Knowledge about cabin crew fatigue associated with ultra-long range (ULR) flights is still limited. Current ULR scheduling for cabin crew is therefore predominantly based on flight crew data. Cabin crews’ views on fatigue, and their strategies for mitigating it, have seldom been sought. To better understand the causes and consequences of cabin crew fatigue, semi-structured focus group discussions were held. Thematic analysis was undertaken with data from 25 cabin crew. Participants indicated that the consequences of fatigue are twofold, affecting 1) cabin crew health and wellbeing and 2) safety (cabin, passenger and personal) and cabin service. While the primary causes of fatigue were sleep loss and circadian disruption, participants also identified other key factors including: insufficient rest, high workload, the work environment, a lack of company support, and insufficient fatigue management training. They highlighted the importance of sufficient rest, not only for obtaining adequate recovery sleep but also for achieving a work-life balance. They also highlighted the need for company support, effective communication, and management’s engagement with cabin crew in general. We recommend that priority is given to fatigue management training for cabin crew, which may also enhance perceived company support and assist with achieving a better work-life balance.
This study explored the potential association between chronic exposure to pesticide mixtures including paraquat and respiratory outcomes among Colombian farmers. Sociodemographic and occupational data, respiratory symptoms and spirometric data were collected. Paraquat in spot urine samples were quantified with solid-phase extraction high-performance liquid chromatography. Multiple Poisson regressions with robust variance were used to determine factors associated with respiratory outcomes. Profiles of pesticide mixtures used were identified among 217 farmworkers, but profenofos and methamidophos-based mixtures were more frequent. Chronic paraquat exposure was slightly associated with self-reported asthma (PR: 1.06; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.13). Different pesticide mixtures were associated with flu, thoracic pain, allergic rhinitis, and obstructive pattern in spirometry. Although acute exposure to paraquat is low among Colombian farmers participating in the study, associations between respiratory outcomes and chronic pesticide mixtures exposure including profenofos, methamidophos or glyphosate require further specific studies.
The objective of the study is to establish exposure-excretion relationship between dichlorometane (DCM) in air (DCM-A) and in urine (DCM-U) in workplace to confirm a previous report. Male workers in a screen-printing plant participated in the study. Time-weighted average DCM-A was measured by diffusive sampling followed by gas-chromatography (GC), and DCM in end-of-shift urine samples was by head-space GC. The data were subjected to regression and other statistical analyses. In practice, 30 sets of DCM-A and DCM-U values were available. The geometric mean DCM-A was 8.4 ppm and that of DCM-U (as observed) was 41.1 µg/l. The correlation coefficients (0.70–0.85) were statistically significant across the correction for urine density. Thus, the analysis for un-metabolized DCM in end-of-shift urine samples is applicable for biological monitoring of occupational exposure to DCM, in support of and in agreement with the previous report. In conclusion, biological monitoring of occupational DCM exposure is possible by use of analysis for un-metabolized DCM in end-of-shift urine.
Oral diseases produce enormous productivity loss. However, epidemiological evidence of work stress and tooth loss is scarce. The aim of this study was to examine the association of work stress, according to effort–reward imbalance (ERI), with tooth loss. We conducted a cross-sectional study using data obtained between 2010 and 2011 in Japan. This study included 1,195 employees aged 25–50 years old (response rate=32%). The dependent variable was self-reported tooth loss (having or not). The independent variable was a dichotomized ERI ratio (>1.4 and ≤1.4). Age, sex, sociodemographic variables, work-related factors, and health-related variables were adjusted. Psychological distress was used as a potential mediator. We also examined an additive interaction between support from supervisors and ERI. The median age was 37, and 48% were women. After adjusting for the covariates, ERI was still associated with tooth loss (prevalence ratio=1.20 [95% confidence interval=1.01, 1.42] from Poisson regression models with a robust error variance). Psychological distress partially explained the association, and support from supervisors significantly attenuated the association. In conclusion, high ERI ratio was still associated with an increased risk of tooth loss among working adults.
This study aimed to investigate factors related to presenteeism among Chinese workers residing in Japan by assessing their mental state and health-promoting lifestyles. An anonymous, self-reported questionnaire was administered to 450 Chinese workers living in Hiroshima Prefecture, of whom, 313 completed it in its entirety. Results showed that 40.6% reported suffering from depression (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, CES-D). Sociodemographic characteristics such as being female, having a lower educational background, being widowed/divorced, having fewer years of residence, fluency in basic-level Japanese, being employed part-time, being an engineer, and workplace environment (having no health education in the workplace) increased the likelihood of depression. Path analysis indicated that marital status (being married) was negatively associated with presenteeism on the Work Limitations Questionnaire-Chinese version via work-related stress. There was a positive correlation between work-related stress and presenteeism through mental health (CES-D). Health-promoting lifestyles (Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile II) showed a negative correlation with presenteeism, via work-related stress and mental health. Furthermore, health-promoting lifestyles showed a direct negative association with presenteeism. Thus, health education that emphasizes mental health was a significant factor for improving presenteeism. Furthermore, the provision of health education shortly after Chinese workers had arrived in Japan is important.
Fit testing procedure is required for filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) to ascertain an acceptable fit between the skin and facepiece sealing surface. The present study seeks to compare the efficacy of Aloe vera (A. vera) and commercial BitrexTM as challenge agents of qualitative fit testing of particulate respirators. An herbal solution consisting of A. vera at seven different concentrations was developed. Threshold Screening Tests (TSTs) of A. vera solutions were compared to BitrexTM. To do so, solutions were administered randomly on a total of 62 participants. A placebo was also tested to ensure the taste response being valid. Statistical analysis was performed using R 18.104.22.168 software. There were no statistically significant differences between the A. vera (41.7, 58.3, 75, and 91.7 mg/ml) and BitrexTM threshold tests. Therefore, the minimum concentration of A. vera to develop the threshold solution was considered to be 41.7 mg/ml. When commercial products are expensive and unavailable, a cost-effective technique would be to replace A. vera solution with a commercial product as a challenge agent of qualitative fit testing of respirators.
Non-standard working hours are associated with negative health outcomes. However, little is known about the early years of exposure to non-standard work hours, or whether workers new to these work schedules perceive their work as impacting their health. This limits our ability to develop meaningful intervention strategies for transitioning into non-standard work hour schedules. This exploratory study investigated whether recent Australian graduates in various non-standard workhour schedules perceive that their work schedule negatively impacts their health. The responses of 120 graduates within four years of completing their tertiary qualification collected from an online survey were analysed. Graduates were asked whether they perceived their work arrangements as impacting their health. Significantly more of those who were engaged in non-standard work schedules or worked beyond contracted hours perceived their working arrangements as having an impact on their health. This study highlights the importance of studying workers’ perceptions of the impact of work hours on health, particularly when workers may be experiencing good global health but be at risk for negative health outcomes in future.
This study examined the effectiveness of a field-type liquid cooling vest (LCV) worn underneath an impermeable protective suit on heat strain during walking. Eight men walked for 60 min at a moderate speed (3.0 km/h) wearing the suit in a warm environment (33°C, 60% relative humidity) without (control, CON) or with the LCV. A smaller increase in rectal temperature was recorded in participants in the LCV than in the CON condition (37.6 ± 0.1°C vs. 37.9 ± 0.1°C, p<0.05). Walking while wearing the LCV reduced the level of physiological heat strain, as measured by the mean skin temperature (35.5 ± 0.1°C vs. 36.3 ± 0.1°C), chest sweat rate (13.5 ± 3.0 mg/cm2/h vs. 16.6 ± 3.8 mg/cm2/h), chest cutaneous vascular conductance (349 ± 88% vs. 463 ± 122%), body weight loss (0.72 ± 0.05% vs. 0.93 ± 0.06%), and heart rate (101 ± 6 beats/min vs. 111 ± 7 beats/min) (p<0.05, for all comparisons). These changes were accompanied by a decrease in thermal sensation and discomfort. These results suggest that a field-type LCV attenuates exertional heat strain while wearing impermeable protective clothing.
Cognitive health is a key resource for individuals to nurture their employability. We studied the longitudinal association of cognitive function with changes in stressful working conditions, testing a possible reversed causation. We used a sample of employees (N=1,355) participating in two surveys (2006 and 2011) within a German national representative study (GSOEP). Cognitive function was captured by perceptual speed (Symbol Digit Test) and word fluency (Animal Naming Test). Stressful working conditions were measured by the validated short version of the effort-reward imbalance questionnaire. Multivariate linear regression models assessed the impact of perceptual speed and verbal fluency in 2006 on changes in participants’ perceptions of effort, reward, effort-reward ratio, and over-commitment between 2006 and 2011, adjusting for socio-demography, behaviours, physical and mental health at baseline. Neither perceptual speed nor verbal fluency was significantly related to changes in perceived working conditions. Our findings did not support the notion of reversed causation.
Some employees may have recourse to gambling, notably as an adaptive strategy. Although many studies have been performed on specific occupational groups (i.e. gambling industry, transportation or teaching), none have been conducted with workers followed-up by Occupational Health Services (OHS). Our aim was to evaluate the prevalence of problem gambling in an employed population and its links with work. We performed a cross-sectional study between November 2016 and April 2017, in an OHS in France. We evaluated the prevalence of gambling using the Lie or Bet questionnaire and the Canadian Problem Gambling Index. Among the 410 employees included, 138 (33.7%) had gambled in the previous year, 12 (2.9%) considered their gambling experience to be work-related, 13 (3.2%) were identified as problem gamblers. The influence of colleagues and the workplace hierarchy and ease of access to gambling (in tobacco shops, bars…) could be risk factors. Screening for gambling behavior could be offered by occupational health services, using the Lie or Bet, especially for employees exposed to readily available gambling opportunities at their workplace.