Work injuries are a worldwide public health problem but little is known about their socioeconomic impact. This prospective longitudinal study estimates the direct health care costs and socioeconomic consequences of work injuries for 406 workers identified in the emergency departments of the two largest public hospitals in Salvador, Brazil, from June through September 2005. After hospital discharge workers were followed up monthly until their return to work. Most insured workers were unaware of their rights or of how to obtain insurance benefits (81.6%). Approximately half the cases suffered loss of earnings, and women were more frequently dismissed than men. The most frequently reported family consequences were: need for a family member to act as a caregiver and difficulties with daily expenses. Total costs were US$40,077.00 but individual costs varied widely, according to injury severity. Out-of-pocket costs accounted for the highest proportion of total costs (50.5%) and increased with severity (57.6%). Most out-of-pocket costs were related to transport and purchasing medicines and other wound care products. The second largest contribution (40.6%) came from the public National Health System − SUS. Employer participation was negligible. Health care funding must be discussed to alleviate the economic burden of work injuries on workers.
Recent epidemiologic research has shown that people with higher socioeconomic status (SES) (e.g., educational attainment) have better psychological health than those with lower SES. However, the psychosocial mechanisms of underlying this relationship remain unclear. To fill this gap, the current study examines the mediating effects of job demands and job resources in the relationship between educational attainment and psychological distress. The hypothesized model was tested using large data sets from two different studies: a cross-sectional study of 9,652 Japanese employees from 12 workplaces (Study 1), and a longitudinal study of 1,957 Japanese employees (Study 2). Structural equation modeling revealed that (1) educational attainment was positively related to psychological distress through job demands, (2) educational attainment was negatively related to psychological distress through job resources, and (3) educational attainment was not directly related to psychological distress. These results suggest that educational attainment has an indirect effect, rather than a direct one, on psychological distress among workers; educational attainment had both a positive and a negative relationship to psychological distress through job demands and job resources, respectively.
We aimed to determine the economic impact of absenteeism and presenteeism from five conditions potentially comorbid with depressive symptoms—back or neck disorders, depression, anxiety, or emotional disorders, chronic headaches, stomach or bowel disorders, and insomnia—among Japanese workers aged 18–59 yr. Participants from 19 workplaces anonymously completed Stanford Presenteeism Scale questionnaires. Participants identified one primary health condition and determined the resultant performance loss (0–100%) over the previous 4-wk period. We estimated the wage loss by gender, using 10-yr age bands. A total of 6,777 participants undertook the study. Of these, we extracted the data for those in the 18–59 yr age band who chose targeted primary health conditions (males, 2,535; females 2,465). The primary health condition identified was back or neck disorders. We found that wage loss due to presenteeism and absenteeism per 100 workers across all 10-yr age bands was high for back or neck disorders. Wage loss per person was relatively high among those identifying depression, anxiety, or emotional disorders. These findings offer insight into developing strategies for workplace interventions on increasing work performance.
Problem drinking is a serious public health problem in the workplace. However, few Japanese epidemiological studies have investigated the occupational characteristics of problem drinking. The purpose of this study is to clarify the occupational risk factors for problem drinking among a Japanese working population. We used data from a random-sampling survey about mental health and suicide, conducted among Hamamatsu City residents aged 15 to 79 yr old during May and June in 2008. The relation between occupational factors and problem drinking was analyzed with multiple logistic regression models stratified by gender. CAGE questionnaire was used to assess problem drinking. With regard to employment types, problem drinkers were more prevalent among self-employed women. With regard to occupational types, clerical and service professions had more problem drinkers of either sex, while administrative/managerial and sales professions had more women with such problem. With regard to company size, male problem drinkers were more prevalent in smaller companies than in larger ones. These results indicate that the prevalence of problem drinkers in the workplace depends on where one works. It is necessary to consider these characteristics to provide effective measures to address problem drinking in the workplace.
This paper examines the relationship between the inequality in workplace conditions and health-related outcomes in Japan. It analyzes the effect of changes in the work conditions and work arrangements on the subjective health, activity restriction, and depression symptoms, using the Japanese Life Course Panel Survey (JLPS). The 2007 JLPS consists of nationally representative sample of the youth (20 to 34 yr old) and the middle-aged (35 to 40 yr old). The original respondents were followed up in 2008, and 2,719 respondents for the youth panel and 1,246 for the middle-aged panel returned the questionnaires. The first major conclusion is that there are substantial changes in health conditions between the two waves even though the distributions of health-related outcomes are very similar at two time points. The second major conclusion is that the effects of work conditions depend on different health-related outcomes. Self-reported health and depression symptoms are affected by a variety of job-related factors. The atmosphere of helping each other and the control over the pace of work are two important factors which affect both depression and self-reported health. All these findings suggest that the workplace conditions and job characteristics have profound influence on the workers’ health.
This paper examines the effect of being out of work, which is in a broader category of unemployment, on the physical and mental health of younger Japanese men using panel data. A fixed effects model, widely used to control for unobserved individual heterogeneity in panel data analysis, was used for this analysis. Using the first through the fifth waves of the Japanese Life Course Panel Survey, the first wave of which was conducted with people aged 20–40 yrs in 2007, it is found that being out of work has no observable effect on self-assessed physical health. However, being out of work has a negative effect on mental health as measured by the five-item version of the Mental Health Inventory. It is difficult to clearly distinguish the direction of causality even after controlling for individual heterogeneity that is constant over time. An analysis was done with a sub-sample to mitigate a possible reverse causality. The results consistently show that being out of work has a negative effect on mental health.
Little is reported regarding economic burden of work-related low back pain except for the United States. In the present study, annual medical cost of work-related low back pain in Japan was calculated based on the treatment fee per day, a total of days of treatment received for low-back pain of all causes, employment rates, and an estimated number of work-related low-back cases. The analysis indicated that, in 2011, the total annual medical cost for work-related low back pain was 82.14 billion yen, consisting of 26.48 and 55.66 billion yen for inpatients and outpatients, respectively. As well as for 2011, the costs were also estimated for 2008, 2005, and 2002. Whereas the total medical costs of work-related low back pain monotonically increased during 2002–2011, the costs for spine disorder (including spondylosis) have also increased in recent years. Work-related low back pain entails a considerable economic burden to Japanese society.
Shift and night work are associated with several negative outcomes. The aim of this study was to make a systematic review of all studies which examine effects of shift and night work in the offshore petroleum industry, to synthesize the knowledge of how shift work offshore may affect the workers. Searches for studies concerning effects on health, sleep, adaptation, safety, working conditions, family- and social life and turnover were conducted via the databases Web of Knowledge, PsycINFO and PubMed. Search was also conducted through inspection of reference lists of relevant literature. We identified studies describing effects of shift work in terms of sleep, adaptation and re-adaptation of circadian rhythms, health outcomes, safety and accidents, family and social life, and work perceptions. Twenty-nine studies were included. In conclusion, the longitudinal studies were generally consistent in showing that adaptation to night work was complete within one to two weeks of work, while re-adaptation to a daytime schedule was slower. Shift workers reported more sleep problems than day workers. The data regarding mental and physical health, family and social life, and accidents yielded inconsistent results, and were insufficient as a base for drawing general conclusions. More research in the field is warranted.
Applicability of two mathematical models in inhalation exposure prediction (well mixed room and near field-far field model) were validated against standard sampling method in one operation room for isoflurane. Ninety six air samples were collected from near and far field of the room and quantified by gas chromatography-flame ionization detector. Isoflurane concentration was also predicted by the models. Monte Carlo simulation was used to incorporate the role of parameters variability. The models relatively gave more conservative results than the measurements. There was no significant difference between the models and direct measurements results. There was no difference between the concentration prediction of well mixed room model and near field far field model. It suggests that the dispersion regime in room was close to well mixed situation. Direct sampling showed that the exposure in the same room for same type of operation could be up to 17 times variable which can be incorporated by Monte Carlo simulation. Mathematical models are valuable option for prediction of exposure in operation rooms. Our results also suggest that incorporating the role of parameters variability by conducting Monte Carlo simulation can enhance the strength of prediction in occupational hygiene decision making.
The aim of the present study was to determine a good discriminatory cutoff for long working hours as a surrogate of chronic overload at work, which is associated with the approval of workers’ compensation claims for work-related cerebro-cardiovascular disease (WR-CVD) in Korea. We evaluated weekly working hours for four weeks prior to the onset of disease for all manufacturing industry claimants (N=319) of WR-CVD in 2010. The discrimination of long working hours in predicting approval of worker’s compensation pertaining to WR-CVD was compared across cases. The cutoff was calculated with sensitivity, specificity, and the area under the curve with 95% CI using the receiver operating curve (ROC) method. The cutoff point was thus calculated to be 60.75 h (AUC=0.89, 95% CI [0.84–0.93]), showing a sensitivity value of 65% and specificity of 94%. This is the first study to report that long working hours could be a predictor with good discrimination and high specificity of approval of WR-CVD cases. In Korea, long working hours and widespread chronic overload at work are recognized as a social problem. Our study results suggest an appropriate cutoff for working hours as an indicator of chronic overload for the purpose of approving claims of WR-CVD. Furthermore, these results could contribute to improving the consistency of evaluation.