Occupational health development in a country can be classified into 3 phases as External, Internal (or Personal), and Social Environmental Phases. Occupational health usually focuses on work environment, but it cannot advance without controlling workers’ health and cannot be achieved without a complimentary understanding of the social security system. Society may continue wasting social costs for determining whether a disease of workers is caused by or arising from work. In order to understand the status of occupational diseases in a country, one must know about the comprehensiveness of the social security system in that society.
The present study investigated the factor structure of the 10-item version of the Dutch Work Addiction Scale (DUWAS). The DUWAS-10 is intended to measure workaholism with two correlated factors: working excessively (WE) and working compulsively (WC). The factor structure of the DUWAS-10 was examined among multi-occupational samples from the Netherlands (n=9,010) and Finland (n=4,567) using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). CFAs revealed that the expected correlated two-factor solution showed satisfactory fit to the data. However, a second-order factor solution, where WE comprised the first-order factors “working frantically” and “working long hours”, and WC the first-order factors “obsessive work drive” and “unease if not working”, showed significantly better fit to the data. The expectation of factorial group invariance of the second-order factor structure between the Dutch and Finnish samples was also supported. Moreover, factorial time invariance was observed across a two-year time lag in a sub-sample of Finnish managers (n=459). In conclusion, the DUWAS-10 was found to be a comprehensive measure of workaholism, meeting the criteria of factorial validity in multiple settings, and can thus be recommended for use in both research and practice.
Breathing machines are widely used to evaluate respirator performance but they are capable of generating only limited air flow patterns, such as, sine, triangular and square waves. In order to evaluate the respirator performance in practical use, it is desirable to test the respirator using the actual breathing patterns of wearers. However, it has been a difficult task for a breathing machine to generate such complicated flow patterns, since the human respiratory volume changes depending on the human activities and workload. In this study, we have developed an electromechanical breathing simulator and a respiration sampling device to record and reproduce worker’s respiration. It is capable of generating various flow patterns by inputting breathing pattern signals recorded by a computer, as well as the fixed air flow patterns. The device is equipped with a self-control program to compensate the difference in inhalation and exhalation volume and the measurement errors on the breathing flow rate. The system was successfully applied to record the breathing patterns of workers engaging in welding and reproduced the breathing patterns.
Autonomic imbalance is one of the important pathways through which psychological stress contributes to cardiovascular diseases/sudden death. Although previous studies have focused mainly on stress at work (work stress), the association between autonomic function and stress at home (home stress) is still poorly understood. The purpose was to clarify the effect of work/home stress on autonomic function in 1,809 Japanese male workers. We measured corrected QT (QTc) interval and QT index on the electrocardiogram along with blood pressure and heart rate. Participants provided self-reported information about the presence/absence of work/home stress and the possible confounders affecting QT indicators. Home stress was related positively to QT index (p=0.040) after adjusting for the possible confounders, though work stress did not show a significant relation to QTc interval or QT index. The odds ratio of home stress to elevated QT index (≥105) was 2.677 (95% CI, 1.050 to 6.822). Work/home stress showed no significant relation to blood pressure or heart rate. These findings suggest that autonomic imbalance, readily assessed by QT indicators, can be induced by home stress in Japanese workers. Additional research is needed to identify different types of home stress that are strongly associated with autonomic imbalance.
This study investigated the prospective association between supervisor leadership styles and workplace bullying. Altogether 404 civil servants from a local government in Japan completed baseline and follow-up surveys. The leadership variables and exposure to bullying were measured by Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire and Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised, respectively. The prevalence of workplace bullying was 14.8% at baseline and 15.1% at follow-up. Among respondents who did not experience bullying at baseline (n=216), those who worked under the supervisors as higher in passive laissez-faire leadership had a 4.3 times higher risk of new exposure to bullying. On the other hand, respondents whose supervisors with highly considerate of the individual had a 70% lower risk of new exposure to bullying. In the entire sample (n=317), passive laissez-faire leadership was significantly and positively associated, while charisma/inspiration, individual consideration, and contingent reward were negatively associated both after adjusting for demographic and occupational characteristics at baseline, life events during follow-up, and exposure to workplace bullying at baseline. Results indicated that passive laissez-faire and low individual consideration leadership style at baseline were strong predictors of new exposure to bullying and high individual consideration leadership of supervisors/managers could be a preventive factor against bullying.
This study investigated the status of work-life imbalance among hospital nurses in Japan and impact of work-life imbalance on job satisfaction and quality of life. A cross-sectional survey of 1,202 nurses (81% response rate) was conducted in three Japanese acute care hospitals. Participants were divided into four groups for actual work-life balance (Group A: 50/50, including other lower working proportion groups [e.g., 40/50]; Group B: 60/40; Group C: 70/30; and Group D: 80/20, including other higher working proportion groups [e.g., 90/10]). We also asked participants about desired work-life balance, and private and work-related perspectives. Satisfactions (job, private life, and work-life balance), quality of life, and stress-coping ability were also measured. All data were compared among the four groups. Most nurses sensed that they had a greater proportion of working life than private life, and had a work-life imbalance. Actual WLB did not fit compared to desired WLB. When the actual working proportion greatly exceeds the private life proportion, nurses’ health could be in danger, and they may resign due to lower job satisfaction and QOL. Simultaneous progress by both management and individual nurses is necessary to improve work-life imbalance.
Workplace bullying is often held as a precursor of expulsion in working life, but the claim builds on sparse empirical groundwork. In the present study, bullying is investigated as an antecedent to indicators of expulsion, be it from the workplace (change of employer) or from working life itself (disability benefit recipiency and unemployment), using a nationally representative sample (n=1,613), a five-year time-lag as well as two separate measures of workplace bullying. In line with the hypotheses, logistic regression analyses revealed that both exposure to bullying behaviors and self-labeled bullying are significantly associated with change of employer (OR=1.77 and 2.42, respectively) and disability benefit recipiency (OR=2.81 and 2.95, respectively). Moreover, exposure to bullying behaviors was found to be significantly related to unemployment five years on (OR=4.6). For the self-labeling measure of bullying, this tendency only held true at the 0.1 significance level (OR=3.69, p=0.098). Together, the present results indicate that targets of bullying are at a greater risk of expulsion, both from the workplace and from working life itself, thus representing strong incentives to combat bullying both from the perspective of the individual, the organization and society at large.
Respiratory effects of ozone in the workplace have not been extensively studied. Our aim was to explore the relationship between daily average ozone levels and compensated acute respiratory problems among workers in Quebec between 2003 and 2010 using a time-stratified case-crossover design. Health data came from the Workers’ Compensation Board. Daily concentrations of ozone were estimated using a spatiotemporal model. Conditional logistic regressions, with and without adjustment for temperature, were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs, per 1 ppb increase of ozone), and lag effects were assessed. Relationships with respiratory compensations in all industrial sectors were essentially null. Positive non-statistically significant associations were observed for outdoor sectors, and decreased after controlling for temperature (ORs of 0.98; 1.01 and 1.05 at Lags 0, 1 and 2 respectively). Considering the predicted increase of air pollutant concentrations in the context of climate change, closer investigation should be carried out on outdoor workers.
Maximum acceleration and the Head Injury Criterion (HIC) are both used as indicators of likely head injury severity. A dataset has previously been published of impacts of an instrumented missile on four ground surfaces having a layer of between 0 and 16 cm of sand. The dataset is compared with recently-developed theory that predicts power-function dependence of maximum acceleration and HIC on drop height. That prediction was supported by the data. The surfaces differed in respect of the exponents estimated.
Sandblasting is traditionally known as a high-risk profession for potential development of lung silicosis. Reported is a case of a sandblaster with confirmed accelerated silicosis, a condition rather rarely diagnosed in the Czech Republic. Initially, the patient presented with progressive dry cough and exertional dyspnoea. In the early diagnostic process, a possible occupational aetiology was considered given his occupational history and known high-risk exposure to respirable silica particles confirmed by industrial hygiene assessment at the patient’s workplace. The condition was confirmed by clinical, histological and autopsy findings. The patient died during lung transplantation, less than five years from diagnosis.
An experimental study was performed to determine the applicability and accuracy of occupational hygienist’s expert judgment in occupational exposure assessment. The effect of tier 1 model application on improvement of expert judgments were also realized. Hygienists were asked to evaluate inhalation exposure intensity in seven operating units in a tile factory before and after an exposure training session. Participants’ judgments were compared to air sampling data in the units; then after relative errors for judgments were calculated. Stepwise regressions were performed to investigate the defining variables. In all situations there were almost a perfect agreement (ICC >0.80) among raters. Correlations between estimated mean exposure and relative percentage error of participants before and after training were significant at 0.01 (correlation coefficients were −0.462 and −0.443, respectively). Results showed that actual concentration and experience resulted in 22.4% prediction variance for expert error as an independent variable. Exposure rating by hygienists was susceptible to error from several sources. Experienced subjects had a better ability to predict the exposures intensity. In lower concentrations, the rating error increased significantly. Leading causes of judgment error should be taken into account in epidemiological studies.