Industrial Health
Online ISSN : 1880-8026
Print ISSN : 0019-8366
ISSN-L : 0019-8366
Current issue
Displaying 1-11 of 11 articles from this issue
Editorial
Review Article
  • Charlotte C. GUPTA, Michelle DOMINIAK, Katya KOVAC, Amy C. REYNOLDS, S ...
    2022 Volume 60 Issue 2 Pages 91-96
    Published: October 25, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: April 01, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 25, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    Due to the unpredictable nature of working time arrangements, on-call workers experience regular disruption to sleep, particularly if woken by calls. Sleep disruption can impact long term physical and mental health, next day performance, and importantly, performance immediately after waking. To reduce the impact of performance impairments upon waking (i.e., reducing sleep inertia), research has investigated strategies to promote alertness (e.g., bright light, caffeine, and exercise). This review puts forth on-call workers who are likely to return to sleep after a call, it is also important to consider the impact of these sleep inertia countermeasures on subsequent sleep. Future research should build on the preliminary evidence base for sleep inertia countermeasures by examining the impact on subsequent sleep. This research is key for both supporting alertness and performance during a call (“switching on”) and for allowing the on-call worker to return to sleep after a call (“switching off”).

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  • Rita BAST-PETTERSEN
    2022 Volume 60 Issue 2 Pages 97-105
    Published: November 04, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: April 01, 2022
    Advance online publication: November 04, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    Aluminum (Al) is the most common element in nature after oxygen and silicon. Aluminum has been proposed to be a causative agent in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Aluminum made available via the lungs, as it is in occupational settings, is probably better absorbed than that entering the body via the gastrointestinal tract. Neuropsychological tests are sensitive methods for detecting subtle functional impairment of the nervous system. This minireview is based on a systematic literature search for studies on workers occupationally exposed to aluminum. The tests were categorized as belonging to one of 12 different neuropsychological functions. The level of significance was set at p<0.05. Among the 559 papers identified, 24 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. There were no clear, consistent findings of occupational aluminum exposure being correlated with neuropsychological deficits. However, there was a weak tendency toward worse performances on tests related to information processing speed and a slight tendency toward weaker performances on memory tests for workers exposed to aluminum. The limited number of studies in this field makes it difficult to draw a clear conclusion regarding whether occupational exposure to aluminum increases the risk of altered neuropsychological function.

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  • Yutaka TOCHIHARA, Joo-Young LEE, Su-Young SON
    2022 Volume 60 Issue 2 Pages 106-120
    Published: January 12, 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: April 01, 2022
    Advance online publication: January 12, 2022
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    This review aimed to suggest useful, potential measurements as standard test methods for evaluating the mobility of structural firefighters wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). Based on our previous research on Japanese firefighters’ activities related to mobility as well as previous literature results, the findings were categorized (e.g., simulated firefighting activities, test method for mobility assessment, and participants groups), and discussed. We identified four categories that can be used to test and evaluate mobility: (1) simulated firefighting activities consisting of step-ups, obstacle strides, crawling, dragging, and jumping; (2) in terms of balance ability, the postural sway and functional balance tests (functional reach and timed up and go) were useful measurements; (3) range of motion can be used to estimate the mobility associated with the various designs of PPE, as well as the effect of wearing the PPE itself; and (4) subjective evaluations of individuals wearing PPE were available for the mobility assessments. Professional firefighters who were familiar with wearing PPE were suitable for the suggested test method. This review provides useful information for firefighters, researchers, and PPE manufacturers that can be used to develop more comfortable and safer PPE.

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Original Article
  • Fernando Ribas FEIJÓ, Neil PEARCE, Neice Müller Xavier FARIA, Maitê Pe ...
    2022 Volume 60 Issue 2 Pages 121-132
    Published: October 12, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: April 01, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 12, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    Workplace bullying (WB) is associated with Common mental disorders (CMD) in high-income countries, but there is a lack of evidence relating to this subject in low- and middle-income countries. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the association between bullying and CMD in Brazil. A cross-sectional study with 907 judicial civil servants from Porto Alegre, southern Brazil, was carried out. WB was measured by the Negative Acts Questionnaire (NAQ-r) and CMD by the Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20). Logistic regression was used to analyse data and test hypotheses. The overall prevalence of CMD was 32.8%, while the overall prevalence of bullying was 18.3%. WB was strongly associated with CMD, even after controlling for confounders. After adjustment for sociodemographic, personality and occupational confounders, weekly and daily exposures to negative acts increased 4.32 (95% CI: 2.00–9.33) and 6.80 (95% CI: 3.42–13.51) times the risk of CMD, respectively. Considering the operational definition, bullied workers had a 3.45 (95% CI: 2.26–5.25) higher risk of CMD. The results are consistent with studies from high-income countries. Different ways of categorising exposure to WB and testing association with CMD are suggested. Interventions to prevent bullying, focusing on work processes and psychosocial factors at work, could reduce the risk of mental health problems.

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  • Rika FURIHATA, Miki KUWABARA, Koji OBA, Kazuhiro WATANABE, Nao TAKANO, ...
    2022 Volume 60 Issue 2 Pages 133-145
    Published: October 12, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: April 01, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 12, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    This study aimed to investigate the relationship between working overtime and psychological stress reactions among school teachers. It also evaluated the interaction of overtime work types (on weekdays, on holidays, and bringing work home) and task content (educational, peripheral and both). This cross-sectional study was conducted on Japanese elementary and junior high school teachers. Primary outcome was psychological stress reactions measured with the Brief Job Stress Questionnaire. Participants were asked how long they work overtime on weekdays, holidays, and at home. Participants were also asked whether they engaged in educational tasks and/or peripheral tasks during that overtime work. Multiple linear regression analyses were applied and 6,135 participants were included in the analyses after imputing missing data. Working hours of all three types were significantly correlated with higher psychological stress reactions. Moreover, engaging in both educational and peripheral tasks showed higher psychological stress reactions than in only educational tasks when working overtime on weekdays and holidays. In conclusion, reducing overtime work regardless of work types is crucial for mitigating psychological stress reactions for teachers. It might also be possible to manage the psychological stress reactions by splitting the role of task contents, when working overtime on weekdays and holidays at school.

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  • Sampsa PUTTONEN, Kati KARHULA, Annina ROPPONEN, Tarja HAKOLA, Mikael S ...
    2022 Volume 60 Issue 2 Pages 146-153
    Published: October 15, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: April 01, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 15, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    Employees often prefer 12-hour work shifts but they can increase sleepiness and injury risk. We assessed whether sleep, sleepiness, satisfaction and need for recovery changed after changing from an 8-hour to a 12-hour shift system. The participants were 178 employees of the paper, pulp and chemical industries. Using a quasi-experimental controlled intervention design, 83 employees, who changed from an 8-hour shift schedule to a 12-hour shift schedule were compared to those who remained in the 8-hour shift schedule (n=95). Participants filled in a survey on sleep, sleepiness, satisfaction and need for recovery at baseline and 9–12 months after the shift schedule change. We used generalized estimation equation models adjusted for age, sex, shift work experience in years and baseline shift system. Sleep length was longer in the 12-hour shift schedule before the first morning shift and between morning shifts. Sleepiness during morning shifts was less frequent and satisfaction with the shift system was more prevalent in the 12-hour shift schedule. Also, perceived negative associations of the current shift system with work-life balance were less common in the 12-hour shift schedule. The differences found between the shift systems were minor and the results did not indicate significant disadvantages of the 12-hour fast forward-rotating shift system.

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  • Toshiki FUKUZAKI, Noboru IWATA
    2022 Volume 60 Issue 2 Pages 154-163
    Published: October 15, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: April 01, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 15, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    The purposes of this meta-analysis were (1) to examine the associations between work engagement (WE) and the personality dimensions of five-factor model and (2) to determine how much variance in WE is explained by these five factors. We performed a database search for studies related to personality traits and WE, and 36 papers that reported correlation coefficients were selected for the meta-analysis. After correcting for publication bias using the trim-and-fill method, conscientiousness had the strongest association with WE (ρ=0.41), followed by extraversion and openness to experience (0.38), neuroticism (−0.36), and agreeableness (0.27). Moreover, 30% of the WE variance could be explained by the five-factor model (R2=0.33, 95%CI=0.26–0.49) according to a path analysis using the weighted average correlation for unreliability. This proportion was higher than that from a previous meta-analysis of job satisfaction and job performance and was lower than that of personality and WE. Thus, to enhance WE, it is necessary to evaluate both the personality and the psychosocial work environment in detail.

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  • Saori NOSE, Michikazu SEKINE, Takashi TATSUSE, Masaaki YAMADA
    2022 Volume 60 Issue 2 Pages 164-175
    Published: October 15, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: April 01, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 15, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    Long sickness absence is more common among low socioeconomic status (SES) groups than high SES groups. This study aimed to evaluate whether work and family characteristics contribute to SES and sex differences in long sickness absence (7 days or more). The participants were 3080 civil servants working for a local Japanese government. In both sexes, low-grade employees were likely to take long sickness absence, with a statistically significant association for men (age-adjusted OR of lowest-grade employees for long sickness absence: 2.30 (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.32–4.02)). After adjusting for all variables, SES differences in long sickness absence in men decreased to OR 1.98 (CI 1.10–3.55) but remained significant; in men, being without a spouse was significantly associated with long sickness absence. Employees working long hours had lower OR for long sickness absence after adjusting for all variables in both sexes. Conversely, poor sleep quality and longstanding illness significantly increased OR for long sickness absence. In conclusion, SES differences in sickness absence were explained partly by work and family characteristics, longstanding illness, and poor sleep quality; however, other factors that were not evaluated in this study may also be associated with SES differences.

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Short Communication
  • Tomohiro ISHIMARU, Ayaka TESHIMA, Hiroyuki KURAOKA, Kunio HARA
    2022 Volume 60 Issue 2 Pages 176-182
    Published: October 12, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: April 01, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 12, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    This study investigated the status of and risk factors for occupational accidents occurring during part-time work among international students in Japan. In total, 390 international students who had registered with an online survey company were invited to participate in a cross-sectional study using an online self-administered questionnaire in October 2020. Multiple regression analysis was performed to evaluate factors associated with accidents with absence from work. Among 311 participants, 126 (40.5%) had experienced an occupational accident at their part-time job in the past year, and 27 (8.7%) had lost working days because of accidents. The likelihood of accident with work absence was significantly higher among those with high income (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 4.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.57–12.24) and language barrier (adjusted OR = 2.37, 95% CI: 1.03–5.47). International students experienced occupational accidents relatively frequently. These results provide insight to guide occupational safety measures for migrants.

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Country Report
  • Takenori MISHIBA
    2022 Volume 60 Issue 2 Pages 183-195
    Published: October 12, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: April 01, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 12, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    This paper discusses the development process, outline, main design points, post-enactment operation, and related research trends based on my own experiences from the formulation of the stress check system. Additionally, it surveys related literature and is the first of its kind to discuss future developments from a legal point of view. The ultimate purpose of the stress check system is to stimulate concrete measures for workplace environment improvements. However, despite frequent group analysis, effective measures for improving the environment have been limited. In this paper, based on past studies, I argue that reduced stress and other effects can be observed in workplaces in which such measures have been implemented, providing qualitative outcomes for workers. In addition, basic data can and has been accumulated for subsequent policies and measures. I conclude that realizing human and organizational individuality as well as supporting growth and environmental adaptation are key to the implementation of effective mental health measures.

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