2016-06-01 12:00 - Messages

Joint association of sleep problems and psychosocial working conditions with registered long-term sickness absence

A Danish cohort study
Objectives: Sleep problems and adverse psychosocial working conditions are associated with increased risk of long-term sickness absence. Because sleep problems affect role functioning they may also exacerbate any effects of psychosocial working conditions and vice versa. We examined whether sleep problems and psychosocial working conditions interact in their associations with long-term sickness absence.
Methods: We linked questionnaire data from participants to two surveys of random samples of the Danish working population (N=10 752) with registries on long-term sick leave during five years after questionnaire response. We defined sleep problems by self-reported symptoms and/or register data on hypnotics purchases of hypnotics. Psychosocial working conditions included quantitative and emotional demands, influence, supervisor recognition and social support, leadership quality, and social support from colleagues. Using time-to-event models, we calculated hazard ratios (HR) and differences and examined interaction as departure from multiplicativity and additivity.
Results: During 40 165 person-years of follow-up, we identified 2313 episodes of long-terms sickness absence. Sleep problems predicted risk of long-term sickness absence [HR 1.54, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.38–1.73]. This association was statistically significantly stronger among participants with high quantitative demands and weaker among those with high supervisor recognition (P<0.0001).
Conclusions: High quantitative demands exacerbated the association of sleep problems with risk of long-term sickness absence whereas high supervisor recognition buffered this association. To prevent long-term sickness absence among employees with sleep problems, workplace modifications focusing on quantitative demands and supervisor recognition may be considered. Workplace interventions for these factors may more effectively prevent sickness absence when targeted at this group. The efficacy and effectiveness of such interventions needs to be established in future studies.

Source: Madsen IEH, Larsen AD, Thorsen SV, et al. Scandinavian Journal of Work Environment & Health, 2016.

What Factors Are Associated With Occupational Health Office Staffing, Job Stress, and Job Satisfaction?

Objective: This study sought to identify factors associated with occupational health staffing in health care settings, provide benchmarking data, and investigate relationships between staffing and worker stress and satisfaction.
Methods: Members of the Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare were sent an online survey. Data on facility served, staffing, job attitudes, and work stress were collected and analyzed.
Results: Number and types of personnel served were the largest predictors of staffing, accounting for 38 and 41% of the variability seen, respectively. Number of personnel served was related to worker stress and lack of work/life balance.
Conclusion: Offices that required a provider presence had roughly one provider, seven nurses, and three clerical staff per 8000 personnel served. Occupational health workers are generally highly satisfied, and staffing has little relation to sources of job stress and satisfaction.

Source: Moses, X.J. Ethan; Walters, Kevin M.; Fisher, Gwenith G. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: June 2016, Volume 58, Issue 6, p. 567-574.

Ehpad : conception et rénovation

Avec l'allongement de la durée de vie et le vieillissement de la population, se pose la question de la prise en charge des personnes âgées, notamment celles devenues dépendantes. De nombreux Ehpad (établissements d'hébergement pour personnes âgées dépendantes) existent déjà et il s'en construit régulièrement en France. Que ce soit lors de la rénovation de l'existant ou à l'occasion de la conception des nouveaux, le sujet de la prévention des risques professionnels pour les personnels qui y travaillent est essentiel. Autant que le bien-être des résidents.

Source: http://www.inrs.fr/media.html?refINRS=TS773page13

Workplace bullying and sickness absence: a systematic review

This review found that exposure to workplace bullying is a risk factor for later sickness absence. There is a shortage of studies on the moderators and mediators that can explain the relationship between bullying and absence. None of the identified studies examined if or how sickness absence increases the risk of later exposure to
workplace bullying.

Source: Nielsen MB, Indregard AMR, Øverland S. Scand J Work Environ Health, 2016.

Savoirs partagés

Le partage des savoirs se décline sous différentes facettes dans ce numéro. Qu'il s'agisse de la prise en charge pluridisciplinaire des RPS ou du transfert aux novices des savoirs professionnels, le partage des savoirs est au cœur des pratiques professionnelles. On le retrouve également au centre du travail d'articulation des cadres de proximité dans l'horticulture. Le partage des savoirs entre disciplines permet aussi d'élargir la compréhension du rapport subjectif au travail dans le domaine de la construction au Brésil. Enfin, la fermeture au partage des savoirs peut entraîner de nombreux freins à la reconnaissance par les employeurs de leur responsabilité face aux maladies professionnelles, comme dans le cas des cancers professionnels en France.

Source: Pistes, 18-1, Printemps 2016.

Évaluation des risques sanitaires liés au travail de nuit

L'Anses a été saisie pour évaluer les risques sanitaires pour les professionnels exposés à des horaires atypiques, en particulier au travail de nuit, régulier ou non. Cette expertise met en évidence des risques avérés de troubles du sommeil, de troubles métaboliques, et des risques probables cancérogènes, de troubles cardiovasculaires et de troubles psychiques chez les travailleurs concernés. Les enquêtes sur les conditions de travail réalisées auprès de salariés en horaires de nuit indiquent généralement des facteurs de pénibilité physique et des contraintes de travail plus présents.

Source: https://www.anses.fr/fr/content/l%E2%80%99anses-confirme-les-risques-pour-la-sant%C3%A9-li%C3%A9s-au-travail-de-nuit

Contexts and arrangements for occupational safety and health in micro and small enterprises in the EU – SESAME project

This report gives a critical overview of occupational safety and health (OSH) in micro and small enterprises (MSEs). It highlights not only the importance of MSEs to the economy and to society in general, but also that there are significant and well-founded concerns regarding OSH in MSEs. There is considerable evidence pointing towards a greater risk of serious injuries and fatalities in MSEs than in larger organisations. The primary reasons for this are discussed, including limitations on MSEs' resources and where they are situated in the economy. Finally, the report also highlights significant gaps in current knowledge that, if addressed, could help improve OSH arrangements in MSEs.

Source: https://osha.europa.eu/fr/tools-and-publications/publications/contexts-and-arrangements-occupational-safety-and-health-micro

Can psychosocial work conditions protect against age-related cognitive decline?

Results from a systematic review
According to the use it or lose it hypothesis, intellectually stimulating activities postpone age-related cognitive decline. A previous systematic review concluded that a high level of mental work demands and job control protected against cognitive decline. However, it did not distinguish between outcomes that were measured as cognitive function at one point in time or as cognitive decline. Our study aimed to systematically review which psychosocial working conditions were prospectively associated with high levels of cognitive function and/or changes in cognitive function over time. Articles were identified by a systematic literature search (MEDLINE, Web of Science (WOS), PsycNET, Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)). We included only studies with longitudinal designs examining the impact of psychosocial work conditions on outcomes defined as cognitive function or changes in cognitive function. Two independent reviewers compared title-abstract screenings, full-text screenings and quality assessment ratings. Eleven studies were included in the final synthesis and showed that high levels of mental work demands, occupational complexity or job control at one point in time were prospectively associated with higher levels of cognitive function in midlife or late life. However, the evidence to clarify whether these psychosocial factors also affected cognitive decline was insufficient, conflicting or weak. It remains speculative whether job control, job demands or occupational complexity can protect against cognitive decline. Future studies using methodological advancements can reveal whether workers gain more cognitive reserve in midlife and late life than the available evidence currently suggests. The public health implications of a previous review should thereby be redefined accordingly.

Source: Nexø MA, Meng A, Borg V. Occupational and Environmental Médicine, 2016.

Routinized killing of animals: Going beyond dirty work and prestige to understand the well-being of slaughterhouse workers

Slaughterhouse workers face the reality of industrialized meat production on a daily basis, experiencing firsthand the routinized killing of animals. This occupation provides a window through which to view one key way in which animals and organizations intersect in modern society. Given its proximity to death and undesirable required tasks, working in a slaughterhouse is classified as ‘dirty work'. Current theorizing, however, does not address how the intentional killing of animals may impact workers beyond its inherent dirtiness and low prestige. In this study, we draw upon and extend dirty work theory to further understand the unique nature of work that involves the intentional killing of animals. Regression analyses of data from 10,605 Danish workers across 44 occupations suggest that slaughterhouse workers consistently experience lower physical and psychological well-being along with increased incidences of negative coping behavior. Our findings hold while statistically controlling for occupational prestige and overall dirtiness. Additionally, we compare the pattern of results with a comparable occupation that does not involve animal killing, suggesting specific outcomes associated with routinized killing of animals. Building upon extant research and considering our findings, we discuss the theoretical implications regarding dirty work and the intentional killing of animals in organizations.

Source: Baran BE, Rogelberg SG, Clausen T. Organization. 2016; 23: 351-69.

Does Perceived Stress Mediate the Association Between Workplace Bullying and Long-Term Sickness Absence?

Objective: To examine if perceived stress mediated the association between workplace bullying and subsequent long-term sickness absence.
Methods: The PRISME cohort was established in 2007 and re-examined in 2009. Questionnaire data about workplace bullying and perceived stress were obtained from 4114 individuals. Participants were followed in registers on long-term sickness absence (>=30 consecutive days of sickness absence).
Results: Workplace bullying was associated with subsequent sickness absence (odds ratio [OR] = 2.05; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.57 to 2.65) and concurrent high perceived stress levels (OR = 2.34; 95% CI: 1.86 to 2.96). A high perceived stress level was also associated with subsequent sickness absence (OR = 1.33; 95% CI: 1.13 to 1.56). Perceived stress explained 13% (95% CI: 6 to 23%) of the total association between bullying and sickness absence.
Conclusions: The association between workplace bullying and subsequent long-term sickness absence may be partially mediated by perceived stress.

Source: Grynderup MB, Nabe-Nielsen K, Lange T, et al. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Médicine, Volume 58( 6), June 2016, p e226-e230.

The rise of the «just-in-time workforce»

On-demand work, crowdwork and labour protection in the «gig-economy»
The so-called “gig-economy” has been growing exponentially in numbers and importance in recent years but its impact on labour rights has been largely overlooked. Forms of work in the “gig-economy” include “crowdwork”, and “work-on-demand via apps”, under which the demand and supply of working activities is matched online or via mobile apps. These forms of work can provide a good match of job opportunities and allow flexible working schedules. However, they can also pave the way to a severe commodification of work. This paper discusses the implications of this commodification and advocates the full recognition of activities in the gig-economy as “work”. It shows how the gig-economy is not a separate silo of the economy and that is part of broader phenomena such as casualization and informalisation of work and the spread of non-standard forms of employment. It then analyses the risks associated to these activities with regard to Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, as they are defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and addresses the issue of misclassification of the employment status of workers in the gig-economy. Current relevant trends are thus examined, such as the emergence of forms of self-organisation of workers. Finally, some policy proposals are critically analysed, such as the possibility of creating an intermediate category of worker between “employee” and “independent contractor” to classify work in the gig-economy, and other tentative proposals are put forward such extension of fundamental labour rights to all workers irrespective of employment status, and recognition of the role of social partners in this respect, whilst avoiding temptations of hastened deregulation.

Source: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_protect/---protrav/---travail/documents/publication/wcms_443267.pdf

Protecting Young Workers in Retail Jobs

June, which is National Safety Month, is an appropriate time to focus on young workers, as they head out of school and into the workforce. Many of them will find jobs in the retail industry, a leading employer of young workers in the United States.
In 2014, there were approximately 18.1 million workers younger than age 24 in the U.S. These workers represented 13% of the U.S. workforce. Young workers have high workplace injury rates, explained in part by the high frequency of hazards in their typical workplaces. In retail work settings, for instance, slippery floors and use of knives and energized equipment are common hazards. Inexperience and lack of safety training also increase injury risks for young workers. The youngest— those in middle and high schools—may have physical and psychosocial limitations that lead to higher injury rates.

Source: http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2016/06/08/young-retail-workers/

Les blessures professionnelles accidentelles et les problèmes de santé mentale au travail chez la main-d'oeuvre agricole

Vers une compréhension intégrée
Ce numéro de Quintessence examine les liens entre la survenue des blessures professionnelles accidentelles (BPA) et les problèmes de santé mentale chez la main-d'oeuvre agricole. En conclusion, nous sommes invités à réfléchir sur les développements récents en recherche et à la pertinence d'adopter une compréhension intégrée des BPA et de la santé mentale chez la main-d'oeuvre agricole.

Source: http://www.qualaxia.org/fdownload.php?fn=Quintessence-V08N02-fr.pdf&ct=dpd&tp=pdf

Pre-retirement physical working conditions and changes in physical health functioning during retirement transition process

Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the association between pre-retirement physical working conditions and changes in physical health functioning during the retirement transition process.
Methods: Follow-up survey data were collected among ageing employees of the City of Helsinki, Finland, at three time points: wave 1 (2000–2002), wave 2 (2007) and wave 3 (2012). We focused on those who retired full time due to old age between waves 1 and 3 (N=1658). Exposure to physical workload, occupational environmental hazards, and computer work were divided into quartiles and used as measures of pre-retirement physical working conditions. Physical health functioning was measured by the physical component summary (PCS) of the Short-Form 36 questionnaire. Repeated-measures analysis was used to study the associations.
Results: Higher pre-retirement exposure to physical workload and environmental hazards was associated with lower physical health functioning before and after retirement. The differences in functioning narrowed somewhat during the retirement transition process, as physical health functioning in the higher exposure groups improved significantly compared to lower exposure groups. In addition, both high and low exposure to computer work were associated with lower functioning before retirement. However, functioning among those in the lowest exposure group improved during the follow-up whereas in all other exposure groups it declined slightly. This resulted into significantly lower post-retirement functioning among those in the highest as compared to the lower exposure groups.
Conclusions: Retirees with higher exposure to adverse physical working conditions before retirement had lower pre- and post-retirement physical health functioning despite improvements in their functioning during the retirement transition process.

Source: Mänty M, Kouvonen A, Lallukka T, Lahti J, Lahelma E, Rahkonen O. Scand J Work Environ Health, 2016.

Internet- and mobile-based stress management for employees with adherence-focused guidance

Efficacy and mechanism of change
Objective This randomized controlled trial (RCT) aimed to evaluate the efficacy of an internet-based stress management intervention (iSMI) among employees compared to a 6-month waitlist control group (WLC) with full access to treatment-as-usual.
Method A sample of 264 employees with elevated symptoms of perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale, PSS-10 ≥22) was assigned to either the iSMI or WLC group. The iSMI consisted of seven sessions and one booster session including problem-solving and emotion regulation techniques. Participants received guidance from an e-coach that focused on improving the adherence to the intervention. Self-report data were assessed at baseline, seven weeks, and six months following randomization. The primary outcome was perceived stress (PSS-10). The secondary outcomes included other relevant mental and work-related health outcomes.
Results The iSMI participants showed a significantly higher reduction in perceived stress from baseline to seven weeks [d=0.79, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.54–1.04] and the 6-month follow up (d=0.85, 95% CI 0.59–1.10) compared to controls. Significant moderate-to-large effect sizes were also found for depression, anxiety, emotional exhaustion, sleeping problems, worrying, quality of life (mental health), psychological detachment and emotion regulation skills. Work engagement, quality of life (physical health), absenteeism and presenteeism were not found to significantly differ between the iSMI and WLC groups. Changes in emotion regulation regarding general distress mediated changes in perceived stress.
Conclusion The iSMI investigated in this study was found to be effective in reducing typical symptoms of stress. However, several important work-related health symptoms were not significantly affected by the intervention. Internet-based guided self-help interventions could be an acceptable, effective approach to reduce a range of negative consequences associated with work-related stress. Future studies should investigate the comparative (cost-) effectiveness of guided and unguided stress management interventions.

Source: Ebert DD, Lehr D, Heber E, Riper H, Cuijpers P, Berking M. Scand J Work Environ Health, 2016. 

The Impact of a Rigorous Multiple Work Shift Schedule and Day Versus Night Shift Work on Reaction Time and Balance Performance in Female Nurses

A Repeated Measures Study
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the impact of a demanding work schedule involving long, cumulative work shifts on response time and balance-related performance outcomes and to evaluate the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders between day and night shift working nurses.
Methods: A questionnaire was used to identify the prevalence of past (12-month) and current (7-day) musculoskeletal disorders. Nurses worked three 12-hour work shifts in a 4-day period. Reaction time and balance tests were conducted before and after the work period.
Results: The work period induced impairments for reaction time, errors on reaction time tasks, and balance performance, independent of shift type. Musculoskeletal symptom prevalence was high in workers of both work shifts.
Conclusions: Compressed work shifts caused performance-based fatigue in nurses. Reaction time and balance tests may be sensitive fatigue identification markers in nurses.

Source: Thompson, Brennan, Stock, Matt, Banuelas, Victoria, & Akalonu, Chibuzo. (2016). JOEM : Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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