The objective of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the prevalence of abdominal symptoms and the abdominal medical history among sewage workers. 142 male sewage workers and 137 male referents in 11 Swedish municipalities were addressed with a questionnaire about abdominal symptoms, medical history, occupational history and life style factors. The sewage workers suffered less from nausea [adjusted odds ratio (adjOR) = 0.18, 95% confidence interval (Cl) 0.04-0.84] than the referents. There was no significant difference in the three months prevalence of diarrhoea (adjOR = 1.7, 95% Cl = 0.79-3.4), dyspepsia (adjOR = 0.85, 95% Cl = 0.49-1.5) or irritable bowel syndrome (adjOR = 1.4, 95% Cl = 0.53-3.5). The sewage workers were affected more often by peptic ulcers during their present jobs than the referents, although the increased risk was not significant (adjOR = 1.4, 95% Cl = 0.31-6.1). The odds ratios were adjusted for age, use of tobacco products and alcohol consumption. The conclusion of this study was that sewage workers are less affected by nausea than comparable referents.
The aim of our work was to study the accidents and close call situations connected to the use of mobile phones. We have analyzed how the accidents/close call situations are connected to background information, in particular age, gender and self-reported symptoms. The study was carried out as a cross-sectional study by posting the questionnaire to 15,000 working-age Finns. The responses (6121) were analyzed using the logistic regression models. Altogether 13.7% of respondents had close call situations and 2.4% had accidents at leisure, in which the mobile phone had a partial effect, and at work the amounts were 4.5% and 0.4% respectively, during the last 12 months. Essentially, we found that: (1) men tend to have more close calls and accidents while on a mobile phone, (2) younger people tend to have more accidents and close calls while on a mobile phone, but it does not appear to be large enough to warrant intervention, (3) employed people tend to have more problems with mobile phone usage and accidents/close calls, and (4) there was a slight increase in mobile-phone-related accidents/close calls if the respondent also reported sleep disturbances and minor aches and pains. In the future, it is important to take into account and study how symptoms can increase the risk of accidents or close call situations in which a mobile phone has a partial effect.
"Human error" is often cited as cause of occupational mishaps and industrial accidents. Human error, however, can also be seen as an effect (rather than the cause) of trouble deeper inside systems. The latter perspective is called the "new view" in ergonomics today. This paper details some of the antecedents and implications of the old and the new view, indicating that human error is a judgment made in hindsight, whereas actual performance makes sense to workers at the time. Support for the new view is drawn from recent research into accidents as emergent phenomena without clear "root causes;" where deviance has become a generally accepted standard of normal operations; and where organizations reveal "messy interiors" no matter whether they are predisposed to an accident or not.
A new agrarian policy in a number of countries caused the necessity to introduce additional measures aimed at preventing of agricultural workers' health. The epidemiological studies in the Ukraine revealed the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (ischemic heart disease, arterial hypertension) particularly among operators of agricultural machines and workers being in contact with pesticides. The state of health of women working in greenhouses and those in sugar beet growing is assessed. The rate of spontaneous abortions and other pregnancy disorders as well as the retardation in physical development of newborns and infants are evaluated. The necessity to improve the ergonomy of agricultural machines, to increase their quality and reliability is emphasized. The search of physiological optimum of efforts to steering wheel and pedals is given as an example. This approach is of general significance and can be applied to road-building machines as well. The role of pesticide management in the Ukraine is also considered in this paper. The damage to human health and the environment is most often connected with violations of regulations, or persistent usage of highly toxic substances. The most urgent tasks are the revision of the registered and applied pesticides, development of new ecological and hygienic standards, improvement of biomonitoring methods and efficiency of the state sanitary supervision.
This brief article provides a description of some new ideas about admission of university engineering students in Sweden. The current system of admission is based on upper-secondary school grades and the Swedish Scholastic Assessment Test. These measures are used for admission to all higher education. For many reasons, ideas for a new admission model have been proposed. This model includes a sector-oriented admission test, which the universities are supposed to use for different purposes, such as selection, eligibility, diagnostics, and recruitment.
Comment On: Psychol Rep. 2003 Oct;93(2):399-40914650662
The aim of this study is to explore how middle-aged men in different socio-economic groups and with different work experiences, talk about ageing, and how they see age as a reason for pursuing or not pursuing physical activity. Data were collected in Oslo by interviews with 46 men (carpenters, engineers, drivers) aged 35-57 years, and workplace group discussions. The analysis explored similarities and differences in the men's interpretive repertoires on work, everyday activities, health and health-related habits. The data were discussed in relation to Bourdieu's theories on the production and conversion of physical capital. For the carpenters emerging themes related to the ageing body were worry about decline in strength, the feeling of uselessness, and an awareness of what the body can take. For the engineers, the themes were keeping the body in shape and the ability to tackle stress. In addition to these themes, the drivers focussed on leaving the body as it is/taking age as it comes. Men in all three occupational groups said that they were thinking more about health and disease with age. Even though many talked about becoming more sedate, there were also some who maintained physical activity or became more physically active with age. The emphasis and the reasons for being more physically active were different in the three groups, and involved aspects such as health, strength, pleasure, social milieu, and warding off personal problems. Age was therefore used as a reason both for being and not being physically active. In conclusion health workers should be aware of the different life experiences and views related to the body, health and physical activity that exist among men of different occupational groups. This is needed to tailor information to fit the interest areas of men belonging to different socio-economic groups.
A study of 206 machine builders in dynamics (up to 15 years) with dust-induced bronchitis showed that the disease has a tendency to advancing within the first three years, especially in those with a combination of noxious professional factors (dust, heat, hard physical work). Negative risk factors: working conditions, preceding unspecific respiratory infections, smoking.
OBJECTIVES: To describe workers with low back symptoms, to identify risk factors and to assess the occupational consequences separately in men and women. METHODS: A descriptive study was conducted between 1 October 1996 and 31 December 1996 in a sample of workers selected at random from all types of small companies in the Paris area. A group of 202 occupational physicians interviewed 7129 workers with a standardised questionnaire including the Nordic questionnaire. Data analysis was performed by sex in the two groups: with low back pain and without low back pain over the previous 12 months. The group with low back pain was then divided into four subgroups: mild cases (without referred pain), moderate cases (with referred pain above the knee), serious cases (with referred pain below the knee), and low back pain with occupational consequences. RESULTS: 7010 questionnaires were able to be evaluated. The sample consisted of 54.8% of men (3842) and 45.2% of women (3168), with a mean age of 37.8 and 37.0 years, respectively (p 10 kg, in women (OR 1.69, 95% CI 1.27 to 2.25) and in men (OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.53), uncomfortable working positions (OR 2.04, 95% CI 1.58 to 2.17 and OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.69 to 2.43), and absence of means to achieve good quality work (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.63 and OR 1.38, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.65), respectively. Driving was a risk factor only in men and its importance increased with driving time (driving > 4 hours a day (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.24 to 2.09)). Severe low back pain was linked to female sex (10.2% of women v 6.6% of men), high BMI, aging, and uncomfortable working positions. Low back pain with occupational consequences (n = 258) was not linked to sex, but only to aging and severity. CONCLUSIONS: The incidence and severity of low back pain were higher in women, although they seemed to be less exposed to known occupational risk factors. However, our results indicate a preponderance of these risk factors among female workers. Particular attention must therefore be paid to lifting of weights and uncomfortable working positions in female jobs (clerk, trading, health care staff).