Objectives: The aim of this study was to perform a systematic review and to use a meta-analytical approach to assess quantitatively the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes in hairdressers and cosmetologists. Methods: A systematic literature search up to 1 February 2012 was carried out using major bibliographic databases, grey literature, contacts with research teams working on the subject, review papers and reference lists of selected articles. Observational studies reporting measures of effects in relation with body care (hairdressers, cosmetologists, etc.) and reproductive disorders were included. Study quality was assessed by three reviewers. The estimated risk ratios (RR) from all studies reporting on identical outcomes were combined using an average of logarithm transformation of estimated RR weighted by their inverted variance. Statistical heterogeneity across studies was assessed using Cochran's Q test. To explore the sources of heterogeneity, several sensitivity analyses and subgroup analyses were conducted based on study quality, country, study period, alcohol consumption, smoking habit, jobs and control populations. Results: Nineteen studies were selected and reviewed in-depth. The combined risk ratios (RRcs) of five reproductive outcomes were calculated and found to be significantly increased for four outcomes: time to pregnancy, which had an RRc of 1.11 (95% CI: 1.03–1.19); premature birth, which had an RRc of 1.05 (95% CI: 0.99–1.11); small for gestational age, which had an RRc of 1.24 (95 CI%: 1.10–1.41); low birth weight, which had an RRc of 1.21 (95% CI: 1.06–1.39); and embryonic and fetal losses, which had an RRc of 1.19 (95% CI: 1.03–1.38). Conclusions: This work confirms a weak increase in risk of some reproductive disorders in female hairdressers/cosmetologists. However, the evidence level is rather weak, and a causal association between job and reproductive outcomes cannot be asserted.(J Occup Health 2015; 57: 485–496)
Objectives: The aim of this review was to summarize the lessons learned from the experience in protecting the health of workers engaged in operations following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). Methods: We reviewed all types of scientific papers examining workers' health found in Medline and Web of Sciences as well as some official reports published by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan and other governmental institutes. Results: The papers and reports were classified into those investigating workers at the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini NPPs, workers engaged in decontamination operations in designated areas, and other workers. Regarding workers at the NPPs, many efforts were made to establish an emergency-care and occupational health system. Risk management efforts were undertaken for radiation exposure, heat stress, psychological stress, outbreak of infectious diseases, and fitness for work. Only a few reports dealt with decontamination workers and others; however, the health management of these workers was clearly weaker than that for workers at the NPPs. Conclusions: Many lessons can be learned from what occurred. That knowledge can be applied to ongoing decommissioning work and to future disasters. In addition, it is necessary to study the long-term health effects of radiation exposure and to accumulate data about the health of workers engaged in decontamination work and other areas.(J Occup Health 2015; 57: 497–512)
Objective: The objective of this study was to present a new method for determination of hand-arm vibration (HAV) in Malaysian Army (MA) three-tonne truck steering wheels based on changes in vehicle speed using regression model and the statistical analysis method known as Integrated Kurtosis-Based Algorithm for Z-Notch Filter Technique Vibro (I-kaz Vibro). Methodology: The test was conducted for two different road conditions, tarmac and dirt roads. HAV exposure was measured using a Brüel & Kjær Type 3649 vibration analyzer, which is capable of recording HAV exposures from steering wheels. The data was analyzed using I-kaz Vibro to determine the HAV values in relation to varying speeds of a truck and to determine the degree of data scattering for HAV data signals. Results: Based on the results obtained, HAV experienced by drivers can be determined using the daily vibration exposure A(8), I-kaz Vibro coefficient (Ƶv∞), and the I-kaz Vibro display. The I-kaz Vibro displays also showed greater scatterings, indicating that the values of Ƶv∞ and A(8) were increasing. Prediction of HAV exposure was done using the developed regression model and graphical representations of Ƶv∞. The results of the regression model showed that Ƶv∞ increased when the vehicle speed and HAV exposure increased. Discussion: For model validation, predicted and measured noise exposures were compared, and high coefficient of correlation (R2) values were obtained, indicating that good agreement was obtained between them. By using the developed regression model, we can easily predict HAV exposure from steering wheels for HAV exposure monitoring.(J Occup Health 2015; 57: 513–520)
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to develop a new work functioning impairment scale (WFun) and examine its validity. Methods: The WFun was developed based on the Rasch model, which consists of seven items. We conducted a pilot study (n=1,000) using an Internet investigation and a field study (n=1,294) in a manufacturing industry, and we additionally collected data from six workplaces from other industries. This series of studies was examined with a Rasch model analyses including item fit statistics as well as hypothesis testing. Convergent validity was used to examined the association of the WFun with the Stanford Presenteeism Scale, SF-8, Work Ability Index, and several types of job disruptions. We also examined differential test functioning. Results: All the items showed adequate fit (infit mean-square statistics <1.5). The item reliability was 0.98, and the item separation index was 6.37. The person reliability was 0.86, and the person separation index was 2.32. All tests for convergent validity showed significant differences. All p values derived from ANOVA were highly significant (p<0.001). No differential test function was observed between groups by age, sex, or job type or between various samples from different workplaces. The intraclass correlation of the estimated Rasch measurements from these groups was 0.99 (95% CI: 0.976–0.992). Conclusions: The WFun was confirmed to show good fit to a Rasch model and construct validity. Given that its good fit indicates specific objectivity, this tool will be useful in assessing the ability of individuals to function at work and in evaluating group levels for benchmarking.(J Occup Health 2015; 57: 521–531)
Objectives: The objective of this study was to clarify the relationship between sickness presenteeism and the degree of awareness of company regulations regarding financial compensation for absenteeism. Methods: An Internet-based survey of 258 full-time workers who had more than 28 days of sickness absence due to mental health problems was conducted. Workers were categorized as having either low or high sickness presenteeism, and awareness and presence or absence of systems for return to work and duration of financial compensation were compared between groups. Results: The following factors were significantly related to high sickness presenteeism based on logistic regression analyses: working for a private company (odds ratio [OR]=2.57; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.10–5.99); recognition of a gradual resumption system (OR=3.89, 95% CI=1.02–14.81); and awareness regarding the duration of financial compensation (OR=1.04, 95% CI=1.01–1.07). Conclusions: No relationship was found between mental sickness presenteeism and presence or absence of systems for return to work in our multivariate analysis; however, a relationship was apparent between sickness presenteeism and characteristics of the workers' companies. These results are expected to contribute to research involving human resources and occupational health.(J Occup Health 2015; 57: 532–539)
Objectives: Workplace violence in the health sector is a worldwide concern. Physicians play an essential role in health-care teamwork; thus, understanding how organizational factors influence workplace violence against physicians is critical. Methods: A total of 189 physicians from three public hospitals and one private hospital in Northern Taiwan completed a survey, and the response rate was 47.1%. This study was approved by the institutional review board of each participating hospital. The 189 physicians were selected from the Taipei area, Taiwan. Results: The results showed that 41.5% of the respondents had received at least one workplace-related physical or verbal violent threat, and that 9.8% of the respondents had experienced at least one episode of sexual harassment in the 3 months before the survey. Logistic regression analysis revealed that physicians in psychiatry or emergency medicine departments received more violent threats and sexual harassment than physicians in other departments. Furthermore, physicians with a lower workplace safety climate (OR=0.89; 95% CI=0.81–0.98) and more job demands (OR=1.15; 95% CI=1.02–1.30) were more likely to receive violent threats. Conclusions: This study found that workplace violence was associated with job demands and the workplace safety climate. Therefore, determining how to develop a workplace safety climate and ensure a safe job environment for physicians is a crucial management policy issue for health-care systems.(J Occup Health 2015; 57: 540–547)
Objectives: It has been reported that 1,2-Dichloropropane (DCP) induced cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) in offset color proof-printing workers. However, exposure to DCP by inhalation or gavage for 2 year did not induce CCA in mice and rats. The present study mapped the hepatic distribution of GST, which is known to activate dihalogenated alkanes, and proliferative and fibrotic changes in bile ducts in various species to find the most appropriate animal model of DCP-induced CCA. Methods: First, 12 each of C57BL/6J mice, Balb/cA mice, F344 rats, Syrian hamsters, and guinea pigs were divided into four equal groups and exposed to DCP at 0, 300, 1,000, or 3,000 ppm 8 hours/day for 7 days. Second, 32 Balb/cA mice and 32 Syrian hamsters were each divided into four equal groups and exposed to DCP at 0, 200, 400, and 800 ppm 6 hours/day for 14 days. After the last exposure, the animals were decapitated, and the livers were dissected out for histopathological evaluation. Immunostaining was conducted to determine the distribution of GSTT1, GSTM1, and GSTPi, as well as the expression of proliferation marker Ki67. Results: GSTT1, GSTM1, and GSTPi were expressed in both hepatocytes and bile duct cells in all control and exposed animals. There was no clear difference in the expression of Ki67 between the exposed groups and the control. No fibrotic changes were observed in any species or strains examined. Conclusions: Expression of GSTT1 or other GST isozymes might not explain the difference in sensitivity of hepatocytes and the bile duct to DCP between humans and rodents.(J Occup Health 2015; 57: 548–554)
Objective: Workplace violence is known to pose mental health risks. However, whether or not workplace violence in a surrounding area might further increase the risk of mental distress in workers has rarely been examined. Methods: The study subjects were 9,393 male and 7,716 female employees who participated in a nationwide survey in 2010. Their personal experiences of workplace violence over the past 1 year were ascertained by a standardized questionnaire. Also assessed were their psychosocial work characteristics and mental distress problems. Neighborhood-level workplace violence was computed based on aggregated data at the county level and was categorized into low-, medium-, and high-level categories. Multilevel logistic regression models were constructed to examine the associations between neighborhood-level workplace violence and individual-level mental distress problems, with adjustment of individual-level experience of workplace violence. Findings: The neighborhood-level prevalence of workplace violence ranged from 4.7 to 14.7% in men and from 6.4 to 14.8% in women across 22 counties. As compared with those who live in counties of the lowest tertile of workplace violence, female workers who lived in counties of the highest tertile of workplace violence had a 1.72-fold increased risk for mental distress problems after controlling for individual experience of workplace violence and other psychosocial work characteristics. Conclusion: Neighborhood-level workplace violence was associated with poor mental health in female workers. Preventative strategies targeting workplace violence should pay attention to neighborhood factors and gender-specific effects that might influence societal tolerance of abusive work practices and workers' vulnerability to mental health impacts of workplace violence.(J Occup Health 2015; 57: 555–564)
Objective: This study aimed to identify the chemicals used by five printing workers and one coating worker who developed cholangiocarcinoma and estimate the workers' levels of chemical exposure. Methods: We obtained information on chemicals from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan, and estimated working environment concentrations of the chemicals in printing and coating rooms and exposure concentrations during the ink and dirt removal processes. We also calculated shift time-weighted averages of exposure concentrations. Results: All five printing workers were exposed to both 1,2-dichloropropane (1,2-DCP) and dichloromethane (DCM). The estimated maximum exposure concentrations for each of the five workers were 190 to 560 ppm for 1,2-DCP and 300 to 980 ppm for DCM, and the estimated shift average exposure concentrations were 0 to 230 ppm for 1,2-DCP and 20 to 470 ppm for DCM. The coating worker was exposed to 1,2-DCP, but not DCM. He did not use ink, and thus was subjected to different conditions than the printing workers. The estimated maximum exposure concentration of 1,2-DCP was 150 ppm, and the estimated shift time-weighted average exposure concentration was 5 to 19 ppm. Conclusions: Our findings support the notion that 1,2-DCP contributes to the development of cholangiocarcinoma in humans and the notion that DCM may also be a contributing factor. The finding that the coating worker was exposed to 1,2-DCP at a lower exposure concentration is important for determining the occupational exposure limit. Furthermore, the subject did not use ink, which suggests that ink did not contribute to the development of cholangiocarcinoma.(J Occup Health 2015; 57: 565?571)
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