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).
The article deals with analysis of peculiarities in morbidity and social importance of chronic bronchitis as a leading nosologic entity among railway workers whose work is associated with constant exposure to risk factors of respiratory diseases. The authors compare clinical efficiency of various schemes concerning treatment of chronic bronchitis and the relapses prevention.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to quantify socioeconomic inequalities in low-back pain, neck-shoulder pain, and arm pain in the general working population in Oslo and to examine the impact of job characteristics on these inequalities. METHODS: All economically active 30-, 40-, and 45-year-old persons who attended the Oslo health study in 2000-2001 and answered questions on physical job demands, job autonomy, and musculoskeletal pain were included (N=7293). Occupational class was used as an indicator of socioeconomic status. The lower occupational classes were compared with higher grade professionals, and prevalences, prevalence ratios, prevalence differences, and population attributable fractions were calculated. RESULTS: There were marked, stepwise socioeconomic gradients for musculoskeletal pain, steeper for the men than for the women. The relative differences (prevalence ratios) were larger for low-back pain and arm pain than for neck-shoulder pain. The absolute differences (prevalence differences) were the largest for low-back pain. Physical job demands explained a substantial proportion of the absolute occupational class inequalities in low-back pain, while job autonomy was more important in explaining the inequalities in neck-shoulder pain and arm pain. The estimated population attributable fractions supported the impact of job characteristics at the working population level, especially for low-back pain. CONCLUSIONS: In this cross-sectional study, physical job demands and job autonomy explained a substantial proportion of occupational class inequalities in self-reported musculoskeletal pain in the working population in Oslo. This finding indicates that the workplace may be an important arena for preventive efforts to reduce socioeconomic inequalities in musculoskeletal pain.
Comment In: Scand J Work Environ Health. 2008 Aug;34(4):235-818820820
BACKGROUND: The eyes are among the organs most frequently hurt in occupational injuries. The characteristics of eye injuries were studied in order to suggest preventive measures. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Analyses were performed on work-related eye injuries reported to the Norwegian Injury Surveillance System from a selection of emergency centres during the period 1990-2002, and on injuries reported by employers to the National Insurance Administration 1998-2001. RESULTS: The occurrence of injuries was stable over the period. Men sustained 94.4% of the injuries registered in injury surveillance system. The highest incidence was among those 20 to 24 years of age. Metal cutters and tools for polishing were involved in 25.7% of cases. Analyses of the injuries reported to the National Insurance Administration showed an odds ratio of 8.8 (95% CI 7.6-10.1) for injuries to workers in metal industry, 18.8 (95% CI 17.0-20.8) in automotive industry, and only 0.5 (95% CI 0.1-3.4) in oil refineries. Workers in oil refineries have a potentially hazardous work environment, but there, eye protection is mandatory. INTERPRETATION: There was no decline in the incidence of work-related eye injuries from 1990 to 2002. Workers in metal industry have a high risk of injuries and employers should consider requiring the use of eye protection.
The working conditions and sanitary-and-hygienic state of the Kvarts glass works in the town of Kuvasai were studied. Harmful industrial factors were shown to influence on the incidence of disease with temporary disability; atmospheric emission of pollutants and discharge of sewage were calculated. The results of the analysis were assessed in the hygienic point and necessary recommendations to improve working conditions and the environment.
Annual dose limits in occupational radiation exposure are merely a secondary constraint in addition to the primary rule of dose reduction and justification. The limits may, therefore, be reached only in rare, special cases. However, in principle, there might be cases in which the annual limit is continuously exhausted throughout a working life; a high total dose of 0.8 Sv could then be reached. In view of this possibility, there have been considerations of an added restriction by limiting the lifetime occupational dose to 0.4 Sv. The implications of such lifetime doses are considered, and it is shown that an exposure up to the maximum of 0.8 Sv will lead to the need for compensation, if a leukaemia were to occur in the exposed worker. A lifetime dose of 0.4 Sv equally spread over a working life will not lead to the critical value of the probability of causation in excess of 0.5. Nevertheless, it could cause such critical values when it is accumulated during shorter periods. More decisive than the probabilities of causation are, however, the absolute numbers of excess cases of leukaemia due to the occupational exposure. It is seen that less than one excess case would be expected if a group of 100 workers were all exposed to the maximum of 0.8 Sv. Since lifetime doses of 0.8 or 0.4 Sv will be accumulated in very few cases and only with special justification, there appears to be little need to introduce a further limit of lifetime exposure in addition to the current annual limit.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: To study crew referrals to out-patient port services from 3 passenger ships during 12 months (2004), with focus on dentist appointments. The median number of crew on Ship A was 561, on Ship B 534 and on Ship C 614. METHODS: Crew referrals were registered continuously and after each cruise segment recorded in the ship's doctor's medical cruise report, from which the data were retrieved and reviewed. RESULTS: During 2004 the doctors of the 3 sister ships had a total of 8888 crew consultations (Table 1). Mean number of doctor consultations for crew was 17.5 a day. On Ship A 50%, on B 59% and on C 70% of the port referrals were dentist appointments. A crew member was referred to a dentist every 7 (Ship C) to 10 days (Ships A + B). Among the specified dental referrals, 18% were extraction requests. CONCLUSIONS: The ship's doctors had a busy crew practice, but were neither trained nor equipped to do elective dentistry aboard. Crew referral rate to services ashore was low, but 50-70% of the referrals for out-patient port services concerned dentistry. Inadequate health insurance caused low-wage crew to request free extractions instead of expensive repair in high-cost ports. As dentistry in local ports is a poor substitute for the person's own dentist, doctors performing seafarer examinations should ensure that dental problems are solved before sign-on.