The assessment of energy cost (EC) at the workplace remains a key topic in occupational health due to the ever-increasing prevalence of work-related issues. This review provides a detailed list of EC estimations in jobs/tasks included in tourism, agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and transportation industries. A total of 61 studies evaluated the EC of 1,667 workers while performing a large number of tasks related to each of the aforementioned five industries. Agriculture includes the most energy-demanding jobs (males: 6.0 ± 2.5 kcal/min; females: 2.9 ± 1.0 kcal/min). Jobs in the construction industry were the 2nd most demanding (males: 4.9 ± 1.6 kcal/min; no data for females). The industry with the 3rd highest EC estimate was manufacturing (males: 3.8 ± 1.1 kcal/min; females: 3.0 ± 1.3 kcal/min). Transportation presented relatively moderate EC estimates (males: 3.1 ± 1.0 kcal/min; no data for females). Tourism jobs demonstrated the lowest EC values (2.5 ± 0.9 kcal/min for males and females). It is hoped that this information will aid the development of future instruments and guidelines aiming to protect workers’ health, safety, and productivity. Future research should provide updated EC estimates within a wide spectrum of occupational settings taking into account the sex, age, and physiological characteristics of the workers as well as the individual characteristics of each workplace.
Personal protective clothing (PPC) is mandatory in hazardous industrial workplaces, but can increase thermophysiological strain, causing fatigue, reduced productivity, illness and injury. We systematically reviewed the literature on PPC and heat stress, focusing on research relating to working conditions of high temperature and humidity. PPC must protect industrial workers from a wide variety of hazards, including sun damage, abrasion, chemical spills and electrical burns; these competing demands inevitably compromise thermal performance. Fiber type, textile material construction and treatment need to be considered alongside garment fit and construction to design functional PPC providing wearers with adequate protection and comfort. Several approaches to materials and PPC testing—objective benchtop evaluation, mathematical modelling, and physiological testing—can be combined to provide high-quality thermal and vapor performance data. Our review provides a foundation and directions for further research in low-level risk PPC, where current research in fabrics and clothing in this category is very limited, and will help designers and manufacturers create industrial workwear with improved thermal management characteristics.
The study objectives were to develop a Japanese-language version of the Feedback Environment Scale (FES) that is used, mainly in the West, as a multifaceted instrument to evaluate the workplace feedback environment, and to test its reliability and validity in the Japanese workplace. The FES (comprising Supervisor and Coworker FES) was translated into Japanese and reviewed through a back-translation process involving the original author to produce the FES-J. Data on 416 individuals working at Japanese companies obtained through internet research were used to investigate FES-J reliability (internal consistency) and validity (confirmatory factor analysis and correlation analysis). Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were 0.68–0.92 for the Supervisor FES-J and 0.66–0.88 for the Coworker FES-J. The AIC scores and fit indices were χ2(417)=1,396.655 (p<0.001), AIC=1,618.655, CFI=0.900 and RMSEA=0.075 for the Supervisor FES-J and χ2(391)=1,859.302 (p<0.001), AIC=2,069.302, CFI=0.839 and RMSEA=0.095 for the Coworker FES-J. Correlation analysis showed a positive relationship between both FES-J scales and feedback-seeking behavior, LMX/TMX, job satisfaction, and work engagement, and a negative relationship with irritability, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. This study showed a certain level of reliability and validity for the FES-J, suggesting that this is an appropriate scale for evaluating the feedback environment in Japanese workplaces.
This study assessed the relationship between occupation and Intracerebral Hemorrhage-related deaths and compared the differences in ICH-related deaths rates between the eastern and midwestern regions of Inner Mongolia. We used the case-control method. Cases included Intracerebral Hemorrhage-related deaths that occurred from 2009 to 2012 in Inner Mongolia while controls included non-circulatory system disease deaths that occurred during the same period. Odds ratios (ORs) for Intracerebral Hemorrhage-related deaths were calculated using logistic regression analysis, estimated according to occupation, and adjusted for marital status and age. The Intracerebral Hemorrhage mortality rate in the eastern regions (125.19/100000) was nearly 3 times higher than that in the midwestern regions (45.31/100000). ORs for agriculture-livestock workers, service professionals and general workers, professional workers and senior officials were in descending order. The age-adjusted OR for Intracerebral Hemorrhage-related deaths was lowest in unmarried men senior officials (OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.14–0.99). The Intracerebral Hemorrhage mortality rate in the eastern regions was much higher than that of the midwestern regions, since about 90% of Intracerebral Hemorrhage-related deaths in the eastern regions were those of agriculture-livestock workers who has the largest labor intensity of any other occupation assessed.
An important factor for which work and family compete is time. Due to lack of evidence, I investigated the associations between work-family conflict (assessed by the National Study of Midlife Development in the US) and sleep disorders (assessed by the Jenkins Sleep Questionnaire) in a cross-sectional study included 1,021 Egyptians aged 18–59 yr. Both work-to-family conflict (WFC) and family-to-work conflict (FWC) were associated with reduced sleep quantity. Moreover, high WFC was associated with sleep disorders; the multivariable ORs (95% CIs) were 2.32 (1.63–3.30) in high versus low WFC, 1.09 (0.79–1.49) in high versus low FWC and 2.41 (1.52–3.83) in high both WFC and FWC vs. low both WFC and FWC. Waking up too early with inability to fall asleep again and waking up tired after the usual amount of sleep were the most common sleep disturbances with high WFC; while insignificant increased risks for waking up several times per night and waking up tired after the usual amount of sleep were observed with high FWC. The study findings suggest the need for occupational and social health promotion programs to help men and women in labor force reach a balanced interaction between work and family life in order to reduce sleep complaints.
To reduce the muscular exertion of an operator wiring terminal blocks on a vertical plane, a chair with a unique back that can be used as a back support or arm support is proposed in this study. A digital version of the chair was first developed based on anthropometric data and tested with a digital anthropometric subject using the Jack software before the physical chair was developed. To evaluate the effects of the physical chair, an experiment of wiring terminal blocks was conducted with 12 subjects to test whether the use of the arm support can reduce muscular exertion. The results showed that (1) exertion on the anterior deltoid, upper trapezium, and erector spinae muscles decreased with decrease in terminal block height; (2) using the arm support reduced exertion on the anterior deltoid and upper trapezium muscles; and (3) the subjects reported less self-perceived fatigue in the wrist, elbow, and shoulder regions when the arm support was used. These results confirm that the proposed chair can reduce muscular workload in the shoulder muscle over a proper range of working heights. However, using the arm support may restrict certain working postures and lead to force generation in upper extremity muscles.
The purpose of this study was to examine the frequency of firefighters’ heat-related illness (HRI) in the line of duty with relation to resting/working hours and the behaviour of taking off PPE during rest periods based on nationwide survey (N=674). The results showed that 74.8% of firefighters experienced HRI symptoms and 5% of firefighters suffered from symptoms of HRI 20 times or more in a year. This study also showed a statistically significant correlation between working hours and removing PPE with the experience of HRI symptoms (p<0.05). In addition, removing PPE except the helmet was correlated with resting hours (p<0.001; Gloves: p=0.051), which indicates that removing PPE is related to resting time. This study revealed that firefighters routinely experienced mild HRI symptoms and the fatalities were just a tiny fraction. It is also emphasized that attention should be given on the significant role of taking off PPE during rest and on the standardized firefighters’ rehabilitation followed by its application.
The present study is aimed to investigate the musculoskeletal issues and association of risk-factors with these problems among manual brick kiln workers. A modified Nordic Questionnaire was administered among 376 traditional brick kiln workers to collect data. Logistic regression was used to determine the association between musculoskeletal problems and risk-factors. Majority of workers (76.19%) involved in mould evacuating task reported wrist issues whereas lower back issues were reported by 62.35% of spading task workers. Age was a factor associated with musculoskeletal symptoms in the majority of the body regions. Gender was significantly associated with lower back (OR=3.71, CI: 1.51–9.11) MSDs. Spading task was associated with the wrist (OR=2.42, CI: 51.03–5.66), and lower back (OR=3.97, CI: 1.75–8.98) problems. Mould filling was a contributing factor for the wrist (OR=4.27, CI: 1.81–10.09) and knee (OR=6.88, CI: 2.40–19.70) issues. MSDs in wrist (OR=12.22, CI: 4.82–30.98) and fingers (OR=3.57, CI: 1.23–10.36) were significant in mould evacuating workers. Workers having less than 5 yr of experience were less prone to the neck (OR= 0.03, CI: 0.00–0.72) and upper back (OR=0.08, CI: 0.01–0.76) MSDs. For prevention of problems, ergonomic interventions such as workers’ training, use of protecting aids, modification in hand tools and work practices are needed.
This study aimed to evaluate personal exposures of 27 workers to indium compounds as “total” dust and its “respirable” fraction in their breathing zones at 3 Japanese indium plants. Eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA) indium concentrations of personal exposure to dust collected in sampling periods of 6 h or longer were determined by ICP-MS. The arithmetic means of exposure concentrations were 0.095 mg indium (In)/m3, when sampled as total dust, and 0.059 mg In/m3, as respirable fraction. ACGIH’s TLV-TWA of 0.1 mg In/m3 for total particulate matter and Acceptable Exposure Concentration Limit (AECL) of 3×10−4 mg In/m3 for the respirable fraction notified by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare were used to evaluate the exposure concentrations. Twenty-five out of 27 workers were exposed to indium concentrations lower than TLV-TWA, while all of the workers were exposed to the indium concentrations higher than AECL. We noted that there was a large discrepancy between the two occupational exposure limits referred to in this report, and these differences were attributed to the sampling strategies and health effects used as the prevention targets. Carcinogenicity of the respirable fraction of indium-containing particulates was considered in setting AECL, whereas it was not in ACGIH’s TLV.
This study determines whether dispositional optimism moderates the relationship between role conflict and the risk of disability retirement. The study was based on a combination of self-report survey questionnaire data on role conflict and dispositional optimism with official register data on disability benefits from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration. The sample comprised 14,501 Norwegian employees from various occupations and industries. Role conflict was significantly related to higher risk (HR 1.35, 95% CI 1.19–1.53), whereas optimism was associated with decreased risk (HR 0.75, 95% CI 0.64–0.88), of disability retirement. Optimism did not modify the effect on role conflict on disability retirement. Having an optimistic life orientation decreases the risk of disability retirement in general, but does not protect against the detrimental effects of role conflict at the workplace. As optimism is a malleable personality characteristic, organizations may benefit from interventions that help employees experience daily events more positively.