Journal of Occupational Health
Online ISSN : 1348-9585
Print ISSN : 1341-9145
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Originals
  • Fang Tian, Meibian Zhang, Lifang Zhou, Hua Zou, Aihong Wang, Mo Hao
    2018 Volume 60 Issue 5 Pages 337-347
    Published: September 20, 2018
    Released: September 26, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: June 05, 2018
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    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.

  • Jindarat Chaiard, Jirawan Deeluea, Benjamas Suksatit, Wanpen Songkham, ...
    2018 Volume 60 Issue 5 Pages 348-355
    Published: September 20, 2018
    Released: September 26, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: May 09, 2018
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    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.

  • Danny Maupin, Jeremy Robinson, Thomas Wills, Shane Irving, Ben Schram, ...
    2018 Volume 60 Issue 5 Pages 356-360
    Published: September 20, 2018
    Released: September 26, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: June 14, 2018
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    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 20 m 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±1.70 kg) in body weight between the initial measures (mean=88.84±8.25 kg) and the final measure (mean=89.24±8.77 kg) 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.

  • Tomoo Hidaka, Takeyasu Kakamu, Shota Endo, Sei Sato, Yusuke Masuishi, ...
    2018 Volume 60 Issue 5 Pages 361-368
    Published: September 20, 2018
    Released: September 26, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: July 27, 2018
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    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.

  • Anna Machoń-Grecka, Michał Dobrakowski, Aleksandra Kasperczyk, Ewa Bir ...
    2018 Volume 60 Issue 5 Pages 369-375
    Published: September 20, 2018
    Released: September 26, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: August 17, 2018
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    Objectives: The aim of the study was to examine blood levels of selected pro-inflammatory cytokines, C reactive protein (CRP), and selected factors that influence angiogenesis in workers exposed to lead for a short period of time. Methods: The study population consisted of 36 male workers (mean age 41 ± 14 years) exposed to lead for 40 days. Results: The mean blood lead level (BLL) was 10.7 ± 7.67 μg/dl at the beginning of the study, and increased to 49.1 ± 14.1 μg/dl at the end of the study period. The levels of macrophage inflammatory protein 1-α (MIP-1α) were significantly higher after the studied exposure to lead compared to the baseline by 71%. Similarly, the values of CRP increased by 35%. Conversely, the values of soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (sVEGFR-1) and fibroblast growth factor-basic (FGF-basic) decreased by 14% and 21%, respectively. After the examined period of lead exposure, analysis of correlations showed positive correlations between vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels and the levels of interleukin 1β (IL-1β) (R = 0.39), interleukin 6 (IL-6) (R = 0.42), and MIP-1α (R = 0.54). Positive correlations were identified between MIP-1α and FGF-basic (R = 0.38), soluble angiopoietin receptor (sTie-2) (R = 0.41), and sVEGFR-1 (R = 0.47). Discussion: Short-term exposure to lead induces the inflammatory response; however, these mechanisms seem to be different from those observed in chronic lead exposure. Subacute exposure to lead may dysregulate angiogenesis via modifications in the levels of angiogenic factors.

  • Nomfundo Moroe, Katijah Khoza-Shangase
    2018 Volume 60 Issue 5 Pages 376-382
    Published: September 20, 2018
    Released: September 26, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: July 06, 2018
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    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.

  • Kazuhiro Watanabe, Norito Kawakami, Toru Shiotani, Hidehiko Adachi, Ka ...
    2018 Volume 60 Issue 5 Pages 383-393
    Published: September 20, 2018
    Released: September 26, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: August 17, 2018
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    Objectives: Although well-being at work is important for occupational health, multi-dimensional workplace well-being measures do not exist for Japanese workers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the validity of the Japanese version of the Workplace PERMA-Profiler. Methods: Japanese workers completed online surveys at baseline (N = 310) and 1 month later (N = 100). The Workplace PERMA-Profiler was translated according to international guidelines. Job and life satisfaction, work engagement, psychological distress, work-related psychosocial factors, and work performance were measured as comparisons for convergent validity. Cronbach's alphas, Intra-class Correlation Coefficients (ICCs), and measurement errors were calculated for the reliability, and the validity of the measure was tested by correlational analyses and confirmatory factor analysis. Results: A total of 310 (baseline) and 86 (follow-up) workers responded and were included in the analyses. Cronbach's alphas and ICCs of the Japanese Workplace PERMA-Profiler ranged from 0.75 to 0.96. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the 5-factor model demonstrated a marginally acceptable fit (χ2 (80) = 351.30, CFI = 0.892, TLI = 0.858, RMSEA = 0.105, SRMR = 0.051). Overall well-being and the five PERMA domains had moderate-to-strong correlations with job satisfaction, psychological distress (inversely), and work-related factors. Conclusions: The Japanese version of the Workplace PERMA-Profiler demonstrated adequate reliability and validity. This measure could be useful to assess well-being at work, promote well-being research among Japanese workers, and address the problem of definition for well-being in further studies.

  • Tomohide Kubo, Shuhei Izawa, Masao Tsuchiya, Hiroki Ikeda, Keiichi Mik ...
    2018 Volume 60 Issue 5 Pages 394-403
    Published: September 20, 2018
    Released: September 26, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: August 17, 2018
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    Background: The European Union's Working Time Directive stipulates recovery periods as "Eleven consecutive hour daily rest periods (DRPs) between working days." In Japan, adopting this regulation has been discussed. Objective: To examine the association between weekday DRPs and recovery from fatigue by conducting a one-month observational study using a fatigue monitoring application (fatigue app) on a smart tablet. Methods: Fifty-five daytime employees working at an information technology company participated in this study. Visual analogue scales (VAS) regarding fatigue, psychological detachment from work, a psychomotor vigilance task (PVT), and sleep-wake logs were repeatedly measured using a fatigue app that we developed for this study. Sleep was measured by a wrist actigraph. Results: The average and SD of weekday DRPs was 13.1 ± 2.3 h. However, 54.5% of employees experienced less than the minimum 11-hour DRP at least once a month. Sleep duration was significantly changed with weekday DRPs, though no significant difference was found in sleep efficiency. Linear mixed effects models showed that sleep duration increased by approximately 15 minutes for each hour of weekday DRPs (β = 0.24, 95% CI; 0.17, 0.32, p <.001). VAS-measured fatigue and psychological detachment from work significantly improved as DRPs increased (β = −3.4, 95% CI; −4.7, −2.1, p <.001; β = 2.6, 95% CI; 1.2, 4.0, p <.001, respectively). However, PVT performance did not significantly change with weekday DRPs. Conclusions: Ensuring weekday DRPs plays an essential role in protecting the opportunities to sleep, with better recovery from fatigue and stress among information technology workers.

Case Study
  • Weiming Yuan, Meibian Zhang, Hua Zou, Xiangjing Gao, Yuqing Luan
    2018 Volume 60 Issue 5 Pages 404-409
    Published: September 20, 2018
    Released: September 26, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: August 02, 2018
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    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.

Field study
  • Kantheera Areerak, Allard J. van der Beek, Prawit Janwantanakul
    2018 Volume 60 Issue 5 Pages 410-418
    Published: September 20, 2018
    Released: September 26, 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: May 09, 2018
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    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.

Recommendation of Occupational Exposure Limits (2018-2019)
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