This study investigated associations between individual and work-related factors and perceived mastery of work among offshore shift workers. 2,406 employees of a Norwegian petroleum company were invited to participate. A web-based survey was used and 1336 completed questionnaires were returned (56%). Mastery of work was assessed using QPS Nordic Mastery Scale and the results were compared with a sample from the QPS Nordic study. Individual factors adjusted for were age, gender, marital status and personality. The following work-related factors were included: demands, control, support, night work and shift work home interference. Female offshore shift workers reported higher levels of perceived mastery of work compared with women in the comparison sample. The following variables were independently associated with perceived mastery of work: female gender (β=0.10, p=0.008), decisional demands (β=0.13, p<0.001), control (β=0.05, p=0.009), social support (β=0.07, p<0.001), shift-work locus of control (β=0.04, p=0.005) and neuroticism (β=–0.29, p<0.001). Post hoc analyses showed no sex differences in perceived mastery in two separate work positions on the platforms. Work-related variables and personality explained 55% and 45% respectively of the total variance (R2=0.22) explained by the final model. Female petroleum offshore workers reported somewhat higher levels of mastery of work than their male colleagues, however, this may be due to different work positions. Work-related factors accounted for about half of the explained variance and decisional demands, control and support remained statistically significant after controlling for personality.
The aim of this study was to investigate differences in heart rate variability (HRV) reflecting the function of autonomic nervous system (ANS) and psycho-physiological strain associated with normal and extended work shifts in nursing work. Complete data were available from 51 female nurses with a mean age of 40 yr, and based on two comparable 36-h HRV measurements supplemented with a questionnaire. Time-domain (meanRR, SDNN, RMSSD) and frequency-domain (LF power, HF power) parameters represented the HRV data, and were analyzed by linear mixed models. The differences between the compared work shifts were minor, revealing mainly increased sympathetic activity at the beginning of the normal work shift. The HRV parameters detected significant differences between work and leisure-time during the normal and extended work shifts in female nurses. During work shifts, an increase in sympathetic and a decrease in parasympathetic control of HRV was observed when compared to the leisure-time situation. Older subjects had overall lower HRV than younger subjects indicating increased sympathetic activation of ANS, especially during work. HRV parameters revealed significant differences between work, leisure-time and sleep of female nurses, but there were few differences between normal and extended work shifts in HRV parameters. This lack of differences between work shifts may be a consequence of the adaptation of nurses to the extended shifts or the more flexible organization of work duties possible during extended work shifts.
There have been few epidemiological studies on recurrent sickness absence due to depression after returning to work (RTW). The objective of this study was to investigate the prognosis of workers who are RTW with depression in a Japanese company. This study employed a descriptive epidemiology study design. Subjects of this study were 540 employees who worked full-time and were registered in the Health Data System and returned to work from April 2002 to March 2008 after their first leave of absence due to depression. We investigated the recurrence of sickness absence due to depression after returning to work using the Kaplan-Meier survival curve method. During the 8.5 yr follow-up period, almost half of the RTW employees experienced recurrent sickness absence. There was a steep increase in recurrent rates the first two years after RTW, and 85.2% of total recurrence of sickness absence had occurred within three years after the index episode.
This study compared subjective sleep and subjective health complaints among Norwegian oil rig workers, before and after a two week work period. The study also compared differences between two different work schedules. The workers worked either two weeks of day shift (n=90) or two weeks of a swing shift schedule (n=93), involving one week of night shifts, immediately followed by one week of day shifts. Overall, the workers reported significantly poorer sleep quality and more complaints of insomnia at the end compared to the start of the work period. However, there was no significant difference in terms of subjective health complaints. Furthermore, there were no clear differences in changes in sleep quality, insomnia or subjective health complaints during the work period between day- and swing shift workers. However, at the end of the work period a higher proportion of insomniacs were seen among swing shift workers compared with day workers. To conclude, sleep quality and complaints of insomnia became worse during the work period. However, there were few differences in changes in terms of sleep or subjective health complaints between day- and swing shift, suggesting that 12 h day shift affected sleep and health similarly to the schedule involving night work.
The purpose of this study was to examine the association between psychosocial job stress (by the Job Control-Demand (JCD) model and Effort-Reward imbalance (ERI) model) and musculoskeletal (MS) symptoms among workers in China. Overall, 3,632 male and 1,706 female workers from 13 factories/companies participated in this study. Perceived job stress was evaluated by the Chinese version of the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) and ERI Questionnaire. Neck, shoulder and wrist symptoms were assessed by self-report during the past year. Workers reporting high job demands and low job control or high effort and low rewards had moderately increased risk for all MS symptoms. Odds ratios (ORs) were higher in workers reporting both high effort and low rewards. The combination of high physical job demands with low job control showed significant associations with MS symptoms. The effects of psychological demands on symptoms in women, effort and effort-reward imbalance on symptoms among both genders were increased as the number of regions with symptoms increased. These results suggest that high job strain and ERI are associated with neck, shoulder and wrist symptoms in Chinese factory workers independent of individual factors, physical factors, and other psychological variables.
Although a single-item job satisfaction measure has been shown to be reliable and inclusive as multiple-item scales in relation to health, studies including immunological data are few. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the validity of single-item job and family life satisfaction based on its association with immune indices. A total of 189 white-collar employees (70% men) underwent a blood draw for the measurement of natural killer (NK), total T, and B cell counts as well as plasma immunoglobulin (Ig) G concentrations and completed single-item job and family life satisfaction measures, respectively. The response options for satisfaction measures were ‘dissatisfied’ (coded 1) to ‘satisfied’ (coded 4). Spearman’s partial correlations controlling for cofactors revealed that increased job satisfaction was positively associated with NK cells (rsp=0.201, p=0.007) and IgG (rsp=0.178, p=0.018), while family life satisfaction was unrelated to immune indices. Those who reported a combination of low job/low family life satisfaction had significantly lower NK and higher B cell counts than those with a high job/high family life satisfaction. Our study suggests that the single-item summary measure of job satisfaction, but not family life satisfaction, may be a valid tool to evaluate immune status in healthy white-collar employees.
The purpose of this study was to assess middle-aged Japanese workers for possible gender differences in the risk factors associated with depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. 5,878 workers (40–60 yr of age) (3,631 males and 2,247 females) were recruited from randomly selected companies in northern Japan. Demographic and lifestyle factors, suicidal ideation rate, and the data for the Brief Job Stress Questionnaire (BJSQ) and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies for Depression scale (CES-D) were obtained from the self-report questionnaires. After adjusting for possible confounding variables, marital status, absent of stress reduction technique and low job compatibility were significant independent risk factors for suicidal ideation among males. In females, marital status, feeling of insufficient sleep and absence of stress reduction techniques were significant independent risk factors after adjusting for all variables. Under the same adjustments, temporary employment also showed a protective effect against female suicidal ideation. In conclusion, our results suggest that factors related to suicidal ideation differed by gender. Different approaches for each gender might be useful in the development of suicide prevention programs. However, interpretation of work-related effects, such as temporary employment, interpersonal conflict and transportation industry, was hampered by lack of data concerning personal income, working hours and organizational commitment. Additional studies are needed to examine the longitudinal relationships between the risk factors associated with suicidal ideation and depressive symptoms.
The purpose of the present study was to elucidate differences in actual work environments, mobility and satisfaction between firefighters wearing aluminized and non-aluminized personal protective equipment (PPE), and to suggest a proper standard test method for Japanese firefighters’ PPE. A survey from two cities in Japan (City A: aluminized PPE; City B: non aluminized PPE) was undertaken. A total of 525 firefighters from City A and 757 from City B participated. Firefighters spent 22.5 min (City A) and 27.3 min (City B) on average firefighting with the full set of PPE in one incident, but the heat strain experienced among firefighters from City A was twice that of firefighters from City B (57.5% and 28.4%). Firefighters spent 65.9 min on one incident and 24.2 min for suppression of fire with the full set of PPE on average. The toughest task that caused physical strain in City A was ‘stair climbing’ and in City B was ‘drawing up a hose filled with water’. The most restricted body region due to PPE was the knee for both groups. Evaluations revealed that the aluminized fire jacket had worse ventilation and mobility than the non-aluminized, while the non-aluminized one received with more unfavorable evaluations for water resistance and maintainability.
The purpose of the present study was to examine how an inserted break influences the cardiovascular and central nervous system responses during periods of mental work. Twelve males conducted two 20-min periods of mental work with a 3-min break between them. Cardiovascular and central nervous system responses were measured continuously. In comparison to the baseline, cardiovascular responses increased continuously even after the inserted break, while, on the contrary, central nervous system activity did not significantly increase during the work periods but relaxed during the break. The work performance increased during the second work period. These results suggest that the inserted break proposed by VDT guidelines in Japan was effective in relaxing the central nervous system but was insufficient to prevent the increase in cardiovascular load. The results also imply that taking rests frequently is important not only to maintaining performance but also to preventing cumulative physiological workloads.
Industrial talc has been widely circulated in the world for a long time. The pure talc has little effects on humans, but inhalation of talc contaminated with asbestos can causes severe asbestos-related diseases such as lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma. Herein, we represent a case of lung cancer after occupational exposure to industrial talc in the rubber manufacturing industry.