WorkSafeBC warns about risk of hearing loss in service industry

Source : Canadian Occupational Safety.
WorkSafeBC recently raised awareness about the risk of hearing loss in the service industry, and it has alerted employers and workers with a new safety bulletin as well as several new online resources to raise awareness and understanding about noise-induced hearing loss. including three new videos: What Noise Does to Your Ears, Intensity and Duration of Noise, and How to Use Earplugs; and the recently published publication: Preventing noise-induced hearing loss at work.

Home care aides’ experiences of verbal abuse: a survey of characteristics and risk factors

Source : Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Objective Violence from care recipients and family members, including both verbal and physical abuse, is a serious occupational hazard for healthcare and social assistance workers. Most workplace violence studies in this sector focus on hospitals and other institutional settings. This study examined verbal abuse in a large home care (HC) aide population and evaluated risk factors. Methods We used questionnaire survey data collected as part of a larger mixed methods study of a range of working conditions among HC aides. This paper focuses on survey responses of HC aides (n=954) who reported on verbal abuse from non-family clients and their family members. Risk factors were identified in univariate and multivariable analyses. Results Twenty-two per cent (n=206) of aides reported at least one incident of verbal abuse in the 12 months before the survey. Three factors were found to be important in multivariable models: clients with dementia (relative risk (RR) 1.38, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.78), homes with too little space for the aide to work (RR 1.52, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.97) and predictable work hours (RR 0.74, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.94); two additional factors were associated with verbal abuse, although not as strongly: having clients with limited mobility (RR 1.35, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.93) and an unclear plan for care delivery (RR 1.27, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.69). Aides reporting verbal abuse were 11 times as likely to also report physical abuse (RR 11.53; 95% CI 6.84 to 19.45). Conclusions Verbal abuse is common among HC aides. These findings suggest specific changes in work organisation and training that may help reduce verbal abuse.

The Occupational Burden of Nonmalignant Respiratory Diseases. An Official American Thoracic Society and European Respiratory Society Statement

Source : American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Rationale: Workplace inhalational hazards remain common worldwide, even though they are ameliorable. Previous American Thoracic Society documents have assessed the contribution of workplace exposures to asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on a population level, but not to other chronic respiratory diseases. The goal of this document is to report an in-depth literature review and data synthesis of the occupational contribution to the burden of the major nonmalignant respiratory diseases, including airway diseases; interstitial fibrosis; hypersensitivity pneumonitis; other noninfectious granulomatous lung diseases, including sarcoidosis; and selected respiratory infections.Methods: Relevant literature was identified for each respiratory condition. The occupational population attributable fraction (PAF) was estimated for those conditions for which there were sufficient population-based studies to allow pooled estimates. For the other conditions, the occupational burden of disease was estimated on the basis of attribution in case series, incidence rate ratios, or attributable fraction within an exposed group.Results: Workplace exposures contribute substantially to the burden of multiple chronic respiratory diseases, including asthma (PAF, 16%); chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (PAF, 14%); chronic bronchitis (PAF, 13%); idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (PAF, 26%); hypersensitivity pneumonitis (occupational burden, 19%); other granulomatous diseases, including sarcoidosis (occupational burden, 30%); pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (occupational burden, 29%); tuberculosis (occupational burden, 2.3% in silica-exposed workers and 1% in healthcare workers); and community-acquired pneumonia in working-age adults (PAF, 10%).Conclusions: Workplace exposures contribute to the burden of disease across a range of nonmalignant lung conditions in adults (in addition to the 100% burden for the classic occupational pneumoconioses). This burden has important clinical, research, and policy implications. There is a pressing need to improve clinical recognition and public health awareness of the contribution of occupational factors across a range of nonmalignant respiratory diseases.

Carcinogenicity of night shift work

Source : The Lancet Oncology.
The results of the recent IARC Monographs evaluation of the carcinogenicity of night shift work have now been published in The Lancet Oncology. This summary article presents the conclusions of the IARC Monographs Meeting 124. Shift work involving circadian disruption was previously evaluated by the IARC Monographs, in 2007. In this updated evaluation, the Working Group chose the name “night shift work” to better describe the exposure circumstances and to reflect the main evidence base for the studies of cancer in humans. The re-evaluation was motivated by the large number of new, high-quality epidemiological studies including additional cancer sites. Article : https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045(19)30455-3/fulltext Q & R : https://www.iarc.fr/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/QA_Monographs_Volume124.pdf Infographie : https://www.iarc.fr/infographics/iarc-monographs-evaluation-of-the-carcinogenicity-of-night-shift-work/

Preventing heat stress

Source : OHS Canada Magazine.
Working in the intense heat of summer can put workers at risk of heat stress, which can also hit you in places you wouldn’t expect. “Any job that causes your body temperature to rise has the potential to cause heat stress,” says WSPS occupational hygiene consultant Michael Puccini. “Even jobs carried out in air-conditioned environments.” Though heat waves may last only a week or two, in this time workers can suffer debilitating effects and even death. A few simple steps taken now can keep your people thriving and productive even in the hottest weather. This article proposes ways for employers, supervisors and workers to make a difference in their workplaces.

France : La réforme de la santé au travail sur de mauvais rails

Source : Santé & travail.
Les employeurs n’entendent pas céder un pouce de terrain sur la gestion des SSTI… Pas question non plus d’un pilotage paritaire des services de santé au travail. La gouvernance sous présidence patronale doit rester de mise, ainsi que la « nomination des administrateurs employeurs des CA [conseils d’administration] des SSTI par les seules organisations d’employeurs représentatives au plan national interprofessionnel », précise le document conjoint aux cinq organisations patronales…

10 ways to reduce slips, trips and falls at work

Source : .
Employers across the country are grappling with slips, trips and falls in the workplace — and the consequences can be very serious. Fortunately, there are many ways that slips, trips and falls can be reduced in the workplace.

Sickness presenteeism: Are we sure about what we are studying? A research based on a literature review and an empirical illustration

Source : American Journal of Industrial Medicine.
Background : There has been an increasing interest in studying sickness presenteeism (SP). An ever-increasing amount of scientific literature is published using this term, yet there appears to be considerable heterogeneity in how it is assessed, which could result in substantial differences in the definition and interpretation of the phenomenon really being studied. We aim to discuss what really is being studied, depending on how the phenomenon is operationalized, measured, and analyzed. Methods: A study based on a literature review and an empirical illustration using data of the third Spanish Psychosocial Risks Survey (2016). Results Differences are observed based on the population in which SP is measured, the cut-off points used to define a worker as presenteeist, the reasons for an SP episode and even an analysis of the phenomenon treated as a count or as a dichotomous. Conclusions : Without being completely exclusive, it seems that restricting the population of analysis to only those workers who consider that they should not have gone to work due to their health, and/or establishing low cut-off points to define someone as presenteeist, would more clearly delimit the study of SP to the exercise of a right to sick leave. In contrast, working with the entire population or using high cut-off points appears to relate the study of SP more with health status and less with the exercise of rights. On the other hand, taking the reasons for SP into account would probably help to improve interpretation of the phenomenon.