Journal of Occupational Health
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Volume 55 , Issue 5
Showing 1-12 articles out of 12 articles from the selected issue
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Originals
  • Yawen Cheng, I-Shin Chen, Hermann Burr, Chiou-Jong Chen, Tung-liang Ch ...
    Volume 55 (2013) Issue 5 Pages 323-332
    Released: February 06, 2014
    [Advance publication] Released: June 28, 2013
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    Objective: The aim of this study was to examine changes in working hours, shift work, psychological and physical job demands, job control and job insecurity in Taiwanese employees by gender and age during the period of 2001 to 2010. Methods: The study subjects were 36,750 men and 27,549 women, aged 25-64, from 4 rounds of cross-sectional surveys of representative employees. Psychosocial work conditions were assessed by a validated questionnaire. Results: Regression analyses with adjustment of education and employment grade showed that from 2001 to 2010, the proportions of workers with long working hours (>48 hours/week) (OR=1.4 in men and 1.5 in women) and workers with short working hours (<40 hours/week) (OR=1.3 in both genders) both increased over time, indicating an increasing polarization in the distribution of working hours. Furthermore, the proportions of nonstandard work shifts (OR=1.7 in men and 2.1 in women) and work with high physical demands (OR=1.5 for both gender) increased. There were signs of decreasing levels of job control from 2001 to 2007, which seemed to be more apparent in younger workers than in older workers. However, a slight recovery in decision latitude and opportunity for learning was noticed in later years. The trend in job insecurity was not linear, with the highest prevalence found in 2004. Conclusions: Our findings suggested that certain aspects of psychosocial work environment had deteriorated in Taiwan. There is a need to raise public awareness about the changing patterns of psychosocial health risks at work as well as their causes and their potential impacts on worker well-being.(J Occup Health 2013; 55: 323-332)
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  • Asim Saha, H.G Sadhu
    Volume 55 (2013) Issue 5 Pages 333-339
    Released: February 06, 2014
    [Advance publication] Released: June 28, 2013
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    Objectives: Workplace injuries are of concern in adolescent and child workers. The factors of such injuries are important for injury prevention. This study explored the predictors of injury in such workers. Methods: This study was carried out in stone quarries and included 147 children and adolescent workers (81 males and 66 females). The mean age of the subjects was 11.3 years. An interviewer-administered questionnaire survey was performed to collect personal, occupational, morbidity and injury details. Descriptive analysis followed by logistic regression was undertaken to obtain the contribution of different factors on workplace injury occurrence. Results: Age (OR: 0.73 95% CI: 0.53-0.99), nature of work (OR: 29.4 95% CI: 2.5-340.7), work hours per day (OR: 1.77 95% CI: 1.3-2.3), musculoskeletal complaint (OR: 15.8 95% CI: 4.8-52.2) and education (OR: 0.24 95% CI: 0.08-0.7) showed significant effects on workplace injuries. However, duration of employment and body mass index had no significant contribution. Conclusions: This study stresses the need to strictly stop employment of child labor in such occupations in accordance with the national law. It shows that apart from nature of job, age of worker, work hours/day, musculoskeletal morbidity and education are significant predictors of occupational injuries and that training of such workers with regard to safe practices, provision for education, alleviation of musculoskeletal morbidity, suitable restriction of work hours/day and awareness generation among parents regarding the imminent danger of such labor in their children will ensure a positive impact in protecting young and child workers from occupational injuries.(J Occup Health 2013; 55: 333-339)
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  • Sumiko Kurioka, Akiomi Inoue, Akizumi Tsutsumi
    Volume 55 (2013) Issue 5 Pages 340-348
    Released: February 06, 2014
    [Advance publication] Released: July 26, 2013
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    Objectives: The theoretical threshold (effort-reward ratio >1.0) may not be ideal for the Japanese short version of the effort-reward imbalance (ERI) questionnaire. We aimed to seek the optimum cut-off point. Methods: We administered the original and short versions of the ERI questionnaire with a psychological distress scale to randomly selected workers (n=1,489) in a web-based survey. We evaluated kappa statistics and conducted receiver operating characteristics curve analyses. Cut-off values of the short version effort-reward ratios at 0.1 intervals in the range of 1.0-1.9 were tested using the criterion of an effort-reward ratio >1.0 for the original version. Results: The short version questionnaire had acceptable reliabilities. When using the theoretical cut-off point, the prevalence of high-risk groups was 63.2% for the short version compared with 18.9% for the original version, and their agreement was slight. Kappa agreements and receiver operating characteristics curve analyses suggested that a short-version effort-reward ratio of around 1.3 and 1.4 was the most equivalent to the original criterion. Regression equation procedures supported the findings, and ERI defined by the cut-off values showed significant associations with an external criterion (psychological distress) with minimal estimation error. Because the highest but only moderate kappa agreements with the risk group defined by the original criterion were obtained when setting 1.4-1.6 as the cut-offs, we considered >1.4 as optimal. Conclusions: This empirical investigation suggests the cut-off value of >1.4 for the Japanese short version of the ERI questionnaire screens out the ERI group with the most compatibility with the original version.(J Occup Health 2013; 55: 340-348)
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  • Sihao Lin, Baoying Liu, Chuancheng Wu, Hui Zhou, Midori N. Courtice, D ...
    Volume 55 (2013) Issue 5 Pages 349-358
    Released: February 06, 2014
    [Advance publication] Released: July 26, 2013
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    Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the interactions of occupational stress and glucocorticoid receptor gene (GR) polymorphisms on essential hypertension (EH) among Chinese railway workers. Methods: A case-control study was conducted with 196 EH cases and matched controls from male railway employees. Occupational stress was scaled by a validated Chinese version of the Occupational Stress Inventory. Information on risk factors for hypertension, including smoking, alcohol consumption, family hypertension history and body mass index, was collected by face to face interviews. Genotypes of GR BCL1 and G678S genes were determined with PCR-RFLP. Conditional logistic regression was applied to examine the interactions of occupational stress and GR gene polymorphisms with adjustment for potential confounders. Results: A positive relationship was observed in the CG/GG genotype compared with the CC genotype in the GRBCL1 gene. The interaction between the GRBCL1 gene and occupational stress was statistically significant on EH. The odds ratio (OR) was 1.56 (95% CI: 0.93, 2.63) when comparing the CG/GG genotype of the GRBCL1 gene with low/medium personal strain with the CC genotype with low/medium strain, whereas the OR was 3.43 (95% CI: 1.45, 8.12) when comparing the same genotype with high strain with the same reference. A similar pattern of association was observed for the CG/GG genotype of the GRBCL1 gene with low/medium occupational stress (OR=1.32, 95% CI: 0.76, 2.30) and with high occupational stress (OR=3.58, 95% CI: 1.60, 8.02). Conclusions: This study suggests that the CG/GG genotype in GRBCL1 possibly interacts with occupational stress in increasing the risk for essential hypertension in the railway workers, but more studies with larger samples are needed to confirm the finding.(J Occup Health 2013; 55: 349-358)
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  • Tae-Won Jang, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Hye-Eun Lee, Jun-Pyo Myong, Jung-Wan K ...
    Volume 55 (2013) Issue 5 Pages 359-366
    Released: February 06, 2014
    [Advance publication] Released: July 26, 2013
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    Objectives: The present study was designed to identify the association between work hours and obesity in Korean adult manual and nonmanual workers, and to determine whether there is a gender difference in this association. Methods: The study was conducted using Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data collected between 2007 and 2010. Individuals aged below 25 or over 64 years, pregnant women, part-time workers, soldiers, housewives and students were excluded. The total number of individuals included in the analysis was 8,889 (5,241 male and 3,648 female subjects). The outcome variable was obesity, defined as body mass index ≥25 kg/m2. Variables considered in the model were age, education, income, marital status, alcohol drinking, smoking, daily energy intake, physical activity, sleep hours per day, the type of job, work hours, and work schedule. Work hours were categorized as <40, 40-48 (reference), 49-60, and >60 hours per week. Results: In the multiple SURVEYLOGISTIC regression analyses, the adjusted odds ratio of obesity for long work hours (>60 hours per week) in male manual workers was 1.647 (95% confidence interval 1.262-2.151). Long work hours did not significantly increase the odds ratio for obesity in male nonmanual workers and female manual and nonmanual workers. Conclusions: More than 60 work hours per week increased the risk of obesity in Korean male manual workers. This result might be helpful in preventing obesity in Korean adult workers, especially male manual workers.(J Occup Health 2013; 55: 359-366)
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  • Pornpimol Kongtip, Noppanun Nankongnab, Susan Woskie, Akkarat Phamonph ...
    Volume 55 (2013) Issue 5 Pages 367-375
    Released: February 06, 2014
    [Advance publication] Released: July 26, 2013
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    Objective: Prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides can lead to developmental neurotoxicity. A longitudinal birth cohort was established to investigate pesticide exposures from different agricultural activities. Maternal urinary organophosphate metabolites were measured at 28 weeks of pregnancy (n=86), delivery (n=67) and 2 months postpartum (n=51). Method: Subjects were interviewed with questionnaires about work, home and behavioral factors potentially associated with pesticide exposures, and spot urine samples were also collected. The urine samples were analyzed for dimethyl phosphate (DMP), diethyl phosphate (DEP), diethyl thiophosphate (DETP) and diethyl dithiophosphate (DEDTP), using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Results: The urinary DMP and dialkyl phosphate (DAP) concentrations at 28 weeks of pregnancy and delivery were not significantly different, but the DMP and DAP concentrations at 28 weeks of pregnancy and DAP concentrations at delivery were significantly different (p<0.05) from those at 2 months postpartum. The factors influencing the urinary DAP concentrations at 28 weeks of pregnancy included insecticide used in the home, living close to agricultural farmland, frequency of agricultural field visits during the first and second trimesters of pregnancies, occupation of subjects, pesticide used and other agricultural activities. Conclusions: The urinary organophosphate metabolites, DMP, DEP, DETP, DEDTP, total DEP and DAPs, at 28 weeks of pregnancy, delivery and 2 months postpartum fluctuated depending on their pesticide exposures both at home and in agricultural fields.(J Occup Health 2013; 55: 367-375)
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  • Markus Gerber, Micheal Kellmann, Catherine Elliot, Tim Hartmann, Serge ...
    Volume 55 (2013) Issue 5 Pages 376-384
    Released: February 06, 2014
    [Advance publication] Released: July 26, 2013
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    Objectives: This study examined a cognitive stress-moderation model that posits that the harmful effects of chronic stress are decreased in police officers who perceive high levels of physical fitness. It also determined whether the stress-buffering effect of perceived fitness is influenced by officers' self-reported sleep. Methods: A total of 460 police officers (n=116 females, n=344 males, mean age: M=40.7; SD=9.7) rated their physical fitness and completed a battery of self-report stress, mental health, and sleep questionnaires. Three-way analyses of covariance were performed to examine whether officers' self-reported mental health status depends on the interaction between stress, perceived fitness and sleep. Results: Highly stressed officers perceived lower mental health and fitness and were overrepresented in the group of poor sleepers. Officers with high fitness self-reports revealed increased mental health and reported good sleep. In contrast, poor sleepers scored lower on the mental health index. High stress was more closely related to low mental health among poor sleepers. Most importantly, perceived fitness revealed a stress-buffering effect, but only among officers who reported good sleep. Conclusions: High perceived fitness and good sleep operate as stress resilience resources among police officers. The findings suggest that multimodal programs including stress management, sleep hygiene and fitness training are essential components of workplace health promotion in the police force.(J Occup Health 2013; 55: 376-384)
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  • Inchul Jeong, Jeongbae Rhie, Inah Kim, Innshil Ryu, Pil Kyun Jung, Yoo ...
    Volume 55 (2013) Issue 5 Pages 385-391
    Released: February 06, 2014
    [Advance publication] Released: August 31, 2013
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    Objectives: Long working hours can negatively impact a worker's health. The objective of this study was to examine the association between working hours and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and compare the degree of risk based on CVD subtypes in Korean workers. Methods: This study was a case-control study of the patients registered in the Occupational Cardiovascular Diseases Surveillance 2010. The cases included 348 patients diagnosed with a CVD (123 cerebral infarction, 69 intracerebral hemorrhage, 57 subarachnoid hemorrhage, 99 acute myocardial infarction). Controls were 769 participants with no history of CVDs matched for gender, age, type of occupation, and region. Participants' working hours in the previous week and the average working hours over the past three months were assessed to examine short-term and long-term effects. Results: After adjusting for confounding factors, the odds ratios (ORs) for CVDs in the short-term were 2.66 (95% Confidence interval (CI) :1.78-3.99) for working ≤40 hours, 1.85 (95% CI: 1.22-2.81) for working 50.1-60 hours and 4.23 (95% CI: 2.81-6.39) for working >60 hours compared with the 40.1-50-hour working group. The ORs in the long-term were 2.90 (95% CI: 1.86-4.52) for working ≤40 hours, 1.73 (95% CI: 1.03-2.90) for working 48.1-52 hours and 3.46 (95% CI: 2.38-5.03) for working >52 hours compared with the 40.1-48-hour working group. Conclusions: Long working hours are related to an increased risk of CVDs, and the degree of risk differs based on CVD subtype. Short working hours are also related to an increased risk for CVDs. More prospective studies targeting specific disease risks are required.(J Occup Health 2013; 55: 385-391)
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Field Studies
  • Nanae Sasaki, Koji Wada, Derek R. Smith, Guoqin Wang, Hiroshi Ohta, Ak ...
    Volume 55 (2013) Issue 5 Pages 392-397
    Released: February 06, 2014
    [Advance publication] Released: June 28, 2013
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    Background: Laboratory confirmation of viral hepatitis infection represents an important issue for working age populations, as early detection and treatment can help ameliorate clinical progression of the disease. On the other hand, prejudice may occur in the workplace against those identified by a positive hepatitis test. This study investigated attitudes towards viral hepatitis testing in Japanese people of working age, including their desire to undergo such testing, and prejudice against persons infected with hepatitis virus. Methods: A total of 3,129 working age individuals were recruited from a company that conducts Internet surveys in Japan. Results: Of the respondents, 21.3% had previously undergone viral hepatitis testing, most frequently when it was an additional option during a health checkup or health screening for local residents (36.2%) and when it was included in regular health checkups in their workplace (19.2%). Among the respondents with no history of testing, 68.7% expressed a desire to undergo testing, of whom 74.8% wanted to have the test as part of their regular health checkups in the workplace. According to the respondents, if a coworker tested positive for hepatitis, 36.0% reported that they would be anxious about it, 32.0% would try to avoid contact with the infected person as long as circumstances permitted, and 23.7% said they might harbor some kind of bias. Conclusions: Although further promotion of viral hepatitis testing is needed and this might be achieved during regular health checkups in Japanese workplaces, educational strategies will also be essential to help reduce bias against those who test positive.(J Occup Health 2013; 55: 392-397)
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  • Ali Ghaddar, Kayan Hajj Omar, Maha Dokmak, Nadine Abou Kansour, Zeina ...
    Volume 55 (2013) Issue 5 Pages 398-404
    Released: February 06, 2014
    [Advance publication] Released: July 26, 2013
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    Objectives: Work-related psychosocial hazards are associated with adverse health outcomes among workers. The association between psychosocial hazards and physiological health outcomes among laboratory technicians has not been studied previously. The objective of this study was to measure the association between work-related psychosocial hazards and the level of urinary catecholamines of laboratory technicians. Methods: The Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire was distributed to a sample of 125 workers in one community in Lebanon (response rate 73%) to measure psychosocial hazards. High-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used to measure adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine in 24-hour urine samples. Results: Sensorial demands, insecurity at work, influence at work and low possibilities of development were particularly high among the workers. Linear regression analysis showed that sensorial and quantitative demands and low possibilities for development increased the levels of urinary catecholamines. Discussion: the results suggest important policy implications for laboratory administrations regarding improvement of the exposure of workers to sensorial and quantitative demands and low possibilities for development as a way to improve worker health.(J Occup Health 2013; 55: 398-404)
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  • Yee Guan Ng, Mohd Tamrin Shamsul Bahri, Md Yusoff Irwan Syah, Ippei Mo ...
    Volume 55 (2013) Issue 5 Pages 405-414
    Released: February 06, 2014
    [Advance publication] Released: July 26, 2013
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    Objectives: Production agriculture is commonly associated with high prevalence of ergonomic injuries, particularly during intensive manual labor and during harvesting. This paper intends to briefly describe an overview of oil palm plantation management highlighting the ergonomics problem each of the breakdown task analysis. Methods: Although cross-sectional field visits were conducted in the current study, insight into past and present occupational safety and health concerns particularly regarding the ergonomics of oil palm plantations was further exploited. Besides discussion, video recordings were extensively used for ergonomics analysis. Results: The unique commodity of oil palm plantations presents significantly different ergonomics risk factors for fresh fruit bunch (FFB) cutters during different stages of harvesting. Although the ergonomics risk factors remain the same for FFB collectors, the intensity of manual lifting increases significantly with the age of the oil palm trees-weight of FFB. Conclusions: There is urgent need to establish surveillance in order to determine the current prevalence of ergonomic injuries. Thereafter, ergonomics interventions that are holistic and comprehensive should be conducted and evaluated for their efficacy using approaches that are integrated, participatory and cost-effective.(J Occup Health 2013; 55: 405-414)
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  • Michiyo Yamakawa, Pornchai Sithisarankul, Takashi Yorifuji, Sarunya He ...
    Volume 55 (2013) Issue 5 Pages 415-421
    Released: February 06, 2014
    [Advance publication] Released: August 31, 2013
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    Background: In industrializing countries, occupational safety and health have been affected by globalization. However, a lack of reliable data prevents evaluation of this situation. Therefore, we examined industrial distributions and risks of severe occupational injuries among workers in Thailand, which is one of the few industrializing countries that compiles nationwide data. Methods: Data on workers who made claims for occupational injuries from 2007 to 2009 were extracted from the Workmen's Compensation Fund records in Thailand. Among 501,334 claimants, we evaluated the industrial distributions of severe occupational injuries (i.e., permanent disability and death). We then examined the associations between industry and those injuries, using proportionate ratios (PRs) between each industrial category and the overall distribution of occupational injuries. Results: The number of workers in manufacturing making claims for severe occupational injuries was the largest among all industrial categories (319,114/501,334 injuries), although the total number of occupational injuries recently declined. Additionally, workers in manufacturing experienced severe occupational injuries more often compared with the overall distribution of occupational injuries. The PRs (95% confidence interval) for manufacturing were 1.17 (1.14-1.20) in men and 1.33 (1.27-1.38) in women. After adjusting for individual characteristics, the results did not substantially change. Conclusions: Manufacturing seems to have the largest burden of occupational injuries in industrializing countries like Thailand.(J Occup Health 2013; 55: 415-421)
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