Category Archives: Health & Safety

Characteristics of workplace violence prevention training and violent events among home health and hospice care providers

Source: Catherine J. Vladutiu, Carri Casteel, Maryalice Nocera, Robert Harrison and Corinne Peek-Asa,American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Volume 59 Issue 1, January 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background: In the rapidly growing home health and hospice industry, little is known about workplace violence prevention (WVP) training and violent events.

Methods: We examined the characteristics of WVP training and estimated violent event rates among 191 home health and hospice care providers from six agencies in California. Training characteristics were identified from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines. Rates were estimated as the number of violent events divided by the total number of home visit hours.

Results: Between 2008 and 2009, 66.5% (n = 127) of providers reported receiving WVP training when newly hired or as recurrent training. On average, providers rated the quality of their training as 5.7 (1 = poor to 10 = excellent). Among all providers, there was an overall rate of 17.1 violent events per 1,000 visit-hours.

Conclusion: Efforts to increase the number of home health care workers who receive WVP training and to improve training quality are needed.

Identifying knowledge activism in worker health and safety representation: A cluster analysis

Source: Alan Hall, John Oudyk, Andrew King, Syed Naqvi and Wayne Lewchuk, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Volume 59 Issue 1, January 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background: Although worker representation in OHS has been widely recognized as contributing to health and safety improvements at work, few studies have examined the role that worker representatives play in this process. Using a large quantitative sample, this paper seeks to confirm findings from an earlier exploratory qualitative study that worker representatives can be differentiated by the knowledge intensive tactics and strategies that they use to achieve changes in their workplace.ce.

Methods: Just under 900 worker health and safety representatives in Ontario completed surveys which asked them to report on the amount of time they devoted to different types of representation activities (i.e., technical activities such as inspections and report writing vs. political activities such as mobilizing workers to build support), the kinds of conditions or hazards they tried to address through their representation (e.g., housekeeping vs. modifications in ventilation systems), and their reported success in making positive improvements. A cluster analysis was used to determine whether the worker representatives could be distinguished in terms of the relative time devoted to different activities and the clusters were then compared with reference to types of intervention efforts and outcomes.

Results: The cluster analysis identified three distinct groupings of representatives with significant differences in reported types of interventions and in their level of reported impact. Two of the clusters were consistent with the findings in the exploratory study, identified as knowledge activism for greater emphasis on knowledge based political activity and technical-legal representation for greater emphasis on formalized technical oriented procedures and legal regulations. Knowledge activists were more likely to take on challenging interventions and they reported more impact across the full range of interventions.

Conclusions: This paper provides further support for the concepts of knowledge activism and technical-legal representation when differentiating the strategic orientations and impact of worker health and safety representatives, with important implications for education, political support and recruitment…

Impact of Work-Life Imbalance on Health of Women

Source: Sarang Shankar Bhola – Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil Institute of Management Studies & Research, and Jyoti Nigade – Shivaji University – Department of Commerce & Management, January 4, 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Work-life balance is effective management of juggling act between paid work and other activities that are important to people. In case of working woman it is a state of equilibrium in which the demands of both, her job and personal life is equal. But when they can’t maintain this equilibrium what should be the consequences? Present research paper focus on health related consequences, since it is intended to find out whether work-life imbalance affects health of working women, and if yes then to what extent they suffer from. 691 working women were taken as samples which consists 379 from service industry, 176 professionals and 136 entrepreneurs. Schedule consist of 17 variables depicting physical health, 13 variables deals with psychological health and 7 variables deals with reproductive health problems. Samples were asked to opine on suffering with respective health problem measured on dichotomous scale and the extent of suffering from such health problem using five point likert type scales. The null hypothesis i.e. Women working as employee/professional/entrepreneur suffer from medical problems is accepted since majority of medical problems considered in this study are not suffered by majority of samples included in this study. Binomial test is used to test hypothesis. Researcher found that work-life imbalance takes a toll on the health of working women since they are suffered from different physical (exhaustion, frequent headache, server back pain, acidity, eye sight disorders and hair loss), psychological problems (emotional strain, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders and becoming sluggish) and reproductive health problems (irregular periods and miscarriage) due to their work.

2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index

Source: Liberty Mutual, 2016

From the press release:
Workplace injuries and accidents that cause employees to miss six or more days of work cost U.S. employers nearly $62 billion in 2013, the most recent year for which statistically valid injury data is available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the National Academy of Social Insurance, according to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. The 10 leading causes of the most disabling work-related injuries account for more than $51 billion, or 82.5 percent of the total cost of $62 billion.

Managerial abuse and the process of absence among mental health staff

Source: Stephen Wood, Karen Niven, Johan Braeken, Work Employment & Society, Published online before print January 13, 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Managers’ abuse of subordinates is a common form of unethical behaviour in workplaces. When exposed to such abuse, employees may go absent from work. We propose two possible explanations for employee absence in response to managerial abuse: a sociological explanation based on perceptions of organizational justice and a psychological explanation based on psychological strain. Both are tested using data from a sample of 1472 mental health workers. The occurrence, duration and frequency of absence are investigated using a hurdle model. Managerial abuse is found to be associated with the occurrence of absence through both perceptions of organizational justice and psychological strain. Distributive justice and depression are especially significant in explaining the relationship between abuse and absence. Once absent, duration of absence is not further affected by managerial abuse but is still linked to depression and distributive justice, whereas frequency of absence is linked to bullying and depression.

Stress and Corrections: Addressing the Safety and Well-Being of Correctional Officers

Source: Diane Elliot, Kerry Kuehl, Mazen El Ghaziri and Martin Cherniack, Corrections Today, July 2015

….This article is a snapshot of ongoing work and a growing national consortium of individuals interested in advancing the well-being of correctional officers (COs). In 2006, the National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH) began combining its emphasis on worker safety with workplace health promotion for a strategy termed Total Worker Health (TWH). Traditionally, safety and health each have received only individual attention. Corrections is a profession with clear links among safety, job-related issues and health. Those connections and pressing needs for improvements in both health protection and promotion move COs into the spotlight for promoting TWH. Correctional work conditions and practices differ by facility, region and jurisdiction. As a result, it is difficult to generalize from the small number of available studies to make conclusions about the health of the more than half a million COs in the U.S. However, the picture that emerges from the limited available information is concerning. The authors and others have found that COs have high rates of stress, depression, suicide, obesity, cardiovascular disease risks and injury…..

Economic consequences of workplace injuries in the United States: Findings from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79)

Source: Xiuwen Sue Dong, Xuanwen Wang, Julie A. Largay and Rosemary Sokas, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, Article first published online: January 4, 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background: This study explored economic consequences of work-related injuries using a longitudinal data source.

Methods: Data were from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 cohort. Short-term consequences were measured when the injury was reported. “Difference-in-differences” approach was applied to estimate income and wealth disparities between injured and non-injured workers before and after injury. Fixed effects models were used to identify variations over time.

Results: The annual earnings growth was $3,715 (in 2000 dollars) less for workers with DAFW injury and $1,152 less for workers with NDAFW injury compared to non-injured workers during a 10-year follow-up. Lost wages and disability following injury contributed to income loss for injured workers, but the loss was moderated by union membership. After controlling for confounders, income disparities persisted, but family wealth differences did not.

Conclusions: Occupational injuries exacerbate income inequality. Efforts to reduce such disparities should include workplace safety and health enforcement.

Mortality among World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers, 2002–2011

Source: Cheryl R. Stein, Sylvan Wallenstein, Moshe Shapiro, Dana Hashim, Jacqueline M. Moline, Iris Udasin, Michael A. Crane, Benjamin J. Luft, Roberto G. Lucchini and William L. Holden, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, Article first published online: January 4, 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background: Rescue and recovery workers responding to the 2001 collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) sustained exposures to toxic chemicals and have elevated rates of multiple morbidities.

Methods: Using data from the World Trade Center Health Program and the National Death Index for 2002–2011, we examined standardized mortality ratios (SMR) and proportional cancer mortality ratios (PCMR) with indirect standardization for age, sex, race, and calendar year to the U.S. general population, as well as associations between WTC-related environmental exposures and all-cause mortality.

Results: We identified 330 deaths among 28,918 responders. No cause-specific SMRs were meaningfully elevated. PCMRs were elevated for neoplasms of lymphatic and hematopoietic tissue. Mortality hazard ratios showed no linear trend with exposure.

Conclusions: Consistent with a healthy worker effect, all-cause mortality among responders was not elevated. There was no clear association between intensity and duration of exposure and mortality. Surveillance is needed to monitor the proportionally higher cancer mortality attributed to lymphatic/hematopoietic neoplasms

Cancer in World Trade Center responders: Findings from multiple cohorts and options for future study

Source: Paolo Boffetta, Rachel Zeig-Owens, Sylvan Wallenstein, Jiehui Li, Robert Brackbill, James Cone, Mark Farfel, William Holden, Roberto Lucchini, Mayris P. Webber, David Prezant and Steven D. Stellman, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, Article first published online: January 4, 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background: Three longitudinal studies of cancer incidence in varied populations of World Trade Center responders have been conducted.

Methods: We compared the design and results of the three studies.

Results: Separate analyses of these cohorts revealed excess cancer incidence in responders for all cancers combined and for cancers of the thyroid and prostate. Methodological dissimilarities included recruitment strategies, source of cohort members, demographic characteristics, overlap between cohorts, assessment of WTC and other occupational exposures and confounders, methods and duration of follow-up, approaches for statistical analysis, and latency analyses.

Conclusions: The presence of three cohorts strengthens the effort of identifying and quantifying the cancer risk; the heterogeneity in design might increase sensitivity to the identification of cancers potentially associated with exposure. The presence and magnitude of an increased cancer risk remains to be fully elucidated. Continued long-term follow up with minimal longitudinal dropout is crucial to achieve this goal.

Expecting the unexpected: A mixed methods study of violence to EMS responders in an urban fire department

Source: Jennifer A. Taylor, Brittany Barnes, Andrea L. Davis, Jasmine Wright, Shannon Widman and Michael LeVasseur, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, Article first published online: January 4, 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background: Struck by injuries experienced by females were observed to be higher compared to males in an urban fire department. The disparity was investigated while gaining a grounded understanding of EMS responder experiences from patient-initiated violence.

Methods: A convergent parallel mixed methods design was employed. Using a linked injury dataset, patient-initiated violence estimates were calculated comparing genders. Semi-structured interviews and a focus group were conducted with injured EMS responders.

Results: Paramedics had significantly higher odds for patient-initiated violence injuries than firefighters. Females reported increased odds of patient-initiated violence injuries compared to males, but this relationship was entirely mediated through occupation. Qualitative data illuminated the impact of patient-initiated violence and highlighted important organizational opportunities for intervention.

Conclusions: Mixed methods greatly enhanced the assessment of EMS responder patient-initiated violence prevention.