Industrial Health
Online ISSN : 1880-8026
Print ISSN : 0019-8366
ISSN-L : 0019-8366
Volume 62, Issue 1
Displaying 1-8 of 8 articles from this issue
Review Article
  • Madeline SPRAJCER, Sally A FERGUSON, Drew DAWSON
    2024 Volume 62 Issue 1 Pages 2-19
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: February 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: March 21, 2023
    Supplementary material

    Regulatory guidance materials for fatigue management typically advise that employees be provided with days or weeks of advance notice of schedules/rosters. However, the scientific evidence underpinning this advice is unclear. A systematic search was performed on current peer reviewed literature addressing advance notice periods, which found three relevant studies. A subsequent search of grey literature to determine the quality of evidence for the recommendation for advance notice periods returned 37 relevant documents. This review found that fatigue management guidance materials frequently advocated advance notice for work shifts but did not provide empirical evidence to underpin the advice. Although it is logical to suggest that longer notice periods may result in increased opportunities for pre-work preparations, improved sleep, and reduced worker fatigue, the current guidance appears to be premised on this reasoning rather than empirical evidence. Paradoxically, it is possible that advance notice could be counterproductive, as too much may result in frequent alterations to the schedule, particularly where adjustments to start and end times of the work period are not uncommon (e.g., road transport, rail). To assist organisations in determining the appropriate amount of advance notice to provide, we propose a novel theoretical framework to conceptualise advance notice.

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Original Article
  • Heba Wagih ABDELWAHAB, Radwa SEHSAH, Abdel-Hady EL-GILANY, Mohammed SH ...
    2024 Volume 62 Issue 1 Pages 20-31
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: February 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: April 21, 2023

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can negatively affect patients’ employment and work-life activities with a significant indirect economic impact. The current study aimed to measure unemployment, work productivity, activity impairment, and their associated factors among COPD patients. A cross-sectional study was conducted in the Chest outpatient clinic, Mansoura University Hospital, Egypt. COPD patients completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire including sociodemographic, occupational data, clinical history, medical research council (mMRC) dyspnea scale, the COPD assessment test (CAT), and work productivity and activity impairment Questionnaire (WPAI-COPD). A total 140 patients were included in the study and 22.1% of them gave up their jobs because of their COPD. Due to COPD, the mean percentage of daily activity impairment was 39.8 among all patients. The mean percentages of absenteeism, presenteeism, and overall work impairment among the 84 working patients were 0.07, 24.4, and 24.5. The CAT score was the significant predictor of all components of WPAI. In conclusion, COPD causes early retirement, high work productivity loss, and impaired daily activities. Higher CAT scores and increased disease severity significantly increase absenteeism, presenteeism, overall work, and activity impairment. Thus, timely diagnosis of COPD with appropriate management can help improve outcomes and lower the disease burden and economic impact.

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  • Massimo BOVENZI, Marco TARABINI
    2024 Volume 62 Issue 1 Pages 32-38
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: February 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: May 08, 2023

    This study compared the relative performance of alternative frequency weightings of hand-transmitted vibration (HTV) to predict the extent of cold-induced vasoconstriction in the digital arteries of HTV workers. The cold response of digital arteries was related to measures of daily vibration exposure expressed in terms of r.m.s. acceleration magnitude normalised to an 8-h day, frequency weighted according to either the frequency weighting Wh defined in international standard ISO 5349-1:2001 (Ah(8) in ms−2 r.m.s.) or the hand-arm vascular frequency weighting Wp proposed in the ISO Technical Report 18570:2007 (Ap(8) in ms−2 r.m.s.). The measure of daily vibration exposure constructed with the frequency weighting Wp (Ap(8)) was a better predictor of the cold response of the digital arteries in the HTV workers than the metric derived from the conventional ISO frequency weighting Wh (Ah(8)). This finding suggests that a measure of daily vibration exposure constructed with the vascular weighting Wp, which gives more weight to intermediate- and high-frequency vibration (31.5−250 Hz), performed better for the prediction of cold induced digital arterial hyperresponsiveness than that obtained with the frequency weighting Wh recommended in ISO 5349-1 which gives more importance to lower frequency vibration (≤16 Hz).

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  • Kenjiro TSUBONO, Koji OBA, Yo FUDETANI, Chikako IKEDA, Junichi SAKAMOT ...
    2024 Volume 62 Issue 1 Pages 39-55
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: February 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: May 26, 2023

    This study investigated teachers’ occupational stress using a comprehensive job stress questionnaire, or the New Brief Job Stress Questionnaire, while considering gender differences. A total of 1,825 elementary and junior high school teachers participated in the study. The results revealed that female teachers significantly exhibited more psychological and physical stress reactions and perceived less job resource availability than did male teachers. Moreover, multiple regression analyses demonstrated that support from family and friends was a larger factor associated with mental health outcomes among female teachers than among male teachers. The impacts of marital status also differed between male and female teachers. Job demands were strongly associated with psychological and physical stress reactions among teachers. Meanwhile, job resources were more strongly associated with positive workplace outcomes, such as workplace engagement and social capital, than were job demands. Administrators should consider the distinctive nature of teachers’ occupational stress in addition to its gender specific influence. Organizational support, such as securing teachers’ autonomy, encouraging their career development, and acknowledging diversity, should be considered to foster teachers’ work engagement and create a cohesive environment in the school workplace.

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  • Chayaphorn VUDHIRONARIT, Sara ARPHORN, Chatchai THANACHOKSAWANG, Chale ...
    2024 Volume 62 Issue 1 Pages 56-61
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: February 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: July 03, 2023

    Slips, trips, and falls (STFs) represent a main source of injury among farm workers. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between farm operations and STFs among corn farm workers. We conducted a cross-sectional study using a self-administered questionnaire among corn farm workers in Nan and Saraburi provinces, Thailand from July 5 to 23, 2022. Poisson regression analysis was used. Among 338 participants, 122 (36.1%) had experienced an STF in the previous 6 months. Conducting very frequent, frequent, or occasional pest management was associated with a higher incidence rate ratio (IRR) of STFs than never or rarely pest management (adjusted IRR 1.93, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.23 to 3.04, p=0.004). People with marginal or unsatisfactory work break lengths had a higher incidence rate of STFs than those with satisfactory work breaks (adjusted IRR 1.40, 95% CI=1.03 to 1.89, p=0.030). We found that corn farm workers in our study often experienced STFs, which was associated with a high frequency of pest management practices and inadequate work breaks. Reducing the physical burden of pest management may be effective as an STF prevention strategy.

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Short Communication
  • Kazuyuki IWAKIRI, Takeshi SASAKI, Midori SOTOYAMA, Tanghuizi DU, Keiic ...
    2024 Volume 62 Issue 1 Pages 62-66
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: February 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: June 30, 2023

    This study aimed to investigate the impact of occupational pushing and pulling combined with improper working posture on work-related low back pain (LBP) among workers. A web-based survey was conducted in 2022 to collect data from 15,623 workers, who were categorized into proper and improper working posture groups. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to analyze the association between pushing and pulling loads and LBP in each group. In the proper working posture group, the odds ratios (ORs) of LBP for workers who pushed and pulled were not significantly different compared with those of no-handling workers. However, in the improper working posture group, the ORs of LBP were significantly greater among workers who pushed and pulled compared with those of no-handling workers, and this association became stronger with increasing weights. Therefore, improper working posture combined with pushing and pulling were strongly associated with LBP among workers, particularly with heavier weights.

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Field Report
    2024 Volume 62 Issue 1 Pages 67-76
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: February 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: April 13, 2023

    This study aimed to investigate the circumstances, characteristics, and background factors of mental disorders within the information technology (IT) industry, which is known for the frequent occurrence of mental disorders from overwork and poor psychosocial work environment. The study analyzed 238 cases of mental disorders and suicides in the IT industry from fiscal years 2010 to 2018 on the database constructed by the Japan Research Center for Overwork-Related Disorders. The results showed a higher number of cases among men (n=178, 74.8%) and an increasing number among women. The data for diagnosis of mental diseases indicated a high number of depressive episodes (150 cases, 63.0%). Regarding work-induced psychological burden, 37 cases (15.5%) reported “extremely long working hours” for “special events” and 65 cases (27.3%) reported “constantly long working hours”. For “specific events”, 87 cases (36.6%) reportedly “caused (major) changes in the content and amount of work”. Among women, 13 cases (21.7%) of “sexual harassment” (SH), which showed an increasing trend. Therefore, in the IT industry, the working hours must be properly managed. Mental health measures should also accompany improved psychosocial environment in the workplace, and prohibition of SH at work in particular.

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