This study investigated the separate and combined effects of skin cooling and cold fluid ingestion on the alleviation of heat strain when wearing protective firefighting clothing at an air temperature of 30°C with 50%RH. A vest with the dual functions of cooling and providing sports drink supply (1.2% body mass) was developed. Eight males participated in the following four conditions: control [CON], drinking only [DO], cooling only [CO], and both cooling and drinking [CD]. The results showed that rectal (Tre), mean skin temperature (Tsk) and heart rate (HR) during recovery were lower for CD than for CON (p<0.05), while no significant differences between the four conditions were found during exercise. CO significantly reduced mean Tsk and HR and improved thermal sensation, whereas DO was effective for relieving thirst and lowering HR in recovery. In summary, the combined effect of skin cooling and fluid ingestion was synergistically manifested in Tre, Tsk and thermal sensation in recovery.Practitioner Summary: The present results provide data on a novel vest that contributes to alleviating firefighters’ heat strain. Because a cooling vest after melting may be a burden for firefighters, this study indicates a practical way to reduce the additional weight load of the vest by drinking the melted fluid of the cooling packs.
Although the eudemonic perspective seems to be a promising in considering vocational identity among working population, well-being at work has been discussed primarily in terms of subjective/hedonic well-being. This study aimed to develop a new tool to measure eudemonic well-being at work (The University of Tokyo Occupational Mental Health [TOMH] well-being 24 scale)and investigate its validity in a collectivist culture. Two online surveys were conducted with a total of 1,760 workers in Japan. We created 89 potential items from existing scales. An exploratory factor analysis indicated eight factors for the dimensions of measurement. After item selection based on item response theory, the factor structure with three items from each of the eight dimensions indicated an excellent fit for another sample. Cronbach’s α and intra-class coefficients ranged from 0.671 to 0.845. The scores of the tool were more strongly associated with subjective well-being in the work context rather than well-being in general. In addition, the participants in the group demonstrating a higher risk for mental illness and a more stressful work environment indicated significantly lower scores, even after adjusting for general eudemonic well-being. The new measurement may be useful both for academic and practical applications for measuring eudemonic well-being at work, independent from general eudemonic well-being.
The modified International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) has been used empirically to report or investigate working conditions or worker status. We used principal component analysis and k-means clustering to analyze the working population based on 67 occupational characteristics among 23,060 workers from the fourth Korean Working Conditions Survey in 2014. The three-cluster approach classified workers into major groups 1–4 (managers, professionals, technicians, and clerical support workers), 5–6 (service, sales, agricultural, forestry, and fishery workers), and 7–9 (crafts, trades, machine operators, assemblers, and elementary occupations) based on the ISCO-08. The results of the current study suggest a well-defined clustered occupational classification that can be used to report or investigate workers.
Recovery from work today seems to be crucial for health care employees’ health, so it is important to uncover ways how to facilitate and improve adequate recovery from work. Focusing on the recovery concept of detachment from work, this study investigated associations between detachment after work and during work breaks and individual health among health care employees from a general hospital in the Netherlands. An online cross-sectional survey study was conducted comprising a sample of 368 health care employees of different departments. Controlling for demographics in hierarchical regression analyses, results showed that when health care employees experienced more cognitive detachment after work, they reported less concentration problems. Second, when employees experienced more emotional detachment after work, they reported less feelings of emotional exhaustion, less depressive feelings, and less sleep problems. Finally, in case employees experienced more physical detachment after work, they reported less concentration problems, less feelings of emotional exhaustion, less sleep problems and less physical health problems. No significant associations were found for detachment during work breaks. In conclusion, findings add to current recovery research showing that detachment after work is an important predictor for health care employees’ health.
Physicians and nurses in Taiwan have heavy workload and long working hours, which may contribute to plantar fasciitis. However, this issue is unclear, and therefore, we conducted this study to delineate it. We conducted a nationwide population-based study by identifying 26,024 physicians and 127,455 nurses and an identical number of subjects for comparison (general population) via the National Health Insurance Research Database. The risk of plantar fasciitis between 2006 and 2012 was compared between physicians and general population, between nurses and general population, and between physicians and nurses. We also compared the risk of plantar fasciitis among physician subgroups. Physicians and nurses had a period prevalence of plantar fasciitis of 8.14% and 13.11% during the 7-yr period, respectively. The risk of plantar fasciitis was lower among physicians (odds ratio [OR]: 0.660; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.622–0.699) but higher among nurses (OR: 1.035; 95% CI: 1.011–1.059) compared with that in the general population. Nurses also had a higher risk than the physicians after adjusting for age and sex (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 1.541; 95% CI: 1.399–1.701). Physician subspecialties of orthopedics and physical medicine and rehabilitation showed a higher risk. Female physicians had a higher risk of plantar fasciitis than male physicians. This study showed that nurses, physician specialties of orthopedics and physical medicine and rehabilitation, and female physicians had a higher risk of plantar fasciitis. Improvement of the occupational environment and health promotion are suggested for these populations.
This study investigated the relationship between the sleep-wake cycle and body mass index (BMI) of female shift-working nurses and examine the mediating effect of sleep quality on this relationship. We recruited a total of 147 female nurses working monthly rotating shifts at a teaching hospital in Taiwan from the day (n=63), evening (n=50), and night (n=34) shifts. Our research instruments utilized a questionnaire to collect demographic and work-related information, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and actigraphs to record sleep patterns for seven consecutive days. The sleep-wake cycles were then estimated using the dichotomy index (I<O). The I<O values were negatively associated with both BMI (β=−0.28, p=0.001) and PSQI scores (β=−0.29, p<0.001), the bootstrapping results indicated that the estimate of the indirect effect was −0.28, and the 95% confidence interval ranged from −0.68 to −0.05. For female shift-working nurses, sleep quality mediates the influence of the sleep-wake cycle on BMI, indicating that the maintenance of a regular sleep-wake cycle and good sleep quality could be important for female shift-working nurses.
The study aimed to assess the heat stress of the construction workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), using Wet Bulb Globe temperature (WBGT) index, whereas also computing Heat stress index (HSI), and Thermal Work Limit (TWL) for comparison. Portable Area Heat Stress Monitor (HS-32) was used for measuring WBGToutdoor, Dry Bulb Temperature, Natural Wet Bulb Temperature, Globe Temperature in°C, and Relative humidity. The outcomes demonstrated that the WBGT exceeded the recommended Threshold Limit Value (TLV) and that workers are at risk of heat stress. According to HSI, only fit acclimatized young workers can tolerate work in this site, and workers should be selected by medical examination. As per TWL, the site was labeled as Acclimatization Zone implying that no un-acclimatized worker should work here and working alone should be avoided. The construction workers lie at a high or medium risk of heat stress. The contribution of the radiant heat load was very high compared with metabolic load and convective load. Furthermore, WBGT, HSI, and TWL are suitable to assess thermal stress in construction environments. Scheduling of the work earlier or later (after sunset) along with breaks for rest on cool shaded areas are recommended.
The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between environmental temperatures and occupational injuries (OIs) in construction workers (CWs) from a subalpine region of North-Eastern Italy. Data about OIs from 2000 to 2013, and daily weather for the specific site of the events were retrieved. Risk for daily OIs was calculate through a Poisson regression model. Estimated daily incidence for OIs was 5.7 (95%CI 5.5–5.8), or 2.8 OIs/10,000 workers/d (95%CI 2.7–2.9), with higher rates for time periods characterized by high temperatures (daily maximum ≥35°C), both in first 2 d (3.57, 95%CI 3.05–4.11) and from the third day onwards (i.e. during Heat Waves: 3.43, 95%CI 3.08–3.77). Higher risk for OIs was reported in days characterized temperatures ≥95th percentile (OR 1.145, 95%CI 1.062–1.235), summer days (daily maximum ≥25°C , OR 1.093, 95%CI 1.042–1.146). On the contrary, no significant increased risk was found for OIs having a more severe prognosis (≥40 d or more; death). In conclusion, presented findings recommend policymakers to develop appropriate procedures and guidelines, in particular aimed to improve the compliance of younger CWs towards severe-hot daily temperatures.
Since respiratory protective equipment (RPE) are essential for the workers who are occupationally exposed to harmful airborne substances, it is necessary to complete a strict certification test on RPE. In Japan, Technology Institution of Industrial Safety (TIIS) is responsible for the RPE certification and examines the RPE submitted by the manufactures to make an admission decision with the national standards. However, the certification system cannot ensure the quality of the RPE after the shipping because some RPE may deteriorate during the distribution process or the storage period at retail stores. In this article, the author aimed to introduce the follow-up system on national RPE certification in Japan and the role of the follow-up survey committee established by TIIS.