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Occupational Medicine Advance Access





Published: Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2017 22:49:27 GMT

 



Systematic review: occupational illness in the waste and recycling sector

2017-11-20

Abstract
Background
The waste and recycling sector is a growing part of industry. Whether health surveillance is indicated and how it should be undertaken is unclear.
Aims
To undertake a review of the literature to identify hazards to health, biological effects and occupational illnesses for workers in the sector.
Methods
A systematic review of the published literature and two UK databases.
Results
Rates of fatal, non-fatal injuries and self-reported work-related illness were found to be higher in the waste and recycling sector than in UK industry as a whole. There was an increased prevalence of respiratory, gastro-intestinal and skin complaints in workers exposed to compost relative to controls. They may also be at increased risk of extrinsic allergic alveolitis, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, occupational asthma and abnormalities of lung function. Workers involved with the recycling of batteries and cables may be at risk of lead poisoning and exposure to other heavy metals. There were case reports of mercury poisoning from the recycling of fluorescent lights. Cases of occupational asthma have been reported in association with wood and paper recycling. The recycling of e-waste may cause exposure to heavy metals and organic pollutants, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, dioxins and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, which have been associated with damage to DNA and adverse neonatal outcomes.
Conclusions
Ill-health and adverse biological effects have been described in waste and recycling workers, but their true prevalence has probably not been captured. Targeted health surveillance may be required to assess exposure and to identify occupational illness.



Associations between perceived leadership and presenteeism in an industrial population

2017-11-19

Abstract
Background
Presenteeism has received increasing attention in occupational health research but the evidence for its association with perceived leadership is scant.
Aims
To assess the association of perceived leadership and presenteeism among industrial workers.
Methods
Survey responses from employees on perceived leadership were linked to the personnel register of a food industry company. The Presenteeism Scale method was used to determine the presenteeism percentage. Perceived leadership was measured as a composite variable of six individual items on motivating and participating leadership. Generalized linear models were used to determine the association of perceived leadership with presenteeism.
Results
There were 847 participants. The majority of office workers of both genders reported better perceived leadership than factory workers. We found that perceived poor leadership was associated with a higher likelihood of presenteeism (rate ratio (RR) 1.64, 95% confidence intervals (CIs) 1.51–1.78). However, there was variation amongst and within occupational groups and genders, with a higher risk of presenteeism amongst male factory workers (RR 2.28, 95% CI 2.02–2.52) than female office workers.
Conclusions
Leadership was found to be significantly associated with presenteeism, with a greater risk of presenteeism in those reporting poor perceived leadership. The association between levels of perceived leadership and presenteeism was stronger in men than women. Organizations should focus on motivating leadership practices to reduce the risk of presenteeism, especially among men.



Effects of cognitive loading and force on upper trapezius fatigue

2017-11-19

Abstract
Background
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are particularly common in the shoulder/neck region for some tasks that involve low force exertions, for example computer work. It has been demonstrated that muscle activity may be stimulated by cognitively demanding tasks. There is a lack of studies on the relationship between qualitative levels of cognitive loading, level of muscle activity, and muscle fatigue.
Aims
To investigate the effects of quantitative levels of cognitive loading on conduction velocity changes and isometric endurance times for the upper trapezius.
Methods
Participants performed a combination of three levels of a cognitively demanding computer task (0, 1.59 and 3 Bits) while simultaneously performing either of two isometric endurance tests (20 and 40% MVC) for the upper trapezius.
Results
Information load had a significant effect (P < 0.05) on normalized conduction velocity slopes for the 40% but not for the 20% maximum voluntary contraction conditions. Information load had a highly significant effect on endurance times for both exertion levels (P < 0.01).
Conclusions
This study found that performing a high-difficulty cognitive task while simultaneously performing increasingly higher levels of static isometric shoulder abduction exertions, fatigued the trapezius muscle quicker than performing an equivalent exertion with low cognitive load. This is particularly relevant to workplaces with increasing levels of automation that require high levels of decision making and computer use.



Lifting and pregnancy outcomes: feasibility of a randomized controlled trial

2017-11-19

Abstract
Background
The highest incidence of preterm birth (18%) occurs in Africa but the causes are largely unknown. Some studies have reported adverse effects of maternal physical exertion on birth outcomes. A randomized controlled trial (RCT) is proposed to determine the effectiveness of an intervention reducing lifting and carrying in pregnant women in reducing preterm birth and low birthweight.
Aims
To test the feasibility and acceptability of the proposed lift-less intervention RCT.
Methods
We recruited pregnant women and midwives from antenatal clinics within the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. The midwives were trained to administer the intervention during a 5-week trial. Four intervention trial sessions were organized at weekly intervals.
Results
Seven pregnant women and six midwives participated. After piloting, we observed a reduction in participants’ self-reported daily exposure to heavy lifting and carrying. The daily average frequency of lifting by a participant within the first seven days of the study was 3.5 (SD 1.7) with an estimated mean total weight of 41.1 kg (SD = 13.3 kg). This had decreased to 2.3 (SD = 1.0) and the amount to 13.4 kg (SD = 10.9) within the last seven days of the study.
Conclusions
The findings provide insight into the daily physical exertion experienced by pregnant women in Ghana. The lift-less intervention trial is feasible with modifications and has the potential to reduce excessive physical exertion among pregnant women in Ghana to improve birth outcomes.



Textbook of Global Health

2017-11-19

BirnAnne-Emanuelle, PillayYogan, HoltzTimothy H.. Published by Oxford University Press, New York, 4th edition, 2017 (revised). ISBN: 987-0199392285. Price: £64 (hardback). 674 pp.



Work ability, effort–reward imbalance and disability pension claims

2017-11-19

Abstract
Background
Effort–reward imbalance (ERI) and self-rated work ability are known independent correlates and predictors of intended disability pension claims. However, little research has focused on the interrelationship between the three and whether self-rated work ability mediates the relationship between ERI and intended disability pension claims.
Aims
To investigate whether self-rated work ability mediates the association between ERI and intended disability pension claims.
Methods
Baseline data from participants of the Third German Sociomedical Panel of Employees, a 5-year cohort study that investigates determinants of work ability, rehabilitation utilization and disability pensions in employees who have previously received sickness benefits, were analysed. We tested direct associations between ERI with intended disability pension claims (Model 1) and self-rated work ability (Model 2). Additionally, we tested whether work ability mediates the association between ERI and intended disability pension claims (Model 3).
Results
There were 2585 participants. Model 1 indicated a significant association between ERI and intended disability pension claims. Model 2 showed a significant association between ERI and self-rated work ability. The mediation in Model 3 revealed a significant indirect association between ERI and intended disability pension claims via self-rated work ability. There was no significant direct association between ERI and intended disability pension claims.
Conclusions
Our results support the adverse health-related impact of ERI on self-rated work ability and intended disability pension claims.