2012-06-01 12:00 - Messages

Descriptive Epidemiology of Serious Work-Related Injuries in British Columbia, Canada

Objective : This study examined the rates and distribution of serious work-related injuries by demographic, work and injury characteristics in British Columbia, Canada from 2002–2008, using population-based data.
Methods : Claims for workers with a serious injury were extracted from workers' compensation data. Serious injuries were defined by long duration, high cost, serious medical diagnosis, or fatality. Workforce estimates were used to calculate stratum-specific rates. Rate-ratios (RR) and 95% CIs were calculated using negative binomial regression for the comparison of rates, adjusting for gender, age and occupation.
Results : Women had a lower overall serious injury rate compared to men (RR: 0.93, 95% CI: 0.87–0.99). The 35–44 age group had the highest overall rate compared to the youngest age group. The rate for severe strains/sprains was similarly high for men and women in the 35–44 age group, although there was a differential pattern by gender for other injury types: the rate of fracture was similar across age groups for men, but increased with age for women (RR: 2.7, 95% CI: 2.2–3.3); and the rate of severe falls increased with age for men and women, with a larger three-fold increase for older women (men: RR: 1.8, 95% CI: 1.7–2.1; women: RR: 3.2, 95% CI: 2.7–3.7).
Conclusions : The risk of serious injuries is higher among specific age groups with different patterns emerging for men and women. Variations persisted within similar injury types and occupation groups in our adjusted models. These results provide evidence for the burden of serious injuries and a basis for future analytic research. Given projected demographic shifts and increasing workforce participation of older workers, intervention programs should be carefully implemented with consideration to demographic groups at risk for serious injuries in the workplace.

Source : Fan J, McLeod CB, Koehoorn M (2012) PLoS ONE 7(6).

Preventing construction worker injury incidents through the management of personal stress and organizational stressors

Construction workers (CWs) are positioned at the lowest level of an organization and thus have limited control over their work. For this reason, they are often deprived of their due rewards and training or sometimes are even compelled to focus on production at the expense of their own safety. These organizational stressors not only cause the CWs stress but also impair their safety behaviors. The impairment of safety behaviors is the major cause of CW injury incidents. Hence, to prevent injury incidents and enhance safety behaviors of CWs, the current study aimed to identify the impact of various organizational stressors and stress on CW safety behaviors and injury incidents. To achieve this aim, we surveyed 395 CWs. Using factor analysis, we identified five organizational stressors (unfair reward and treatment, inappropriate safety equipment, provision of training, lack of goal setting, and poor physical environment), two types of stress (emotional and physical), and safety behaviors. The results of correlation and regression analyses revealed the following: (1) injury incidents were minimized by safety behaviors but escalated by a lack of goal setting, (2) safety behaviors were maximized by moderate levels of emotional stress (i.e., an inverted U-shape relationship between these two variables) and increased in line with physical stress and inappropriate safety equipment, (3) emotional stress was positively predicted by the provision of training and inappropriate safety equipment, and (4) physical stress was predicted only by inappropriate safety equipment. Based on these results, we suggest various recommendations to construction stakeholders on how to prevent CW injury incidents.

Source : Leung MY, Chan IY, Yu J. Accid. Anal. Prev. 2012; 48(1): 156-166.

Les responsabilités en matière de santé mentale dans l'entreprise

Le numéro de juin de la revue Archives des Maladies Professionnelles et de l'Environnement est consacré au 32e Congrès national de santé et médecine au travail sur le thème "Les responsabilités en matière de santé mentale dans l'entreprise : conditions et enjeux du bien-faire, du bien-vivre et du bien-être au travail".

Source : Archives des Maladies Professionnelles et de l'Environnement. Volume 73, Issue 3, Pages 217-594 (June 2012).

Older employees under pressure?

Theorizing reasons for declining commitment
If employees are asked to extend their working lives, equity requires that their conditions of work should be improved or at least maintained. This article argues that employees have in the past received relatively favourable treatment from employers in their later careers, consequent on the long-term employment relationship that employers maintain for motivational purposes. But changes in costs, competition and technologies are likely to have affected motivational policy, leading employers to renege on the implicit bargain with older employees. The analysis provides strong evidence of declining organizational commitment, consistent with the proposed theory.

Source : White, Michael. Work Employment & Society June 2012 vol. 26 no. 3 447-463.

Systematic review of the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of employee assistance programmes

Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) are common organisational practice. Recent estimates suggest that over eight million employees in the UK have access to EAP services and between five to ten per cent of those with access will use the services.
The constituent services of EAPs vary. However, all tend to deliver a proportion of their services through individual counselling. A range of employee support services is claimed to offer a number of benefits to both employees and employers including improvements in such outcomes as sickness absence and staff turnover, employee psychological well-­-being, organisational commitment and job satisfaction, job performance and motivation.
This systematic review is designed to identify and synthesise the available evidence on the impact of EAPs on relevant employee and employer outcomes.

Source : http://www.bohrf.org.uk/downloads/BOHRF-Review_of_EAPs-Final_Report-April_2012.pdf

Shift schedules on North Sea oil/gas installations

A systematic review of their impact on performance, safety and health
Continuous production processes on North Sea installations necessitate extended work schedules; 2-week offshore tours (alternating with shore breaks), 12 h shifts and rapid day/night shift changes are inherent features of offshore work. These intensive rosters, worked in a demanding physical and psychosocial environment, are potential sources of fatigue and impaired performance among offshore personnel. This article focuses on offshore working time arrangements, and presents a systematic review of studies which examine offshore day/night shift patterns in relation to operational safety and individual health risks. Of the 53 studies retrieved, 24 met the review criteria.
Field study findings are generally consistent in showing that sleep, alertness and performance are relatively stable across day-shift tours; initial night shifts are adversely affected by circadian disruption, but full physiological and psychological adaptation occurs within 5-6 days; re-adaptation to day shifts is slower, and varies widely across individuals; the offshore environment is conducive to night-shift adaptation, but interventions to facilitate re-adaptation have proved only modestly effective. Analyses of survey data and accident/sickness records identify offshore night work as a risk factor for impaired sleep, health problems, and injuries, but little is known about the long-term health effects of different offshore shift rotations.
In conclusion, research methodology and findings, and working time issues of current concern to the offshore oil/gas industry, are discussed. Aspects of offshore work schedules that have been not been widely studied (e.g. overtime, irregular work patterns) are also highlighted, and research areas that would merit further attention are noted.

Source : Parkes KR. Safety Sci. 2012; 50(7): 1636-1651.

Longitudinal relationships between workplace bullying and psychological distress

OBJECTIVES: The aims of this study were to examine reciprocal longitudinal associations between exposure to workplace bullying and symptoms of psychological distress and to investigate how self-labeled victimization from bullying explains the effects of bullying on health. METHODS: Logistic regression analysis was employed to examine the longitudinal relationships between workplace bullying and psychological distress in a representative cohort sample of 1775 Norwegian employees. The time-lag between baseline and follow-up was two years. Exposure to bullying behavior was measured with the revised version of the Negative Acts Questionnaire. Perceived victimization from bullying was measured by a single self-labeling question. Psychological distress was measured with the 25-item Hopkins Symptom Checklist. All variables were measured at both baseline and follow-up. RESULTS: After adjustment for psychological distress at baseline, exposure to bullying behavior [odds ratio (OR) 1.68, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.07-2.62) was found to predict subsequent psychological distress. This effect of bullying behaviors disappeared when victimization from bullying (OR 2.47, 95% CI 1.17-5.22) was entered into the regression. Both psychological distress (OR 2.49, 95% CI 1.64-3.80) and victimization (OR 2.61, 95% CI 1.42-4.81) at baseline were associated with increased risks of being a target of bullying behaviors at follow-up. Psychological distress (OR 2.51, 95% CI 1.39-4.52) and bullying behaviors (OR 2.95, 95% CI 1.39-4.52) at follow-up were associated with victimization. CONCLUSION: The mutual relationship between bullying and psychological distress indicates a vicious circle where bullying and distress reinforce their own negative effects. This highlights the importance of early interventions to stop workplace bullying and provide treatment options to employees with psychological distress.

Source : Nielsen MB, Hetland J, Matthiesen SB, Einarsen S. Scand. J. Work Environ. Health 2012; 38(1): 38-46.

Workplace Violence and Aggression, Part 1

Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation. Volume 42, Number 1 / 2012
This first issue begins with a Foreword written by John Howard, Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health summarizing past efforts
in this field and presenting new opportunities for focus. Denenberg and Denenberg provide us with a Sounding Board piece entitled ‘Workplace Violence and the Media: The Myth of the Disgruntled Employee' that emphasizes an aggressor or aggressors in the workplace are generally only one factor during a tragic event that
involves not just the work environment but challenges that likely include the non-work environment as well.

Source : http://iospress.metapress.com/content/t60016l11455/?sortorder=asc&v=expanded&o=10

Systematic review on the association between employee worktime control and work–non-work balance, health and well-being, and job-related outcomes

Objectives The aim of this review was to assess systematically the empirical evidence for associations between employee worktime control (WTC) and work–non-work balance, health/well-being, and job-related outcomes (eg, job satisfaction, job performance).
Method A systematic search of empirical studies published between 1995–2011 resulted in 63 relevant papers from 53 studies. Five different categories of WTC measurements were distinguished (global WTC, multidimensional WTC, flextime, leave control, and “other subdimensions of WTC”). For each WTC category, we examined the strength of evidence for an association with (i) work–non-work balance, (ii) health/well-being, and (iii) job-related outcomes. We distinguished between cross-sectional, longitudinal, and intervention studies. Evidence strength was assessed based on the number of studies and their convergence in terms of study findings.
Results (Moderately) strong cross-sectional evidence was found for positive associations between global WTC and both work–non-work balance and job-related outcomes, whereas no consistent evidence was found regarding health/well-being. Intervention studies on global WTC found moderately strong evidence for a positive causal association with work–non-work balance and no or insufficient evidence for health/well-being and job-related outcomes. Limited to moderately strong cross-sectional evidence was found for positive associations between multidimensional WTC and our outcome categories. Moderately strong cross-sectional evidence was found for positive associations between flextime and all outcome categories. The lack of intervention or longitudinal studies restricts clear causal inferences.
Conclusions This review has shown that there are theoretical and empirical reasons to view WTC as a promising tool for the maintenance of employees' work–non-work balance, health and well-being, and job-related outcomes. At the same time, however, the current state of evidence allows only very limited causal inferences to be made regarding the impact of enhanced WTC.

Source : Nijp HH, Beckers DGJ, Geurts SAE, Tucker P, Kompier MAJ. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2012.

Plaintes physiques et mentales des enseignants

L'équilibre entre vie privée et vie professionnelle, la qualité des relations avec les collègues et même le bruit en classe: tous ces éléments exercent une influence sur le bien-être d'un enseignant. D'une manière générale, les enseignants se sentent en moins bonne santé que d'autres travailleurs hautement qualifiés et souffrent de stress et de toutes sortes de douleurs physiques. À l'heure où l'âge de la pension est revu à la hausse, une question gagne en importance: comment garder des enseignants heureux et en bonne santé en poste?

Source : http://fr.prevent.be/net/net01.nsf/p/BA4F0D478B3BEC6EC1257A10004227BB

Associations between sickness absence and harassment, threats, violence, or discrimination

A cross-sectional study of the Swedish Police
Objective: To study if sick leave among employees in the Swedish Police was associated with experiences of discrimination, harassment, or (threats of) violence. Participants: All employees in the Swedish Police in 2005. Methods: Analyses of data from a questionnaire to all employees; 74% (n=16,725) responded. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) between sick leave and the studied factors were assessed. Results: The rate of sickness absence was higher for women (12%) than for men (8%) (p< 0.001). More women than men had experienced discrimination, while more men reported harassment from the public and experiences of threats or violence. ORs were significant between sick-leave and discrimination, sexual harassment, and violence, and higher for the men. Associations between harassment from the public, threats of violence or violence, and sickness absence were statistically significant for men only.Conclusion: The study identifies the importance of investigating discrimination, harassment, and violence in relation to health outcomes for both male and female Police employees.

Source : Svedberg P, Alexanderson K. Work 2012; 42(1): 83-92.

Nested case–control study of night shift work and breast cancer risk among women in the Danish military

Objectives : Growing but limited evidence suggests that night shift work is associated with breast cancer. The authors conducted a nationwide case–control study nested within a cohort of 18?551 female military employees born in 1929–1968 to investigate the risk for breast cancer after night shift work and to explore the role of leisure time sun exposure and diurnal preference.
Methods : The authors documented 218 cases of breast cancer (1990–2003) and selected 899 age-matched controls from the cohort by incidence density sampling. Information on shift work, sun exposure habits, diurnal preference and other potential confounders was obtained from a structured questionnaire. ORs were estimated by multivariate conditional logistic regression.
Results : Overall, the authors observed an adjusted OR of 1.4 (95% CI 0.9 to 2.1) among women with ever compared with never night shifts. The RR for breast cancer tended to increase with increasing number of years of night shift work (p=0.03) and with cumulative number of shifts (p=0.02),with a neutral risk for fewer than three night shifts per week. The OR for the group with the highest tertile of cumulative exposure was 2.3 (95% CI 1.2 to 4.6). The most pronounced effect of night shift work on breast cancer risk was observed in women with morning chronotype preference and intense night shifts (OR=3.9, 95% CI 1.6 to 9.5). Night shift workers tended to sunbathe more frequently than day workers.
Conclusions : The results indicate that frequent night shift work increases the risk for breast cancer and suggest a higher risk with longer duration of intense night shifts. Women with morning preference who worked on night shifts tended to have a higher risk than those with evening preference.

Source : Johnni Hansen, Christina F Lassen. Occup Environ Med. 2012.

Arrêts sur le temps de travail

Dossier thématique dans HesaMag, No 05, 1er semestre 2012
Ce numéro consacre un dossier au temps de travail et à ses conséquences pour la santé des travailleurs. Outre la révision de la directive Temps de travail, que les partenaires sociaux tentent pour l'instant de sortir de l'ornière, il y est question de la tendance à la flexibilisation des horaires et de ses répercussions sur les plans de la santé mais aussi de la vie sociale et familiale.

Source : http://www.etui.org/fr/Topics/Health-Safety/HesaMag

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