels
In this retrospective study, medical records of periodic occupational health examinations of 29,644 construction workers are analysed. Pure-tone audiometric thresholds of noise-exposed workers are compared to a non-exposed control group and to ISO-1999 predictions. Regression analyses are conducted to explore the relationship between hearing loss and noise intensity, noise exposure time and the use of hearing protection. For the first decade, the population medians show poorer hearing than predicted by ISO-1999. Duration of noise exposure was a better predictor than noise exposure levels, probably...
Calculation of cumulative hours across all vibrating tools used is a more powerful predictor of HAVS than the use of simple years of exposure.
Assessing past cumulative vibration exposure is part of assessing the risk of hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) in workers exposed to hand-arm vibration and invariably forms part of a medical assessment of such workers. This study investigates the strength of relationships between the presence and severity of HAVS and different cumulative exposure metrics obtained from a self-reporting questionnaire. Use of simple years of exposure is a weak predictor of HAVS or its increasing severity. The calculation of cumulative hours across all vibrating tools used is a more powerful predictor. More complex...
L’indicateur tardif audio-sonométrique (ITAS) permet de suivre la perte auditive de groupes de travailleurs exposés à des bruits impulsifs.
Ce modèle exponentiel considère qu’une exposition quotidienne à des bruits impulsifs est plus nocive pour l’audition que celle à un bruit continu. En effet, certains bruits impulsifs peuvent causer des dommages irréversibles instantanément et un facteur de correction doit être ajouté au niveau moyen mesuré. L’indicateur s’applique au suivi audiologique de travailleurs dans la cinquantaine et tient compte, entre autres, des résultats du groupe (HEG, Homogeneous Exposure Groups). Une surveillance audiométrique...
How much noise will cause hearing loss over a lifetime?
For many years, those working in the field of industrial noise control have struggled to educate people about how much noise will cause hearing loss over a lifetime. Part of the difficulty is a result of the logarithmic nature of decibel scaling. The concept of expressing noise exposure in industrial environments without decibels is the focus of this paper. Eldred (“Sound Exposure without Decibels,” Inter-Noise 86) discusses this approach for community noise.39 ANSI Standard S3.44-1996 defines sound exposure; the units are Pascals squared seconds, or PASQUES, as noted by Eldred. This...
Hearing losses occur in firefighters during the early stages of their careers.
On a mean time of 4.1 years, there was deterioration in right and left ears, with the hearing loss in 8% of right and 13% of left ears falling into the 'warning' or 'referral' categories. Most research on firefighter hearing loss has concentrated on effects over a substantial part of, or entire, firefighting career. In this study, 118 firefighters in their early careers were examined for an LGV (large goods vehicle) licence. Mean time between examinations was 4.1 years (range 1.4-12.6 years). The differences in their hearing capacity showed statistical significance . Further work...

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