2014-07-01 12:00 - Messages

Nonfatal occupational injuries in Norwegian farmers

BACKGROUND : Agriculture ranks among the most dangerous trades worldwide. There is, however, still a lack of knowledge on nonfatal injuries in agriculture. The aim of this study was to describe the nature and occurrence of nonfatal injuries in farmers in two counties in central Norway.
METHODS : A questionnaire was sent to 7,004 farmers in Norway. We asked for information about the respondents and the farm, whether the farmer had had work-related injuries on the farm during the past 12 months, and details about the incidence and seriousness of the injury.
RESULTS : A total of 2,699 respondents gave a response rate of 42%. Of the respondents, 249 (9.2%) reported one or more work-related injuries. The most usual cause of injury involved an animal, and >75% of these happened inside the outbuilding. Among these, 17.5% had a consequence of sick leave or a more serious result. When all the accidents were analyzed by stepwise logistic regression, only the variables: works alone, has >3,500 stipulated working hours at the farm, and the type of production were statistical significant explanatory variables for having an injury.
CONCLUSION : Incorporating safety aspects to a greater extend in the design and construction of outbuildings would make a substantial contribution to injury prevention in agriculture.

Source: Svendsen K, Aas O, Hilt B. Saf. Health Work. 2014.

A method to estimate occupational health and safety costs in construction projects

This paper presents the results of a research project carried out in Spain that aims to develop a method that let employers to assess, during the design phase, the occupational health and safety costs of a specific construction project. This method classifies costs in four categories: insurance costs, prevention costs, accident costs, and recovery of costs. Labor accident data were obtained from 1990 to 2007 for the entire Spanish construction industry, and these data were subsequently homogenized and exploited. A mathematical model was created for computing each cost category. This method allows employers and project managers to estimate aprioristically the cost incurred as a result of occupational health and safety during the project, based on tangible values such as the construction project budget or the work schedule, as well as statistical data. An application to this method in a case study illustrated that the occupational health and safety costs for that construction project came to approximately 5% of the total cost of the budget.

Source: Pellicer E, Carvajal GI, Rubio MC, Catalá J. KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering, 2014.

Work related mortality and hospital admissions among migrant workers in Australia, 1991-2010

OBJECTIVES: One in four of the Australian population is born abroad, with skilled migration encouraged since the mid-1990s. The shift from an industrial to a service based economy has seen a decline in recent decades of work-related injuries (WRIs) and related mortality in Australia. We examine deaths and hospital admissions from WRI, among foreign and Australian-born workers.
METHOD: Work-related mortality and hospital admission rates were derived from tabulated data from the 1991 to 2011 censuses, 1991-2002 national deaths and hospital admissions for 2001-2010. Comparisons across country of birth groups were conducted using incidence rate ratios (IRRs). Gender specific mortality and hospital admission rates were directly standardised (DSRs) using the World Standard Population. Negative binomial regression models compared the country-specific mortality and hospital admission rates of the foreign-born workers with those of Australian-born workers.
RESULTS: DSRs and IRRs were generally higher for Australian-born than foreign-born workers. A notable exception was New Zealand born men, among whom there was a 10% (95% CI 9.1-13.1) excess mortality and 24% (95% CI 12.2-12.6) excess hospital admissions. Adjusting for age, gender, year and skill level removed the differences in risk of WRI death between Australian and foreign-born workers.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings show a reversal of the historic trend of foreign-born workers being at higher risk than the local-born. They signal a need to promote healthy work environments in all industries to fur.ther reduce the risk of WRI to all workers in Australia.

Source: Reid A, Peters S, Felipe N, Lenguerrand E, Harding S. Occup. Environ. Med. 2014; 71(Suppl 1): A15.

Non-fatal agricultural injuries

Surveillance in the Midwestern United States
OBJECTIVES: The objective was to estimate the agriculture injury rate in in the United States. The Bureau of Labour Statistics conducts Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries and Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illness but it excludes workplaces with 10 or fewer employees or self-owned farm operations and may underestimate the agricultural injury rate.
METHOD: The Central States Centre of Agricultural Safety and Health partnered with National Agriculture Statistics Service to annually administer agricultural injury survey. In 2012, 6953 surveys were administered to a stratified random sample of 2007 Census of agriculture respondents in seven Midwestern States. The survey included questions on demographics, type, location and source of injury, body part injured, lost work time, and cost. The data were linked to Census of agriculture for farm level attributes. Univariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used to evaluate factors associated with adult operator injuries.
RESULTS: The cumulative incidence was 60.6 injuries per 1000 farm operators. Injury incidence was significantly higher in part-time compared to full-time farmers (79.3 vs 42.6 per 1000, p < 0.0001); farm size 1000 or more acres compared to 180-999 and 1-179 acres (91.6 vs. 60.5 and 45.4 per 1000, p = 0.002); at least one livestock compared to none (77.1 vs. 44.3 per 1000, p = 0.0004); and having a tractor with 100 or more horsepower (71.8 per 1000, p = 0.006).
CONCLUSIONS: There were substantial differences in injury incidence by individual and farm attributes. These results may be used to develop targeted interventions to reduce agricultural injuries in the Midwestern United States.

Source: Lander L, Patel K, Loomis D, Watanabe-Galloway S, Haynatzki G, Gofin R, Jadhav R, Rautiainen R. Occup. Environ. Med. 2014; 71(Suppl 1): A43.

Australian Workers’ Compensation Statistics 2011-12

This is the 20th annual report that uses the National Data Set for Compensation-based Statistics (NDS). This new edition replaces the previous Compendium of Workers' Compensation statistics series.
The report also introduces a new definition of serious claims that is in line with the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 targets. Serious claims are those that result in absences from work of at least one week.
Key findings from the report include:
•there were 120 155 accepted workers' compensation claims for serious injury or disease,
•males accounted for 64 per cent of serious claims in 2010-11
•the average age of an employee with a serious claim was 42 years old, and
•the highest incidence rate of serious claims by industry was recorded by the Agriculture, forestry & fishing industry (21.3 serious claims per 1000 employees)—nearly double the national rate of 11.4.

Source: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/australian-workers%e2%80%99-compensation-statistics-2011-12

Occupational injury risk by sex in a manufacturing cohort

OBJECTIVES: This study expands previous research comparing injury risk for women and men in a cohort of 24 000 US aluminium manufacturing workers in 15 facilities from 2001 to 2010.
METHODS: We compared injury rates (all injury, first aid, medical treatment, restricted work and lost work time) by sex and by job and sex. Using a mixed effect modelling approach, we calculated ORs and 95% CIs adjusting for age, job tenure, ethnicity and year as fixed effects and person, job and plant as random effects. Additionally, we modelled the data stratified by plant type to examine potential differences in injury risk between smelter (generally recognised as more hazardous) and fabrication production environments.
RESULTS: Risk of injury was higher for women in four out of the five injury outcomes: all injuries combined (OR: 1.58, CI 1.48 to 1.67), injuries requiring first aid (OR: 1.61, CI 1.54 to 1.70), injuries requiring medical treatment (OR: 1.18, CI 1.03 to 1.36) and injuries requiring restricted work (OR: 1.65, CI 1.46 to 1.87). No difference in the risk of lost time injury by sex was found in this cohort. Analyses stratified by plant type showed similarly elevated injury risk for women, although the risk estimates were higher in smelters than fabrication plants.
CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the largest single-firm study examining injury risk by sex with sufficient data to appropriately adjust for job. We show a consistently higher injury risk for women compared with men in the smelting and fabrication environments.

Source: Tessier-Sherman B, Cantley LF, Galusha D, Slade MD, Taiwo OA, Cullen MR. Occup. Environ. Med. 2014.

Troubles mentaux : quelles conséquences sur le maintien dans l'emploi ?

Environ 12 % des femmes et 6 % des hommes âgés de 30 à 55 ans, qui travaillent en 2006, déclarent souffrir au moins d'un trouble mental (trouble anxieux généralisé ou épisode dépressif caractérisé). Parmi ces personnes, plus de 20 % invoquent une limitation d'activité, environ 45 % indiquent souffrir d'une maladie chronique et près de la moitié se considèrent en mauvaise santé.
Ces données statistiques sont issues de l'enquête Santé et itinéraire professionnel (SIP), réalisée conjointement par la DREES et la DARES, en 2006 et 2010.
Les personnes déclarant souffrir de troubles mentaux ont sensiblement moins de chances de garder une activité professionnelle que celles qui n'en ont pas signalé. En effet, 86 % des femmes et 82 % des hommes porteurs de ces troubles ont conservé une activité professionnelle en 2010, contre respectivement 92 % et 93 % des personnes n'en déclarant pas.
Les troubles anxieux généralisés affectent la trajectoire professionnelle des hommes, mais pas celle des femmes. Ce sont les limitations d'activité déclarées qui augmentent le plus le risque de ne pas garder son emploi.
Le rôle propre de la santé mentale (en regard des poids respectifs de l'état de santé général et des comportements à risque) reste, cependant, à apprécier, car les caractéristiques individuelles et professionnelles ont traditionnellement une incidence sur le maintien dans l'emploi.
Ainsi, parmi les variables socio-économiques, l'âge au-delà de 50 ans, la présence d'enfants et le travail à temps partiel (chez les femmes), le niveau de diplôme ainsi que la profession et la catégorie socioprofessionnelle (chez les hommes) ont un effet significatif sur la capacité des personnes à conserver un emploi.

Source: http://www.drees.sante.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/er885.pdf

The usefulness of compensation statistics to detect heat-related health outcomes in a temperate climate

The experience of Québec
OBJECTIVES: To explore relationships between summer outdoor temperatures in Quebec (Canada) and occupational compensation statistics for heat-related illnesses.
METHOD: Daily compensation counts of heat-related illnesses (heat strain, heatstroke, loss of consciousness, etc.), occurring between May and September, were obtained from the workers' compensation board of Quebec for each health region between 1998 and 2010. Regional daily maximum outdoor temperatures were obtained from Environment Canada. Associations between daily compensation counts and temperature were estimated using negative binomial or Poisson regression models for each region and were adjusted for relative humidity and temporal trends. Pooled effect sizes for Quebec (all health regions combined) were obtained using a fixed effect model for meta-analysis.
RESULTS: In an average population of 3.7 million workers, 259 illnesses classified as heat-related were compensated between 1998 and 2010, giving an average annual rate of 0.11 case per 100 000 workers per summer month. During the study period, 63.0% of heat-related outcomes occurred on days with a maximum daily average temperature below 30(o)C. Occupations with the largest number of compensations were those of labourers (32%), firefighters (11%) and truck drivers (4%). The pooled incidence rate ratio (IRR) was 1.41 (95% CI 1.35-1.46) per 1(o)C increase in daily maximum temperature. Effects of barometric pressure and lag will be explored.
CONCLUSIONS: Heat-related illnesses do occur in temperate climates. Our results suggest that compensation statistics, albeit crude indicators of health effects, can be useful to identify industry sectors and occupations that would benefit from preventive interventions aimed at high risk workers.

Source: Labrèche F, Adam-Poupart A, Busque MA, Duguay P, Fournier M, Zayed J, Smargiassi A. Occup. Environ. Med. 2014; 71(Suppl 1): A40.

Worker compensation injuries among the Aboriginal population of British Columbia, Canada

Incidence, annual trends, and ecological analysis of risk markers, 1987-2010
BACKGROUND: Aboriginal people in British Columbia (BC) have higher injury incidence than the general population, but information is scarce regarding variability among injury categories, time periods, and geographic, demographic and socio-economic groups. Our project helps fill these gaps. This report focuses on workplace injuries.
METHODS: We used BC's universal health care insurance plan as a population registry, linked to worker compensation and vital statistics databases. We identified Aboriginal people by insurance premium group and birth and death record notations. We identified residents of specific Aboriginal communities by postal code. We calculated crude incidence rate and Standardized Relative Risk (SRR) of worker compensation injury, adjusted for age, gender and Health Service Delivery Area (HSDA), relative to the total population of BC. We assessed annual trend by regressing SRR as a linear function of year. We tested hypothesized associations of geographic, socio-economic, and employment-related characteristics of Aboriginal communities with community SRR of injury by multivariable linear regression.
RESULTS: During the period 1987-2010, the crude rate of worker compensation injury in BC was 146.6 per 10,000 person-years (95% confidence interval: 146.4 to 146.9 per 10,000). The Aboriginal rate was 115.6 per 10,000 (95% CI: 114.4 to 116.8 per 10,000) and SRR was 0.88 (95% CI: 0.87 to 0.89). Among those living on reserves SRR was 0.79 (95% CI: 0.78 to 0.80). HSDA SRRs were highly variable, within both total and Aboriginal populations. Aboriginal males under 35 and females under 40 years of age had lower SRRs, but older Aboriginal females had higher SRRs. SRRs are declining, but more slowly for the Aboriginal population. The Aboriginal population was initially at lower risk than the total population, but parity was reached in 2006. These community characteristics independently predicted injury risk: crowded housing, proportion of population who identified as Aboriginal, and interactions between employment rate and income, occupational risk, proportion of university-educated persons, and year.
CONCLUSIONS: As employment rates rise, so has risk of workplace injury among the Aboriginal population. We need culturally sensitive prevention programs, targeting regions and industries where Aboriginal workers are concentrated and demographic groups that are at higher risk.

Source: Jin A, George MA, Brussoni M, Lalonde CE. BMC Public Health. 2014; 14(1): 710.

Mortality and Cancer Incidence in Aluminum Smelter Workers

A 5-Year Update
Objective: To determine the mortality and cancer incidence of aluminum smelter workers.
Method: The experience of 17,089 workers between 1950 and 2004 was studied.
Results: There were 25 deaths/47 female incident cancers and 6350 deaths/3984 male incident cancers. Mortality was significantly elevated for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Alzheimer disease (likely influenced by regional factors), all cancers, stomach, bladder, and lung cancers. Incidence was significantly elevated for bladder, lung, and laryngeal cancers. Digestive, lung, and bladder cancer mortality and lung, bladder, and buccal cancer incidence increased significantly with benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P) exposure. Over time lung cancer risk has diminished but bladder cancer risk has not.
Conclusions: Bladder cancer incidence was not increased at B(a)P exposures below 40 μg/m3•yr. Occupational origins for other cancers occurring above expected rates but probably unrelated to B(a)P exposure cannot be excluded. In the prebake plant, nonsignificant increases of lung cancer were observed between 2000 and 2004.

Source: Gibbs, Graham W. PhD; Labrèche, France PhD; Busque, Marc-Antoine MSc; Duguay, Patrice MSc. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: July 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 7 - p 739–764

National survey of the burden of sickness absence in the waste and recycling industry

The aim of the project was to provide HSE and the industry with reliable estimates of rates of sickness absence for specific categories of ill health and for key work tasks undertaken by workers.
32 different organisations provided data on the spells of sickness absence taken by their workforce, 28 local authorities and four private sector organisations, collectively employing approximately 7700 workers. The contribution of local authorities and private sector organisations to the total person years of follow up in the study was 41% and 59% respectively. Data was collected on 17,613 spells of absence taken by such workers, 8949 spells taken by local authority workers and 8664 taken by private sector workers.
The average number of working days lost to sickness absence in the waste and recycling workers surveyed as part of this study was 10.3 days. This equates to a working days absence rate of 4.0%. The sickness absence rates of the individual organisations participating in this survey varied widely, even when considering in isolation the rates for those organisations operating in the same industry sector and of similar size. For example, average local authority absence rates varied between a low of 7.8 days per worker per year up to a high of 24.0.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1008.htm?ebul=gd-waste+cr=9/July14

Occupational Disease Indicators 2014 - Australia

Between 2000–01 and 2010–11, decreasing trends were observed for five of the eight disease groups: Musculoskeletal disorders; Infectious and parasitic diseases; Respiratory diseases; Contact dermatitis; and Cardiovascular diseases. Three of the eight priority disease groups did not display a clear overall trend of increase or decrease: Mental disorders; Noise-induced hearing loss; and Occupational cancers.

Source: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/occupational-disease-indicators-2014

The Business Case for Managing Road Risk at Work

ETSC's latest PRAISE report gives an overview of the business case for employers to invest in a Work-Related Road Risk Management (WRRRM) programme. It finds that the financial and other benefits of such a programme could outweigh the costs of implementation.
The other benefits such as increasing efficiency in organisational management and administration are also detailed.

Source: https://osha.europa.eu/en/news/the-business-case-for-managing-road-risk-at-work

Calculating the cost of work-related stress and psychosocial risks

A literature review
Work-related stress is expensive. Tackling stress and psychosocial risks can be viewed as too costly, but the reality is that it costs more to ignore them. Stress affects performance and leads to absence from work. If prolonged it may result in serious health problems such as cardiovascular or musculoskeletal diseases. All this comes at a cost. This report summarises the studies focusing on calculating costs of work-related stress and psychosocial risks. The main costs for individuals relate to health impairment, lower income and reduced quality of life. Organisations are affected by costs related to absenteeism, presenteeism, reduced productivity or high staff turnover. Health care costs and poorer business outcomes ultimately affect national economies and society.

Source: https://osha.europa.eu/en/publications/literature_reviews/calculating-the-cost-of-work-related-stress-and-psychosocial-risks

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