2013-08-01 12:00 - Messages

The Shift-Work Accident Rate is More Related to the Shift Type than to Shift Rotation

The current study investigated the accident rates across morning, late, and night shifts in rotating shift-workers employed in two different shift rotations at the same steel work factory. A retrospective analysis has been performed of accident data (N = 578) over a 5-year period (2003 through 2007) of 730 male shift-workers employed in either a clockwise (mean age of the workers 38.1 ± SD 9.8 years) or counterclockwise rotation (mean age 38.0 ± SD 10.1 years) with comparable work conditions. The overall accident rate across the 24-h day was not significantly different between clockwise and counterclockwise shift rotation. In both shift-work rotations, morning shifts as opposed to night shifts exhibited a significantly higher accident rate. There was no significant difference between late shifts and morning or night shifts in either shift rotation. The increased accident rate in the morning shift at this steel factory could be related to the early starting time of the shift and to this shift being more labor intensive in both shift rotations. These findings suggest that work-related factors must be considered in addition to shift-work schedules when investigating accident rates in rotating shift-workers.

Source : Kantermann T, Haubruge D, Skene DJ. Hum. Ecol. Risk Assess. 2013; ePub. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10807039.2012.708263

Top 7 dangers for young workers

In B.C., 9,000 young workers are injured every year. Find out how…
A summer job is the perfect way for young people to make a little money, gain valuable work experience, and stay busy. But, every year in B.C., 9,000 young people are injured at work — and 2,000 of these injuries are considered serious. In 2012, seven young people lost their lives from a workplace incident. Do you know the top 7 dangers for young workers?

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Worker health is good for the economy: Union density and psychosocial safety climate as determinants of country differences in worker health and productivity in 31 European countries

Work stress is recognized globally as a social determinant of worker health. Therefore we explored whether work stress related factors explained national differences in health and productivity (gross domestic product (GDP)). We proposed a national worker health productivity model whereby macro market power factors (i.e. union density), influence national worker health and GDP via work psychosocial factors and income inequality. We combined five different data sets canvasing 31 wealthy European countries. Aggregated worker self-reported health accounted for 13 per cent of the variance in national life expectancy and in national gross domestic product (GDP). The most important factors explaining worker self-reported health and GDP between nations were two levels of labor protection, macro-level (union density), and organizational-level (psychosocial safety climate, PSC, i.e. the extent of management concern for worker psychological health). The majority of countries with the highest levels of union density and PSC (i.e., workplace protections) were Social Democratic in nature (i.e., Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway). Results support a type of society explanation that social and economic factors (e.g., welfare regimes, work related policies) in concert with political power agents at a national level explain in part national differences in workplace protection (PSC) that are important for worker health and productivity. Attention should be given across all countries, to national policies to improve worker health, by bolstering national and local democratic processes and representation to address and implement policies for psychosocial risk factors for work stress, bullying and violence. Results suggest worker health is good for the economy, and should be considered in national health and productivity accounting. Eroding unionism may not be good for worker health or the economy either.

Source : Dollard MF, Neser DY. Soc. Sci. Med. 2013; 92: 114-123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.04.028

Workplace injury and voice: a comparison of management and union perceptions

This article moves beyond the existing institutional focus on union representation and workplace injury by looking at the substance of union representation and participation in the management of occupational health and safety (OHS). The effects on workplace injuries of different configurations of OHS voice (negotiation, consultation, information or 'none'), as mapped by the perceptions of both management and unions in the same workplace, are explored using the British Workplace Employment Relations Survey 2004. The findings indicate that some participation is better than none, that more inclusive voice configurations are better than those that are less inclusive and that the alignment of voice between management and unions is fundamental to success. The impact of less inclusive participation is also found to be conditioned by the extent of trade union membership in the workplace.

Source : Robinson AM, Smallman C. Work Employ. Soc. 2013; ePub. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0950017012460307

La formation professionnelle à la santé et à la sécurité au travail : données sur 4 pays européens: Allemagne, Danemark, Italie, Royaume-Uni

La formation à la santé et à la sécurité au travail (SST) fait partie des obligations générales des employeurs énoncées dans la directive-cadre 89/391/CEE. Par ailleurs, dans sa communication sur la Stratégie communautaire 2007-2012 pour la santé et la sécurité au travail, la Commission souligne l'importance de l'intégration de la santé et de la sécurité dans les programmes d'éducation et de formation. La formation initiale s'adresse aux étudiants et aux apprentis ; continue, elle vise les salariés, les représentants syndicaux et les employeurs tout au long de la vie professionnelle. EUROGIP s'est intéressé à ce second aspect au Danemark, en Italie, au Royaume-Uni et en Allemagne. Une recherche a été menée sur l'organisation de l'offre de formation aux entreprises, hors formation initiale, en matière de SST. L'objectif était d'identifier les acteurs dispensant ce type de formation et plus particulièrement les mécanismes et référentiels garantissant la qualité de la formation et la conformité du contenu pédagogique aux exigences réglementaires ainsi que le rôle en la matière des organismes en charge des risques professionnels.

Source : http://eurogip.fr/images/documents/3497/NoteEUROGIP87:F_formation_pro_SST.pdf

The effectiveness of a construction worksite prevention program on work ability, health, and sick leave

Objective This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a prevention program on work ability, health, and sick leave targeted at construction worksites. Methods A total of 15 departments (N=297 workers) from 6 construction companies participated in this cluster randomized controlled trial and were randomly allocated to the intervention (8 departments; N=171 workers) or control (7 departments; N=122 workers) group. The intervention consisted of two individual training sessions with a physical therapist aimed at lowering the physical workload, a rest-break tool to improve the balance between work and recovery, and two empowerment training sessions to increase the worker's influence at the worksite. Data on work ability, physical and mental health status, and musculoskeletal symptoms were collected at baseline, and at 3, 6, and 12 months follow-up. Sick leave data were obtained from the companies. Results Overall, no differences in work ability [β 0.02, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) -0.34–0.37] or physical and mental health status (β -0.04, 95% CI -1.43–1.35, and β 0.80 95% CI -1.43–1.35, respectively) were found between the intervention and control group. The intervention showed an overall decline in musculoskeletal symptoms (ranging from OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.34–1.33, to OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.47–1.57) and long-term sick leave (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.13–1.26) among construction workers. Both reductions were not statistically significant. Conclusion The prevention program seemed to result in a beneficial but not statistically significant decline in the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms and long-term sick leave among construction workers, but showed no effects with regard to work ability, physical health, and mental health.

Source: Oude Hengel KM, Blatter BM, van der Molen HF, Bongers PM, van der Beek AJ. Scand J Work Environ Health, http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3360

In-Depth Study of the Workers' Perspectives to Enhance Sustainable Working Life: Comparison Between Workers With and Without a Chronic Health Condition

Purpose To gain in-depth understanding of the number and type of experienced ageing problems, obstacles to perform work tasks, retention factors to maintain work and support needs to continue working life in the next years among workers aged 45 years and older with and without a chronic health condition. Methods A survey of workers' perspectives on problems, obstacles, retention factors and needs due to ageing was carried out in 3,008 workers aged 45 years and older in nine different companies. To classify the open-ended questions we used the International Classification of Functioning and disability (ICF). Results Older workers with a chronic health condition reported more problems due to ageing (56 vs 34 %; p < .001), more obstacles (42 vs 16 %; p < .001) and more needs (51 vs 31 %; p < .001) compared to those without a chronic health condition. No relevant differences were found on type of experienced problems, obstacles, retention factors and needs between both groups. Problems and obstacles were found on physiological and psychological functions. Retention factors and needs to enhance sustainable working life were particularly reported on work-related environmental factors. Conclusion Because workers with a chronic health condition experienced more problems, obstacles and needs, the largest gain of occupational intervention can be achieved in these workers. However, our findings suggest that interventions aimed to enhance sustainable working life of older workers can be similar in content for persons with and without chronic health conditions and should have a central focus on work-related factors.

Source:Koolhaas, Wendy; Klink, Jac; Vervoort, Johanna; Boer, Michiel; Brouwer, Sandra; Groothoff, Johan. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, Vol. 23, No 2, June 2013 , p. 170-179. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10926-013-9449-6


A meta-analysis of the relationships of age and tenure with innovation-related behaviour

One particularly persistent and prevalent negative age stereotype is that older workers are less innovative and more resistant to change. Because older workers are also more likely to have longer organizational tenure, negative age stereotypes contribute to the perception that long-tenured workers are less innovative and more resistant to change, too. Guided by human capital theory, this study argues that the capacity to contribute to innovation-related behaviours (IRB) might actually grow with age and tenure, counteracting the presumed age-related declines in this type of job performance. Using a meta-analysis that included 98 empirical studies, the present research examines the relationships of age and organizational tenure with the generation, dissemination, and implementation of new ideas. Overall, the pattern of results in the study suggests that older workers and longer-tenured workers do not engage in less innovation-related behaviour than their younger and more junior counterparts. In addition, there is little evidence of curvilinearity in the relationships of age and tenure with IRB; workers at the high end of the age and tenure distributions did not perform especially poorly on these tasks.

Source : Ng, T. W. H. and Feldman, D. C. (2013), A meta-analysis of the relationships of age and tenure with innovation-related behaviour. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joop.12031

Effects of Occupational Role Conflict and Emotional Demands on Subsequent Psychological Distress: A 3-Year Follow-Up Study of the General Working Population in Norway

Objective: To examine the impact of occupational role conflict and emotional demands on subsequent psychological distress. Methods: A randomly drawn cohort from the general Norwegian working-age population was followed up for 3 years (n = 12,550; response rate = 67%). Eligible respondents were in paid work during the reference week in 2006 and 2009 or temporarily absent from such work (n = 6,745; response rate = 68%). Results: In the fully adjusted model, both high role conflict (odds ratios = 1.53; 95% CI = 1.15 to 2.03) and high emotional demands (odds ratios = 1.38; 95% CI = 1.13 to 1.69) were significant predictors of psychological distress. Additional significant predictors were low job control, bullying/harassment, and job insecurity (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Considering all of the evaluated work-related factors, role conflict and emotional demands contributed the most to the population risk of developing psychological distress.

Source : Johannessen, Håkon A. PhD; Tynes, Tore MD, PhD; Sterud, Tom PhD. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, June 2013, vol.55, no 6, p. 605–613.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182917899


The design and implementation of knowledge management systems and e-learning for improved occupational health and safety in small to medium sized enterprises

This paper presents a review of the current challenges associated with occupational safety and health (OSH) in small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). OSH knowledge management and e-learning are considered in turn in the light of current research knowledge, with examination of the challenges and requirements of small businesses. Barriers to progression and suitable solutions from the field of research are discussed. SMEs need to manage their knowledge capital to capture and retain tacit knowledge. Employees need to collaborate and interact in order to make this tacit knowledge explicit and to enhance this knowledge through learning in the context of the shop floor. Workers and managers need to share what they know and put into practice key aspects of occupational health and safety in the workplace.

Source : A. Floyde, G. Lawson, S. Shalloe, R. Eastgate, M. D'Cruz, The design and implementation of knowledge management systems and e-learning for improved occupational health and safety in small to medium sized enterprises, Safety Science, Vol. 60, Dec. 2013, p. 69-76. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2013.06.012.

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