2018-02-01 12:00 - Messages

Working for everyone

The Government’s encouragement of extending working lives has been one of the most significant policy developments in recent years. Due to increased longevity and demographic pressures, there has been the recognition that more of the population need to be working until later in their lives to ensure economic sustainability, both for themselves and for government finances. This report presents research from the renEWL research consortium on extending working lives beyond the age of 50, and will provide an evidence base for policy makers. This is vital to ensure that these changes planned by Government are fair, effective, and targeted.
There is growing evidence of the need to extend working lives in the UK. Demographic shifts, including population ageing and increased life expectancy has meant that in a relatively short amount of time, public policy has shifted from encouraging older workers to retire earlier, to encouraging them to work past the traditional retirement age. The culmination of this policy shift has been the increase of the State Pension Age, and the commitment by the government to review it every Parliament.
For some groups of the population however, extending the length of time spent in employment is currently unrealistic. Health problems, shorter life expectancy and commitments such as informal caring mean that many drop out of the labour market before the current retirement age. Therefore, for these groups there is a need to ensure working lives are as full as possible, and to provide necessary support to ensure these groups are not unfairly disadvantaged.
It is the role of policy makers, employers, and individuals to enact these necessary changes. The extending working lives agenda intersects many policy areas, from the economy, to health and social care, to work and pensions. But policy decisions need to be informed by the latest evidence. The evidence included in this report is some of the most contemporary and in-depth research on extending working lives and enabling fuller working lives in the UK. It is indispensable to policy makers with an interest in securing a future labour force that is economically sustainable, productive, and healthy.

Source: http://www.ilcuk.org.uk/index.php/publications/publication_details/working_for_everyone

Night-shift work and hematological cancers

A population based case-control study in three Nordic countries
Objective: The aim of this case–control study was to assess the effect of night-shift work on the risk of hematological cancers.
Methods: The study included 39 371 leukemia, 56 713 non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 9322 Hodgkin lymphoma, and 26 188 multiple myeloma cases diagnosed between 1961 and 2005 in Finland, Sweden, and Iceland. Five controls for each case were selected from the Nordic Occupational Cancer Study (NOCCA) cohort, matched by year of birth, sex and country. Night-shift exposure was assessed by using the NOCCA job-exposure matrix (JEM). Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated from conditional logistic regression models.
Results: Overall, night work was not associated with a risk of hematological cancers. We observed a small but non-significantly increased risk for leukemia (OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.99–1.16), especially for acute myeloid leukemia (OR 1.15, 95% CI 0.97–1.36) among workers exposed to a high level of cumulative night work exposure. Night work exposure was not associated with lymphatic cancers and multiple myeloma.
Conclusion: This study did not support associations between night-shift work and hematological cancers.

Source: Talibov, M., Pukkala, E., Martinsen, J. I., Tryggvadottir, L., Weiderpass, E. et Hansen, J. (2018). Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health.
http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3705

Burnout risk profiles among French psychologists

The aims of this study were 1) to show that the use of different cut-off scores available in the literature can lead to erroneous conclusions, adding to the emerging literature highlighting the problems associated with its use, and 2) to propose an alternative technique − Cluster Analysis − to assess the risk of burnout as well as to identify profiles at risk of burnout.
Burnout was measured among 664 French psychologists using the French-Canadian version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (Dion & Tessier, 1994). Our participants were classified as high on each dimension of the MBI using different cut-off scores available in the literature and using the Cluster Analysis method.
The study showed that the use of cut-off scores can indeed be misleading as conclusions may be very different according to the cut-off used. Cluster analysis allowed us to highlight four distinct burnout risk profiles: “High risk of burnout”, “Risk of burnout through high emotional exhaustion”, “Risk of burnout through low personal accomplishment”, and “No risk of burnout”. Several variables appeared as predictors of occupational burnout such as working in a company or having several different types of contracts, showing the discriminative power of clusters. Finally, a discussion is proposed on the meaning of the identified clusters and the use of this analysis in research and practice.

Source: Berjot, S., Altintas, E., Grebot, E. et Lesage, F. X. (2017). Burnout research, 7, 10-20.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.burn.2017.10.001

A cross-Canada knowledge transfer and exchange workplace intervention targeting the adoption of sun safety programs and practices

Sun Safety at Work Canada
Outdoor workers have a higher risk for skin cancers and heat stress. Workplaces need solutions relevant to their needs, proven to be effective in the real-world, and trialed in workplace settings. This article examines a workplace-based knowledge transfer and exchange intervention project, called Sun Safety at Work Canada. The objective was to have sun exposure included as a hazard within the workplaces' health and safety management systems. Knowledge brokers from the research team engaged intensively and supported workplaces in the municipal and electrical-utility sectors to enhance sun safety for their outdoor workers. They provided assessment and feedback, sun safety resources, and sun safety training. The adoption of sun safety programs and practices was evaluated three times, in 12 workplaces, across three Canadian provinces. The intervention, interview questions and analyses were based upon an Organization Implementation Model. This article focuses on the barriers and facilitators to the adoption of sun safety, elements of the knowledge transfer and exchange intervention, and influences from the external environment. Over 40?h of interview data with workplace champions and key informants were analyzed using matrix-based methods and thematic coding. Barriers and facilitators to adoption included: the priority given to sun exposure as an occupational hazard; the workplaces' available resources; the ability to engage key supervisors and workers; aspects of the intervention; and assistance from the knowledge brokers. The lack of provincial occupational health and safety legislation specific to ultraviolet exposure, and the regional climate also affected adoption. This intervention process is applicable to other hazards in occupational settings.

Source: Haynes, E., Kramer, D. M., Strahlendorf, P., Holness, D. L., Kushner, R. et Tenkate, T. (2018). Safety Science, 102, 238-250.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2017.10.013

Night Shift Work Increases the Risks of Multiple Primary Cancers in Women

A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of 61 Articles
A growing number of studies have examined associations between night shift work and the risks of common cancers among women, with varying conclusions. We did a meta-analysis to identify whether long-term night shift work increased the risks of common cancers in women. We enrolled 61 articles involving 114,628 cases and 3,909,152 participants from Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia. Risk estimates were performed with a random-effect model or a fixed-effect model. Subgroup analyses and meta-regression analyses about breast cancer were conducted to explore possible sources of heterogeneity. In addition, we carried out a dose–response analysis to quantitatively estimate the accumulative effect of night shift work on the risk of breast cancer. A positive relationship was revealed between long-term night shift work and the risks of breast [OR = 1.316; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.196–1.448], digestive system (OR = 1.177; 95% CI, 1.065–1.301), and skin cancer (OR = 1.408; 95% CI, 1.024–1.934). For every 5 years of night shift work, the risk of breast cancer in women was increased by 3.3% (OR = 1.033; 95% CI, 1.012–1.056). Concerning the group of nurses, long-term night shift work presented potential carcinogenic effect in breast cancer (OR = 1.577; 95% CI, 1.235–2.014), digestive system cancer (OR = 1.350; 95% CI, 1.030–1.770), and lung cancer (OR = 1.280; 95% CI, 1.070–1.531). This systematic review confirmed the positive association between night shift work and the risks of several common cancers in women. We identified that cancer risk of women increased with accumulating years of night shift work, which might help establish and implement effective measures to protect female night shifters.

Source: Yuan, X., Zhu, C., Wang, M., Mo, F., Du, W., et Ma, X. (2018). Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers, 27(1), 25-40.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-17-0221

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