2012-09-01 12:00 - Messages

Survey finds men more exposed to physical risks at work than women

In April 2012, the Danish National Institute of Public Health published its report Health and Morbidity in Denmark 2010 – & developments since 1987. The survey looked at aspects of the working environment – both psychosocial and physical. Respondents were asked how they felt about the demands of their workload, the influence they had over their jobs, about working conditions, about lifting and carrying, and about how much support they were given by their managers.

Source : http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/ewco/2012/06/DK1206019I.htm?utm_source=EWCO&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS

Study finds persistence of higher injury risk for new workers

We know that newly hired workers face a higher injury rate. Recent research from the Institute for Work & Health finds that the higher risk of work injury among new workers has persisted over the past ten years. This suggests workplaces need to do more to ensure new workers get the training and supervision they need to stay safe on the job.

Source : At Work, Issue 69, Summer 2012: Institute for Work & Health. http://www.iwh.on.ca/at-work/69/study-finds-persistence-of-higher-injury-risk-for-new-workers

Poor health, unhealthy behaviors, and unfavorable work characteristics influence pathways of exit from paid employment among older workers in Europe

The aim of this study was to get insight into the role of poor health, unhealthy behaviors, and unfavorable work characteristics on exit from paid employment due to disability pension, unemployment, and early retirement among older workers. Respondents of the longitudinal Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) in 11 European countries were selected when (i) aged between 50 years and the country-specific retirement age, and having (ii) paid employment at baseline and (iii) information on employment status during the 4-year follow-up period (N=4923). Self-perceived health, health behaviors, and physical and psychosocial work characteristics were measured by interview at baseline. Employment status was derived from follow-up interviews after two and four years. Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were used to identify determinants of unemployment, disability pension, and early retirement. Results Poor health was a risk factor for disability pension [hazard ratio (HR) 3.90, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 2.51–6.05], and a lack of physical activity was a risk factor for disability pension (HR 3.05, 95% CI 1.68–5.55) and unemployment (HR 1.84, 95% CI 1.13–3.01). A lack of job control was a risk factor for disability pension, unemployment, and early retirement (HR 1.30–1.77).  Conclusions Poor health, a lack of physical activity, and a lack of job control played a role in exit from paid employment, but their relative importance differed by pathway of labor force exit. Primary preventive interventions focusing on promoting physical activity as well as increasing job control may contribute to reducing premature exit from paid employment.

Source: Robroek SJW, Schuring M, Croezen S, Stattin M, Burdorf A. Poor health, unhealthy behaviors, and unfavorable work characteristics influence pathways of exit from paid employment among older workers in Europe: a four year follow-up study. Scand J Work Environ Health. http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.5271/sjweh.3319


Training teachers to deliver risk education – Examples of mainstreaming OSH into teacher training programmes

This report presents cases which involve training in-service and future teachers in either occupational safety and health (OSH) or in delivering risk education . Ideally, all teachers should receive training about OSH in their working lives and how to incorporate risk education into their daily work. If getting risk education properly embedded in the school curriculum is challenging, then it is even more difficult to get it into training programmes for future teachers. However, the cases present various approaches and methods that could be considered or elaborated upon.

Source : http://osha.europa.eu/en/publications/reports/teachers-training-risk-education_TE3111358ENN

The impact of bystanding to workplace bullying on symptoms of depression among women and men in industry in Sweden

BACKGROUND: Prospective studies on bystanding to workplace bullying and the health outcomes are scarce. AIM: To investigate the work environmental risk factors of depressive symptoms among bystanders to bullying in both women and men in four large industrial organizations in Sweden. METHOD: The number of respondents at four large industrial enterprises with more than one year at the workplace at T1: n = 2,563 (Women: n = 342; Men: n = 2,227). Bystanders to bullying at T1: n = 305 (Women: n = 30; Men: n = 275). The total number of those with symptoms of depression at T2: Women: n = 30; Men: n = 161. Two thousand one hundred and seventy-seven employees answered the questionnaire on T1 and T2 with an 18-month interval. "To have depressive symptoms" was defined as not having depressive symptoms at T1 but having depressive symptoms at T2. RESULTS: The number of men who were bystanders to bullying was larger compared to women. However, the proportion of women who were bystanders to bullying and developed depressive symptoms 18 months later was higher in comparison with men (33.3 and 16.4 %, respectively). Further, "Being a bystander to bullying" 1.69 (1.13-2.53), "Rumors of changes in the workplace" 1.53 (1.10-2.14), "Reduced role clarity" 2.30 (1.21-4.32), "Lack of appreciation of being in the group" 1.76 (1.22-2.53) increased the risk of future symptoms of depression. "Job Strain" was not an adjusted risk factor for depression. CONCLUSION: Our results support previous findings that bystanding to workplace bullying is related to future depressive symptoms.

Source : Emdad R, Alipour A, Hagberg J, Jensen IB. Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health 2012; ePub.

An empirical analysis on labor unions and occupational safety and health committees' activity, and their relation to the changes in occupational injury and illness rate

OBJECTIVES: To find out from an analysis of empirical data the levels of influence, which a labor union (LU) and Occupational Safety and Health Committee (OSHC) have in reducing the occupational injury and illness rate (OIIR) through their accident prevention activities in manufacturing industries with five or more employees. METHODS: The empirical data used in this study are the Occupational Safety and Health Tendency survey data, Occupational Accident Compensation data and labor productivity and sales data for the years 2003 to 2007. By matching these three sources of data, a final data set (n = 280) was developed and analyzed using SPSS version 18 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). RESULTS: It was found that a workplace with a LU has a lower OIIR than one without a LU. In manufacturing industries with five or more employees in 2007, the OIIR of the workplaces without a LU was 0.87%, while that of workplaces with a LU was much lower at 0.45%. In addition, workplaces with an established OSHC had a lower OIIR than those without an OSHC. CONCLUSION: It was found that the OIIR of workplaces with a LU is lower than those without a LU. Moreover, those with the OSHC usually had a lower OIIR than those without. The workplace OIIR may have an impact on management performance because the rate is negatively correlated with labor productivity and sales. In the long run, the OIIR of workplaces will be reduced when workers and employers join forces and recognize that the safety and health activities of the workplace are necessary, not only for securing the health rights of the workers, but also for raising labor productivity.

Source : Yi KH, Cho HH, Kim J. An empirical analysis on labor unions and occupational safety and health committees' activity, and their relation to the changes in occupational injury and illness rate. Saf. health work 2011; 2(4): 321-327.

Half of Australia’s workers would rather quit than deal with workplace issues

Australian workers are fostering an ‘avoidance culture' among employees, with 46% of people surveyed saying they would rather look for a new job than contend with a workplace issue, while 48% resort to taking days off when faced with a tough time at work, reveals a recent Australian Workplace Relationships Survey conducted by R U OK?.

Source : http://www.ruokday.com/newsroom/r-u-ok-latest/the-2012-r-u-ok-australian-workplace-relationships-survey

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