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Action research for the health and safety of domestic workers in montreal: using numbers to tell stories and effect change.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature136798
Source
New Solut. 2010;20(4):421-39
Publication Type
Article
Date
2010
Author
Jill Hanley
Stephanie Premji
Karen Messing
Katherine Lippel
Author Affiliation
Mcgill School of Social Work, 3506 University Street, Room 300, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. jill.hanley@mcgill.ca
Source
New Solut. 2010;20(4):421-39
Date
2010
Language
English
Publication Type
Article
Keywords
Accidents, Occupational - statistics & numerical data
Adult
Female
Health Policy
Health Services Research
Housekeeping - legislation & jurisprudence - manpower
Humans
Middle Aged
Occupational Health
Philippines - ethnology
Quebec - epidemiology
Women's Health - ethnology
Women, Working - classification - legislation & jurisprudence - statistics & numerical data
Workers' Compensation - legislation & jurisprudence
Abstract
In 2007, a Filipina organization in Quebec (PINAY) sought the help of university researchers to document the workplace health and safety experiences of domestic workers. Together, they surveyed 150 domestic workers and produced a report that generated interest from community groups, policy-makers, and the media. In this article, we-the university researchers-offer a case study of community-university action research. We share the story of how one project contributed to academic knowledge of domestic workers' health and safety experiences and also to a related policy campaign. We describe how Quebec workers' compensation legislation excludes domestic workers, and we analyze the occupational health literature related to domestic work. Striking data related to workplace accidents and illnesses emerged from the survey, and interesting lessons were learned about how occupational health questions should be posed. We conclude with a description of the successful policy advocacy that was possible as an outcome of this project.
PubMed ID
21342868 View in PubMed
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Are immigrants, ethnic and linguistic minorities over-represented in jobs with a high level of compensated risk? Results from a Montréal, Canada study using census and workers' compensation data.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature141647
Source
Am J Ind Med. 2010 Sep;53(9):875-85
Publication Type
Article
Date
Sep-2010
Author
Stéphanie Premji
Patrice Duguay
Karen Messing
Katherine Lippel
Author Affiliation
CINBIOSE, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. stephaniepremji@yahoo.com
Source
Am J Ind Med. 2010 Sep;53(9):875-85
Date
Sep-2010
Language
English
Publication Type
Article
Keywords
Accidents, Occupational - statistics & numerical data
Canada
Censuses
Confidence Intervals
Emigrants and Immigrants - statistics & numerical data
Ethnic Groups - statistics & numerical data
Female
Health Status Disparities
Humans
Language
Male
Minority Groups - statistics & numerical data
Occupational Health - statistics & numerical data
Quebec
Risk factors
Statistics as Topic
Workers' Compensation - statistics & numerical data
Abstract
Few Canadian data sources allow the examination of disparities by ethnicity, language, or immigrant status in occupational exposures or health outcomes. However, it is possible to document the mechanisms that can create disparities, such as the over-representation of population groups in high-risk jobs. We evaluated, in the Montréal context, the relationship between the social composition of jobs and their associated risk level.
We used data from the 2001 Statistics Canada census and from Québec's workers' compensation board for 2000-2002 to characterize job categories defined as major industrial groups crossed with three professional categories (manual, mixed, non-manual). Immigrant, visible, and linguistic minority status variables were used to describe job composition. The frequency rate of compensated health problems and the average duration of compensation determined job risk level. The relationship between the social composition and risk level of jobs was evaluated with Kendall correlations.
The proportion of immigrants and minorities was positively and significantly linked to the risk level across job categories. Many relationships were significant for women only. In analyses done within manual jobs, relationships with the frequency rate reversed and were significant, except for the relationship with the proportion of individuals with knowledge of French only, which remained positive.
Immigrants, visible, and linguistic minorities in Montréal are more likely to work where there is an increased level of compensated risk. Reversed relationships within manual jobs may be explained by under-reporting and under-compensation in vulnerable populations compared to those with knowledge of the province's majority language.
PubMed ID
20698020 View in PubMed
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Broken English, broken bones? Mechanisms linking language proficiency and occupational health in a Montreal garment factory.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature158271
Source
Int J Health Serv. 2008;38(1):1-19
Publication Type
Article
Date
2008
Author
Stéphanie Premji
Karen Messing
Katherine Lippel
Author Affiliation
CINBIOSE, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada. stephanie.premji@internet.uqam.ca
Source
Int J Health Serv. 2008;38(1):1-19
Date
2008
Language
English
Publication Type
Article
Keywords
Communication Barriers
Cultural Characteristics
Emigrants and Immigrants
Female
Health Services Accessibility
Health Status Disparities
Humans
Interpersonal Relations
Language
Male
Occupational Diseases - ethnology
Occupational Health
Quebec
Sex Factors
Workplace
Abstract
Language barriers are often cited as a factor contributing to ethnic inequalities in occupational health; however, little information is available about the mechanisms at play. The authors describe the multiple ways in which language influences occupational health in a large garment factory employing many immigrants in Montreal. Between 2004 and 2006, individual, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 women and 10 men from 14 countries of birth. Interviews were conducted in French and English, Canada's official languages, as well as in non-official languages with the help of colleague-interpreters. Observation within the workplace was also carried out at various times during the project. The authors describe how proficiency in the official languages influences occupational health by affecting workers' ability to understand and communicate information, and supporting relationships that can affect work-related health. They also describe workers' strategies to address communication barriers and discuss the implications of these strategies from an occupational health standpoint. Along with the longer-term objectives of integrating immigrants into the linguistic majority and addressing structural conditions that can affect health, policies and practices need to be put in place to protect the health and well-being of those who face language barriers in the short term.
PubMed ID
18341120 View in PubMed
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Distal lower-extremity pain and work postures in the Quebec population.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature161612
Source
Am J Public Health. 2008 Apr;98(4):705-13
Publication Type
Article
Date
Apr-2008
Author
Karen Messing
France Tissot
Susan Stock
Author Affiliation
CINBIOSE, Département des sciences biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, Case postale 8888, Succursale Centreville, Montréal, Québec, H3C 3P8. messing.karen@uqam.ca
Source
Am J Public Health. 2008 Apr;98(4):705-13
Date
Apr-2008
Language
English
Publication Type
Article
Keywords
Adolescent
Adult
Aged
Disability Evaluation
Female
Health status
Health Surveys
Humans
Interviews as Topic
Logistic Models
Lower Extremity
Male
Middle Aged
Musculoskeletal Diseases - epidemiology
Occupational Diseases - epidemiology
Occupational Health
Pain - epidemiology
Posture
Prevalence
Psychometrics
Quebec - epidemiology
Questionnaires
Abstract
Standing at work has been associated with discomfort and cardiovascular symptoms. Because standing postures vary in duration, mobility, and constraint, we explored associations between specific postures and pain in the lower extremities.
We used multiple logistic regression to analyze associations between work factors and pain in the lower extremities during the previous 12 months that interfered with usual activities. We used data from among 7757 workers who were interviewed in the 1998 Quebec Health and Social Survey.
Among all respondents, 9.4% reported significant ankle or foot pain, and 6.4% had lower-leg or calf pain. Significantly more women than men had pain at both sites. Both leg or calf and ankle or foot pain were strongly associated with standing postures, whole-body vibration, psychological distress, female gender, and being aged 50 years or older. Constrained standing postures were associated with increased ankle or foot pain for both men and women and with leg or calf pain for women, compared with standing with freedom to sit at will.
Freedom to sit at work may prevent lower-extremity pain. The effects of specific sitting and standing postures on cartilage, muscle, and the cardiovascular system may help explain discomfort in the lower extremities.
Notes
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PubMed ID
17761561 View in PubMed
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Introduction: women's occupational and environmental health.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature169233
Source
Environ Res. 2006 Jun;101(2):147-8
Publication Type
Article
Date
Jun-2006
Author
Karen Messing
Donna Mergler
Source
Environ Res. 2006 Jun;101(2):147-8
Date
Jun-2006
Language
English
Publication Type
Article
Keywords
Canada
Environmental health
Female
Humans
Occupational Health
Women's health
PubMed ID
16709470 View in PubMed
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Precarious employment conditions affect work content in education and social work: results of work analyses.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature162450
Source
Int J Law Psychiatry. 2007 Jul-Oct;30(4-5):299-310
Publication Type
Article
Author
Ana Maria Seifert
Karen Messing
Jessica Riel
Céline Chatigny
Author Affiliation
CINBIOSE, Université du Québec à Montréal, CP 8888, Succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, Canada QC H3C 3P8.
Source
Int J Law Psychiatry. 2007 Jul-Oct;30(4-5):299-310
Language
English
Publication Type
Article
Keywords
Adult
Employment - psychology
Faculty
Humans
Interviews as Topic
Occupational Health
Quebec
Social Work
Work Schedule Tolerance - psychology
Abstract
Work content is adversely affected by precarious employment conditions, with consequences for workers and clients/customers. Three examples are taken from professions involving long-term relations between workers and clients. Adult education teachers hired on short-term contracts to teach primarily immigrant populations prepare their courses under less favorable conditions than regular teachers and their employment context foments hostility among teachers. Special education technicians are hired on a seasonal basis which interferes with their ability to coordinate and plan their efforts in collaboration with teachers. Workers in shelters for women suffering conjugal violence who were hired on a casual or on-call basis were unable to follow up with women they helped during their shifts and more rarely engaged in one-on-one counseling. Precarious work contracts can affect mental health not only through employment insecurity but also through negative effects on the ability to do one's job and take pride in one's work, as well as weakening the interpersonal relationships on which successful, productive work depends.
PubMed ID
17631963 View in PubMed
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Sex, gender and women's occupational health: the importance of considering mechanism.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature169232
Source
Environ Res. 2006 Jun;101(2):149-62
Publication Type
Article
Date
Jun-2006
Author
Karen Messing
Jeanne Mager Stellman
Author Affiliation
Department of Biological Sciences, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada. messing.karen@uqam.ca
Source
Environ Res. 2006 Jun;101(2):149-62
Date
Jun-2006
Language
English
Publication Type
Article
Keywords
Canada - epidemiology
Female
Humans
Male
Mercury - toxicity
Musculoskeletal Diseases - epidemiology
Occupational Exposure
Occupational Health
Sex Factors
Women's health
Abstract
A number of researchers have pointed out that less is known about occupational determinants of health in women than in men. The authors examine inventories of ongoing Canadian research and of recent scientific publications in order to identify trends in the approaches used to study women's occupational health (WOH). We also consider conceptual issues in the treatment of the sex and gender of subjects. We observe that women have been the subject of relatively few investigations of occupational health in the natural or biomedical sciences and that studies of WOH have concentrated on the health care professions and on psychosocial stressors, with a deficit in toxicological and physiological studies. We use recent studies of mercury exposure in chloralkali process plants and of musculoskeletal disorders among office workers to provide specific examples of problems in conceptualizing WOH. We propose that WOH be studied more often, especially by researchers in the natural and biomedical sciences, and that such studies include both women and men, where possible, and consider the complex relationships of gender and sex to the pathways involved. More interdisciplinary research would facilitate this process, since social researchers have tended to focus more on gender/sex issues. Our findings demonstrate that it is necessary to explore the implications of using sex routinely as an explanatory variable in occupational health research and to increase emphasis on the mechanisms involved in any sex or gender differences sought or found. From an equity perspective, it is also important to situate biological sex differences so as to prevent them from being used erroneously to justify job segregation or inequitable health promotion measures.
PubMed ID
16709471 View in PubMed
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Should studies of risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders be stratified by gender? Lessons from the 1998 Québec Health and Social Survey.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature151920
Source
Scand J Work Environ Health. 2009 Mar;35(2):96-112
Publication Type
Article
Date
Mar-2009
Author
Karen Messing
Susan R Stock
France Tissot
Author Affiliation
CINBIOSE, Université du Québec à Montréal CP 8888, Succ. Centre-ville, Montréal QC H3C 3P8, Canada. karensmessing@gmail.com
Source
Scand J Work Environ Health. 2009 Mar;35(2):96-112
Date
Mar-2009
Language
English
Publication Type
Article
Keywords
Adolescent
Adult
Aged
Female
Health Surveys
Humans
Logistic Models
Male
Middle Aged
Musculoskeletal Diseases - epidemiology - etiology - psychology
Occupational Diseases - epidemiology - etiology - psychology
Occupational Exposure - adverse effects
Pain - epidemiology - etiology
Quebec
Risk factors
Sex Factors
Workplace - psychology
Young Adult
Abstract
Several studies have reported male-female differences in the prevalence of symptoms of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), some arising from workplace exposure differences. The objective of this paper was to compare two strategies analyzing a single dataset for the relationships between risk factors and MSD in a population-based sample with a wide range of exposures.
The 1998 Québec Health and Social Survey surveyed 11 735 respondents in paid work and reported "significant" musculoskeletal pain in 11 body regions during the previous 12 months and a range of personal, physical, and psychosocial risk factors. Five studies concerning risk factors for four musculoskeletal outcomes were carried out on these data. Each included analyses with multiple logistic regression (MLR) performed separately for women, men, and the total study population. The results from these gender-stratified and unstratified analyses were compared.
In the unstratified MLR models, gender was significantly associated with musculoskeletal pain in the neck and lower extremities, but not with low-back pain. The gender-stratified MLR models identified significant associations between each specific musculoskeletal outcome and a variety of personal characteristics and physical and psychosocial workplace exposures for each gender. Most of the associations, if present for one gender, were also found in the total population. But several risk factors present for only one gender could be detected only in a stratified analysis, whereas the unstratified analysis added little information.
Stratifying analyses by gender is necessary if a full range of associations between exposures and MSD is to be detected and understood.
Notes
Erratum In: Scand J Work Environ Health. 2009 Sep; 35(5):400
PubMed ID
19305934 View in PubMed
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Standing still: why North American workers are not insisting on seats despite known health benefits.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature171746
Source
Int J Health Serv. 2005;35(4):745-63
Publication Type
Article
Date
2005
Author
Karen Messing
Sylvie Fortin
Geneviève Rail
Maude Randoin
Author Affiliation
CINBIOSE, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada. messing.karen@uqam.ca
Source
Int J Health Serv. 2005;35(4):745-63
Date
2005
Language
English
Publication Type
Article
Keywords
Adolescent
Adult
Data Collection
Employment
Female
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Humans
Male
Middle Aged
Negotiating
Occupational Exposure - adverse effects
Posture - physiology
Quebec
Abstract
Prolonged standing is associated with health problems. Despite regulations providing for access to seats, most Québec (Canada) workers usually stand. Only one in six can sit at will. Standing service workers such as cashiers and sales personnel are often confined to a small area where sitting is theoretically feasible. In many other countries, such workers have access to seats. This study asks why North American workers do not press for seats. In a qualitative, exploratory approach, 30 young workers who usually work standing were interviewed about their perceptions and experiences of prolonged standing at work. All but one experienced discomfort associated with this posture, and two-thirds reported that they had changed their lifestyle in some way as a result of their symptoms. However, their accounts of relationships with employers, health care personnel, and the health and safety system suggest that many environmental factors as well as attitudes toward work, employers, health, and the body contribute to maintaining the status quo. Workers describe problems with the image of a seated worker and thought that asking for a seat would threaten their relationship with the employer. Personal comfort was considered an insufficient reason to challenge worksite design, attitudes, and organization.
PubMed ID
16320901 View in PubMed
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Underreporting work absences for nontraumatic work-related musculoskeletal disorders to workers' compensation: results of a 2007-2008 survey of the Québec working population.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature105255
Source
Am J Public Health. 2014 Mar;104(3):e94-e101
Publication Type
Article
Date
Mar-2014
Author
Susan Stock
Nektaria Nicolakakis
Hicham Raïq
Karen Messing
Katherine Lippel
Alice Turcot
Author Affiliation
The authors are with the Scientific Group on Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders, Québec Institute of Public Health, Montréal, Canada.
Source
Am J Public Health. 2014 Mar;104(3):e94-e101
Date
Mar-2014
Language
English
Publication Type
Article
Keywords
Absenteeism
Adult
Confidence Intervals
Female
Humans
Insurance Claim Review
Logistic Models
Male
Middle Aged
Musculoskeletal Diseases - epidemiology
Occupational Diseases - epidemiology
Odds Ratio
Qualitative Research
Quebec - epidemiology
Workers' Compensation - utilization
Abstract
We examined underestimation of nontraumatic work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) stemming from underreporting to workers' compensation (WC).
In data from the 2007 to 2008 Québec Survey on Working and Employment Conditions and Occupational Health and Safety we estimated, among nonmanagement salaried employees (NMSEs) (1) the prevalence of WMSDs and resulting work absence, (2) the proportion with WMSD-associated work absence who filed a WC claim, and (3) among those who did not file a claim, the proportion who received no replacement income. We modeled factors associated with not filing with multivariate logistic regression.
Eighteen percent of NMSEs reported a WMSD, among whom 22.3% were absent from work. More than 80% of those absent did not file a WC claim, and 31.4% had no replacement income. Factors associated with not filing were higher personal income, higher seniority, shorter work absence, and not being unionized.
The high level of WMSD underreporting highlights the limits of WC data for surveillance and prevention. Without WC benefits, injured workers may have reduced job protection and access to rehabilitation.
PubMed ID
24432882 View in PubMed
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11 records – page 1 of 2.