Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 21

Occupational Health Related Abstracts

21 Environmental Safety and Occupational Health Risk Assessment for Rocket Static Test

Authors: Phontip Kanlahasuth

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This paper presents the environmental safety and occupational health risk assessment of rocket static test by assessing risk level from probability and severity and then appropriately applying the risk control measures. Before the environmental safety and occupational health measures are applied, the serious hazards level is 31%, medium level is 24% and low level is 45%. Once risk control measures are practically implemented, the serious hazard level can be diminished, medium level is 38%, low level is 45% and eliminated level is 17%. It is clearly shown that the environmental safety and occupational health measures can significantly reduce the risk level.

Keywords: Probability, Safety, Environment, risk analysis, Risk, Occupational Health, Risk Assessment, Hazard, rocket static test, acceptable risk, severity, risk level

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20 Effect on Occupational Health Safety and Environment at Work from Metal Handicraft Using Rattanakosin Local Wisdom

Authors: Witthaya Mekhum, Waleerak Sittisom

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This research investigated the effect on occupational health safety and environment at work from metal handicraft using Rattanakosin local wisdom focusing on pollution, accidents, and injuries from work. The sample group in this study included 48 metal handicraft workers in 5 communities by using questionnaires and interview to collect data. The evaluation form TISI 18001 was used to analyze job safety analysis (JSA). The results showed that risk at work reduced after applying the developed model. Banbu Community produces alloy bowl rubbed with stone. The high risk process is melting and hitting process. Before the application, the work risk was 82.71%. After the application of the developed model, the work risk was reduced to 50.61%. Banbart Community produces monk’s food bowl. The high risk process is blow pipe welding. Before the application, the work risk was 93.59%. After the application of the developed model, the work risk was reduced to 48.14%. Bannoen Community produces circle gong. The high risk process is milling process. Before the application, the work risk was 85.18%. After the application of the developed model, the work risk was reduced to 46.91%. Teethong Community produces gold leaf. The high risk process is hitting and spreading process. Before the application, the work risk was 86.42%. After the application of the developed model, the work risk was reduced to 64.19%. Ban Changthong Community produces gold ornament. The high risk process is gold melting process. Before the application, the work risk was 67.90%. After the application of the developed model, the work risk was reduced to 37.03%. It can be concluded that with the application of the developed model, the work risk of 5 communities was reduced in the 3 main groups: (1) Work illness reduced by 16.77%; (2) Pollution from work reduced by 10.31%; (3) Accidents and injuries from work reduced by 15.62%.

Keywords: Safety, Occupational Health, local wisdom, Rattanakosin

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19 Work Related and Psychosocial Risk Factors for Musculoskeletal Disorders among Workers in an Automated flexible Assembly Line in India

Authors: Rohin Rameswarapu, Sameer Valsangkar

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Background: Globally, musculoskeletal disorders are the largest single cause of work-related illnesses accounting for over 33% of all newly reported occupational illnesses. Risk factors for MSD need to be delineated to suggest means for amelioration. Material and methods: In this current cross-sectional study, the prevalence of MSDs among workers in an electrical company assembly line, the socio-demographic and job characteristics associated with MSD were obtained through a semi-structured questionnaire. A quantitative assessment of the physical risk factors through the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) tool, and measurement of psychosocial risk factors through a Likert scale was obtained. Statistical analysis was conducted using Epi-info software and descriptive and inferential statistics including chi-square and unpaired t test were obtained. Results: A total of 263 workers consented and participated in the study. Among these workers, 200 (76%) suffered from MSD. Most of the workers were aged between 18–27 years and majority of the workers were women with 198 (75.2%) of the 263 workers being women. A chi square test was significant for association between male gender and MSD with a P value of 0.007. Among the MSD positive group, 4 (2%) had a grand score of 5, 10 (5%) had a grand score of 6 and 186 (93%) had a grand score of 7 on RULA. There were significant differences between the non-MSD and MSD group on five out of the seven psychosocial domains, namely job demand, job monotony, co-worker support, decision control and family and environment domains. Discussion: The current cross-sectional study demonstrates a high prevalence of MSD among assembly line works with inherent physical and psychosocial risk factors and recommends that not only physical risk factors, addressing psychosocial risk factors through proper ergonomic means is also essential to the well-being of the employee.

Keywords: Occupational Health, Musculoskeletal Disorders, India, Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA)

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18 Estimation of Morbidity Level of Industrial Labour Conditions at Zestafoni Ferroalloy Plant

Authors: N. Khatiashvili, M. Turmanauli, T. Todua, O. Gvaberidze, R. Javakhadze, N. Chkhaidze

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Background: Mining process has the significant influence on human health and quality of life. In recent years the events in Georgia were reflected on the industry working process, especially minimal requirements of labor safety, hygiene standards of workplace and the regime of work and rest are not observed. This situation is often caused by the lack of responsibility, awareness, and knowledge both of workers and employers. The control of working conditions and its protection has been worsened in many of industries. Materials and Methods: For evaluation of the current situation the prospective epidemiological study by face to face interview method was conducted at Georgian “Manganese Zestafoni Ferroalloy Plant” in 2011-2013. 65.7% of employees (1428 bulletin) were surveyed and the incidence rates of temporary disability days were studied. Results: The average length of a temporary disability single accident was studied taking into consideration as sex groups as well as the whole cohort. According to the classes of harmfulness the following results were received: Class 2.0-10.3%; 3.1-12.4%; 3.2-35.1%; 3.3-12.1%; 3.4-17.6%; 4.0-12.5%. Among the employees 47.5% and 83.1% were tobacco and alcohol consumers respectively. According to the age groups and years of work on the base of previous experience ≥50 ages and ≥21 years of work data prevalence respectively. The obtained data revealed increased morbidity rate according to age and years of work. It was found that the bone and articulate system and connective tissue diseases, aggravation of chronic respiratory diseases, ischemic heart diseases, hypertension and cerebral blood discirculation were the leading among the other diseases. High prevalence of morbidity observed in the workplace with not satisfactory labor conditions from the hygienic point of view. Conclusion: According to received data the causes of morbidity are the followings: unsafety labor conditions; incomplete of preventive medical examinations (preliminary and periodic); lack of access to appropriate health care services; derangement of gathering, recording, and analysis of morbidity data. This epidemiological study was conducted at the JSC “Manganese Ferro Alloy Plant” according to State program “ Prevention of Occupational Diseases” (Program code is 35 03 02 05).

Keywords: Occupational Health, mining process, morbidity level, cerebral blood discirculation

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17 Nursing Workers’ Capacity of Resilience at a Psychiatric Hospital in Brazil

Authors: Fernanda Ludmilla Rossi Rocha, Cheila Cristina Leonardo Oliveira Gaioli, Sandra Cristina Pillon

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Resilience is a psychological process that facilitates the maintenance of health, developed in response to numerous existing stressors in daily life. Furthermore, resilience can be described as the ability which allows an individual or group to hold up well before unfavorable situations. This study aimed to identify nursing workers’ resilience at a psychiatric hospital in Brazil. This is an exploratory research with quantitative data approach. The sample consisted of 56 workers, using the Resilience Scale. Of the 56 subjects, 45 (80.4%) were women; 22 (39.2%) were 20- to 40-years-old and 30 (53.6%) were 41- to 60-years-old; 11 (19.6%) were nurses and 45 (80.4%) were technicians or nursing assistants. The results also showed that 50% of subjects showed a high resilience degree and 42.9% an average resilience degree. Thus, it was found that workers seek to develop protective factors in coping with a work environment that does not value the individual subjectivity and does not allow professional development, discouraging workers.

Keywords: Health Promotion, Nursing, Occupational Health, Resilience

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16 Whole Body Vibration and Low Back Disorder among Saskatchewan Farmers: A Prospective Cohort Study

Authors: Samuel Kwaku Essien, Catherine Trask, Niels Koehncke, Brenna Bath

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Background: Low back disorder (LBD) is the most common musculoskeletal problem among farmers, with higher prevalence than other occupations. Operators of tractors and other farm machinery such as combines or all-terrain vehicles (ATV) can have considerable cumulative exposure to whole body vibration (WBV). Although there appears to be an association between LBD and WBV, lack of prospective studies makes the relationship between LBD and WBV unclear. Purpose: This study investigates the association between WBV and LBD among Saskatchewan farmers using a prospective cohort study Methods: The Saskatchewan Farm Injury Cohort Study Phase I (2007) and II (2013) data were used. Baseline data were collected via postal questionnaire on accumulated yearly tractor, combine, and ATV use as well as several covariates to support a biopsychosocial model of LBD. Follow-up data on musculoskeletal symptoms were collected for the 6-year with sample size of 1149. Questions on ‘low back trouble’ (ache, pain, discomfort) experienced in the last 12 months answered by farmer participants as ‘yes’ or ‘no’. A GEE-modified Poisson approach was performed using SPSS 22 and SAS 9.4. Results: Twelve-month Prevalence of LBD was 59.8%. In multivariate analysis of the 6-year follow-up, LBD was associated with ATV operation and tractor operation, with a dose-response relationship for annual accumulated tractor operation. Although combine operation ≥ 61 hrs/year was related to LBD in bivariate analysis, this difference did not persist after adjustment for confounder. Age was found to be a confounder in relationship between WBV and LBD and no interactions were found. Conclusion: Longer annual tractor operation and older age are important predictors of LBD symptoms in farmers. Future research involving direct measurement can help identify appropriate prevention strategies.

Keywords: Agriculture, low back pain, Occupational Health, low back disorder

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15 Climate Change Implications on Occupational Health and Productivity in Tropical Countries: Study Results from India

Authors: Vidhya Venugopal, Jeremiah Chinnadurai, Rebekah A. I. Lucas, Tord Kjellstrom, Bruno Lemke

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Introduction: The effects of climate change (CC) are largely discussed across the globe in terms of impacts on the environment and the general population, but the impacts on workers remain largely unexplored. The predicted rise in temperatures and heat events in the CC scenario have health implications on millions of workers in physically exerting jobs. The current health and productivity risks associated with heat exposures are characterized, future risk estimates as temperature rises and recommendations towards developing protective and preventive occupational health and safety guidelines for India are discussed. Methodology: Cross-sectional studies were conducted in several occupational sectors with workers engaged in moderate to heavy labor (n=1580). Quantitative data on heat exposures (WBGT°C), physiological heat strain indicators viz., Core temperature (CBT), Urine specific gravity (USG), Sweat rate (SwR) and qualitative data on heat-related health symptoms and productivity losses were collected. Data were analyzed for associations between heat exposures, health and productivity outcomes related to heat stress. Findings: Heat conditions exceeded the Threshold Limit Value (TLV) for safe manual work in 66% of the workers across several sectors (Avg.WBGT of 28.7°C±3.1°C). Widespread concerns about heat-related health outcomes (86%) were prevalent among workers exposed to high TLVs, with excessive sweating, fatigue and tiredness being commonly reported by workers. The heat stress indicators, core temperature (14%), Sweat rate (8%) and USG (9%), were above normal levels in the study population. A significant association was found between rise in Core Temperatures and WBGT exposures (p=0.000179) Elevated USG and SwR in the worker population indicate moderate dehydration, with potential risks of developing heat-related illnesses. In a steel industry with high heat exposures, an alarming 9% prevalence of kidney/urogenital anomalies was observed in a young workforce. Heat exposures above TLVs were associated with significantly increased odds of various adverse health outcomes (OR=2.43, 95% CI 1.88 to 3.13, p-value = <0.0001) and productivity losses (OR=1.79, 95% CI 1.32 to 2.4, p-value = 0.0002). Rough estimates for the number of workers who would be subjected to higher than TLV levels in the various RCP scenarios are RCP2.6 =79%, RCP4.5 & RCP6 = 81% and at RCP 8.5 = 85%. Rising temperatures due to CC has the capacity to further reduce already compromised health and productivity by subjecting the workers to increased heat exposures in the RCP scenarios are of concern for the country’s occupational health and economy. Conclusion: The findings of this study clearly identify that health protection from hot weather will become increasingly necessary in the Indian subcontinent and understanding the various adaptation techniques needs urgent attention. Further research with a multi-targeted approach to develop strategies for implementing interventions to protect the millions of workers is imperative. Approaches to include health aspects of climate change within sectoral and climate change specific policies should be encouraged, via a number of mechanisms, such as the “Health in All Policies” approach to avert adverse health and productivity consequences as climate change proceeds.

Keywords: Occupational Health, Heat Stress, productivity loss, heat strain, adverse health outcomes

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14 Protecting the Health of Astronauts: Enhancing Occupational Health Monitoring and Surveillance for Former NASA Astronauts to Understand Long-Term Outcomes of Spaceflight-Related Exposures

Authors: Meredith Rossi, Lesley Lee, Mary Wear, Mary Van Baalen, Bradley Rhodes

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The astronaut community is unique, and may be disproportionately exposed to occupational hazards not commonly seen in other communities. The extent to which the demands of the astronaut occupation and exposure to spaceflight-related hazards affect the health of the astronaut population over the life course is not completely known. A better understanding of the individual, population, and mission impacts of astronaut occupational exposures is critical to providing clinical care, targeting occupational surveillance efforts, and planning for future space exploration. The ability to characterize the risk of latent health conditions is a significant component of this understanding. Provision of health screening services to active and former astronauts ensures individual, mission, and community health and safety. Currently, the NASA-Johnson Space Center (JSC) Flight Medicine Clinic (FMC) provides extensive medical monitoring to active astronauts throughout their careers. Upon retirement, astronauts may voluntarily return to the JSC FMC for an annual preventive exam. However, current retiree monitoring includes only selected screening tests, representing an opportunity for augmentation. The potential long-term health effects of spaceflight demand an expanded framework of testing for former astronauts. The need is two-fold: screening tests widely recommended for other aging populations are necessary to rule out conditions resulting from the natural aging process (e.g., colonoscopy, mammography); and expanded monitoring will increase NASA’s ability to better characterize conditions resulting from astronaut occupational exposures. To meet this need, NASA has begun an extensive exploration of the overall approach, cost, and policy implications of expanding the medical monitoring of former NASA astronauts under the Astronaut Occupational Health program. Increasing the breadth of monitoring services will ultimately enrich the existing evidence base of occupational health risks to astronauts. Such an expansion would therefore improve the understanding of the health of the astronaut population as a whole, and the ability to identify, mitigate, and manage such risks in preparation for deep space exploration missions.

Keywords: Occupational Health, Surveillance, astronaut, long-term health, NASA

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13 Team-Theatre as a Tool of Occupational Safety Awareness

Authors: Fiorenza Misale

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The painful phenomenon of so-called white deaths and accidents at work, unfortunately, is always current. The key is to act on the culture of security through effective measures of attitudes and behaviors that go far beyond the knowledge and the know-how. It is necessary that there is an ‘introjection’ of safety culture through the conscious involvement of all workers. The legislation on work safety identifies the main tool to promote the culture of safety at work and prevention within the workplace. In law the term education is used to distinguish itself from the information with which they will simply theoretically transmit, and from the training with which they will provide the practical skills. The new decree fact fills several gaps in previous legislation and stresses the importance of training in the workplace, that is, the main activity through which it is possible to achieve the active participation of all workers in the company’s prevention system. This system is built only through the dissemination of risk information, the circulation of information, comparison and dialogue between all actors involved that are the necessary elements for a correct transmission of the culture of worker safety. Training activity should put the focus on work experience in order to bring out all the knowledge needed to identify and assess the risks in the work place, and especially the action to eliminate or control them, integrating, when necessary, the missing knowledge. In addition to traditional training and information systems can be utilized for the purpose of training that are able to affect both one emotionally and aesthetically, team-theatre is one of them. Among the methods of company theater that can be used in work safety we have: Lesson show, theater workshop, improvised theater, forum theater, theater playback. The theater can represent a complementary approach to traditional training and give information on safety measures, demonstrating that there are more engaging outreach tools. Team-theatre allows identification with the characters, a transmission of emotions and moods and it is through the staging of a story that the individual processes new information. It’ also s a means of experiential training that allows you to work with your mind, body, emotions.The aim of one work is the use of corporate theater on the personnel working in the health sector. Through a questionnaire we are able to analyze the knowledge of occupational safety and current risks; in particular in health care which is to be administered before and after the play.

Keywords: Safety, training, Occupational Health, Theater

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12 Safety Climate Assessment and Its Impact on the Productivity of Construction Enterprises

Authors: Krzysztof J. Czarnocki, E. Czarnocka, K. Szaniawska, F. Silveira

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Research background: Problems related to the occupational health and decreasing level of safety occur commonly in the construction industry. Important factor in the occupational safety in construction industry is scaffold use. All scaffolds used in construction, renovation, and demolition shall be erected, dismantled and maintained in accordance with safety procedure. Increasing demand for new construction projects unfortunately still is linked to high level of occupational accidents. Therefore, it is crucial to implement concrete actions while dealing with scaffolds and risk assessment in construction industry, the way on doing assessment and liability of assessment is critical for both construction workers and regulatory framework. Unfortunately, professionals, who tend to rely heavily on their own experience and knowledge when taking decisions regarding risk assessment, may show lack of reliability in checking the results of decisions taken. Purpose of the article: The aim was to indicate crucial parameters that could be modeling with Risk Assessment Model (RAM) use for improving both building enterprise productivity and/or developing potential and safety climate. The developed RAM could be a benefit for predicting high-risk construction activities and thus preventing accidents occurred based on a set of historical accident data. Methodology/Methods: A RAM has been developed for assessing risk levels as various construction process stages with various work trades impacting different spheres of enterprise activity. This project includes research carried out by teams of researchers on over 60 construction sites in Poland and Portugal, under which over 450 individual research cycles were carried out. The conducted research trials included variable conditions of employee exposure to harmful physical and chemical factors, variable levels of stress of employees and differences in behaviors and habits of staff. Genetic modeling tool has been used for developing the RAM. Findings and value added: Common types of trades, accidents, and accident causes have been explored, in addition to suitable risk assessment methods and criteria. We have found that the initial worker stress level is more direct predictor for developing the unsafe chain leading to the accident rather than the workload, or concentration of harmful factors at the workplace or even training frequency and management involvement.

Keywords: Civil Engineering, Productivity, Occupational Health, safety climate

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11 Significance of Occupational Safety for Healthcare Professionals

Authors: Nilgün Katrancı, Pınar Göv

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The privatization of public services has intensified and extended the delivery of healthcare services at hospitals, which leads to an increase in health and safety risks for healthcare professionals. More efficient and effective delivery of healthcare services can be realized through the provision of occupational safety of healthcare professionals. However, healthcare professionals are exposed to more dangers, accidents, and diseases because of such reasons as present working conditions, hospital infections, lack of ergonomic design, medication, wastes, excessive work load, negligent attitudes of workers, violence, psychological risks, etc. Unsafe working conditions cause fear, injury and wearing impacts in healthcare professionals in many countries. Thus, it is emphasized that the protection of the health of healthcare professionals is important to have educated, healthy workers and adequate workforce. Occupational health and safety measures applied in health facilities are aimed at protecting workers and providing the safety of services and facilities. All activities to be undertaken at hospitals with regard to occupational safety in accordance with these goals will help to reduce costs and provide continuous services. At the same time, a safe working environment will increase worker satisfaction and motivation, sense of institutional belonging and indirectly patient safety and satisfaction. In addition, the control and correction of occupational safety activities are also as important as the implementation. Occupational health and safety practices in the facilities will also lead to positive developments for national economy and society. This study emphasizes that approaching occupational safety practices for healthcare professionals in a sensitive manner is important for enabling healthcare professionals to do more productive works in terms of physical, social and psychological aspects, maintaining the continuity of healthcare services and social and economic contributions.

Keywords: Occupational Health, Occupational Safety, Health Facilities, healthcare professional

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10 Prevalence and Occupational Factors Associated with Low Back Pain among the Female Garment Workers: A Cross-Sectional Study in Bangladesh

Authors: Fazle Rabbi, Mashuda Khanom Tithi, Tasnim Mirza, Sanjida Rowshan Anannya, Ahmed Hossain

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Background: Low Back Pain (LBP) is one of the common health problems among the garment workers that causes workers absenteeism from the work. The purpose of the study is to identify the association between occupational factors and LBP among the female garment workers in Bangladesh. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 487 female garment workers from three compliant garment factories of Bangladesh. Face-to-face interview on four different LBP measures along with questions on socio-demographic, occupational, and physical factors were used to collect the data. Result: The prevalence rates for LBP lasts for at least one day during the last six months, chronic pain, intense pain, and seeking medical care for LBP were found 63.04%, 38.60%, 13.76%, and 18.89%, respectively among the female garments workers. The multivariate logistic regression analysis indicates that duration of employment (>5 years), regular weight bearing and extended weekly working hours (>48 hours) are positively associated with LBP. Besides, age, BMI, family income, marital status and number of children are also found positively associated with the LBP measures. Conclusion: The prevalence of LBP among female garment workers in Bangladesh is found high. The duration of employment (>5 years), regular weight bearing and extended weekly working hours (>48 hours) play a significant role in developing LBP among the female workers. Factories need to consider training programs on the appropriate technique of weight bearing. It is also important to conduct regular screening programs to identify LBP, especially with married, overweight/obese and older age group to reduce the occurrence of LBP.

Keywords: low back pain, Occupational Health, Bangladesh, garment workers

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9 Disability Management and Occupational Health Enhancement Program in Hong Kong Hospital Settings

Authors: K. C. M. Wong, C. P. Y. Cheng, K. Y. Chan, G. S. C. Fung, T. F. O. Lau, K. F. C. Leung, J. P. C. Fok

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Hospital Authority (HA) is the statutory body to manage all public hospitals in Hong Kong. Occupational Care Medicine Service (OMCS) is an in-house multi-disciplinary team responsible for injury management in HA. Hospital administrative services (AS) provides essential support in hospital daily operation to facilitate the provision of quality healthcare services. An occupational health enhancement program in Tai Po Hospital (TPH) domestic service supporting unit (DSSU) was piloted in 2013 with satisfactory outcome, the keys to success were staff engagement and management support. Riding on the success, the program was rolled out to another 5 AS departments of Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital (AHNH) and TPH in 2015. This paper highlights the indispensable components of disability management and occupational health enhancement program in hospital settings. Objectives: 1) Facilitate workplace to support staff with health affecting work problem, 2) Enhance staff’s occupational health. Methodology: Hospital Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) team and AS departments (catering, linen services, and DSSU) of AHNH and TPH worked closely with OMCS. Focus group meetings and worksite visits were conducted with frontline staff engagement. OSH hazards were identified with corresponding OSH improvement measures introduced, e.g., invention of high dusting device to minimize working at height; tailor-made linen cart to minimize back bending at work, etc. Specific MHO trainings were offered to each AS department. A disability management workshop was provided to supervisors in order to enhance their knowledge and skills in return-to-work (RTW) facilitation. Based on injured staff's health condition, OMCS would provide work recommendation, and RTW plan was formulated with engagement of staff and their supervisors. Genuine communication among stakeholders with expectation management paved the way for realistic goals setting and success in our program. Outcome: After implementation of the program, a significant drop of 26% in musculoskeletal disorders related sickness absence day was noted in 2016 as compared to the average of 2013-2015. The improvement was postulated by innovative OSH improvement measures, teamwork, staff engagement and management support. Staff and supervisors’ feedback were very encouraging that 90% respondents rated very satisfactory in program evaluation. This program exemplified good work sharing among departments to support staff in need.

Keywords: Occupational Health, Occupational Medicine, Disability Management, return to work

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8 Teacher's Health: Evaluation of the Health Status of Portuguese and Spanish Teachers

Authors: Liberata Borralho, Saúl N. de Jesus, Adelinda Candeias, Victória Fernández-Puig

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In the last decades, we have witnessed a deterioration in the health of teachers worldwide, reflecting the constant social, political and economic changes. The quality of teaching and the success of students depends on the health status of the teachers, which justifies the importance of periodically evaluating their health. With this purpose, the Teacher’s Health Questionnaire was applied to 15.394 teachers teaching in Portugal and Spain (6.208 Spanish and 9.186 Portuguese) of primary and secondary education (3.482 men, 11.911 women). This questionnaire is specific and includes both the main risks of the teaching profession and the manifestations of teacher well-being, according to the definition recommended by the World Health Organization. A descriptive analysis of the results was carried out, including a study of the dimensions and the differences according to some sociodemographic and professional variables, from an analysis of variance ANOVA, applying the Bonferroni correction. Cluster analysis (K-means) allowed us to obtain cutoff scores to assess health status. The results allow concluding that Portuguese teachers perceive a poor well-being in the performance of their professional activity and that more than half present manifestations in the various dimensions of health deterioration, highlighting the exhaustion and cognitive disorders. In turn, Spanish teachers demonstrate a high level of well-being, being the musculoskeletal dimensions and cognitive disorders the main manifestations of deterioration of health.

Keywords: Occupational Health, job prevention, teacher’s health, teachers work risks, teacher’s well-being

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7 The Professional Rehabilitation of Workers Affected by Chronic Low Back Pain in 'Baixada Santista' Region, Brazil

Authors: Maria Do Carmo Baracho De Alencar

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Back pain is considered a worldwide public health problem and has led to numerous work-related absence from work and public spending on rehabilitation, as well as difficulties in the process of professional rehabilitation and return to work. Also, the rehabilitation of workers is one of the great challenges today and for the field of Workers' Health in Brazil. Aim: To investigate the procedures related to the professional rehabilitation of insured workers affected by chronic low back pain, based on the perceptions of professional counselors. Methods: A list of related professional counselors was obtained from the Professional Rehabilitation Coordination of the Baixada Santista (SP) region, and from the Social Security National Institute of Brazil, and in which cities they worked. Semistructured and individual interview was scheduled, based on a pre-elaborated script, containing questions about procedures, experiences at work and feelings. The interviews were recorded and transcribed in full for content analysis. Results: Ten (10) professional counselors of both genders and from nine (9) cities from the Baixada Santista region participated in the study. Aged between 31 and 64 years, and time in service between 4 and 38 years. Only one of the professionals was graduaded in Psychology. Among the testimonies emerged the high demand of work, the lack of interest of companies, medical authority, the social helplessness after rehabilitation process, difficulty in assessing invisible pain, and suffering, anguish, and frustration at work, between others. Conclusion: The study contributes to reflections about the importance of interdisciplinary actions and the Psychology in the processes of professional rehabilitation and readaptation in the process of return to work.

Keywords: Rehabilitation, low back pain, Occupational Health, Work

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6 Challenges in Self-Managing Vitality: A Qualitative Study about Staying Vital at Work among Dutch Office Workers

Authors: Violet Petit-Steeghs, Jochem J. R. Van Roon, Jacqueline E. W. Broerse

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Last decennia the retirement age in Europe is gradually increasing. As a result, people have to continue working for a longer period of time. Health problems due to increased sedentary behavior and mental conditions like burn-out, pose a threat in fulfilling employees’ working life. In order to stimulate the ability and willingness to work in the present and future, it is important to stay vital. Vitality is regarded in literature as a sense of energy, motivation and resilience. It is assumed that by increasing their vitality, employees will stay healthier and be more satisfied with their job, leading to a more sustainable employment and less absenteeism in the future. The aim of this project is to obtain insights into the experiences and barriers of employees, and specifically office workers, with regard to their vitality. These insights are essential in order to develop appropriate measures in the future. To get more insights in the experiences of office workers on their vitality, 8 focus group discussions were organized with 6-10 office workers from 4 different employers (an university, a national construction company and a large juridical and care service organization) in the Netherlands. The discussions were transcribed and analyzed via open coding. This project is part of a larger consortium project Provita2, and conducted in collaboration with University of Technology Eindhoven. Results showed that a range of interdependent factors form a complex network that influences office workers’ vitality. These factors can be divided in three overarching groups: (1) personal (2) organizational and (3) environmental factors. Personal intrinsic factors, relating to the office worker, comprise someone’s physical health, coping style, life style, needs, and private life. Organizational factors, relating to the employer, are the workload, management style and the structure, vision and culture of the organization. Lastly, environmental factors consist of the air, light, temperature at the workplace and whether the workplace is inspiring and workable. Office workers experienced barriers to improve their own vitality due to a lack of autonomy. On the one hand, because most factors were not only intrinsic but extrinsic, like work atmosphere or the temperature in the room. On the other hand, office workers were restricted in adapting both intrinsic as well as extrinsic factors. Restrictions to for instance the flexibility of working times and the workload, can set limitations for improving vitality through personal factors like physical activity and mental relaxation. In conclusion, a large range of interdependent factors influence the vitality of office workers. Office workers are often regarded to have a responsibility to improve their vitality, but are limitedly autonomous in adapting these factors. Measures to improve vitality should therefore not only focus on increasing awareness among office workers, but also on empowering them to fulfill this responsibility. A holistic approach that takes the complex mutual dependencies between the different factors and actors (like managers, employees and HR personnel) into account is highly recommended.

Keywords: Occupational Health, perspectives office workers, sustainable employment, vitality at work, work & wellbeing

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5 'Disability' and Suffering: The Case of Workers Affected by Repetitive Strain Injury/Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorder in a Removal from Work Situation in Santos, São Paulo, Brazil

Authors: Maria Do Carmo Baracho De Alencar, Marciene Campos Fialho, Maria Do Carmo Vitório Ramos

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The subjects affected by Repetitive Strain Injury/Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorder (RSI/WRMSD) face an everyday life marked by pain, feelings of worthlessness and incapacity caused by the disease, and aggravated often because of discrimination society. Aim: To investigate the experiences and feelings of workers affected by RSI/WRMSD in removal from work situations and to understand the repercussions on mental health. Methods: Clinical records of workers were consulted, opened from July 1, 2014, to July 1, 2015, at the Reference Center for Worker's Health, in Santos city-SP. Selection of workers affected by RSI /WRMSD and who had experienced the removal from work situation due to the disease, and invitation to participate in the study. Semi-structured and individual interviews were carried out based on a pre-elaborated script, and for thematic content analysis. Results: Of a total of 502 medical records, 157 were selected, and of these, 18 workers participated in the interviews, both gender, most of them with low education level, aged between 35 and 56 years, and from different professions. Diseases affected several physical body regions and some workers had more than one body region affected by chronic pain. In the testimonies emerged the psychic suffering by the process of illness at work, fear of dismissal, invisibility of pain, in medical expertise attendance, by the incapacity to perform tasks that were easily achievable, with feelings of uselessness, revolt, and injustice, among others. Conclusion: The workers need to be readapted to new life situations, and the study promotes reflections on the need for more interdisciplinary actions and of the Psychology to the workers affected by RSI/ WRMSD.

Keywords: Mental Health, Occupational Health, repetitive strain injury, cumulative trauma disorder, absence from work

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4 Occupational Health Hazards of Itinerant Waste Buyers (IWBs) in Kathmandu, Nepal

Authors: Ashish Khanal, Suja Giri

Abstract:

The scrap collection work is associated with multiple health hazards. Cut and scratches during collection and transportation of scraps are common. IWBs purchase the scraps mainly papers, cartoons, glass bottles and metals from the households. This study was conducted in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. The location was chosen because Kathmandu is the biggest city of Nepal with highest number of IWBs. The research used a case study strategy to examine the occupational health hazards of IWBs. The only mode of collecting and transporting of scraps in Kathmandu is the bicycle. They have to do this regular work even during the scorching sun and chilled winter. The musculoskeletal and gastrointestinal disorders are the common health problem shared by IWBs in Kathmandu, Nepal. Despite of these problems, IWBs don’t take it seriously and rarely goes for the health check-up. There is need of personal protective equipment and guidance for safety of IWBs. IWBs need to wear closed shoes and use gloves to avoid cuts during the collection and transportation of the recyclables.

Keywords: Occupational Health, Scrap, Kathmandu, itinerant waste buyers

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3 Working Conditions and Occupational Health: Analyzing the Stressing Factors in Outsourced Employees

Authors: Cledinaldo A. Dias, Isabela C. Santos, Marcus V. S. Siqueira

Abstract:

In the contemporary globalization, the competitiveness generated in the search of new markets aiming at the growth of productivity and, consequently, of profits, implies the redefinition of productive processes and new forms of work organization. As a result of this structuring, unemployment, labor force turnover and the increase in outsourcing and informal work occur. Considering the different relationships and working conditions of outsourced employees, this study aims to identify the most present stressors among outsourced service providers from a Federal Institution of Higher Education in Brazil. To reach this objective, a descriptive exploratory study with a quantitative approach was carried out. The qualitative approach was chosen to provide an in-depth analysis of the occupational conditions of outsourced workers since this method seeks to focus on the social as a world of investigated meanings and the language or speech of each subject as the object of this approach. The survey was conducted in the city of Montes Claros - Minas Gerais (Brazil) and involved eighty workers from companies hired by the institution, including armed security guards, porters, cleaners, drivers, gardeners, and administrative assistants. The choice of professionals obeyed non-probabilistic criteria for convenience or accessibility. Data collection was performed by means of a structured questionnaire composed of sixty questions, in a Likert-type frequency interval scale format, in order to identify potential organizational stressors. The results obtained evidence that the stress factors pointed out by the workers are, in most cases, a determining factor due to the low productive performance at work. Amongst the factors associated with stress, the ones that stood out most were those related to organizational communication failures, the incentive to competition, lack of expectations of professional growth, insecurity and job instability. Based on the results, the need for greater concern and organizational responsibility with the well-being and mental health of the outsourced worker and the recognition of their physical and psychological limitations, and care that goes beyond the functional capacity for the work. Specifically for the preservation of mental health, physical and quality of life, it is concluded that it is necessary for the professional to be inserted in the external world that favors it internally since this set is complemented so that the individual remains in balance and obtain satisfaction in your work.

Keywords: Occupational Health, Organizational Studies, stressors, outsourced

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2 Occupational Health Programs for Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining: A Systematic Review for the WHO Global Plan of Action for Workers' Health

Authors: Vivian W. L. Tsang, Karen Lockhart, Samuel Spiegel, Annalee Yassi

Abstract:

Background: Workers in the informal economy often incur exposure to well-documented occupational health hazards. Insufficient attention has been afforded to rigorously evaluating intervention programs to reduce the risks, especially in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM). Objectives: This systematic review, conducted as part of the World Health Organization’s Global Plan of Action for Workers’ Health, sought to assess the state of knowledge on occupational health programs and interventions for the informal artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector, an occupation which directly employs at least 50 million people. Methods: We used a comprehensive search strategy for four well-known databases relevant to health outcomes: PubMed, Engineering Village, OVID Medline, and Web of Science, and employed the PRISMA framework for our analysis. Findings: Ten studies met the inclusion criteria of a primary study focused on assessing the impact of interventions addressing occupational health concerns in ASGM. There were no studies evaluating or even identifying comprehensive occupational health and safety programs for this sector, although target interventions addressing specific hazards exist. Major areas of intervention –education and introduction of mercury-reducing/eliminating technology were identified, and the challenges and limitations of each intervention taken into the assessment. Even for these, however, there was a lack of standardization for measuring outcome or impact, let alone long-term health outcomes for miners and mining communities. Conclusion: There is an urgent need for research on comprehensive occupational health programs addressing the array of hazards faced by artisanal and small-scale miners.

Keywords: Health and Safety, Occupational Health, Workplace Safety, Informal Economy, artisanal and small-scale gold mining

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1 Occupational Tuberculosis among Laboratory Workers in South Africa: Applying a Surveillance System to Strengthen Prevention and Control

Authors: David Jones, Annalee Yassi, Jennica Garnett, Graham Chin, Jerry Spiegel, Nisha Naicker

Abstract:

Background: Tuberculosis is recognized as an important health risk for health workers; however, the absence of occupational health surveillance has created knowledge gaps regarding occupational infection rates and contributing factors. This study aimed to determine the rates and contributing factors of active tuberculosis (TB) cases in laboratory healthcare employees at the Laboratory Service (XXX), as identified from an occupational surveillance system. Methods: Tuberculosis cases were reported on the Occupational Health and Safety Information System (OHASIS) which recorded data on occupation type and activities and factors leading to confirmed TB. Data collected from 2012 to 2019 were used to calculate and compare TB risks within XXX occupational groups. Results: During the study period, there were 92 cases of TB identified in the OHASIS database. General workers, rather than skilled and unskilled laboratory workers and medical staff, had the highest incidence rate (422 per 100,000 person-years). OHASIS data revealed subgroups that seemed to be well-protected while pointing to exposure situations that beckoned policy development as well as identified subgroups of workers for whom better training is warranted. Conclusions: Functional occupational health surveillance systems can identify subgroups most at risk as well as areas of programme success and needed supports; helping to target and monitor policy and procedure modification and training needs.

Keywords: Tuberculosis, Occupational Health, occupational health surveillance, laboratory workers

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