The objective of this article was to estimate the medical costs derived from malignant ARD treatment in the Spanish National Health System (NHS) between 2004 and 2011. Estimation of direct healthcare costs was based on national primary data on the cost of specialized care for inpatients and outpatients treated at NHS hospitals and on national and regional secondary data on costs of primary healthcare and pharmaceutical prescriptions. A prevalence approach was used to estimate the overall burden of ARDs. Direct medical costs of 37,557 ARDs attended in Spanish NHS facilities in 2004–2011 were estimated at 464 million euros; specialist care accounted for 50.9% of total costs, primary healthcare 10.15%, and drug prescription 38.9%. The cost was 27.8-fold higher in males than in females. Bronchopulmonary cancers represented the greatest healthcare cost, 281 million euros. The cost of delivering healthcare to ARDs victims in Spain has a negative economic impact on the NHS due to the gross under-recognition of occupational victims under the Spanish National Insurance System.
To clarify the effects of lung function following exposure to diesel engine exhaust (DEE), we recruited 137 diesel engine testing workers exposed to DEE and 127 non-DEE-exposed workers as study subjects. We performed lung function tests and measured cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) cytome index and levels of urinary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) metabolites. There was a significant decrease of forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 second to forced vital capacity (FEV1/ FVC), maximal mid expiratory flow curve (MMF), forced expiratory flow at 50% of FVC (FEF50%), and forced expiratory flow at 75% of FVC (FEF75%) in the DEE-exposed workers than non-DEE-exposed workers (all p<0.05). Among all study subjects, the decreases of FEF75% were associated with the increasing levels of PAHs metabolites (p<0.05), and there were negative correlations between FEV1, FEV1/FVC, MMF, FEF50%, and FEF75% with CBMN cytome index (all p<0.05). Our results show that long-term exposure to DEE can induce lung function decline which shows mainly obstructive changes and influence of small airways function. The decreased lung function is associated with internal dosage of DEE exposure, and accompany with the increasing CBMN cytome index.
The objectives of this study were to evaluate how lifting capacity and subjective preferences are affected by different lifting speeds. The maximum lifting capacity of lift was determined with three independent variables, lifting speed, lifting technique, and lifting height. Questionnaires were evaluated after the experiment by the participants for the lifting speed preferences. This study found that the lifting speed was a significant factor in the lifting capacity (p<0.001); and the lifting height (p<0.001) and the interaction of lifting speed and lifting height (p=0.005) affected the lifting capacity significantly. The maximal lifting capacity was achieved around the optimal speed that was neither too fast nor too slow. Moreover, the participants' preferred lifting speeds were consistently close to the optimal lifting speed. The results showed that the common lifting practice guideline to lift slowly might make the worker unable to generate a large lifting capacity.
The free-living protozoan Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic pathogen that is ubiquitous in our environment. However, its role in affecting indoor air quality and ill-health of indoor occupants is relatively unknown. The present study investigated the presence of Acanthamoeba from the ventilation system and its correlation with other indoor air quality parameters, used in the industry code of practice and its potential as an indicator for indoor air quality. Indoor air quality assessments were carried out in nine commercial buildings with approval from the building management, and the parameters assessed were as recommended by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health. The presence of Acanthamoeba was determined through dust swabs from the ventilation system and indoor furniture. Logistic regression was performed to study the correlation between assessed parameters and occupants' complaints. A total of 107 sampling points were assessed and 40.2% of the supplying air diffuser and blowing fan and 15% of the furniture were positive for cysts. There was a significant correlation between Acanthamoeba detected from the ventilation system with ambient total fungus count (r=0.327; p=0.01) and respirable particulates (r=0.276; p=0.01). Occupants' sick building syndrome experience also correlated with the presence of Acanthamoeba in the ventilation system (r=0.361; p=0.01) and those detected on the furniture (r=0.290; p=0.01). Logistic regression showed that there was a five-fold probability of sick building syndrome among occupants when Acanthamoeba was detected in the ventilation system.
This study examined the association between long working hours and psychosocial stress responses. In total, 1,122 white-collar workers from a company in Korea completed self-administered questionnaires following a lecture about the study aim, procedures, and confidentiality. Psychosocial stress responses were evaluated using the Psychosocial Well-being Index - Short Form (PWI-SF), and psychosocial working conditions were evaluated with the Korean Occupational Stress Scale - Short Form (KOSS-SF). Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed after adjusting for demographic variables and psychosocial working conditions to examine associations between long working hours and psychosocial stress responses. In comparison with the reference group, which worked 40–44 hours per week, the crude odds ratio (OR) of the respondents who worked 60 or more hours was 4.56 (95% confidence interval (CI), 2.55–8.15) in terms of psychosocial stress responses. After adjusting for demographic variables, the adjusted OR of those working ≥60 hours was 5.61 (95% CI, 3.01–10.47). After adjusting for both demographic variables and psychosocial working conditions, the adjusted OR of those working ≥60 hours was 3.25 (95% CI, 1.56–6.79). This study found that long working hours are significantly related to psychosocial stress responses among white-collar workers in one Korean company.
Ready mixed concrete (RMC) industry, one of the barebones of construction sector, has its distinctive occupational safety and health (OSH) risks. Employees experience risks that emerge during the fabrication of concrete, as well as its delivery to the construction site. Statistics show that usage and demand of RMC have been increasing along with the number of producers and workers. Unfortunately, adequate OSH measures to meet this rapid growth are not in place even in top RMC producing countries, such as Turkey. Moreover, lack of statistical data and academic research in this sector exacerbates this problem. This study aims to fill this gap by conducting data mining in Turkish Social Security Institution archives and performing univariate frequency and cross tabulation analysis on 71 incidents that RMC truck drivers were involved. Also, investigations and interviews were conducted in seven RMC plants in Turkey and Netherlands with OSH point of view. Based on the results of this research, problem areas were determined such as; cleaning truck mixer/pump is a hazardous activity where operators get injured frequently, and struck by falling objects is a major hazard at RMC industry. Finally, Job Safety Analyses were performed on these areas to suggest mitigation methods.
This study examines healthcare use in 2011 for communicable diseases among migrant workers compared with Thai workers in Thailand. The relative risks (RRs) of 14 communicable diseases (803,817 cases between ages 18 and 59) were calculated using the National Epidemiological Surveillance System, a nationwide hospital database. Regarding the migrant workers, 71.0% were Burmese and 17.3% were Cambodians. Significantly high comparative RRs for migrant workers were found for tuberculosis (TB) (male, RR=1.41; female, RR=2.33), sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (male, RR=2.39; female, RR=1.64), and malaria (male, RR=8.31; female, RR=11.45). Significantly low comparative RRs for migrant workers were found for diarrhea (male, RR=0.39; female, RR=0.28), food poisoning (male, RR=0.33; female, RR=0.24), dengue (male, RR=0.82; female, RR=0.68), and others. By occupation, RRs for TB and STIs were high among laborers but low among farmers. RRs for malaria among farmers (male, RR=18.26, female, RR=25.49) was higher than among laborers (male, RR=10.04; female, RR=13.93). The study indicated a higher risk of TB, STIs, and malaria for migrant workers, but a lower risk of diarrhea, food poisoning, dengue, and others. Although general health support program for migrants have promoted maternal and child health, prevention of communicable diseases should be further strengthened to meet the needs of migrants.
This study aims to examine the benefits of wearing a new construction work uniform in real-work settings. A field experiment with a randomized assignment of an intervention group to a newly designed uniform and a control group to a commercially available trade uniform was executed. A total of 568 sets of physical, physiological, perceptual, and microclimatological data were obtained. A linear mixed-effects model (LMM) was built to examine the cause-effect relationship between the Perceptual Strain Index (PeSI) and heat stressors including wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT), estimated workload (relative heart rate), exposure time, trade, workplace, and clothing type. An interaction effect between clothing and trade revealed that perceptual strain of workers across four trades was significantly alleviated by 1.6–6.3 units in the intervention group. Additionally, the results of a questionnaire survey on assessing the subjective sensations on the two uniforms indicated that wearing comfort was improved by 1.6–1.8 units when wearing the intervention type. This study not only provides convincing evidences on the benefits of wearing the newly designed work uniform in reducing perceptual strain but also heightens the value of the field experiment in heat stress intervention studies.
The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between indium exposure concentration in the respirable dust fraction (In-E) and indium in serum (In-S) in workers. Methods: A total of 39 workers were studied. The study subjects were categorized into 3 groups, namely, smelting workers (n=7), ITO workers (n=6) in an ITO grinding plant, and other workers (n=26). In-E and In-S ranged from 0.004–24.0 μg/m3 and 0.1–8.50 μg/L, respectively. The simple regression equation was log(In-S)=0.322×log(In-E)-0.443. The simple correlation coefficients for the smelting workers, ITO workers and other workers were 0.489, 0.812 and 0.163, respectively. The differences in the relationships among the three groups suggest that In-S may vary with the chemical form to which the workers were exposed. In-E and In-S seem to be positively correlated. The correlation coefficient was higher for both smelting and ITO workers than for other workers.