Reliability and validity of the Japanese-translated version of the Swedish Demand-Control-Support Questionnaire (J-DCSQ) was examined. The subjects comprised 212 women working in nursery schools. The 17-item J-DCSQ consists of three subscales: psychological demands (PD), decision latitude (DL), and social support (SS). With regard to reliability, one-week test-retest reliability and internal consistency were proved at a sufficient level. Weighted kappa coefficients were near or greater than 0.60 for all items. Intraclass correlation coefficients were greater than 0.80 for all subscales. Cronbach’s alphas (mean inter-item correlation) were 0.64 (0.26), 0.63 (0.22), and 0.86 (0.50) for PD, DL, and SS respectively. The scaling and concurrent validity was also established at a satisfactory level. Ceiling or floor effects were not found for any subscales. The J-DCSQ helped us obtain accurate estimates on extreme response distribution. By using the Japanese version of the Job Content Questionnaire for comparison, Spearman’s correlation coefficients were estimated to be 0.74, 0.60, and 0.59 for PD, DL, and SS respectively. In contrast, the factorial validity was not shown as originally hypothesized. Factor analysis did not reveal that PD and DL were definitely separated. In addition, both a PD item and a DL item indicated low factor loadings. In conclusion, the present findings exhibited sufficient reliability of the J-DCSQ, while further studies are needed to establish its validity.
The objective of this study was to evaluate whether long-term shift work is associated with both the total hormonal secretion after awakening and the pattern of the cortisol levels during the first hour following awakening, among 65 randomly selected police officers who represent a high stress occupation. Dominant shift (Day, Afternoon, or Midnight) was ascertained using daily payroll records of each participant’s work activities during the 6–8 yrs prior to saliva sampling. Four salivary samples were collected at 15 min intervals upon first awakening. After accounting for potential confounders, salivary cortisol concentrations averaged across all four time points and total area under the curve differed significantly across shift with midnight shift workers showing suppressed awakening cortisol response relative to the afternoon and day shift. The percent of hours worked on midnight shift was inversely correlated with total awakening cortisol output. In contrast, the pattern of cortisol secretion during the first hour following waking appeared not to be affected as no significant interaction effect was found between time since awakening and shift work. The results show that long-term midnight shift work is associated with decreased absolute mean level and total volume of cortisol released over the waking period.
The present study examined effects of a 3-h stress management program for Japanese hospital staffs that included relaxation and assertion training. Twenty-seven hospital staffs (mean age: 29.4 yr) in a stress management group and 28 hospital staffs (mean age: 29.5 yr) in a wait-list group answered evaluation surveys at both pre- and post-intervention. Self-administered questionnaires including items on job stress, coping strategies, and interpersonal behaviors were evaluated. The stress management program was given six different participant groups: 3 groups were the stress management group and 3 groups were the wait-list group. The program increased active coping and decreased dependent behavior scores significantly in the stress management group, while decreasing assertive behavior scores in the wait-list group. A comparison of the education sub-groups showed that the first group had significantly increased assertiveness and decreased dependency scores. The second group had significantly decreased depression-anxiety scores. The data analyzed for men and women separately showed the stress management intervention significantly improved active coping and assertive behavior in men and dependent behavior in women. A brief one-time stress management program can be effective in improving active coping and assertive behaviors as well as reducing dependent behavior in hospital staffs. Sex differences were noteworthy.
Whether patients with sleep disorders are fit to drive, and who should determine this, is a matter of debate. However, scientific literature is available on these topics to aid clinicians making these decisions. A survey was conducted to assess sleep specialists’ views on fitness to drive for patients suffering from apnea, insomnia, and narcolepsy. Most of the 112 respondents (66%, 95%CI: 57–74%) indicated that insomnia patients would be fit to drive within days or weeks after initiating treatment, but 44% (95%CI: 35–53%) felt that, depending on the amount of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), they should not drive if untreated. Around half of respondents (49%, 95%CI: 40–58%) indicated that untreated patients with apnea should not drive, but the majority (66%, 95%CI: 57–74%) felt they could drive after Continuous Positive Airway Pressure treatment was established, though EDS was a significant factor. For untreated narcoleptic patients 77% (95%CI: 68–84%) indicated they should not drive, and similarly, that treated patients could drive, although EDS levels were again seen as important. It is concluded that patient education remains the most practical approach to improve compliance and reduce accidents associated with EDS. Sleep specialists should remain up-to-date of relevant scientific literature to achieve this goal.
This study examined the changes in pressure pain in the upper trapezius muscle, cervical range of motion, and cervical flexion–relaxation ratio after overhead work. 14 workers were recruited. Pressure pain in the upper trapezius muscle, active cervical range of motion, and cervical flexion–relaxation ratio were measured in all subjects once before and once after overhead work. The pressure-pain threshold of the left upper trapezius muscle was 8.6 ± 2.5 lb before overhead work and 7.3 ± 2.4 lb after overhead work; that of the right upper trapezius muscle was 8.8 ± 2.9 and 7.3 ± 2.8 lb, respectively, revealing a significant decrease in pressure-pain threshold with overhead work. All cervical range of motion measures decreased significantly with overhead work. The cervical flexion–relaxation ratio on the left side was 1.3 ± 0.2 before overhead work and 1.1 ± 0.2 after overhead work; the respective values for the right side were 1.4 ± 0.5 and 1.2 ± 0.3 before and after overhead work, revealing a significant decrease with overhead work. We postulate that overhead work can reduce the pressure-pain threshold in the upper trapezius muscle and cause changes in the cervical range of motion and cervical flexion–relaxation ratio.
Pulmonary function parameters of 21 cleaning/sanitary women workers who have never smoked, exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) at work were compared with 34 non-exposed women workers of comparable age and other work characteristics. The studied subjects were subjected to an interview questionnaire, pulmonary function measurements, bronchial responsiveness assessment and clinical chest examination. A higher prevalence of dyspnea was found (42.9%) among exposed compared to (14.7%) among the non-exposed workers (p=0.019), also wheezing (52.4% vs. 11.8%; p=0.001). Pulmonary measurements showed a lower FVC, FEV1/FVC and FEF75 values among exposed compared to non-exposed (p<0.05), and a higher prevalence of borderline bronchial hyper-responsiveness (38.1% vs. 11.8%; p=0.021) in the exposed workers. This study provides evidence of adverse respiratory effects in sanitary/cleaning women workers associated with passive smoking in the workplace. The findings support a stricter implementation measures to protect respiratory health of all workers.
Blood exposure rates among home care and hospice nurses (RNs) in the United States are markedly lower for nurses with more home care/hospice experience, whether or not they have more total years of nursing experience (i.e., in other work environments). This study examined whether the protective effect of home care/hospice experience was greater for nurses who worked under three types of circumstances that are typical of the home care/hospice work environment and conducive to blood exposure. A mail survey was conducted in 2006 among home care/hospice nurses in North Carolina, a largely rural state in the southeastern U.S. The adjusted response rate was 69% (n=833). Blood exposure rates were higher among nurses with ≤5 years’ experience in home care/hospice. Contrary to expectations, the protective effect of more experience was greater among nurses who did not have limited access to safety devices/personal protective equipment, did not have to rush during home visits, and did not often visit homes with unrestrained pets, unruly children, poor lighting, or extreme clutter. These results suggest that characteristics of the home care/hospice work environment limit nurses’ ability to use their experience to prevent blood exposure.
The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine whether occupational class inequalities existed in the behavioral and biological risk factors for cardiovascular disease among workers in medium- and small-scale enterprises. We asked 1,900 enterprises in the Ishikawa prefecture who were users of an external heath check-up facility to supply anonymous individual data in 2009. The 446 enterprises consented to the invitation. The study population was 12,625 individuals (8,104 males and 4,521 females) 16–59 yr of age. We compared indices among occupational classes. The indices of lipid and glucose metabolism were used only for subjects 40–59 yr of age. The results of this study revealed occupational class inequalities in the prevalence of current smoking, heavy drinking and hypertension in men. These inequalities were more prominent among men in the younger age group than in the older age group. In men, the most disadvantaged occupational class was transportation workers, followed by laborers. Occupational class inequalities in smoking were also found among female workers. However, the influences of occupational class on obesity and indices of lipid or glucose metabolism were inconsistent. A strategy for health promotion that targets the disadvantaged population is necessary for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
During the rice harvesting season in Thailand, large amounts of fresh paddy are sent to rice mills immediately after harvesting due to a lack of proper farm storage space. At certain levels of moisture content, rice grains may generate hazardous gases, which can replace oxygen (O2) in the confined spaces of underground rice mill pits. This phenomenon has been observed in a fatal accident in Thailand. Our study aimed to investigate the type of gases and their air concentrations emitted from the paddy piles at different levels of moisture content and duration of piling time. Four levels of moisture content in the paddy piles were investigated, including dry paddy group (< 14% wet basis (wb)), wet paddy groups (22–24, 25–27 and 28–30%wb). Our measurements were conducted in 16 experimental concrete pits 80 × 80 cm wide by 60 cm high. Gases emitted were measured with an infrared spectrophotometer and a multi-gas detector every 12 h for 5 days throughout the experiment. The results revealed high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) (range 5,864–8,419 ppm) in all wet paddy groups, which gradually increased over time. The concentration of carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4), nitromethane (CH3NO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in all wet paddy groups increased with piling time and with moisture content, with ranges of 11–289; 2–8; 36–374; and 4–26 ppm, respectively. The highest levels of moisture content in the paddy piles were in the range 28–30%wb. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations were low in all paddy groups. The percentage of O2 in the wet paddy groups decreased with piling time and moisture content (from 18.7% to 4.1%). This study suggested that hazardous gases could be emitted in moist paddy piles, and their concentrations could increase with increasing moisture content and piling time period.
In physician’s offices and biomedical labs, biological waste is handled every day. This waste is disposed of in waste containers designed for holding red autoclave bags. The containers used in these environments are closed hands-free containers, often with a step pedal. While these containers protect the user from surface-borne microorganisms, the containers may allow airborne microorganisms to escape via the open/close mechanism because of the air current produced upon open/close cycles. In this study, the air current was shown to be sufficient to allow airborne escape of microorganisms held in the container, including Aspergillus niger. However, bacterial cultures, such as Escherichia coli and Lactococcus lactis did not escape. This may be due to the choice of bacterial cultures and the absence of solid waste, such as dust or other particulate matter in the waste containers, that such strains of bacteria could travel on during aerosolization. We compared these results to those obtained using a re-designed receptacle, which mimimizes air currents, and detected no escaping microorganisms. This study highlights one potential source of airborne contamination in labs, hospitals, and other environments that dispose of biological waste.
A field study designed to reveal the physiological workload on garbage collectors (GC) was conducted in Japan. Three drivers who only operated a garbage truck, three loaders who actually collected as a team, three solo collectors, and one clerical worker, totaling 10 male workers participated in this study. The ambient temperature and the relative humidity, activity intensity, and heart rate were measured on the three days in July. The mean heart rate of the workers, excluding the clerical worker, was 97.5 bpm. There were cases in which the heart rate limit, as defined by ACGIH, was exceeded, including a case in which the loader sustainably exceeded this limit for over an hour. There were 10 worker-days in which the 58%HRmax level (corresponding to the permissible limit specified in the Netherlands) was exceeded based on the findings of the 18 worker-days for the loaders and solo collectors. There were many cases in which the energetic load of GC in the humid summertime in Japan exceeded the permissible limits as established in the U.S.A. and the Netherlands. The careful inspection of the actual work conditions and improvements in the work environment should be implemented for the occupational safety and health of GC.
To minimize industrial accidents, it’s critical to evaluate a firm’s priorities for prevention factors and strategies since such evaluation provides decisive information for preventing industrial accidents and maintaining safety management. Therefore, this paper proposes the evaluation of priorities through statistical testing of prevention factors with a cause analysis in a cause and effect model. A priority matrix criterion is proposed to apply the ranking and for the objectivity of questionnaire results. This paper used regression method (RA), exponential smoothing method (ESM), double exponential smoothing method (DESM), autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model and proposed analytical function method (PAFM) to analyze trends of accident data that will lead to an accurate prediction. This paper standardized the questionnaire results of workers and managers in manufacturing and construction companies with less than 300 employees, located in the central Korean metropolitan areas where fatal accidents have occurred. Finally, a strategy was provided to construct safety management for the third industrial accident prevention plan and a forecasting method for occupational accident rates and fatality rates for occupational accidents per 10,000 people.