Objectives: Human brucellosis, as a zoonosis, is a serious public health problem in many developing countries, including China. To date, there has been no case report on occupational brucellosis and the emergency response in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. The aim of this report is to describe an emergency brucellosis outbreak in this unusual setting and the associated treatment methods from an occupational health perspective.
Methods: The emergency response included a field epidemiological investigation, a hierarchy of control strategy, and validation of control measures.
Results: Seven workers in the defrosting, grinding, and hydrolysis departments suffered from human brucellosis during two periods. The main symptoms were whole-body joint pain and undulant fever for several weeks, and Brucella-specific serum antibody was found in the patients. A hierarchy of exposure control strategy was implemented, including elimination, engineering control, administrative control, and the use of personal protection equipment. Raw material and environmental monitoring, measurement of placental temperature, Escherichia coli inactivation tests, and health examinations demonstrated that these measures were effective.
Conclusions: This report describes an emergent case and the response to two consecutive outbreaks of occupational brucellosis among workers in a pharmaceutical manufacturing enterprise. The hierarchical control strategy used in this case may prevent new outbreaks, and several lessons can be learned from this event.
Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to obtain knowledge for improvement of the housing and life among radiation decontamination workers by examining the effect of housing type on anxiety over lack of privacy.
Methods: This cross-sectional study comprised 544 male radiation decontamination workers in Fukushima Prefecture who anonymously answered self-administered questionnaires in 2013, including measurement of privacy anxiety, housing type, career change, social support, and sociodemographics. Chi-square tests and binary logistic regression analysis were used to evaluate the associations between these factors and anxiety over lack of privacy.
Results: The number of workers who had anxiety over lack of privacy was 93 (17.1%), and the number of workers who were living in owner-occupied housing, rental housing, company dormitories, and hotels was 165 (30.3%), 177 (32.5%), 168 (30.9%), and 34 (6.3%), respectively. The presence of anxiety was significantly associated with housing type (p <0.001), a career change (p = 0.005), and the location of the worker' s previous residence (p <0.001). Binary logistic regression analysis revealed that life in a company dormitory and a career change were separately associated with anxiety over lack of privacy (p <0.001 and p <0.027, respectively).
Conclusions: We found that anxiety among radiation decontamination workers over lack of privacy increased if they lived in company dormitories or had changed careers to become a radiation decontamination worker. These findings demonstrate the need to improve occupational mental health management, with an intensive focus on the residential environment.
Objectives: To test the reliability of the procedures (described in a previous article) for estimation of biological occupational exposure limits (BOELs).
Methods: Data on four organic solvents (styrene, ethyl benzene, isopropyl alcohol and tetrachloroethylene) were obtained from recent publications and added to previously cited data for 10 organic solvents. Regression analysis was used for statistical evaluation.
Results and Discussion: The previously reported results obtained using 10 solvents were reproduced by the analysis with 14 solvents. Repeated randomized division of the 14 sets into two subgroups of equal size followed by statistical comparisons did not show a significant difference between two regression lines. This reproducibility suggests that the procedures used to estimate BOELs may be applicable across many solvents, and this may be of particular benefit for protecting the health of workers who work with skin-penetrating solvents.
Objective: This study was conducted to explore the scope of practice for occupational audiologists in the mining industry and the audiologists' involvement in hearing conservation programmes in South African mines. Additionally, this study investigated the mining industry's role in the audiologists' involvement, and assessed the audiologists' levels of preparedness for working in occupational audiology.
Methods: In-depth, qualitative telephone and face-to face interviews were conducted with seven occupational audiologists involved in the management of occupational, noise-induced hearing loss (ONIHL) in the South African mining sector. Snowball sampling was utilized to recruit possible participants for this study. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis.
Results: The following themes were identified: scope-context misalignment, juniorization of the experts, audiologists are important… but for what?, and limited training in occupational audiology.
Conclusions: Our evidence highlights important gaps in HCPs in South Africa. The fact that the audiologists responsible for the management of ONIHL are only minimally and peripherally involved may play a significant role in the lack of progress reported in the management of ONIHL in the South African mining sector.
Objectives: Fitness is essential to specialist police forces, who have higher occupational demands than general police, and vital to performance and mission success. However, little research has been done profiling the metabolic fitness of these units and how they compare to other populations. The objective of this study was to profile the aerobic fitness of a specialist police unit.
Methods: Body weight was measured to account for any impact on metabolic fitness, while VO2 max was estimated via number of shuttles completed on the 20m Progressive Shuttle Run Test (PSRT) (n=47) on two dates one calendar year apart.
Results: There were no significant (p=.116) differences (mean difference 0.40±1.70kg) in body weight between the initial measures (mean=88.84±8.25kg) and the final measure (mean=89.24±8.77kg) 13 months later. PSRT results increased significantly (p<.005) between the initial (mean=72.62±11.76 shuttles) and final assessments (77.51±11.46 shuttles), with a mean increase of 4.89 (± 2.94) shuttles and a small effect size (d=0.42). The mean VO2 max of the specialist police unit was 51.06±3.61 ml/min/kg following the first assessment, and 52.56±3.46 ml/min/kg following the second assessment. This was a significant finding (p<.001), with a mean difference of 1.19±1.27 ml/min/kg and a small effect size (d=0.23).
Conclusions: Elite police forces have a higher metabolic fitness than the general population and general duties police officers. Having and maintaining this fitness level is imperative for their operational success and preventing injuries. This research suggests that despite the challenges posed by operational requirements, high fitness standards can not only be maintained, but also improved.
Objective: The differences in the methodologies of various occupational health risk assessment (OHRA) models have not been extensively reported. We aimed to understand the qualitative and quantitative differences between common OHRA models in typical industries.
Methods: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Australian, Romanian, Singaporean, International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) models were evaluated, and a theoretical framework was established for a comparative study.
Results: Qualitative comparisons showed that each OHRA model had its own strengths and limitations, and exhibited a diverse distribution at different levels for each evaluation indicator. The Singaporean, COSHH, and EPA models had a much higher comprehensive advantage than the other models for all indicators. Quantitative comparisons demonstrated that these three models also had a stronger ability to distinguish the difference in risk ratios between different industries. The Singaporean model had the strongest correlation with the other models.
Conclusion: Each model possessed its own strengths and limitations depending on its unique methodological principles. Combining the EPA, Singaporean, and COSHH models might be advantageous for developing an OHRA strategy. More studies comparing multiple models in key industries are required.
Objectives: This study was conducted to: 1) describe sleep duration, fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and occupational errors among Thai nurses and 2) explore the influence of sleep duration on fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and occupational errors.
Methods: A cross-sectional design was implemented. A convenience sample of 233 full-time nurses with at least one year of work experience was recruited to participate in the study. Data were collected using self-reported questionnaires and 1-week sleep diaries. Descriptive and logistic regression statistics were performed using SPSS software.
Results: The mean total sleep time was 6.2 hours. Of the total participants, 75.9% (n=167) experienced short sleep duration, 38.2% (n=84) experienced fatigue, and 49.5% (n=109) experienced excessive daytime sleepiness. Occupational errors were reported by 11.7% (n=25). Medication errors, incorrectly performed procedures, and needle stick injuries were reported by 6.5% (n=13), 5.6% (n=12), and 4.7% (n=10), respectively, of participants performing the associated activities. The "Short Sleep Duration" group experienced more fatigue (p=.044) and excessive daytime sleepiness (p=.001) compared with the "Adequate Sleep Duration" group. Although occupational errors were more common in the "Short Sleep Duration" group, the difference between the two groups did not reach the level of statistical significance. Multivariable logistic regression analysis found that short sleep duration was a statistically significant risk factor for excessive daytime sleepiness (OR=2.47, 95% CI=1.18-5.19).
Conclusions: The majority of registered nurses experience short sleep duration. Short sleep duration increased the risk of excessive daytime sleepiness but not fatigue or occupational errors. Adequate night-time sleep is paramount for preventing daytime sleepiness and achieving optimal work performance.
Objective: One effective strategy for management of musculoskeletal disorders is self-management based on the biopsychosocial model. Self-management requires patients to have adequate health literacy, defined as the individual's ability to seek, understand, and utilize health information. Recently, the neck pain-specific health behavior for office workers (NHBOW) questionnaire was developed based upon a conceptual framework of health literacy. The content in the NHBOW relates to the work and exercise behaviors of office workers. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the predictive validity of the NHBOW.
Methods: At baseline, 342 healthy participants filled out a series of questionnaires, including the NHBOW. The incidence of neck pain was prospectively recorded every month over a 12-month period. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC) were calculated.
Results: There were 103 (30.7%) incidents of non-specific neck pain among 335 office workers during the 12-month period, and seven participants were lost to follow-up. For the NHBOW, a cut-off score of less than or equal to 8 points (lower scores indicate poorer health behavior) had a sensitivity of 57.3% and a specificity of 96.6%. The positive and negative predictive values were 88.1% and 83.6%, respectively. The AUC was 0.769 (95% CI: 0.706 to 0.832).
Conclusion: The NHBOW was an acceptable screening tool for predicting non-specific neck pain in office workers during the 1-year follow-up period, and can be used in occupational and primary care settings.
Background: It has been difficult to make reliable hazard assessments of manufactured nanomaterials, because the nanomaterials form large agglomerations in both in vitro and in vivo studies. Objective: A project by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan has succeeded in ensuring the stability of dispersion (nanoscale <100 nm) of manufactured nanomaterials, and is developing hazard assessments of manufactured nanomaterials. Results and Conclusion: Focusing on titanium dioxide, fullerenes and carbon nanotubes, we introduce findings made in inhalation and intratracheal installation studies overseas, and together with the findings made in the NEDO project, and also assess the hazards presented by manufactured nanoparticles.