To assess dermal exposure to bitumen condensate among road pavers and indoor mastic workers in multiple crews using a semi-quantitative observational method [DeRmal Exposure Assessment Method (DREAM)].
Two skilled observers assessed dermal exposure to bitumen condensate among 85 asphalt workers from 12 crews from nine companies active within four European countries using the DREAM methodology, which produces an estimate of exposure expressed in dimensionless DREAM units. Both observers independently evaluated each crew member's job (N = 14 jobs) for road paving and mastic applications. Potential and actual dermal exposures were estimated for hands and for the rest of the body separately, taking into account the effect of protective clothing. To evaluate the reproducibility of the observational method intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs) were estimated. The exposures in DREAM units were modelled using linear mixed models to estimate average relative scores for each job. Correlations between dermal exposure parameters were evaluated by estimating Pearson correlation coefficients.
A total of 170 observations were completed by two observers independently (n = 118 and n = 52 for 59 road pavers and 26 mastic workers, respectively) in 11 days. The mean ICCs (for potential and actual exposure in DREAM units) varied between 0.74 and 0.80 with values for actual units being slightly higher. Geometric mean potential dermal exposure units of mastic workers were higher than for road pavers (factor 3 for hands and factor 4 for rest of the body). Differences for actual dermal exposure units were smaller for hands (factor 2) and larger for actual exposure units of rest of the body (factor 5). Differences in dermal exposure at the hands between jobs within a paving crew were much larger than between jobs within a mastic crew. Within paving crews, a consistent pattern for all exposure units emerged with 'screed man' and 'raker' as the two highest exposed jobs. Within mastic crews, 'driver dumper truck' and 'spreader of mastic' were scored as the two jobs with the highest exposure units. Potential and actual exposure units were highly correlated. Hands were more profoundly exposed than the rest of the body, with transfer from contaminated surface to the hands as the most important route.
DREAM observations were reproducible and showed a consistent dermal exposure pattern among the observed crews. The study provided a clear picture of dermal exposure among road pavers and indoor mastic workers, with the mastic workers being considerably more highly exposed. The most important route of exposure appeared to be transferred from contaminated surfaces to the hands.
Early retirement is an increasing problem in the construction industry. There is limited information about causes leading employees to leave working life early. We have compared construction workers present situation with their perception of future demands at work to avoid early retirement.
All 87 employees in a medium-sized Norwegian construction company participated in the study. All were men and answered questionnaires on health and pain, work ability, mechanical exposure, psychosocial conditions, and demands regarding future working conditions.
Most workers showed good work ability, irrespective of age. Many reported high levels of mechanical exposure at work. The level of musculoskeletal pain was higher in the middle-aged (30-50 year old) age groups and seniors aged over 50 years than among the youngest workers less than 30 years of age. All workers reported that good health was important for continued working. Most workers stated that future work must not be too physically demanding. Many workers reported relatively low job satisfaction; consequently an interesting job was rated as important for continuing work. Good social conditions were a high priority.
According to the examined construction workers, good health and reduced levels of mechanical exposure at work are essential to avoid early retirement.
Construction and health care workers have a high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders, and they are assumed to have physically demanding jobs. Profession- and gender-specific associations between individual capacity and musculoskeletal pain have not been sufficiently investigated. The main aim of this study was to examine the association between individual capacity (maximal oxygen uptake (V?O2max) and handgrip strength) and musculoskeletal pain among construction and health care workers.
This cross-sectional study examined 137 construction and health care workers (58 women and 79 men) with a mean age of 41.8 years (standard deviation 12). Aerobic capacity was indirectly assessed by the Åstrand cycle test, and strength was assessed by a handgrip test. Musculoskeletal pain was described by total pain, divided into neck, shoulder, and low back pain, during the last 12 months, and it was dichotomized in below or above 30 days. Logistic regression was used to analyse the associations between V?O2max, strength, and musculoskeletal pain in the total study sample and separately for construction and health care workers. Analyses were adjusted for age, gender, body mass index (BMI), and selected mechanical and psychosocial factors.
Every second participant (51.8%) reported pain in either neck, shoulders or low back for more than 30 days during the last 12 months. Among the health care workers, a small but significant association was found between a high V?O2max, high handgrip strength, and a low level of musculoskeletal pain. No association was found for the construction workers.
An association between V?O2max, handgrip strength, and musculoskeletal pain was found for health care workers but not for construction workers. These results indicate that activities promoting individual capacity may reduce musculoskeletal pain for health care workers.
Cites: Scand J Work Environ Health. 1993 Apr;19(2):73-848316782
Cites: BMC Public Health. 2014 Oct 18;14:108425326786
Cites: BMC Public Health. 2013 Sep 17;13:85524044699
Cites: Am J Ind Med. 2010 Mar;53(3):285-32319753591
Cites: Ergonomics. 2009 Feb;52(2):232-4419296319
Cites: Percept Mot Skills. 2009 Apr;108(2):339-4219544938
Cites: Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Jun;33(6 Suppl):S379-99; discussion S419-2011427763
Cites: Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2016 Mar;26(3):291-825682984
Cites: Scand J Work Environ Health. 2010 Sep;36(5):357-6520352174
Cites: Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2012 Aug;85(6):615-2221986907
Cites: Occup Med (Lond). 2011 Sep;61(6):407-1521752940
Cites: J Occup Environ Med. 2012 Dec;54(12):1520-623114388
Cites: PLoS One. 2014 Dec 10;9(12 ):e11505925494175
Cites: BMC Public Health. 2015 Nov 12;15:111526563136
Cites: Workplace Health Saf. 2013 May;61(5):223-9; quiz 23023639038
To study whether work in a cold environment increased the risk of musculoskeletal symptoms in the neck and low back among construction workers.
This cross-sectional study is based on a cohort of male workers in the Swedish construction industry that participated in regular health examinations through a nationwide occupational health service. The analysis is based on workers examined from 1971 to 1974, who answered a questionnaire including questions about neck and back pain. The cohort consists of 134,754 male workers, including 16,496 office workers and foremen. The health examinations of the workers were conducted in provinces covering Sweden from the south to the north, and temperature data were collected for the provinces. In the analyses, the results were adjusted for age, BMI and use of nicotine.
The prevalence's of neck and low back pain were higher among manual construction workers than among foremen and office workers (24.3 vs. 8.6 % and 16.5 vs. 6.2 %, respectively); the corresponding adjusted ORs for low back and neck pain were 1.59 (95 % CI 1.52-1.66) and 1.39 (95 % CI 1.30-1.49), respectively. Workers in the northern and central provinces had higher ORs for low back and neck pain compared to workers in the southern province. The test for trends showed an increased risk of developing low back and neck pain with decreased outdoor temperature.
Outdoor work in a cold environment may increase the risk of low back and neck pain.
This paper examines the short- and medium-term effects of the PensionDanmark Health Scheme, the largest privately administered health program for workers in Denmark, which provides prevention and early management of work-related injuries. We use a difference-in-differences approach that exploits a natural variation in the program rollout across collective agreement areas in the construction sector and over time. The results show only little evidence of an effect on the prevention of injuries requiring medical attention in the first 3 years after the program was introduced. Despite this, we find evidence of significant positive effects on several labor market outcomes, suggesting that the program enables some work-injured individuals to maintain their work and earnings capacity. In view of its low costs, the program appears to be cost-effective overall.
The aims were to study biomarkers of systemic inflammation, platelet/endothelial activation and thrombosis in tunnel construction workers (TCW).
Biomarkers and blood fatty acids were measured in blood of 90 TCW and 50 referents before (baseline) and towards the end (follow-up) of a 12 days work period. They had been absent from work for 9 days at baseline. Air samples were collected by personal sampling.
Personal thoracic air samples showed geometric mean (GM) particulate matter and a-quartz concentrations of 604 and 74 µg/m(3), respectively. The arithmetic mean (AM) concentration of elemental carbon was 51 µg/m(3). The GM (and 95% confidence interval) concentration of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-a decreased from 2.2 (2.0-2.4) at baseline to 2.0 pg/mL (1.8-2.2) (p?=?0.02) at follow-up among the TCW. Also the platelet activation biomarkers P-selectin and CD40L decreased significantly [25.4 (24.1-26.6) to 24.4 (22.9-26.0)] ng/mL, p?=?0.04 and 125 (114-137) to 105 (96-115) pg/mL, p?
Cites: Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2007 Aug 15;176(4):395-40017446340
For the coming years SWEA is planning for communication and information actions. One of the sectors concerned is the building and construction industry. Focus of the information is to avoid accidents and injuries, and how companies by themselves can prevent risks. The objective of the information is to increase awareness among all stakeholders in order to secure that they are willing and able to reduce risks for workers. At the conference two brochures will be presented. They are designed to provide information and knowledge about specific risks of occupational accidents and occupational diseases which occur frequently during construction work and how they can be prevented. They are directed to all those who are involved in the construction process at different stages and who are subject to SWEAs rules and regulations. New identified risk groups are e.g. students, apprentices, self-employed, and foreign workers temporarily working in Sweden. We also see that work is still being carried out in narrow installation spaces during erection stage of buildings because the people responsible for the drawings do not take notice of the need for sufficient space to do the work. SWEA experienced that it is difficult to reach all the groups concerned with the message about how to avoid injuries and unnecessary musculoskeletal disorders.
Occupational workload has been associated with an increased risk of osteoarthritis (OA), but only little research has been conducted among female workers. The objective of this study was to analyse if men and women in farming, construction or healthcare work have increased risk of developing OA of the hip or knee.
A follow-up study based on register data of the whole Danish working population in the period 1981 to 2006 followed up for hip or knee OA during 1996 to 2006. Cumulative years in occupation were calculated for assessment of dose-response relationship. Gender-specific analyses were carried out with Cox regression models using age as timescale and adjusting for calendar period, income, unemployment and previous knee injury, and done separately for hip and knee OA.
Male floor layers and bricklayers and male and female healthcare assistants had the highest risks of knee OA, and farmers had the highest risk of hip OA. Male farmers had increased risk of hip OA already after 1-5 years in occupation (HR, 1.63) and a dose-response-related risk of hip OA (HR up to 4.22). Generally, the risk of OA increased with cumulative years in the occupation in both men and women.
Occupations with heavy physical workload present a strong risk for hip and knee OA in both men and women, and the risks increase with cumulative years in occupation and noticeable hip OA among male farmers.
A six-year study is exploring the most effective ways to disseminate ideas to reduce musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the construction sector. The sector was targeted because MSDs account for 35% of all lost time injuries. This paper reports on the organization of the construction sector, and maps potential pathways of communication, including social networks, to set the stage for future dissemination.
The managers, health and safety specialists, union health and safety representatives, and 28 workers from small, medium and large construction companies participated.
Over a three-year period, data were collected from 47 qualitative interviews. Questions were guided by the PARIHS (Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services) knowledge-transfer conceptual framework and adapted for the construction sector.
The construction sector is a complex and dynamic sector, with non-linear reporting relationships, and divided and diluted responsibilities. Four networks were identified that can potentially facilitate the dissemination of new knowledge: worksite-project networks; union networks; apprenticeship program networks; and networks established by the Construction Safety Association/Infrastructure Health and Safety Association.
Flexible and multi-directional lines of communication must be used in this complex environment. This has implications for the future choice of knowledge transfer strategies.