Research to date on the effect vehicle-ride exposure has on the development of cervical pathologies in mounted Warfighters is conflicting. The purpose of this study was to determine if the literature suggests a definite effect of vehicle-ride exposure on cervical pathology. Databases were searched using multiple combinations of select terms. Twelve studies meeting the inclusion criteria were included in the meta-analysis. The results of the meta-analysis revealed that overall vehicle-ride exposure was likely to increase cervical pathology (p=0.01, odds ratio=1.59, 95% CI=1.16−2.17). Using vehicle type as a moderator it was found that vehicle-ride exposure in ground-based vehicles (p=0.01, odds ratio=2.33, 95% CI=1.41−3.85) and fixed-wing aircraft (p=0.01, odds ratio =1.59, 95% CI=1.13−2.23) were likely to increase cervical pathology. Using operator/other personnel moderator it was found that in the populations tested, fighter pilots or fighter jet weapons systems operators were more likely to develop a cervical pathology (p<0.001, odds ratio=1.78, 95% CI=1.26−2.50). The available studies indicate an increase in cervical pathology for personnel exposed to ground-based vehicles and fixed-wing aircraft.
We evaluated the effectiveness of ergonomic workload reduction of switching rats from a high repetition high force (HRHF) lever pulling task to a reduced force and reach rate task for preventing task-induced osteopenic changes in distal forelimb bones. Distal radius and ulna trabecular structure was examined in young adult rats performing one of three handle-pulling tasks for 12 wk: 1) HRHF, 2) low repetition low force (LRLF); or 3) HRHF for 4 wk and than LRLF thereafter (HRHF-to-LRLF). Results were compared to age-matched controls rats. Distal forelimb bones of 12-wk HRHF rats showed increased trabecular resorption and decreased volume, as control rats. HRHF-to-LRLF rats had similar trabecular bone quality as control rats; and decreased bone resorption (decreased trabecular bone volume and serum CTX1), increased bone formation (increased mineral apposition, bone formation rate, and serum osteocalcin), and decreased osteoclasts and inflammatory cytokines, than HRHF rats. Thus, an ergonomic intervention of HRHF-to-LRLF prevented loss of trabecular bone volume occurring with prolonged performance of a repetitive upper extremity task. These findings support the idea of reduced workload as an effective approach to management of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, and begin to define reach rate and load level boundaries for such interventions.
2,5-hexanedione (HD) induces apoptosis of nerve cells. However,the mechanism of HD-induced apoptosis remains unknown. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotential stem cells with the ability to differentiate into various cell types. This study is designed to investigate the apoptosis induced by HD in rat bone marrow MSCs (BMSCs) and the related underlying mechanisms. The fifth generation of MSCs was treated with 0, 10, 20 and 40 mM HD respectively. The viability of BMSCs was observed by MTT. Apoptosis were estimated by Hoechst 33342 staining and TUNEL assay. The disruption of mitochondrial transmembrane potential (MMP) was examined by JC-1 staining. Moreover, the expression of Bax and Bcl-2, cytochrome c release, and caspase-3 activity were determined by real-time RT-PCR, Western blot and Spectrophotometry. Our results showed that HD induced apoptosis in MSCs in a dose dependent manner. Moreover, HD downregulated the Bcl-2 expression,upregulated the Bax expression and the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, promoted the disruption of MMP, induced the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria to cytosol, and increased the activity of caspase-3 in MSCs. These results indicate that HD induces apoptosis in MSCs and the activated mitochondria-dependent caspase-3 pathway may be involved in the HD-induced apoptosis.
At worksites, various automatic production machines are in use to release workers from muscular labor or labor in the detrimental environment. On the other hand, a large number of industrial accidents have been caused by automatic production machines. In view of this, this paper considers the operation of automatic production machines from the viewpoint of accident prevention, and points out two types of machine operation − operation for which quick performance is required (operation that is not permitted to be delayed) − and operation for which composed performance is required (operation that is not permitted to be performed in haste). These operations are distinguished by operation buttons of suitable colors and shapes. This paper shows that these characteristics are evaluated as “asymmetric on the time-axis”. Here, in order for workers to accept the risk of automatic production machines, it is preconditioned in general that harm should be sufficiently small or avoidance of harm is easy. In this connection, this paper shows the possibility of facilitating the acceptance of the risk of automatic production machines by enhancing the asymmetric on the time-axis.
To formulate more accurate guidelines for musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) linked to Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), delineation of the response of bone tissue under different frequencies and duration of vibration needs elucidation. Rat-tails were vibrated at 125 Hz (9 rats) and 250 Hz (9 rats), at 49 m/s2, for 1D (6 rats), 5D (6 rats) and 20D (6 rats); D=days (4 h/d). Rats in the control group (6 rats for the vibration groups; 2 each for 1D, 5D, and 20D) were left in their cages, without being subjected to any vibration. Structural and biochemical damages were quantified using empty lacunae count and nitrotyrosine signal-intensity, respectively. One-way repeated-measure mixed-model ANOVA at p<0.05 level of significance was used for analysis. In the cortical bone, structural damage quantified through empty lacunae count was significant (p<0.05) at 250 Hz (10.82 ± 0.66) in comparison to the control group (7.41 ± 0.76). The biochemical damage was significant (p<0.05) at both the 125 Hz and 250 Hz vibration frequencies. The structural damage was significant (p<0.05) at 5D for cortical bone while the trabecular bone showed significant (p<0.05) damage at 20D time point. Further, the biochemical damage increased with increase in the duration of vibration with a significant (p<0.05) damage observed at 20D time point and a near significant change (p=0.08) observed at 5D time point. Structural and biochemical changes in bone tissue are dependent upon higher vibration frequencies of 125 Hz, 250 Hz and the duration of vibration (5D, 20D).
The International Classification of High-resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT) for Occupational and Environmental Respiratory Diseases (ICOERD) has been developed for the screening, diagnosis, and epidemiological reporting of respiratory diseases caused by occupational hazards. This study aimed to establish a correlation between readings of HRCT (according to the ICOERD) and those of chest radiography (CXR) pneumoconiotic parenchymal opacities (according to the International Labor Organization Classification/International Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconioses [ILO/ICRP]). Forty-six patients with and 28 controls without mineral dust exposure underwent posterior-anterior CXR and HRCT. We recorded all subjects’ exposure and smoking history. Experts independently read CXRs (using ILO/ICRP). Experts independently assessed HRCT using the ICOERD parenchymal abnormalities grades for well-defined rounded opacities (RO), linear and/or irregular opacities (IR), and emphysema (EM). The correlation between the ICOERD summed grades and ILO/ICRP profusions was evaluated using Spearman’s rank-order correlation. Twenty-three patients had small opacities on CXR. HRCT showed that 21 patients had RO; 20 patients, IR opacities; and 23 patients, EM. The correlation between ILO/ICRP profusions and the ICOERD grades was 0.844 for rounded opacities (p<0.01). ICOERD readings from HRCT scans correlated well with previously validated ILO/ICRP criteria. The ICOERD adequately detects pneumoconiotic micronodules and can be used for the interpretation of pneumoconiosis.
The International Classification of High-Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT) for Occupational and Environmental Respiratory Diseases (ICOERD) is used to screen and diagnose respiratory illnesses. Using univariate and multivariate analysis, we investigated the relationship between subject characteristics and parenchymal abnormalities according to ICOERD, and the results of ventilatory function tests (VFT). Thirty-five patients with and 27 controls without mineral-dust exposure underwent VFT and HRCT. We recorded all subjects’ occupational history for mineral dust exposure and smoking history. Experts independently assessed HRCT using the ICOERD parenchymal abnormalities (Items) grades for well-defined rounded opacities (RO), linear and/or irregular opacities (IR), and emphysema (EM). High-resolution computed tomography showed that 11 patients had RO; 15 patients, IR; and 19 patients, EM. According to the multiple regression model, age and height had significant associations with many indices ventilatory functions such as vital capacity, forced vital capacity, and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1). The EM summed grades on the upper, middle, and lower zones of the right and left lungs also had significant associations with FEV1 and the maximum mid-expiratory flow rate. The results suggest the ICOERD notation is adequate based on the good and significant multiple regression modeling of ventilatory function with the EM summed grades.
The purpose of the present study was to answer the following research questions: (1) Do workers in different shift schedules differ in mental distress? (2) Do workers in different shift schedules differ in neuroticism? (3) Do shift schedules differ in psychosocial work exposures? (4) Do psychosocial work exposures contribute to mental distress among onshore- and offshore workers? (5) Does neuroticism confound the association between work exposures and mental distress? Workers on six shift-schedules answered a questionnaire (1,471 of 2,628 employees). Psychological and social work factors were measured by QPSNordic, mental distress was measured by HADS and neuroticism was measured by EPQ. The results showed 1) No differences in mental distress between workers in different shift schedules, 2) Revolving-shift workers reported higher neuroticism compared to day workers, 3) Swing-shift workers and revolving-shift workers reported lower job control compared to permanent-night and -day workers, 4) Job demands and role conflict were associated with more mental distress. Job control, role clarity, support, and leadership were associated with lower mental distress, 5) Neuroticism influenced the relationship between psychosocial work factors and mental distress. The present study did not find differences in mental distress between shift schedules. Job characteristics may be contributing factors when determining health effects of shift work.
Youth are vulnerable to sleep loss and fatigue due to biological, social and psychological factors. However, there are few studies addressing the risk that sleep loss and fatigue pose for youth in the workplace. The aim of this study was to explore work health and safety (WHS) issues for young workers and develop strategies and solutions for improved WHS outcomes, with a focus on issues related to fatigue, using a mixed-method, multi-stage approach. Participants either completed a survey (n=212) or took part in focus groups (n=115) addressing WHS for young workers, or attended a Future Inquiry Workshop (n=29) where strategies for improving youth WHS were developed. Fatigue was identified as a significant problem by the majority of young workers and was associated with unpredictable working time arrangements, precarious employment, high workload, working overtime and limited ability to self-advocate. Participants identified six key areas for action to improve WHS outcomes for young workers; 1) develop expertise, 2) give young workers a voice, 3) improve education and training, 4) build stakeholder engagement, 5) increase employer awareness of WHS responsibilities and, 6) improve processes for employers to manage and monitor WHS outcomes. The application of these directives to fatigue is discussed.
With the explosive economic growth and social development, China’s regulatory system of occupational health and safety now faces more and more challenges. This article reviews the history of regulatory system of occupational health and safety in China, as well as the current reform of this regulatory system in the country. Comprehensive, a range of laws, regulations and standards that promulgated by Chinese government, duties and responsibilities of the regulatory departments are described. Problems of current regulatory system, the ongoing adjustments and changes for modifying and improving regulatory system are discussed. The aim of reform and the incentives to drive forward more health and safety conditions in workplaces are also outlined.
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July 15, 2015 A new online journal "Mechanical Engineering Letters" has been launched by The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers (JSME). This publication of such a letter journal is not only a new experience but also a tremendous challenge for the mechanical engineering society.
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