2014-10-01 12:00 - Messages

Health and Safety Statistics - Annual Report for Great Britain 2013/14

The latest statistics on work-related health and safety in Great Britain 2013/14 includes the following key annual figures:
•     1.2 million working people suffering from a work-related illness.
•     2535 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2012).
•     133 workers killed at work.
•     78 000 other injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR.
•     629 000 injuries at work from the Labour Force Survey.
•     28.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury.
•     £14.2 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2012/13).

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/overall/hssh1314.pdf

Occupational fatalities in the construction sector

A medico-legal viewpoint
Occupational fatalities are those that occur during the course of a person's occupation. They can occur in any industry or sector. Studies have shown that the construction sector is more dangerous for workers than the industrial sector, and there are more deaths both in the developed and developing countries. The construction sector has seen a boom in countries like India over the past few years and with it an increase in the number of occupational fatalities. Three different types of occupational fatalities pertaining to construction sector are presented here to increase awareness of the different types of occupational fatalities that may occur. The circumstances leading to them are discussed from a medico-legal viewpoint. Specific acts of negligence have been highlighted and suggestions offered with a view to decreasing fatalities.

Source: Das S. Med. Leg. J. 2014.

Exploring the Usefulness of Occupational Exposure Registries for Surveillance

The Case of the Ontario Asbestos Workers Registry (1986–2012)
Objective: The ongoing presence of asbestos in products used across workplaces in Canada reinforces the importance of occupational exposure surveillance. This study evaluates the usefulness of the Ontario Asbestos Workers Registry.
Methods: The study includes 30,829 workers aged 15 to 80 years. Researchers reported on the data quality and analyzed the proportions of workers exposed by industry, and standardized rates by geographic areas and over time.
Results: The incidence of exposure started to decrease around 1990; but about 2000 workers were still exposed annually until 2006. Results showed large geographical disparities. Unexpectedly, workers from industries other than construction reported exposure.
Conclusions: The Ontario Asbestos Workers Registry is a useful but challenging source of information for the surveillance of asbestos exposure in Ontario. The registry could benefit from well-defined surveillance objectives, a clear exposure definition, systematic enforcement, regular data analyses, and results dissemination.

Source: Koné Pefoyo, Anna J.; Genesove, Leon; Moore, Kris; Del Bianco, Ann; Kramer, Desre. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: October 2014, Volume 56, Issue 10, p. 1100–1110.

Prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Among US Working Adults Aged 40 to 70 Years

National Health Interview Survey Data 2004 to 2011
Objective: To estimate the prevalence and prevalence odds ratios of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among US workers by major occupational groups.
Methods: The 2004 to 2011 National Health Interview Survey data for working adults 40 to 70 years old was analyzed to estimate the prevalence of COPD by major occupational groups. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate the associations between COPD (chronic bronchitis or emphysema) and occupations.
Results: The estimated overall COPD prevalence was 4.2% (95% CI, 4.0 to 4.3). The odds of COPD were highest among workers in health care support occupations (prevalence odds ratio, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.25 to 2.14) followed by food preparation and serving-related occupations (prevalence odds ratio, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.20 to 2.06).
Conclusions: Prevalence varied by occupations, suggesting workplace exposures may contribute to COPD. Preventive measures such as interventions to reduce smoking may reduce the prevalence of COPD.

Source: Doney, Brent; Hnizdo, Eva; Syamlal, Girija; Kullman, Greg; Burchfiel, Cecil; Martin, Christopher J.; Mujuru, Priscah. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
October 2014, Volume 56, Issue 10, p. 1088–1093.

Time trends in musculoskeletal disorders attributed to work exposures in Ontario using three independent data sources, 2004–2011

Objective: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the leading cause of work disability in the developed economies. The objective of this study was to describe trends in the incidence of MSDs attributed to work exposures in Ontario over the period 2004–2011.
Methods: An observational study of work-related morbidity obtained from three independent sources for a complete population of approximately six million occupationally active adults aged 15–64 in the largest Canadian province. We implemented a conceptually concordant case definition for work-related non-traumatic MSDs in three population-based data sources: emergency department encounter records, lost-time workers’ compensation claims and representative samples of Ontario workers participating in consecutive waves of a national health interview survey.
Results: Over the 8-year observation period, the annual per cent change (APC) in the incidence of work-related MSDs was −3.4% (95% CI −4.9% to −1.9%) in emergency departments’ administrative records, −7.2% (−8.5% to −5.8%) in lost-time workers’ compensation claims and −5.3% (−7.2% to −3.5%) among participants in the national health interview survey. Corresponding APC measures for all other work-related conditions were −5.4% (−6.6% to −4.2%), −6.0% (−6.7% to −5.3%) and −5.3% (−7.8% to −2.8%), respectively. Incidence rate declines were substantial in the economic recession following the 2008 global financial crisis.
Conclusions: The three independent population-based data sources used in this study documented an important reduction in the incidence of work-related morbidity attributed to non-traumatic MSDs. The results of this study are consistent with an interpretation that the burden of non-traumatic MSDs arising from work exposures is declining among working-age adults.

Source: Cameron A Mustard, Andrea Chambers, Selahadin Ibrahim, Jacob Etches, Peter Smith. Occup Environ Med, 2014.

The Health of Young US Workers

Objectives: To provide an overview of the health status of young US workers across four domains: functional health, physical and psychological health, health behavior, and health care utilization.
Methods: Pooled data from the 2004 to 2010 National Health Interview Survey were analyzed for 11,279 US workers aged 18 to 24 years, representing an estimated 16.9 million workers annually. Thirty-nine health indicators were examined and compared across nine occupational groups.
Results: Compared with other occupational groups, craft workers and laborers and helpers had the highest prevalence of risky health behaviors, including current smoking and risky drinking, as well as fewer reported visits to a primary care physician in the past year.
Conclusions: Young workers engage in risky health behaviors, and may benefit from targeted workplace interventions to mitigate the potentially negative long-term effects on health and well-being.

Source: Ocasio, Manuel A.; Fleming, Lora E.; Hollenbeck, Julie; Fernandez, Cristina A.; LeBlanc, William G.; Lin, Jenelle; Caban Martinez, Alberto J.; Kachan, Diana; Christ, Sharon L.; Sestito, John P.; Lee, David J. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: October 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 10 - p 1011–1018.

Comparative Performance Monitoring Report 16th Edition

The Comparative Performance Monitoring (CPM) reports provide trend analysis on the work health and safety and workers’ compensation schemes operating in Australia and New Zealand. Information in the report is designed to help gauge the success of different approaches undertaken by the various workers’ compensation and work health and safety authorities to reduce the incidence of work-related injury and disease. This is the sixteenth annual report of the CPM project.

Source: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/cpm-16

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