In the current study, we investigated how initial job status at graduation from school is associated with midlife psychological distress, using microdata from a nationwide Internet survey of 3,117 men and 2,818 women aged 30–60 yr. We measured psychological distress using the Kessler 6 (K6) score (range: 0–24) and the binary variable of K6 score ≥5. We found that unstable initial job status substantially raised midlife K6 scores and the probability of a K6 score ≥5 for both men and women. Furthermore, our mediation analysis showed that for men, slightly less than 60% of the effect was mediated by current job status, household income, and marital status. For women, the effect of initial job status was somewhat lesser than that for men, and only 20–30% of it was mediated. Despite these gender asymmetries, the results indicated that initial job status was a key predictor of midlife mental health. The association between job status and mental health should be further investigated with special reference to the institutional attributes of the labor market and their socio-economic/demographic outcomes.
Work intensification is a popular management strategy to increase productivity, but at the possible expense of employee mental stress. This study examines associations between ratings of work intensification and psychological distress, and the level of agreement between compared employee-rated and manager-rated work intensification. Multi-source survey data were collected from 3,064 employees and 573 company managers from the private sector in 2010. Multilevel regression models were used to compare different work intensification ratings across psychological distress strata. Distressed employees rated higher degree of total work intensification compared to non-distressed employees, and on three out of five sub ratings there were an increased prevalence of work intensification in the case group. In general, there was poor agreement between employee and company work intensification rating. Neither manager-rated work intensification nor employee/manager discrepancy in work intensification ratings was associated with psychological distress. Distressed employees had a higher total score of employee/manager agreed work intensification, and a higher prevalence of increased demands of labour productivity. This study demonstrates higher ratings of employee/manager agreed work intensification in distressed employees compared to non-distressed employees, challenging previous findings of reporting bias in distressed employees’ assessment of work environment.
Despite all the emphasis laid today on the green economy, occupational health and safety (OHS) issues have still been talked only limitedly, as already noted in previous studies and literature reviews. The Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene of the Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority (INAIL) has conducted a survey among some Italian stakeholders, social partners, institutions and “green” businesses to gather their perceptions of the potential effects of green jobs on OHS, particularly in the renewable energy sector. The survey involved a sample of 61 stakeholders in the following categories: institutions (11), trade unions (11), employers’ organizations (13), businesses (11), research (15). Participation in this survey of national stakeholders who have a central role in the development and management of policies on renewable energy and OHS, allowed to analyze in depth the fundamental aspects for a fair transition towards green economy. Also, the good agreement among respondents brought to light quite clearly the main critical points as regards the OHS implications of green work in Italy, and pointed to the principal policies to be adopted to safeguard workers’ health and safety.
To verify if the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ), Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RDQ) and physical examination of the lumbar spine can identify workers with chronic or recurring low back pain, using health history for reference. Fifty office workers of both sexes, aged between 19 and 55 yr, were evaluated using a standardized physical examination and the NMQ, VAS and RDQ. Discriminant analysis was performed to determine the discriminant properties of these instruments. A higher success rate (94%) was observed in the model including only the NMQ and in the model including the NMQ and the physical examination. The lowest success rate (82%) was observed in the model including the NMQ, RDQ and VAS. The NMQ was able to detect subjects with chronic or recurring low back pain with 100% sensitivity and 88% specificity. The NMQ appears to be the best instrument for identifying subjects with chronic or recurring low back pain. Thus, this self-reported questionnaire is suitable for screening workers for chronic or recurring low back pain in occupational settings.
The inclined air-curtain technology was applied to build an inclined air-curtain range hood. A draft generator was applied to affect the inclined air-curtain range hood in three directions: lateral (θ=0°), oblique (θ=45°), and front (θ=90°). The three suction flow rates provided by the inclined air-curtain range hood were 10.1, 10.9, and 12.6 m3/min. The laser-assisted flow visualization technique and the tracer-gas test method were used to investigate the performance of the range hood under the influence of a draft. The results show that the inclined air-curtain range hood has a strong ability to resist the negative effect of a front draft until the draft velocity is greater than 0.5 m/s. The oblique draft affected the containment ability of the inclined air-curtain range hood when the draft velocity was larger than 0.3 m/s. When the lateral draft effect was applied, the capture efficiency of the inclined air-curtain range hood decreased quickly in the draft velocity from 0.2 m/s to 0.3 m/s. However, the capture efficiencies of the inclined air-curtain range hood under the influence of the front draft were higher than those under the influence of the oblique draft from 0.3 m/s to 0.5 m/s.
Night work has been associated with adverse effects in terms of reproductive health. Specifically, menstruation has been suggested to be negatively impacted by night work, which again may influence fertility. This study investigated whether working nights is related to menstrual characteristics and if there is a relationship between shift work disorder (SWD) and menstruation. The study was cross-sectional, response rate 38%. The sample comprised female nurses who were members of the Norwegian Nurses Association; below 50 yr of age, who were not pregnant, did not use hormonal pills or intrauterine devices and who had not reached menopause (n=766). The nurses answered a postal survey including questions about night work and menstrual characteristics. Fifteen per cent reported to have irregular menstruations. Thirty-nine per cent of the nurses were classified as having SWD. Logistic regression analyses concerning the relationship between irregular menstruations and night work did not show any associations. Furthermore, no associations were found between cycle length or bleeding period and night work parameters. No associations were found between menstrual characteristics and SWD.
This study clarified relationships between morningness-eveningness typology and cumulative fatigue or depressive state in Japanese male workers. 959 male chemical factory workers answered a questionnaire that included the MEQ, SDS, CFSI, age, marital status, sleep indexes, life habits, and labor load. Logistic regression analysis was performed with SDS and CFSI as objective variables. We obtained valid responses from 884 subjects, who were classified according to MEQ into definitely morning type (4.1%), moderately morning type (38.6%), intermediate type (55.1%), moderately evening type (2.3%), and definitely evening type (0%). The results of logistic regression analysis show that the odds ratio of a subscale among CFSI, chronic fatigue in the moderately evening type (3.33, p=0.046) was elevated compared with that in the intermediate type (2.07, p=0.004). However, the odds ratio of SDS (1.67, p=0.028) and two subscales among CFSI, decreased vitality (1.67, p=0.021), and depressive feelings (2.02, p=0.001), for which significant relationships were found only in the intermediate type, were higher in the moderately evening type than in the intermediate type. These results suggest that relationships between cumulative fatigue or depressive state and circadian typology exist among workers independent of working hours, sleep indexes, or life habits.
To investigate the associations between psychosocial factors and the development of chronic disabling low back pain (LBP) in Japanese workers. A 1 yr prospective cohort of the Japan Epidemiological Research of Occupation-related Back Pain (JOB) study was used. The participants were office workers, nurses, sales/marketing personnel, and manufacturing engineers. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed twice: at baseline and 1 yr after baseline. The outcome of interest was the development of chronic disabling LBP during the 1 yr follow-up period. Incidence was calculated for the participants who experienced disabling LBP during the month prior to baseline. Logistic regression was used to assess risk factors for chronic disabling LBP. Of 5,310 participants responding at baseline (response rate: 86.5%), 3,811 completed the questionnaire at follow-up. Among 171 eligible participants who experienced disabling back pain during the month prior to baseline, 29 (17.0%) developed chronic disabling LBP during the follow-up period. Multivariate logistic regression analysis implied reward to work (not feeling rewarded, OR: 3.62, 95%CI: 1.17–11.19), anxiety (anxious, OR: 2.89, 95%CI: 0.97–8.57), and daily-life satisfaction (not satisfied, ORs: 4.14, 95%CI: 1.18–14.58) were significant. Psychosocial factors are key to the development of chronic disabling LBP in Japanese workers. Psychosocial interventions may reduce the impact of LBP in the workplace.
In addition to its merits, industrial growth is associated with many issues and problems, including occupational injuries and diseases. The adverse effects of industrialization are function of economic, social, cultural, political and geographical condition of a country, and therefore it varies widely between different countries, especially, developed and developing countries. Establishment of occupational safety and health (OSH) is one of the important solutions to predict, prevent, reduce and harness of the related harms. Despite many relevant protocols and guidelines for establishment of OSH and decades of efforts, still, there are debates and lack of success on different approaches towards implementation of OSH, especially in developing countries. Iran has experienced industrialized growth and has gained some advancement in establishment of OSH in the region. The purpose of this study was to reach to a consensus among Iranian experts about barriers to establish OSH in developing countries, using Delphi technique. 48 experts participated in this study. Two rounds of Delphi were conducted and main barriers were identified, then the identified barriers were prioritized and weighted by the experts. Among all barriers, 17 barriers which were reported by 15 experts or more were selected and categorized as structural, managerial and implementation barriers.