Objectives: Occupational exposure to inhaled nanoparticles (NPs) represents a significant concern for worker health. Adolescent workers may face unique risks for exposure and resulting health effects when compared with adult workers.
Methods: This manuscript discusses key differences in risks for occupational exposures to inhaled NPs and resulting health effects between young workers and adult workers via an examination of both physiological and occupational setting factors.
Results: Previous studies document how adolescents often face distinct and unique exposure scenarios to occupational hazards when compared to adults. Moreover, they also face different and unpredictable health effects because biological functions such as detoxification pathways and neurological mechanisms are still developing well into late adolescence. Early exposure also increases the chances of developing long-latency disease earlier in life.
Taken together, adolescents’ rapid growth and development encompasses highly dynamic and complex processes. An aggravating factor is that these processes do not necessarily fall in line with legal classifications of adulthood, nor with occupational exposure limits created for adult workers.
Conclusions: The differences in exposures and health consequences from NPs on young workers are insufficiently understood. Research is needed to better understand what adolescent-specific mitigation strategies may be most suitable to address these risk factors.
Objectives: The incidence of occupational low back pain (LBP) is high among caregivers. The use of care equipment and training about care methods could prevent LBP among caregivers. However, in care facilities in Japan, these measures are not adequately employed. Moreover, the care facilities have faced issues regarding poor staffing in recent years. The present study investigated the relationship between LBP and occupational safety and health activities (OSHAs) for preventing LBP among caregivers and aimed to validate the priority approaches of OSHA.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in care facilities for the elderly in Japan. Questionnaires for administrators and caregivers were distributed to 1,000 facilities and 5,000 caregivers, respectively. Questionnaires completed by 612 facilities and 2,712 caregivers were analyzed.
Results: No direct association was observed between severe LBP and OSHA, but indirect association was done. A significant relationship was noted between severe LBP and the care methods. Direct factors causing severe LBP were lifting a resident using human power and taking an unsuitable posture. These care methods were associated with the following OSHAs: promoting the use of care equipment, training about care methods, and consultation regarding the use of care equipment and employing an appropriate care method with the person in charge.
Conclusions: These OSHAs decreased lifting a resident using human power and taking an unsuitable posture, which are the primary risk factors of LBP. Therefore, these OSHAs should be implemented as priority approaches to prevent LBP among caregivers in care facilities for the elderly.
Objectives: To establish an enzymatic deconjugation method to separately quantify urinary o-toluidine (OT), its six metabolites, another six chemicals present in an OT-processing plant, and one metabolite of p-toluidine, and to propose optimal urinary biological monitoring items of OT exposure.
Methods: Thirty-six urine samples of an OT-processing plant's workers were obtained and pretreated by an enzymatic deconjugation method employing β-glucuronidase/arylsulfatase for 3 hours at 37°C and measured by liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). An alkaline hydrolytic pretreatment and 1-chlorobutane extraction procedure was also examined as a widely used urinary OT measurement method.
Results: The 14 chemicals were separated by LC-MS condition set by us and 13 chemicals other than 2-chloroaniline showed satisfiable linearity and limits of determination. Standard substances of six OT metabolites decomposed after the alkaline heating. In the 36 urine samples, OT, N-(4-hydroxy-2-methylphenyl) acetamide (NHM), and 4-amino-m-cresol (ACR) accounted for approx. 90% of the total OT and OT metabolites, but inter-individual variation of the three substance excretion seemed to be wide. Time course of urinary excretion revealed that concentration of the three substances was higher 24 hours after the work shift's end rather than just after the work shift.
Conclusions: OT and its six metabolites can each be determined with LC-MS. The alkaline method is not so optimal for exact biological monitoring. Rather, the sum of urinary OT, NHM, and ACR measured by the enzymatic method is a better index, and "end of the workweek" is a good urine-sampling time for the biological monitoring of OT exposure.
Objectives: Reducing human errors caused by daytime sleepiness among train drivers is important to prevent train accidents. Our purpose of the study was to investigate the association among sleep, workplace sleeping environments, and human errors.
Methods: We recruited 144 South Korean train drivers belongs to the Korean Railroad Corporation. This cross-sectional data was analyzed to investigate the association of insomnia (insomnia severity index), sleep quality (Pittsburgh sleep quality index), obstructive sleep apnea (Berlin questionnaire), and daytime sleepiness (Epworth scale) with human error and near-miss experiences. We examined whether human error and near-miss events were associated with various sleeping environments at work and at home after adjusting for the sleep indices.
Results: The experience of human errors was associated with insomnia and daytime sleepiness, and near-miss events were associated with insomnia among South Korean drivers. Sleeping environments including cold temperature and odor were related to both human errors and near-miss events among South Korean train drivers, after adjusted for age, working years, shiftwork, obesity, smoking, binge drinking, regular exercise, caffeine consumption, sleep quality, severity of insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and daytime sleepiness.
Conclusions: The train drivers’ workplace sleeping environment is significantly associated with human error events and near-miss events after adjusting for sleep quality, insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and daytime sleepiness. To prevent train accidents caused by human errors, more attention is necessary for improving workplace sleeping environments.
Objective: To investigate sleepiness, fatigue, and performance following a 120-minute nap during simulated 16-hour night shifts based on subjective and objective assessments.
Methods: Fourteen females participated in this crossover comparative study. Three experimental nap conditions were used: naps from 22:00 to 00:00 (22-NAP), 00:00 to 02:00 (00-NAP), and 02:00 to 04:00 (02-NAP), respectively. Measurement items were sleep parameters, sublingual temperature, a Visual Analog Scale for sleepiness and fatigue, a single-digit mental arithmetic task (for 10 minutes), and heart rate variability. Participants wore an ActiGraph to estimate their sleep state.
Results: There was no difference in the sleep parameters at the time of naps among the three conditions. Immediately following a 120-minute nap, sleepiness and fatigue increased, and the number of calculations performed in the single-digit mental arithmetic task decreased in any of the conditions. In particular, immediately after the 02-NAP, fatigue and high-frequency power (HF) were higher than after the 22-NAP. In the early morning (from 05:00 to 09:00), in the 22-NAP, sleepiness and fatigue increased, and performance and sublingual temperature decreased more than in the 00-NAP and 02-NAP. Furthermore, the ratio of errors was significantly lower in the 00-NAP than in the 22-NAP in the early morning.
Conclusions: A 120-minute nap taken from 22:00 to 02:00 may cause temporary sleepiness after waking, increase fatigue and reduce performance. Greater attention should be given to naps taken at a later time (ie, 02-NAP). In addition, taking a nap starting at 00:00 might decrease the risks of errors in the morning.
Objectives: Specific challenge tests (SICs) are considered reference tests for allergic occupational diseases diagnosis. However, in numerous cases, SICs cannot be carried out in the diagnosis of allergy to latex due to the risk of generalized reactions. The aim of the study was to evaluate the usefulness of sIgE determination to recombinant latex allergens in diagnostics of occupational respiratory allergy.
Materials and Methods: The study group comprised 44 healthcare workers (HCW) suspected of suffering from occupational respiratory allergy to latex (they underwent a physical examination, skin-prick tests (SPTs) to common and latex allergens, spirometry and SIC) and 17 controls not occupationally exposed to latex, with a positive sIgE against latex. Each serum was tested for allergen-specific IgE to aeroallergens, latex, eight recombinant latex allergens and CCD-markers.
Results: Specific IgE against Hev b5, 6.01, and 6.02 were significantly more frequently detected in HCWs and their mean serum levels were higher compared with the control group. In 26 HCWs with occupational asthma (OA), sensitization to Hev b5, Hev b6.01, Hev b6.02 was significantly more frequent than in 18 HCWs with work-exacerbated asthma (WEA); they had positive results SPT to latex significantly more frequently in comparison with subjects with WEA.
Conclusions: Test for recombinant latex allergens is much more accurate in recognition of latex allergy than test for latex extract, which seems to produce false-positive results in patients with pollen allergy. The measurements of sIgE against recombinant latex allergens Hev b 6.01, 6.02, 5, and 8 are useful in differentiating OA from WEA.
Objective: Data on noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in the automotive industry are rare. This pilot study aimed to investigate the prevalence and determinants of NIHL among workers in the automotive industry in China.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 6557 participants from the automotive industry. The questionnaire survey was administered, and individual noise exposure level (LAeq.8h) and hearing loss level were measured.
Results: Of participants, 96.43% were male; the median age was 27.0 years and 28.82% had NIHL defined as adjusted high-frequency noise-induced hearing loss (AHFNIHL). Concerning individual noise levels (LAeq.8h), 62.53% exceeded 85 dB(A), which were mainly concentrated in various jobs, including metal cutting, surface treatment, stamping, welding, grinding, assembly, plastic molding, and forging. Each typical noise source generated its own unique temporal waveform shape with the type of non-Gaussian noise. Of workers, 53.15% regularly used hearing protector devices (HPD), and the proportion of regular HPD use increased with LAeq.8h. The trend test showed that the prevalence of AHFNIHL in male workers significantly increased with an increase in LAeq.8h at <94 dB(A) and cumulative noise exposure (CNE) in each age group (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01). A logistic regression analysis showed that CNE and HPD usage frequency were important factors contributing to AHFNIHL.
Conclusions: CNE and HPD usage frequency were the determinants for NIHL. Much more human surveys are needed to understand the prevalence and determinants of NIHL in the automotive industry in China.
Objectives: The objective of this study is to assess quality of nursing work life (QNWL) and related factors among nurses working in emergency room (ER).
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive design was employed. Data were collected from a convenient sample of nurses working in ER Eligible participants were required to complete a demographic and work related variables sheet, the Brooks Quality of Nursing Work Survey (BQNWLS).
Results: A total of (186) nurses participated in the study. Study participants reported a BQNWL mean score of (M = 140.15, SD = 28.34) indicating a moderate BQNWL. Additionally, the participants scored moderate levels on all BQNWL subscales. The mean score of BQNWL was statistically better for nurses who had training courses on emergency department (t = −2.663, P = 0.008). However, no other statistically significant differences were found in BQNWL scores in regarding to demographic and work related variables.
Conclusion: The results of this study reported a noticeable alteration in QNWL among nurses working in ER. The nurses had a moderate QNWL levels. Also, the results emphasized on the importance of conducting further interventional research studies in the future to establish effective measures to enhance nurse QNWL. Consequently, this may improve the provided nursing care for the patients and their families.
Objectives: This study examined the association between workplace rules and training programs regarding combining employees’ work and treatment for chronic diseases, and actions actually taken by employees to manage this issue. These workplace measures (rules and training programs) are consistent with the Japanese Guideline for Workplace Patient Coordination and Disease Treatment.
Methods: In February 2018, we conducted an online, cross-sectional survey of 1134 employed individuals with chronic diseases who needed workplace support to combine work and disease treatment. All participants were aged 18-65 years and lived in Japan. We investigated associations between workplace rules and training programs (two items) and employee actions (eight items), using a questionnaire based on the guideline and logistic regression analysis.
Results: In total, 76.5% of the participants said they had reported their chronic disease to their employer (manager, personnel department, or occupational physician). However, less than half (47.5%) had submitted a written report about their job to their doctor. Employees were more likely to take action in workplaces that had rules or training programs than in workplaces without such measures. More actions were taken among employees in workplaces with both rules and training programs than in those with either measure alone.
Conclusion: It is important to establish rules to support employees with chronic diseases and provide training to improve awareness of these rules to encourage employees with chronic diseases to take action to access the support they need.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine changes in awareness, behavior, and relationships among facilitators who were involved in facilitating the conduct of the participatory workplace improvement program and to examine the facilitators' outcomes as a result of their active involvement in the program. The outcome components were also examined in relationship to their associations with various factors.
Methods: An anonymous self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted for 83 facilitators. Exploratory factor analysis was applied to determine the facilitators' outcomes. The relationship between those elements which influenced the outcomes was taken into account by means of hierarchal multiple regression analysis.
Results: The outcomes for facilitators consisted of four sub-concepts: “knowing practical ways and strategies to ensure full participation,” “building confidence and self-development,” “improving safety and health-risk sensitivity,” and “gaining better-than-expected results based on developing relationships with workers.” According to the results of hierarchal multiple regression analysis, facilitators' outcomes were significantly associated with the realization of creativity, sense of solution for safety and health issues, and facilitators' involvement.
Conclusions: It is suggested that the role of a facilitator dynamically changes through a participatory workplace improvement program as a key person in the workplace. Supporting acting facilitators' initiatives in the process of workplace improvement programs, as well as promoting the active involvement of workers and managers were considered useful for effective implementation of workplace improvement programs.