Journal of Occupational Health
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Volume 59 , Issue 1
Showing 1-12 articles out of 12 articles from the selected issue
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Originals
  • Kai Yang, Xuejun Jiang, Shuqun Cheng, Chengzhi Chen, Xianqing Cao, Bai ...
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 1-7
    Released: January 24, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: November 22, 2016
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    Objective: To evaluate the effects of occupational exposures to coke oven emissions (COEs) and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) on the prevalence of hypertension and abnormal electrocardiogram (ECG) in coke oven workers. Methods: We included 880 coke oven workers and 710 oxygen employees in the exposed and control groups, respectively. Blood pressure (BP), ECG, blood lipid levels, and glucose levels of all subjects were measured. COE and B[a]P concentrations at the bottom, side, and top of the oven and control plants were estimated by weighing and high-performance liquid chromatography. Results: The COE concentration at the top and side was higher than that at the bottom (P < 0.05). The levels of B[a]P at the top and side significantly exceeded the limit value. Abnormal BP, ECG, the detection ratio of hypertension and left ventricular high voltage were significantly greater in the exposed group than in the control group (P < 0.05). The logistic regression analysis results revealed that age and B[a]P exposure were risk factors for hypertension in coke oven workers (P < 0.05) and both were risk factors for abnormal ECG (P < 0.05). Moreover, B[a]P exposure, age, and gender were risk factors for impaired fasting glucose in coke oven workers (P < 0.05). Conclusions: B[a]P and COE exposures are risk factors for hypertension and abnormal ECG in coke oven workers.

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  • Xiang Li, Jinhao Li, Ya Zhang, Yun Zhou
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 8-16
    Released: January 24, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: November 22, 2016
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    Objective: To explore the mechanisms of hypospadias induced by in utero exposure to din-butyl phthalate (DBP). Methods: Timed-pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were administered 750 mg/kg of DBP by gavage from GD (gestation days) 13 to GD 18, whereas control group received corn oil. Genital tubercles (GTs) and blood samples were collected from male fetuses on GD 19. The serum testosterone concentration, apoptosis activity, autophagosomes and their related proteins (light chain 3 (LC3-I, LC3-II) ), and sequestosomes (SQSTM1/p62) in the GTs were then measured. Protein expression of protein kinase B (Akt), Beclin 1, phosphorylated Akt (p-Akt), p-S6, and phosphorylated mammalian target of rapamycin (p-mTOR) in the GTs were analyzed by Western blotting. Results: The incidence of hypospadias induced by DBP was 43.64% in male fetuses. The GT volume and GT volume/body weight of fetuses were significantly reduced in the hypospadias and the non-hypospadias groups. Apoptotic cell number was significantly decreased in the GTs of the hypospadias group, but unchanged in the non-hyposadias group. The ratio of LC3-II/LC3-I was higher in the GTs from DBP exposed fetuses compared to the control group. The ratio of LC3-II/LC3-I in the GTs was higher in the hypospadias group than in the non-hypospadias group. The number of autophagosomes was increased in the GTs of the hypospadias group. Protein expression of p-S6, p-mTOR, and p-Akt were significantly decreased in the GTs of hypospadiac rats. Conclusions: DBP-induced hypospadias might be associated with apoptosis and autophagy mediated by the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway in the GT.

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  • Daisuke Nishi, Yuriko Suzuki, Junko Nishida, Kazuo Mishima, Yoshio Yam ...
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 17-23
    Released: January 24, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: November 22, 2016
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    Objectives: Personal lifestyle, including diet, exercise, and sleep, might have an impact on work engagement, though previous studies have not focused on these relationships. The aim of this study was to examine whether dietary intake of fish, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, abstinence from alcohol, and abstinence from tobacco were positively associated with work engagement. Methods: We recruited adults aged 40-74 years who attended the health checkups with a particular focus on the metabolic syndrome in central Tokyo. In December 2015, 797 people responded to a questionnaire and 592 (74.3%) who had regular jobs were selected for this study. Work engagement was assessed on the 9-item Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-9). Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed to examine the relationships between lifestyle and UWES-9. Results: Dietary intake of fish, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and abstinence from tobacco were significantly correlated with the total UWES-9 score, even after adjusting for age, sex, and depressive and anxiety symptoms. The results suggested a dose-response relationship between dietary fish intake and work engagement. Conclusions: Dietary fish intake, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and abstinence from tobacco might be lifestyle factors that can serve as resources for work engagement. These findings could be useful in motivating employees to make lifestyle improvements and convincing employers and managers that lifestyle is important not only for health but also for productivity.

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  • Kazuhiro Watanabe, Norito Kawakami, Hidehiko Adachi, Shigeru Inoue, M. ...
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 24-32
    Released: January 24, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: November 22, 2016
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    Objectives: Self-regulation for physical activity is considered as one of the most effective factors in promoting physical activity. However, there is no reliable and valid scale to measure it in Japanese. The purpose of this study was to investigate the internal consistency, convergent validity, and structural validity of the newly developed Japanese version of the 12-item Physical Activity Self-Regulation scale (PASR-12) among Japanese workers. Methods: A cross-sectional Internet-based survey recruiting 516 Japanese workers was conducted in Japan. The PASR-12 was translated according to the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) task force guidelines. Physical activity and self-efficacy for physical activity were measured as comparisons for convergent validity. We calculated Cronbach's alphas, and conducted correlational analyses and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Results: Of 516 workers, 485 workers were eligible for all analyses. Cronbach's alpha for the scale scores ranged from 0.79 to 0.95. The scores of the total and 6 factor scales of the Japanese version of the PASR-12 had small-to-moderate positive correlations with the total physical activity and self-efficacy. Moreover, the 6-factor hypothesized model demonstrated excellent fit (χ2 (39) = 100.74, CFI = 0.973, RMSEA = 0.057). Conclusions: The Japanese version of the PASR-12 showed good reliability and factor-based and construct validity. Therefore, this scale could be applied to assess self-regulation for physical activity among Japanese workers.

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  • Gholamreza Pouryaghoub, Ramin Mehrdad, Saeed Pourhosein
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 33-37
    Released: January 24, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: November 16, 2016
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    Objectives: After presbycusis, noise exposure is considered the second cause of sensorineural hearing loss. Due to exposure to high-intensity sounds, musicians may be at risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Given the importance of good hearing in music career, this study aimed to investigate the frequency of hearing loss and use of protective measures among Iranian musicians. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 125 musicians, including 21 women (16.8%) and 104 men (83.2%), with at least five years of work experience were recruited. All participants underwent clinical and audiometric examinations. Demographic data, complaints about hearing loss, and information about the use of protective devices were collected through interviews. Results: Audiometric notch in either one or both ears and bilateral hearing loss were present in respectively 42.4% and 19.2% of the participants. The history of tinnitus after performance and ear pain during performance was reported by 64 (51%) and 35 (28%) individuals, respectively. Less than 2% of the participants used hearing protection devices. Conclusions: Long-term exposure to loud sounds puts musicians at risk of hearing loss. However, due to their inadequate knowledge, most musicians never use protective devices to prevent damage to their auditory system.

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  • Hongdeok Seok, Jin-Ha Yoon, Jaehoon Roh, Jihyun Kim, Yeong-Kwang Kim, ...
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 38-45
    Released: January 24, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: November 22, 2016
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    Objectives: We aimed to investigate the health inequity of victims of occupational accidents through the association between socioeconomic status and unmet healthcare need. Methods: Data from the first and second Panel Study of Workers' Compensation Insurance were used, which included 1,803 participants. The odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals for the unmet healthcare needs of participants with a lower socioeconomic status and other socioeconomic statuses were investigated using multivariate regression analysis. Results: Among all participants, 103 had unmet healthcare needs, whereas 1,700 did not. After adjusting for sex, age, smoking, alcohol, chronic disease, recuperation duration, accident type, disability, and economic participation, the odds ratio of unmet healthcare needs in participants with a lower socioeconomic status was 2.04 (95% confidence interval 1.32-3.15) compared to participants with other socioeconomic statuses. Conclusions: The victims of occupational accidents who have a lower socioeconomic status are more likely to have unmet healthcare needs in comparison to those with other socioeconomic statuses.

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  • Kotaro Imamura, Norito Kawakami, Kanami Tsuno, Masao Tsuchiya, Kyoko S ...
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 46-54
    Released: January 24, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: November 22, 2016
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    Objective: The purpose of this randomized, controlled trial was to examine the effects of a psychoeducational information website on improving work engagement among individual workers with low work engagement, where work engagement was measured as a secondary outcome. Methods: Participants were recruited from registered members of a web survey site in Japan. Participants who fulfilled the eligibility criteria were randomly allocated to intervention or control groups. Immediately after the baseline survey, the intervention group was invited to study a psychoeducational website called the "UTSMed," which provided general mental health literacy and cognitive behavioral skills. Work engagement was assessed by using the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale at baseline, 1-, and 4-month follow-ups for both intervention and control groups. An exploratory analysis was conducted for a subgroup with low (lower than the median scores) work engagement scores at baseline. Results: A total of 1,236 workers completed the baseline survey. In the low work engagement subgroup, a total of 313 and 300 participants were allocated to an intervention and control group, respectively. In the high work engagement subgroup, 305 and 318 participants were allocated to an intervention and control group, respectively. The program showed a significant effect on work engagement (t = 1.98, P = 0.048) at the 4-month follow-up in the low work engagement subgroup, with a small effect size (d = 0.17). Conclusion: A web-based psychoeducation resource of mental health literacy and cognitive behavioral skills may be effective for improving work engagement among individual workers with low work engagement.

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Field Studies
  • Apiradee Sriopas, Robert S. Chapman, Saravudh Sutammasa, Wattasit Siri ...
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 55-62
    Released: January 24, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: November 22, 2016
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    Objectives: Most workers in auto part factories in Thailand are usually exposed to excessive noise in their workplace. This study aimed to assess the level of occupational noise-induced hearing loss and investigate risk factors causing hearing loss in auto part factory workers in the welding units in Thailand. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. One hundred eighty subjects were recruited from 356 workers in the welding unit of three factories. Sixty eligible subjects in each factory were selected by systemic random sampling. The subjects were interviewed using a face-to-face questionnaire. Noise exposure levels and audiograms were measured by a noise dosimeter and an audiometer, respectively. Results: The findings confirmed that noise exposure levels of 86-90 dB (A) and exceeding 90 dB (A) significantly increased the risk of hearing loss in either ear. A noise exposure level exceeding 90 dB (A) significantly increased the prevalence of hearing loss in both ears. Regarding, a 10-pack-year smoking history increased the prevalence of hearing loss in either ear or both ears. In addition, subjects with employment duration exceeding 10 years significantly developed hearing loss in either ear. Conclusions: The engineering control or personal control by wearing hearing protection device should be used to decrease noise exposure levels lower than 85 dB (A) for 8 h. Moreover, if the exposure level reaches 85 dB (A) for 8 h, the employer needs to implement a hearing conservation program in the workplace.

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  • Ben Ouyang, Lucy DX Li, Joanne Mount, Alainna J Jamal, Lauren Berry, C ...
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 63-73
    Released: January 24, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: November 22, 2016
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    Objectives: This field study aimed to determine the incidence and distribution of needlestick injuries among medical trainees at a community teaching hospital in Toronto, Canada. Methods: The study was performed during the 2013-2015 academic years at Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH), a University of Toronto-affiliated community-teaching hospital during the 2013-2015 academic years. Eight-hundred and forty trainees, including medical students, residents, and post-graduate fellows, were identified and invited via email to participate in an anonymous online fluidsurveys.com survey of 16 qualitative and quantitative questions. Results: Three-hundred and fifty trainees responded (42% response rate). Eighty-eight (25%) respondents reported experiencing at least one injury at TEGH. In total, our survey identified 195 total injuries. Surgical trainees were significantly more likely to incur injuries than non-surgical trainees (IRR = 3.03, 95% CI 1.80-5.10). Orthopaedic surgery trainees had the highest risk of a needlestick injury, being over 12 times more likely to be injured than emergency medicine trainees (IRR = 12.4, 95% CI 2.11-72.32). Only 28 of the 88 most recent needlestick injuries were reported to occupational health. Trainees reported a perception of insignificant risk, lack of resources and support for reporting, and injury stigmatization as reasons for not reporting needlestick injuries. Conclusions: Needlestick injuries were a common underreported risk to medical trainees at TEGH. Future research should investigate strategies to reduce injury and improve reporting among the high-risk and reporting-averse trainees.

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  • Amina Abrar, Kausar Jamal Cheema, Samia Saif, Asim Mahmood
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 74-80
    Released: January 24, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: November 16, 2016
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    Objective: The study focused on assessment of the health status of workers during construction phase of highway rehabilitation projects at six selected sites of N5 around Lahore, including Kala Shah Kaku, Muridke, Kamuki, Bhaipheru, Pattoki, and Okara. Methods: The study was based on multi-methods approach involving hazard identification through survey and checklist as well as a questionnaire for health status assessment and measurements of health parameters including peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) and audiometric screening of 300 subjects. Results: The study revealed non-congenial working conditions at the sites. Noise, vibrations, dust, asphalt fumes, poor work postures, and injuries were found to be major health hazards. PEFR of most of the workers was found to be significantly lower than the reference value. Average PEFR±SEM values were 187±5.1 l/min, 178±4.3 l/min, and 266±5.3 l/min in ground preparation workers, asphalt workers, and heavy vehicle drivers, respectively. The highest rate (29%) of hearing loss was recorded among heavy vehicle drivers. Musculoskeletal problems were found to be more common among ground preparation workers. Conclusion: Data revealed unsatisfactory health status of most of the workers. Direct relationship between health outcomes and the type of construction activities were observed. The current study focuses on the importance of including occupational health and safety plan in the execution phase of every developmental project that involves construction activities.

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  • Marjan Firoozeh, Mahnaz Saremi, Amir Kavousi, Azam Maleki
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 81-87
    Released: January 24, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: December 02, 2016
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    Objectives: Firefighters tackle various stressors that affect their health and job performance; therefore, assessment of their work ability is necessary. This study aimed to investigate the demographic and occupational determinants of the work ability of firemen. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 375 firemen working in Tehran Fire Department were randomly selected. Demographic, occupational, and work ability index (WAI) questionnaires were applied as research tools. Results: The mean firemen's WAI score was relatively high. There were significant relationships between WAI and age, body mass index, work experience, and weekly leisure-time physical exercise hours. Single employees, those who did not have extra jobs and did not smoke, had greater scores compared to their counterparts. Poisson regression revealed that age and weekly leisure-time physical exercise hours could affect WAI significantly. Conclusions: Although Iranian firemen revealed good work ability, recognizing factors affecting this ability and preparing facilities to promote their function is necessary.

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Case Study
  • Laran Chetty
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 88-90
    Released: January 24, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: November 16, 2016
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    Introduction: Workplace health and wellbeing is a major public health issue for employers. Wellbeing health initiatives are known to be cost-effective, especially when the programs are targeted and matched to the health problems of the specific population. The aim of this paper is to gather information about the health and wellbeing needs and resources of employees at one British organization. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out to explore the health and wellbeing needs and resources of employees at one British organization. All employees were invited to participate in the survey, and, therefore, sampling was not necessary. Results: 838 questionnaires were viable and included in the analysis. Employees reported "feeling happier at work" was the most important factor promoting their health and wellbeing. Physical tasks, such as "moving and handling" were reported to affect employee health and wellbeing the most. The "provision of physiotherapy" was the most useful resource at work. In all, 75% felt that maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the workplace is achievable. Conclusions: More needs to be done by organizations and occupational health to improve the working conditions and organizational culture so that employees feel that they can function at their optimal and not perceive the workplace as a contributor to ill-health.

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