The paper examines age-related accident risks faced by Swedish male iron-ore miners. A retrospective longitudinal analysis of national registers was conducted over a ten-year period using three times periods of five years and five age categories. Age-related accident frequency, characteristics and severity were examined. High accident ratios were rare among older miners whatever the time period, but some accident patterns became substantially more frequent in some older age cohorts over the years. Injuries tended to be more severe in older age groups, all accidents aggregated as well as by accident pattern. It is concluded that inequality in risk exposure between age groups may explain the lower accident ratios found among older workers, but also that the aging of a working population may lead to the application of task-assignment principles that penalize older workers, at least with regard to certain specific accident risks.
Novel solutions for sulfide-mine tailings remediation were evaluated in field-scale experiments on a former tailings repository in northern Sweden. Uncovered sulfide-tailings were compared to sewage-sludge biosolid amended tailings over 2 years. An application of a 0.2m single-layer sewage-sludge amendment was unsuccessful at preventing oxygen ingress to underlying tailings. It merely slowed the sulfide-oxidation rate by 20%. In addition, sludge-derived metals (Cu, Ni, Fe, and Zn) migrated and precipitated at the tailings-to-sludge interface. By using an additional 0.6m thick fly-ash sealing layer underlying the sewage sludge layer, a solution to mitigate oxygen transport to the underlying tailings and minimize sulfide-oxidation was found. The fly-ash acted as a hardened physical barrier that prevented oxygen diffusion and provided a trap for sludge-borne metals. Nevertheless, the biosolid application hampered the application, despite the advances in the effectiveness of the fly-ash layer, as sludge-borne nitrate leached through the cover system into the underlying tailings, oxidizing pyrite. This created a 0.3m deep oxidized zone in 6-years. This study highlights that using sewage sludge in unconventional cover systems is not always a practical solution for the remediation of sulfide-bearing mine tailings to mitigate against sulfide weathering and acid rock drainage formation.
This study was carried out to assess Future Workshop (FW) regarding its usefulness as a participatory ergonomics method, using a descriptive evaluation design analysed by phenomenographical approach. The study was conducted among professional cleaners, health care personnel and miners, with a sample of 105 participating subjects in 8 different FWs. Multiple methods, giving a combination of both qualitative and quantitative data, were used for data collection. Good involvement of participants was observed during workshops. Evaluations immediately after FWs and 3 months later showed a strong relationship with high correlation, indicating that the perception of FW participants was very positive. Interviews revealed conformity between developed problem identification and proposed changes. Participants' own perceptions of FW's influence on creativity depict their belief of developed ideas and solutions in order to identify and solve workplace problems. FW is considered to be a useful ergonomics tool, and its qualities are related to structure and practical performance.
The lead concentration in capillary blood was investigated in 49 preschool children (0.7-7.4 years of age) visiting a day-care center in a Swedish community with high lead contamination from mining and milling in soil and dust in populated areas [up to 1400 and 14,000 micrograms.g-1 (6.76 and 67.63 mumol.g-1) of dry weight, respectively]. The blood lead levels were examined twice (in April and in September) in 33 of the children. The lead levels were low on both sampling occasions [arithmetic mean 31 (SD 13, median 30, range 13-79) micrograms.l-1, ie, arithmetic mean 0.15, (SD 0.06, median 0.14, range 0.06-0.38) mumol.l-1]. Whereas children up to four years of age showed significantly increased levels from April to September, a significant decrease was seen in older children. The level of lead in soil at home, gender, smoking habits at home, and estimated level of hand-to-mouth activity did not appear as strong determinants of lead in blood. The results indicate that lead from mine waste in soil and dust fallout does not constitute a significant health hazard for preschool children in Falun.
The goal of this study was to evaluate associations between the meteorological conditions and the number of emergency cases for five distinctive causes of dispatch groups reported to SOS dispatch centre in Uppsala, Sweden. Center's responsibility include alerting to 17 ambulances in whole Uppsala County, area of 8,209 km2 with around 320,000 inhabitants representing the target patient group. Source of the medical data for this study is the database of dispatch data for the year of 2009, while the metrological data have been provided from Uppsala University Department of Earth Sciences yearly weather report. Medical and meteorological data were summoned into the unified data space where each point represents a day with its weather parameters and dispatch cause group cardinality. DBSCAN data mining algorithm was implemented to five distinctive groups of dispatch causes after the data spaces have gone through the variance adjustment and the principal component analyses. As the result, several point clusters were discovered in each of the examined data spaces indicating the distinctive conditions regarding the weather and daily cardinality of the dispatch cause, as well as the associations between these two. Most interesting finding is that specific type of winter weather formed a cluster only around the days with the high count of breathing difficulties, while one of the summer weather clusters made similar association with the days with low number of cases. Findings were confirmed by confidence level estimation based on signal to noise ratio for the observed data points.
Within a case-control study of male lung carcinoma in northern Sweden combined effects of underground mining (iron ore mines) and smoking were analysed. A synergistic effect was found approximately of multiplicative type. Cases with lung carcinoma exposed to underground mining had a considerably lower average cumulative tobacco consumption than other lung carcinoma cases as an expression of the fact that smoking is particularly dangerous in underground miners. Small cell undifferentiated carcinoma was overrepresented among the cases exposed to underground mining and were especially often low tobacco consumers. In the 2 municipalities where the iron mines were located 74 per cent of the male lung carcinoma incidence could be explained by smoking and 55 per cent by underground mining (etiologic fractions).