Environmental and Occupational Health Practice
Online ISSN : 2434-4931
Current issue
Displaying 1-6 of 6 articles from this issue
Original Articles
  • Megan E. Puzia, Jeni Green, Claire Clarke, Sara Cloonan, Jen Huberty
    Article type: Original Article
    2022 Volume 4 Issue 1 Article ID: 2022-0001-OA
    Published: 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: June 25, 2022
    Advance online publication: June 17, 2022
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    Objective: The purposes of this study were to (1) illustrate how remote workers engage with an employer-provided mindfulness meditation app in the workplace and (2) examine the relationship between workplace app engagement, team mindfulness, and psychological safety among remote workers. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was administered to employees within the United States who had received a subscription to Calm as part of their health benefits. Employees reported on three types of engagement with the Calm app in the context of the workplace — opportunities use to Calm together during the workday, using Calm with team members, and discussing Calm content with teams — and completed measures of team mindfulness and psychological safety. Fixed-effects regression models were used to assess effects of workplace app engagement on psychological safety and team mindfulness in remote workers. Results: Of 60,000 workers contacted, 801 employees completed the survey (1.3%) and 437 were full-time remote workers (0.7%). Only 20% of remote workers reported having opportunities to use Calm at work. Opportunities to use Calm at work was positively associated with team mindfulness (β=2.39, p=0.005) and psychological safety (β=1.85, p=0.005). Using Calm with team members was only significantly associated with team mindfulness (β=2.99, p=0.046) and discussing Calm with team members was only significantly associated with psychological safety (β=1.17, p=0.029). Conclusions: Creating opportunities for employees to engage with a mindfulness meditation app while at work may help foster team mindfulness and psychological safety, especially for remote workers. Considering the research limitations, future studies should investigate longitudinal relationships within workplace teams.

Occupational Health in the World
  • Humayun Kabir, Myfanwy Maple, Md Shahidul Islam, Kim Usher
    Article type: Occupational Health in the World
    2022 Volume 4 Issue 1 Article ID: 2021-0020-OHW
    Published: 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: June 25, 2022
    Advance online publication: April 30, 2022
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    Objectives: There has been debate regarding the working conditions for employees of the Bangladesh readymade garment (RMG) industry since the 1980s. Little is known how the existing working conditions of the Bangladesh RMG sector impact workers’ health and overall wellbeing, which remains the key aim of this study. Methods: The study adopted a qualitative descriptive design. Twenty-seven RMG workers (female: 21, male: 6) were purposively recruited for focus groups (FGs) from both the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) and non-EPZ factories located in Dhaka and Chattogram, the two largest cities in Bangladesh. FGs were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Inductive thematic analysis was performed to review the transcribed data and to identify themes. Results: The study identified that the existing working conditions impacted workers’ health and wellbeing severely. These conditions mainly comprise of inadequate workplace facilities (lack of pure drinking water, unavailability of qualified doctors, and fabricated signage of childcare facilities) and poor working environments (lack of hygienic practices, unavailability of safety equipment, sexual harassment, mandatory nights shifts, inappropriate sitting arrangements, and workplaces as death traps). All the female workers reported experience of verbal or sexual harassment at least once inside the factories also noted anxiety and feeling unsafe while working during night shifts. These conditions are presented within the socioeconomic conditions of Bangladesh. Conclusions: This study contributes to understanding the nexus between factory owners’ profit maximization mindset and workplace conditions in relation to workers’ health and wellbeing status. Strict monitoring of the workplace conditions of Bangladesh RMG factories is warranted.

Original Articles
  • Kojiro Kawano, Saori Haga, Kenji Endo, Takeshi Shimada, Masayoshi Koba ...
    Article type: Original Article
    2022 Volume 4 Issue 1 Article ID: 2021-0009-OA
    Published: 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: June 25, 2022
    Advance online publication: April 20, 2022
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    Objective: To evaluate the employment outcomes and changes in cognitive and social functioning of people with mental disorders using an employment support program in collaboration with psychiatric day care and the public employment service. Methods: This was a prospective, open-label, single-arm preliminary study. The employment support program was conducted 6 hours at a time, five times per week for 3 months. Participants’ employment rates within 6 months after the program ended and competitive employment in supported employment service 1 year later were calculated. The brief assessment of cognition in schizophrenia (BACS), Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), and Life Assessment Scale for the Mentally Ill (LASMI) were measured before and after the program. Results: Forty-one (74.5%) of the 55 participants worked within 6 months of completing the program. Of the 30 employees who had been working for 1 year, 23 (76.7%) had settled in the workplace, with an average of over 80 monthly working hours and more than $660 monthly income. BACS Composite score (p<0.01, r=0.68), GAF (p<0.01, r=0.47), LASMI daily living (p<0.01, r=0.44), interpersonal relations (p<0.01, r=0.55), Work (p<0.01, r=0.81), endurance and stability (p<0.01, r=0.65), and self-recognition (p<0.01, r=0.78) improved significantly after the program. Conclusion: Our study suggests that a high employment rate can be obtained by employment support in which psychiatric day care and the public employment service cooperate.

Good Practices
  • Kosuke Sakai, Tomohisa Nagata, Masako Nagata, Yoshihisa Fujino, Koji M ...
    Article type: Good Practice
    2022 Volume 4 Issue 1 Article ID: 2021-0021-GP
    Published: 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: March 25, 2022
    Advance online publication: March 11, 2022
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    Objectives: Presenteeism refers to the condition of working while having health problems and can be one of the perspectives to assess the incompatibility between workers and their jobs. The purpose of this survey was to find out what kind of occupational health issues can be detected by occupational physicians’ interviews focusing on presenteeism. Methods: We conducted interviews with workers suffering from presenteeism in a food manufacturing company. The Work Functioning impairment scale (WFun) was used as the indicator of presenteeism. We discussed the occupational health issues and the necessity of additional interventions. Results: Thirty-nine workers with WFun score of 21 or higher were interviewed, and we have found nine cases in need of support. The workplace issues were structured into four categories: (i) health problems that are difficult to identify through health checkups, (ii) health problems missed by the stress check program, (iii) health problems caused by workload that cannot be identified by workplace patrols, and (iv) health problems that are not considered because they do not require support. Conclusions: We discovered new workplace issues by interviewing workers suffering from presenteeism.

Original Articles
  • Satoshi Ikeda, Hisashi Eguchi, Hisanori Hiro, Kosuke Mafune, Ayako Hin ...
    Article type: Original Article
    2022 Volume 4 Issue 1 Article ID: 2021-0012-OA
    Published: 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: March 25, 2022
    Advance online publication: January 14, 2022
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    Objectives: This study aims to clarify whether work engagement mediates the relationship between job resources (i.e., supervisor support, coworker support, and job control) and work-to-family positive spillover (WFPS) for home-visiting nursing staff. Methods: This cross-sectional study surveyed 15 male and 152 female participating home-visit nursing staff across 108 home-visit nursing stations in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. In February 2019, each participant provided informed consent and sociodemographic information, and answered three scales, including the short-form version of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale in Japanese, the Japanese version of the Survey Work-Home Interaction – Nijmegen (J-SWING), and the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ-22). We evaluated supervisor support, coworker support, and job control as job resources using the JCQ-22’s subscale. We then evaluated WFPS using the J-SWING’s subscale. The hypothesized model was then tested using structural equation modeling. Results: Job resources were positively related to work engagement among the home-visit nursing staff; in turn, work engagement was positively related to WFPS. Job resources had no significant relationship with WFPS. These results suggest that work engagement mediates the relationship between job resources and WFPS. Conclusions: This study found that job resources were not directly related to WFPS for home-visit nursing staff. However, work engagement mediated the relationship between job resources and WFPS.

Field Studies
  • Mitsuo Uchida, Shinobu Matsuda, Guglielmo Dini
    Article type: Field Study
    2022 Volume 4 Issue 1 Article ID: 2021-0017-FS
    Published: 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: March 25, 2022
    Advance online publication: January 07, 2022
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    Objectives: Health problems of truck drivers, including cardiovascular and major blood vessel diseases, have long been reported. This study aimed to collect vital signs of truck drivers while working by using commercial wearable devices and to determine the utility of the devices for occupational health. Methods: Wearable devices were attached and obtained data from 130 truck drivers working at a single company in Gunma Prefecture in 2020 for 3 continuous working days. Systolic blood pressure (SBP), heart rate (HR) and respiratory rate (RR) were monitored during working hours. The duration and proportion of time at which these parameters exceeded preset upper limits were calculated, as were the frequency and proportion of 10% and 20% increases from previous measurement points. Results: The average proportions of time during which SBP, HR, and RR exceeded their preset upper limits were 7.17%, 21.22% and 0.36%, respectively. Also, the average proportions of frequency during which SBP, HR and RR were ≥10% increased above previous measurement points were 5.97%, 12.66% and 11.83%, respectively. These results differed slightly from those obtained during regular health checkups. Health guidance should be provided to truck drivers with excess SBP, HR, and RR who were not identified on regular health checkups. Conclusions: Wearable devices may be useful in promoting the health conditions of truck drivers.

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