Objectives: This study was performed to identify the prevalence, influence, and risk factors associated with chronic pain among Japanese industry workers. Methods: We investigated 2,544 participants working at a manufacturing company A, a manufacturing company B, and 16 branch shops of a retail chain company C. The participants responded to self-administered questionnaires related to pain. Furthermore, data obtained from the lifestyle interview sheet of an annual health screening examination and those obtained from the questionnaires were merged. We analyzed the association between lifestyles, psychosocial factors, and chronic pain. Age- and sex-adjusted odds ratios were calculated with a 95% confidence interval using the logistic regression model. Results: Of 2,544 participants, 1,914 (1,224 men and 690 women) completed the questionnaire, and the response rate was 75.2%. The prevalence of chronic pain over 3 months was 42.7% and that of chronic pain with work disability was 11.3%. A higher proportion of obesity, smoking habit, insomnia, psychological stress, depressive state, workaholic nature, low social support from supervisors and coworkers, high job demand, low job control, and job dissatisfaction was observed in workers with chronic pain than in workers without pain. Conclusions: Several risk factors of chronic pain in Japanese industry workers were found. Obesity, smoking habits, sleep disorders, workplace environment, and mental state should be taken into account as risk factors associated with chronic pain issues and general occupational health.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to survey the selection, use, and maintenance of chemical protective gloves (CPGs) at real workplaces. Methods: Subjects comprised 817 workers using CPGs at seven domestic manufacturing plants in Japan. We administered an anonymous questionnaire survey comprising the following aspect related to CPGs: environment of use, conditions of use, method of selection, knowledge/awareness pertaining to their use, method of use, precautionary measures associated with their use, maximum time of use, and maintenance. We compared responses provided by management staff and field workers. Chi square test was used for the analysis. Results: Respondents included 661 (80.9%) manufacturing workers, 121 (14.8%) managers or supervisors, and 35 (4.3%) others. In total, 70.5% organic solvents, 28.9% acid or/and alkali, 18.1% dust, and 10.3% carcinogenic substances were the chemical substances handled using CPGs. The reason for deciding to wear CPGs was "the use of chemical substances" for 46.5%, "notice in safety data sheet (SDS) " for 29.8%, and "management staffs' guidance" for 21.4% respondents. "The grasp of chemical substances" was 70.1% (91.1% excluding "not applicable" ). "Warning of caution on skin and eyes" was indicated by 69.5% (91.0%) and "educational reasons for use of CPGs" was accepted by 68.1% (90.7%) respondents. On the other hand, the rate of responses such as "obtaining permeability test results of target substances" and "mixed substances are selected considering substances with short permeation time" was 25.2% (38.4%) and 29.2% (48.4%), respectively. The rate of "yes" as a response in the item concerning "permeation test" was low. On comparing the response provided by the management staff and field workers, the rate of "the permeation test result of the target substance was obtained" was 27.7% for management staff and 41.2% for field workers (p = 0.022). Regarding the cuffs of CPGs, the rate of "to fold back and to prevent sagging" and "mounted with tape" were 30.5% and 21.8% for management staff and 50.2% and 42.2% for field workers (p = 0.001 and p = 0.001), respectively. Discussion: This survey results suggested that the knowledge of "permeation test" of CPGs was not yet popular at industrial workplaces. It is necessary to disseminate knowledge related to "permeation test" to the users from manufacturers of CPGs. Additionally, the employer should appoint an administrator to ensure that CPGs are worn and increase the understanding of correct knowledge and usage of CPGs among workers.