2018-06-01 12:00 - Messages

Evaluation of the Impact of Ambient Temperatures on Occupational Injuries in Spain

Background: Extreme cold and heat have been linked to an increased risk of occupational injuries. However, the evidence is still limited to a small number of studies of people with relatively few injuries and with a limited geographic extent, and the corresponding economic effect has not been studied in detail.
Objectives: We assessed the relationship between ambient temperatures and occupational injuries in Spain along with its economic effect.
Methods: The daily number of occupational injuries that caused at least one day of leave and the daily maximum temperature were obtained for each Spanish province for the years 1994–2013. We estimated temperature–injuries associations with distributed lag nonlinear models, and then pooled the results using a multivariate meta-regression model. We calculated the number of injuries attributable to cold and heat, the corresponding workdays lost, and the resulting economic effect.
Results: The study included 15,992,310 occupational injuries. Overall, 2.72% [95% confidence interval (CI): 2.44–2.97] of all occupational injuries were attributed to nonoptimal ambient temperatures, with moderate heat accounting for the highest fraction. This finding corresponds to an estimated 0.67 million (95% CI: 0.60–0.73) person-days of work lost every year in Spain due to temperature, or an annual average of 42 d per 1,000 workers. The estimated annual economic burden is €370 million, or 0.03% of Spain's GDP (€2,015).
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that extreme ambient temperatures increased the risk of occupational injuries, with substantial estimated health and economic costs. These results call for public health interventions to protect workers in the context of climate change.

Source: Martínez-Solanas, È., López-Ruiz, M., Wellenius, G. A., Gasparrini, A., Sunyer, J., Benavides, F. G. et Basagaña, X. (2018). Environmental health perspectives, 126(6).
https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP2590

Worsening Workers' Health by Lowering Retirement Age: The Malign Consequences of a Benign Reform

In 2003, the retirement age of Swiss construction workers was lowered from 65 to 60. This reform has been intended to improve their health. Our study shows the opposite outcome. The human capital theory suggests that investments in employees' productivity by the employer and the employees themselves depend on the time remaining until their retirement. Hence, we hypothesize that pension reforms that reduce employees' working horizon decrease investments in work-related human capital, which translates into a higher prevalence of sickness absences, a longer absence duration, and worse health. By econometrically comparing pre- and post-reform cohorts of construction workers with other blue-collar workers, we find that among 56–60-year-old construction workers, their sickness absences increase from 3.2% to 5.6%, their sickness duration increases by 33%, and their probability of having health problems increases from 9% to 12.7% due to the reform.

Source: Bauer, A. B., et Eichenberger, R. (2018). Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
http://www.crema-research.ch/papers/2018-02.pdf

2018 Report on Work Fatality and Injury Rates in Canada

Canadian workers compensation boards reported that 904 workers died due to work-related causes in 2016. This report provides a jurisdictional comparison of work-related fatality rates in Canada between 2011 to 2016 using data from the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC).
A comparison of fatality rates is important for identifying trends over time both within and between provinces and territories.
Job-related fatalities are classified as injury (e.g., death due to job-related electrocution) or occupational disease related (e.g., death from mesothelioma due to work-related exposure to asbestos).

Source: https://www.uregina.ca/business/faculty-staff/faculty/file_download/2018-Report-on-Workplace-Fatalities-and-Injuries.pdf

Testing a Strategy to Identify Incidence of Nurse Suicide in the United States

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to test a strategy for quantifying incidence of nurse suicide using San Diego County data as a pilot for national investigation.
BACKGROUND: Worldwide, 1 person dies by suicide every 40 seconds; more than 1 000 000 suicides occur yearly. Suicide rates for nurses in the United States have not been evaluated. This methodological article tested a strategy to identify incidence of nurse suicide compared with those of physicians and the general public.
METHOD: Deidentified San Diego County Medical Examiner data from 2005 to 2015 were analyzed with a descriptive epidemiologic approach.
RESULTS: Overall RN (18.51) and physician (40.72) incidences of suicide per 100 000 person-years were higher than the San Diego general population, excluding nurses (15.81) normalized to 100 000 person-years.
CONCLUSIONS: Establishing incidence of nurse suicide is confounded by variation in reporting mechanisms plus incomplete availability of nurse gender data. Relatively small outcome numbers compared with the general population may underestimate results. Research using a larger sample is indicated. Nurse executives may decrease risk by proactively addressing workplace stressors.

Source: Davidson, J. E., Stuck, A. R., Zisook, S. et Proudfoot, J. (2018). Journal of nursing administration, 48(5), 259-265.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/NNA.0000000000000610

A study of leading indicators for occupational health and safety management systems in healthcare

Background: In Ontario, Canada, approximately $2.5 billion is spent yearly on occupational injuries in the healthcare sector. The healthcare sector has been ranked second highest for lost-time injury rates among 16 Ontario sectors since 2009 with female healthcare workers ranked the highest among all occupations for lost-time claims. There is a great deal of focus in Ontario's occupational health and safety system on compliance and fines, however despite this increased focus, the injury statistics are not significantly improving. One of the keys to changing this trend is the development of a culture of healthy and safe workplaces including the effective utilization of leading indicators within Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMSs). In contrast to lagging indicators, which focus on outcomes retrospectively, a leading indicator is associated with proactive activities and consists of selected OHSMSs program elements. Using leading indicators to measure health and safety has been common practice in high-risk industries; however, this shift has not occurred in healthcare. The aim of this project is to conduct a longitudinal study implementing six elements of the Ontario Safety Association for Community and Healthcare (OSACH) system identified as leading indicators and evaluating the effectiveness of this intervention on improving selected health and safety workplace indicators.
Methods: A quasi-experimental longitudinal research design will be used within two Ontario acute care hospitals. The first phase of the study will focus on assessing current OHSMSs using the leading indicators, determining potential facilitators and barriers to changing current OHSMSs, and identifying the leading indicators that could be added or changed to the existing OHSMS in place. Phase I will conclude with the development of an intervention designed to support optimizing current OHSMSs in participating hospitals based on identified gaps. Phase II will pilot test and evaluate the tailored intervention.
Discussion: By implementing specific elements to test leading indicators, this project will examine a novel approach to strengthening the occupational health and safety system. Results will guide healthcare organizations in setting priorities for their OHSMSs and thereby improve health and safety outcomes.

Source: Almost, J. M., VanDenKerkhof, E. G., Strahlendorf, P., Tett, L. C., Noonan, J., Hayes, T., ... et Paré, G. C. (2018). BMC health services research, 18(1), 296.
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-3103-0

Les salariés exposés aux agents biologiques

Les résultats de l'enquête Sumer 2009-2010
En 2010, selon l'enquête Surveillance médicale des expositions des salariés aux risques professionnels (Sumer), 22,2% des salariés sont exposés à des agents biologiques (bactéries, virus, parasites, champignons), soit plus de 4,7 millions de personnes.
Les expositions «délibérées» aux agents biologiques sont celles où le processus de recherche ou de production nécessite l'utilisation d'agents identifiés et contrôlés. Elles concernent 0,7% des salariés (158 200 personnes), principalement des fonctionnaires travaillant dans le domaine des études et de la recherche.
Les expositions «potentielles» aux agents biologiques sont les plus fréquentes: 4 738 300 salariés (21,9%) sont ainsi exposés à des agents biologiques, avec un risque d'exposition supérieur à celui de la population générale. De plus, les expositions potentielles surviennent lors d'un contact humain pour 3 121 600 de salariés (14,5%).

Source: http://dares.travail-emploi.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/2018-022.pdf

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