Although much is known about human body vibration discomfort, there is little research data on the effects of vibration on vehicle occupant drowsiness. A laboratory experimental setup has been developed. Vibration was applied to the volunteers sitting on the vehicle seat mounted on the vibration platform. Seated volunteers were exposed to a Gaussian random vibration, with 1–15 Hz frequency bandwidth at 0.2 ms-2 r.m.s., for 20-minutes. Two drowsiness measurement methods were used, Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT) and Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS). Significant changes in PVT (p<0.05) and KSS (p<0.05) were detected in all eighteen volunteers. Furthermore, a moderate correlation (r>0.4) was observed between objective measurement (PVT) and subjective measurement (KSS). The results suggest that exposure to vibration even for 20-minutes can cause significant drowsiness impairing psychomotor performance. This finding has important implications for road safety.
An in-vitro experiment was designed to investigate the mode of failure following shear fatigue loading of lumbar motion-segments. Human male lumbar motion-segments (age 32–42 years, n=6) were immersed in Ringer solution at 37°C and repeatedly loaded, using a modified materials testing machine. Fatigue loading consisted of a sinusoidal shear load from 0 N to 1,500 N (750 N±750 N) applied to the upper vertebra of the motion-segment, at a frequency of 5 Hz. During fatigue experiments, several failure events were observed in the dynamic creep curves. Post-test x-ray, CT and dissection revealed that all specimens had delamination of the intervertebral disc. Anterior shear fatigue predominantly resulted in fracture of the apophyseal processes of the upper vertebrae (n=4). Exposure to the anterior shear fatigue loading caused motion-segment instability and resulted in vertebral slip corresponding to grade I and ‘mild' grade II spondylolisthesis, as observed clinically.
A huge number of workers are employed in traditional rice mills where they are potentially exposed to dust. In this study a dust collection system was developed to capture the airborne dust in the rice mill. The feeding and sieving section of the mill was identified as major dust creating zone. The dust was captured by creating suitable air stream at feeding and sieving sections of the mill and collected in cyclone dust collector. The air stream was created by blower which was selected on the basis to get minimum air speed of 0.5 m/s in the working zones of workers. It was observed that the developed system is successfully collects the significant amount of dust and able to reduce the dust concentration up to 58%. Further, the respirable dust concentration reduced to below 5 mg/m3 throughout the mill which is within the recommended limit of dust exposure.
The present study proposes a set of quality requirements to management practices by taking into account the empirical evidence on their potential effects on health, the systemic nature of social organisations, and the current conceptualisations of management functions within the framework of comprehensive quality management systems. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses focusing on the associations between leadership and/or supervision and health in occupational settings are evaluated, and the core elements of an ISO 9001 standardisation approach are presented. Six major occupational health requirements to high-quality management practices are identified pertaining to communication processes, organisational justice, role clarity, decision making, social influence processes and management support. It is concluded that the quality of management practices may be improved by developing a quality management system of management practices that ensures not only conformity to product but also to occupational safety and health requirements. Further research may evaluate the practicability of the proposed approach.
Driver fatigue has received increased attention during recent years and is now considered to be a major contributor to approximately 15–30% of all crashes. However, little is known about fatigue in city bus drivers. It is hypothesized that city bus drivers suffer from sleepiness, which is due to a combination of working conditions, lack of health and reduced sleep quantity and quality. The overall aim with the current study is to investigate if severe driver sleepiness, as indicated by subjective reports of having to fight sleep while driving, is a problem for city based bus drivers in Sweden and if so, to identify the determinants related to working conditions, health and sleep which contribute towards this. The results indicate that driver sleepiness is a problem for city bus drivers, with 19% having to fight to stay awake while driving the bus 2–3 times each week or more and nearly half experiencing this at least 2–4 times per month. In conclusion, severe sleepiness, as indicated by having to fight sleep during driving, was common among the city bus drivers. Severe sleepiness correlated with fatigue related safety risks, such as near crashes.
This study was performed to determine the associations between work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), quality of life (QoL), and workplace stress among physical therapists (PTs) in South Korea. Self-reporting questionnaires were given to 855 PTs. Variables examined included general characteristics, WMSDs, QoL, and workplace stress. Of the 788 PTs who responded, 745 (94.5%) reported WMSDs affecting at least one body site. The most affected WMSDs site was the shoulder (23.3%), and the most reported number of body sites affected by WMSDs was one (50.9%). QoL was significantly improved (p<0.05) among PTs over 39 years old, who had 10–15 years of professional experience, worked in general/university hospitals, and had only one site affected by WMSDs. Factors influencing QoL included number of body sites affected by WMSDs, presence/absence of WMSDs, working venues, workplace stress, and age. Factors affecting workplace stress included number of body sites affected by WMSDs, QoL, work hours, and gender. The results showed a high prevalence of WMSDs among PTs in South Korea, and this negatively affected both QoL and workplace stress.
Objective: The purpose of this investigation is to evaluate the efficacy of the occupational slip, trip and fall (STF) risk assessment test developed by the Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association (JISHA). We further intended to simplify the test to improve efficiency.
Methods: A previous cohort study was performed using 540 employees aged ≥50 years who took the JISHA's STF risk assessment test. We conducted multivariate analysis using these previous results as baseline values and answers to questionnaire items or score on physical fitness tests as variables. The screening efficiency of each model was evaluated based on the obtained receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve.
Results: The area under the ROC obtained in multivariate analysis was 0.79 when using all items. Six of the 25 questionnaire items were selected for stepwise analysis, giving an area under the ROC curve of 0.77.
Conclusion: Based on the results of follow-up performed one year after the initial examination, we successfully determined the usefulness of the STF risk assessment test. Administering a questionnaire alone is sufficient for screening subjects at risk of STF during the subsequent one-year period.
Background To identify differentially expressed miRNAs profiles in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from patients with silicosis and consider the potential contribution of miRNAs to silicosis.
Methods miRNAs expression profiling were performed in the cell fraction of BALF samples obtained from 9 subjects (3 silicosis observation subjects, 3 stage I and stage II silicosis patients, respectively). The differential expression of two selected miRNAs hsa-miR-181c-5p and hsa-miR-29a-3p were confirmed by RT-qPCR. Furthermore, miRNAs Gene Ontology Enrichment categories and target mRNAs were determined based on miRWalk.
Results We found 110 dysregulated miRNAs in silicosis samples, most of which showed a down-regulation trend. Microarray results were confirmed by RT-qPCR. With the observation group samples set as standards, stage I samples showed 123 differentially expressed miRNAs, and stage II 46. 23 miRNAs were dysregulated in both stages. Finally, functional enrichment analysis indicated that these miRNAs played an important role in various biological processes, including ECM-receptor interaction and endocytosis.
Conclusions This is the first time to acquire the BALF-derived microRNAs expression profiling targeting to human silicosis. These results contribute to unravelling miRNAs involved in the pathogenesis of silicosis, and provide new tools of potential use of as biomarkers for diagnosis and/or therapeutic purposes.
To demonstrate the correlations between the concentrations of ferruginous body as well as uncoated fiber both of which can be observed with phase-contrast microscope and the concentration of various inorganic fibers including asbestos which requires the observation with TEM or SEM, we measured those indices among Japanese and Korean cases. Though the concentration of ferruginous body in lung tissue is an important index of asbestos exposure, uncoated fibers observed with phase-contrast microscope might be another index especially in such cases with relatively low exposure due to their history of living in a general environment. However, to establish the reliability of uncoated fibers as an index of asbestos exposure, analysis with more cases and from various backgrounds must be carried out.
Workers in the Indian informal sector are engaged with different occupations. These occupations involve varied work related hazards. These occupational hazards are a consequent risk to health. The study aimed to determine occupational health scenario in the Indian Informal sector. One thousand eleven hundred twenty two workers from five different occupations namely weaving (handloom and power loom), construction, transportation, tobacco processing and fish processing were assessed by interviewer administered health questionnaire. Workers suffered from musculo-skeletal complaints, respiratory health hazards, eye problems and skin related complaints. There was a high prevalence of self-reported occupational health problems in the selected sectors. The study finds that workers have occupational exposures to multiple hazards. The absence of protective guards aggrevate their health condition. The study attempts to draws an immediate attention on the existing health scenario of the Indian Informal sector.
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