We estimated the impact of a smoke-free workplace bylaw on non-smoking bar workers' health in Ontario, Canada. We measured bar workers' urine cotinine before (n = 99) and after (n = 91) a 2004 smoke-free workplace bylaw. Using pharmacokinetic and epidemiological models, we estimated workers' fine-particle (PM2.5 ) air pollution exposure and mortality risks from workplace secondhand smoke (SHS). workers' pre-law geometric mean cotinine was 10.3 ng/ml; post-law dose declined 70% to 3.10 ng/ml and reported work hours of exposure by 90%. Pre-law, 97% of workers' doses exceeded the 90th percentile for Canadians of working age. Pre-law-estimated 8-h average workplace PM2.5 exposure from SHS was 419 µg/m(3) or 'Very Poor' air quality, while outdoor PM2.5 levels averaged 7 µg/m(3) , 'Very Good' air quality by Canadian Air Quality Standards. We estimated that the bar workers' annual mortality rate from workplace SHS exposure was 102 deaths per 100000 persons. This was 2.4 times the occupational disease fatality rate for all Ontario workers. We estimated that half to two-thirds of the 10620 Ontario bar workers were non-smokers. Accordingly, Ontario's smoke-free law saved an estimated 5-7 non-smoking bar workers' lives annually, valued at CA $50 million to $68 million (US $49 million to $66 million).
The purpose of occupational exposure limits values (OELs) is to regulate exposure to chemicals and minimize the risk of health effects at work. National authorities are responsible for the setting and updating of national OELs. In addition, the EU sets indicative occupational exposure limit values (IOELVs), which have to be considered by the Member States. Under the new European legislation on chemicals (REACH), manufacturers and importers are obliged to establish derived no-effect levels (DNELs) for chemicals that are manufactured or imported in quantities >10 tonnes per year. Chemical safety data sheets must report both OELs and the DNEL values, if such have been set. This may cause confusion at workplaces, especially if the values differ from each other. In this study, we explored how EU IOELVs and Finnish national OELs [Haitallisiksi tunnetut pitoisuudet (HTP) values] correlate with worker inhalation DNELs for substances registered under REACH. The long-term DNEL value for workers (inhalation) was identical to the corresponding IOELV for the majority of the substances (64/87 cases). Comparison of DNELs with HTP values revealed that the values were identical or close to each other in 159 cases (49%), whereas the DNEL was considerably higher in 69 cases, and considerably lower in 87 cases. Examples of cases with high differences between Finnish national OELs and DNELs are given. However, as the DNELs were not systematically lower than the OELs, the default assessment factors suggested by REACH technical guidance had obviously not been used in many of the REACH registrations.
The author looks at work environment matters from the perspective of public policy-making and the policy instruments used to deal with workplace health and safety: standard setting; joint health and safety committees; compliance, enforcement, and prosecution; workers' compensation as an economic incentive; and collective bargaining. While regarding all as necessary, the author considers them as separately and collectively, fundamentally flawed and therefore insufficient, because liberal public policy-making itself is problematic. He proposes an alternative way of thinking about this subject from the perspective of the "politics of meaning."
The commercial exploitation of asbestos may be dated from the late 1870s, when Canada was the major world source. Reports of severe and fatal respiratory disease in workers in asbestos factories appeared in Britain (1898, 1906), and in France (1906) and Italy (1908). In 1912 the Canadian Department of Labour denied that the health of Quebec's millers and miners was affected. A series of denials appeared for over 40 years, until in 1955 a Thetford Mines medical officer reported finding that between 1945 and 1953, among some 4,000 asbestos workers 128 had asbestosis of various degrees of severity, 121 diagnosed radiographically, and 33 confirmed at autopsy. Although a committee of inquiry into health in the asbestos industry (1976), and a Royal Commission on health and safety arising in the use of asbestos in Ontario (1984) confirmed that disease had occurred, these findings were to have no adverse effects on asbestos exports. Rather, the inquiries constituted elements in the industry's successful public relations exercise that continues to operate to this day. Even when an increasing number of national bodies have legislated for total bans on asbestos use, a policy with which all the international bodies concerned with public health agree, the Canadian PR apparatus continues to be able to call on physicians and scientists prepared to oppose the consensuses reached by the independent advisors to these bodies.
The article covers history of establishment and development of social hygienic research in Industrial Medicine Research Institute with RAMSc over last 90 years. The materials deal with founders and leaders of Social Hygienic research laboratory in various periods, with history of occupational morbidity studies, with development and results of social hygienic studies, organization of occupational therapy service in Russia, studies concerning remote effects of occupational hazards through analytic epidemiology methods, with considerably restricted possibilities in studies of relationships (especially remote) between work conditions and workers' health nowadays due to implemented law on personal data and new approaches to evaluation of industrial hazards effects on health.
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.
Federal and provincial legislation bans smoking in indoor public spaces and workplaces, yet exemptions exist for residential facilities such as nursing homes and addiction treatment centres. In relying on ventilated smoking rooms, however, these organizations are failing to protect the health of their employees and clients. Increased use of risk messages regarding the harms of second- and third-hand smoke, together with enhanced nicotine replacement therapies for smokers, would rectify this disproportionate injustice. Such an approach must also recognize and counteract the efforts of the tobacco industry to block total indoor smoking bans.
The law regarding special maternity leave for pregnant women in hazardous work situations has been in effect since 1981 in Denmark. In Finland, legislation regarding the protection of the reproductive health of working men and women and of pregnant women has been in effect since 1991. According to the special maternity leave law, women who are exposed to certain chemical, physical, or biological agents that are considered to be harmful to the fetus may be entitled to special maternity leave and benefits. In Denmark and in Finland, approximately 1% and 0.1%, respectively, of pregnant women have used the special maternity leave due to a risky work situation. In Finland, the yearly costs of the leave have been US $200,000 to $250,000. Trained occupational physicians can facilitate changes at the workplace that will decrease the need for special maternity leave.
The implementation in our country of recent legislation on carcinogenic risk assessment and management (VIIth title of Law 626/94) is considered. The authors describe potentialities and limits of the new legislation and of the derived Guidelines issued by the Regions. The health policy in this field and possible evolution in the near future are outlined, bearing in mind the experience of other countries. A short list of questions is suggested as a contribution to the discussion on the future scenario: whether exposure to carcinogens should be lower in the working environment than in the general environment; what is the relative importance of multifactoriality, individual biological variability, individual life-style in the genesis of cancers; whether medical health surveillance is worthwhile in terms of primary prevention; is it always true that there is no threshold limit value for carcinogens; what is the role of individual attitudes to prevention in exposure to carcinogens compared to "objective" protection; which balance between costs and benefits should be aimed at.
The impact of tobacco legislation and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in bars and restaurants were assessed in a national survey.
Questionnaire surveys among restaurant workers were conducted in 2007 before the smoking ban, and in 2009.
The exposure to ETS decreased significantly after the launch of the 2007 smoke-free law. During 2007-2009, the prevalence of those restaurant workers with no exposure increased from 54% to 82% (P-value