A substantial morbidity and mortality burden attributable to the influenza virus is observed annually in the United States. Healthcare workers are an occupational group at increased risk of exposure, demonstrated to transmit influenza to their patient populations, and vital to the care of these patient populations. The prevention of the spread of the flu is a significant public health concern. In the present study, we examined influenza vaccination rates and their 5-year trends within the major occupational healthcare worker groups and compared them to non-Healthcare Workers.
Using data from the nationally representative 2004–2008 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), US healthcare workers (n=6,394) were analyzed.
Seasonal influenza vaccination coverage estimates remain substantially low among all healthcare workers, highest among the health diagnosing and treating practitioners (52.3%), and lowest among other healthcare support occupations (32.0%). Among all other occupational groups, pooled influenza vaccination rates were highest for white collar workers (24.7%), and lowest for farm workers (11.7%). There were no significant upward or downward trends in influenza vaccination rates for any healthcare or other occupational worker group during the five-year survey period.
Improving these low vaccination rates among healthcare workers warrants a comprehensive national approach to influenza prevention that includes education and strong encouragement of routine annual vaccination among healthcare workers. Policy enhancements such as free provision of seasonal influenza vaccine, coverage for treatment and workers compensation for vaccine-related complications are needed.
Flu; Vaccination; healthcare workers; occupation; epidemiology
Although firefighters have been shown in some studies to suffer chronic respiratory morbidity from their occupational exposures, an increased risk for dying from non-malignant respiratory diseases has not been documented in any previous retrospective cohort mortality study. In order to assess the possibility that an unusually strong "healthy worker effect" among firefighters might mask this increased risk, a mortality analysis of firefighters was carried out in three cities in relation to the United States population and also to a comparison cohort of police officers. The firefighters were employed between 1945 and 1980 and experienced 886 deaths by 1 January 1984; compared with the United States population they had a significantly reduced risk of dying from all causes (SMR = 82, 95% confidence interval, 77-87), and from non-malignant circulatory diseases (SMR = 81, 95% confidence interval 73-89), but no significant difference in risk of non-malignant respiratory diseases (SMR = 88, 95% confidence interval 66-117). Compared with police, the firefighters experienced a trend toward improved mortality outcomes for all causes investigated (SMR = 82), but they had an excess of deaths from non-malignant respiratory diseases (SMR = 141). The results indicate that firefighters are probably at increased risk for dying from non-malignant respiratory diseases; this increased risk may have been missed in previous studies because of the limitations of using a general reference population.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS—Whether healthcare workers have an increased prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection as a result of exposure to patient's blood and body fluids is controversial. This study assesses the prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection in healthcare workers, and its relation to the performance of exposure prone procedures and duration of occupational exposure, allowing an estimate to be made of the incidence of occupationally acquired hepatitis C infection among medical staff.
METHODS—In this anonymous retrospective cohort study, we estimated the prevalence of hepatitis C infection in 10 654 healthcare workers. ELISA-3 testing was performed on pools of five sera collected during immunisation against hepatitis B. Healthcare workers were arranged into five occupational groups, according to the degree of patient exposure, and three age bands (<30 years, 30-39 years, >40 years).
RESULTS—Prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis C was 0.28% (30/10 654), comparable in all occupational groups (p=0.34) and unrelated to duration of potential exposure. Assuming that all detected infections had been occupationally acquired, the maximum estimated risk of hepatitis C infection in exposure prone medical staff was low: 1.4% for surgeons and 1.0% for physicians over a 35 year professional career.
CONCLUSIONS—Hepatitis C infection is infrequent in healthcare workers in Glasgow. Those conducting exposure prone procedures do not seem to be at higher risk than other healthcare staff.
Keywords: hepatitis C virus; epidemiology; exposure prone procedures; healthcare worker
Blood borne infectious agents such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immune deficiency virus (HIV) constitute a major occupational hazard for healthcare workers (HCWs). To some degree it is inevitable that HCWs sustain injuries from sharp objects such as needles, scalpels and splintered bone during execution of their duties. However, in Tanzania, there is little or no information on factors that influence the practice of managing occupational exposure to HIV by HCWs. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of self-reported occupational exposure to HIV among HCWs and explore factors that influence the practice of managing occupational exposure to HIV by HCWs in Tanzania.
Self-administered questionnaire was designed to gather information of healthcare workers’ occupational exposures in the past 12 months and circumstances in which these injuries occurred. Practice of managing occupational exposure was assessed by the following questions:
Nearly half of the HCWs had experienced at least one occupational injury in the past 12 months. Though most of the occupational exposures to HIV were experienced by female nurses, non-medical hospital staff received PEP more frequently than nurses and doctors. Doctors and nurses frequently encountered occupational injuries in surgery room and labor room respectively. HCWs with knowledge on the possibility of HIV transmission and those who knew whom to contact in event of occupational exposure to HIV were less likely to have poor practice of managing occupational exposure.
Needle stick injuries and splashes are common among HCWs at Tumbi and Dodoma hospitals. Knowledge of the risk of HIV transmission due to occupational exposure and knowing whom to contact in event of exposure predicted practice of managing the exposure. Thus provision of health education on occupational exposure may strengthen healthcare workers’ practices to manage occupational exposure.
HIV; Occupational exposure; Healthcare workers
This article presents a model and decision criteria for evaluating a person’s risk of pre- or postexposure smallpox vaccination in light of serious vaccine-related adverse events (death, postvaccine encephalitis and progressive vaccinia). Even at a 1-in-10 risk of 1,000 initial smallpox cases, a person in a population of 280 million has a greater risk for serious vaccine-related adverse events than a risk for smallpox. For a healthcare worker to accept preexposure vaccination, the risk for contact with an infectious smallpox case-patient must be >1 in 100, and the probability of 1,000 initial cases must be >1 in 1,000. A member of an investigation team would accept preexposure vaccination if his or her anticipated risk of contact is 1 in 2.5 and the risk of attack is assumed to be >1 in 16,000. The only circumstances in which postexposure vaccination would not be accepted are the following: if vaccine efficacy were <1%, the risk of transmission were <1%, and (simultaneously) the risk for serious vaccine-related adverse events were >1 in 5,000.
In industrialised countries, occupational tuberculosis among healthcare workers (HCWs) is re‐emerging as an important public health issue. To prevent and control tuberculosis transmission, several institutions have issued and implemented recommendations and practice guidelines.
To estimate the annual rate of tuberculosis infection (ARTI; per 100 person‐years) among HCWs in Turin, the capital of the Piedmont region of Italy, to identify factors associated with variations in the ARTI and to evaluate the efficacy of the regional guidelines to prevent and control tuberculosis.
The study was conducted between 1997 and 2004 on a cohort of HCWs. The tuberculosis infection was diagnosed through tuberculin skin testing (TST) conversion and defined as an induration increase of at least 10 mm from a previous negative TST. The ARTI and the hazard ratio for each at‐risk subgroup, categorised according to working activities and settings, was estimated using exponential survival models. The efficacy of the regional guidelines was estimated by stratifying the analysis according to the moment of the implementation of the guidelines (before/after).
The 2182 study participants were drawn from the dynamic cohort. The overall adjusted ARTI was 1.6 (95% CI: 1.3 to 1.9)/100 person‐years. Different workplaces (eg, administrative and infectious diseases inpatient services) and occupations (eg, clerical and medical workers) were associated with significantly different ARTIs, ranging between 0.62 and 2.62 and between 0.61 and 1.71, respectively, whereas the TST conversion risk differed by about 16–68% and 30–60%, respectively. The implementation of the guidelines coincided with overall ARTI reductions of 1.3/100 person‐years, and concurrently the variations between ARTIs of different occupations and workplaces disappeared.
The occupational risk categories for targeting the surveillance and prevention of tuberculosis transmission among HCWs were identified, and the introduction of preventive measures was observed to be effective in decreasing the overall risk of tuberculosis infection among HCWs.
Healthcare workers have a high risk of occupational exposure to many blood-borne diseases including HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C viral infections. Of these Hepatitis B is not only the most transmissible infection, but also the only one that is preventable by vaccination. In developing countries, Hepatitis B vaccination coverage among healthcare workers is very low for various reasons, including awareness, risk assessment, and low priority given by the health managements of both government and private hospitals. Most of the hospitals lack post-exposure management strategies including the coordination among various departments for reporting, testing, and vaccination. This review, therefore, focuses on the current situation of Hepatitis B vaccine status in the healthcare workers of India, and provides updated guidelines to manage the accidental exposure to hepatitis B virus-infected biological materials in healthcare workers. The review also emphasizes on what options are available to a healthcare worker, in case of exposure and how they can respond to the standard vaccination schedules, besides the need to educate the healthcare workers about Hepatitis B infection, available vaccines, post-vaccine immune status, and post-exposure prophylaxis.
Healthcare worker; hepatitis B virus; HBsAg; vaccine; responders; non-responder; post-exposure prophylaxis
Occupational reaction to natural rubber latex (NRL) glove use by healthcare employees has been an area of increasing concern. Unfortunately, there is little data demonstrating the prevalence and severity of actual reactivity to NRL.
Occupational reaction to NRL was estimated using workers' compensation claims filed by healthcare employees in Oregon for the period of 1987–1998. For the first ten years, these claims were estimated by source and conditions consistent with NRL glove reactions, while in the last two years a specific code developed in 1997 for NRL glove reactions was also employed.
The claim rate was on average 0.58 per 10,000 healthcare workers annually, which constituted 0.29% of all workers' compensation claims. The most common condition experienced was dermatitis (80%) and most common body part affected was the hands (55.4%). The majority of claimants, 45 (69.2%), reported taking less than a month off work, suggesting most reactions were minor in nature, although one fatality was reported. The average NRL claim cost was $8,309.48. Overall the average cost per insured healthcare worker was approximately $0.50 per year. The occupational groups with the highest number of claims were nurses (30.8% of claimants) and nursing aides and orderlies (24.6% of claimants).
In comparison with other workers' compensation claims filed by healthcare workers during this period, 0.25% of the total was potentially related to NRL gloves. The rare incidence of respiratory and ocular claims is inconsistent with the hypothesis that asthmatic or conjunctival reactions to NRL gloves are common.
latex; latex allergy; workers' compensation; NRL gloves
Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at risk of acquiring human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) and other infections via exposure to infectious patients’ blood and body fluids. The main objective of this study was to estimate the risk of HIV transmission and examine the practices for preventing occupational exposures among HCWs at Tumbi and Dodoma Hospitals in Tanzania.
This study was carried out in two hospitals, namely, Tumbi in Coast Region and Dodoma in Dodoma Region. In each facility, hospital records of occupational exposure to HIV infection and its management were reviewed. In addition, practices to prevent occupational exposure to HIV infection among HCWs were observed.
The estimated risk of HIV transmission due to needle stick injuries was calculated to be 7 cases per 1,000,000 HCWs-years. Over half of the observed hospital departments did not have guidelines for prevention and management of occupational exposure to HIV infections and lacked well displayed health and safety instructions. Approximately, one-fifth of the hospital departments visited failed to adhere to the instructions pertaining to correlation between waste materials and the corresponding colour coded bag/container/safety box. Seventy four percent of the hospital departments observed did not display instructions for handling infectious materials. Inappropriate use of gloves, lack of health and safety instructions, and lack of use of eye protective glasses were more frequently observed at Dodoma Hospital than at Tumbi Hospital.
The poor quality of the hospital records at the two hospitals hampered our effort to characterise the risk of HIV infection acquisition by HCWs. Greater data completeness in hospital records is needed to allow the determination of the actual risk of HIV transmission for HCWs. To further reduce the risk of HIV infection due to occupational exposure, hospitals should be equipped with sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) and HCWs should be reminded of the importance of adhering to universal precautions.
HIV; Occupational exposure; Healthcare workers
Radiation risk has become well known through epidemiological studies of clinically or occupationally exposed populations, animal experiments, and in vitro studies; however, the study of radiation related or induced disease has been limited in Korea. This study is to find the level of occupational radiation exposure for various kinds of accidents, compensated occupational diseases, related studies, and estimations on future occupational disease risks. Research data of related institutions were additionally investigated. About 67% of 62,553 radiation workers had no exposure or less than 1.2 mSv per year. The 5 reported cases on radiation accident patients in Korea occurred during nondestructive testing. According to the recent rapid increase in the number of workers exposed to radiation, a higher social recognition of cancer, and an increasing cancer mortality rate, it is expected that occupational disease compensation will rapidly increase as well. Therefore, it is important to develop scientific and objective decision methods, such as probability of causation and screening dose in the establishment of an exposure and health surveillance system.
Radiation; Occupational Exposure; Nuclear Power Plants; Occupational Diseases
The United States is implementing plans to immunize 500,000 hospital-based healthcare workers against smallpox. Vaccination is voluntary, and it is unknown what factors drive vaccine acceptance. This study's aims were to estimate the proportion of workers willing to accept vaccination and to identify factors likely to influence their decisions.
The survey was conducted among physicians, nurses, and others working primarily in emergency departments or intensive care units at 21 acute-care hospitals in 10 states during the two weeks before the U.S. national immunization program for healthcare workers was announced in December 2002. Of the questionnaires distributed, 1,165 were returned, for a response rate of 81%. The data were analyzed by logistic regression and were adjusted for clustering within hospital and for different number of responses per hospital, using generalized linear mixed models and SAS's NLMIXED procedure.
Sixty-one percent of respondents said they would definitely or probably be vaccinated, while 39% were undecided or inclined against it. Fifty-three percent rated the risk of a bioterrorist attack using smallpox in the United States in the next two years as either intermediate or high. Forty-seven percent did not feel well-informed about the risks and benefits of vaccination. Principal concerns were adverse reactions and the risk of transmitting vaccinia. In multivariate analysis, four variables were associated with willingness to be vaccinated: perceived risk of an attack, self-assessed knowledge about smallpox vaccination, self-assessed previous smallpox vaccination status, and gender.
The success of smallpox vaccination efforts will ultimately depend on the relative weight in people's minds of the risk of vaccine adverse events compared with the risk of being exposed to the disease. Although more than half of the respondents thought the likelihood of a bioterrorist smallpox attack was intermediate or high, less than 10% of the group slated for vaccination has actually accepted it at this time. Unless new information about the threat of a smallpox attack becomes available, healthcare workers' perceptions of the vaccine's risks will likely continue to drive their ongoing decisions about smallpox vaccination.
In the past decade, Spain has experienced dramatic growth of its immigrant population. Available information on the occupational conditions of foreign workers is scarce. This study aims to add to this information by describing occupational injuries in foreign workers in Spain.
Design, setting, participants
Data were analysed from the 2003 Ministry of Labour and Social Issues registry of non‐fatal and fatal occupational injury in insured workers. The population at risk was estimated from the Social Security Affiliation Registry as of 31 December 2003. Comparing Spanish with foreign workers and also considering age and sex, incidence rates and relative risks, and their confidence intervals at 95%, were calculated within each population group.
In women and in men, and in every age group, foreign workers had an increased risk of non‐fatal and fatal occupational injury compared with Spanish workers. The differences were especially notable in foreign women workers and in older workers.
Many factors probably combine to cause the differences found in this study. Better data collection on the situation of foreign workers is needed to understand these facts and apply appropriate public health solutions.
occupational injury; foreign workers; immigrants; migrants
Among workers in dusty occupations, tobacco use is particularly detrimental to health because of the potential synergistic effects of occupational exposures (for example, asbestos) in causing disease. This study explored the prevalence of smoking and the reported smoking cessation discussion with a primary healthcare provider (HCP) among a representative sample of currently employed US worker groups.
Pooled data from the 1997–2003 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) were used to estimate occupation specific smoking rates (n = 135 412). The 2000 NHIS Cancer Control Module was used to determine (among employed smokers with HCP visits) the prevalence of being advised to quit smoking by occupation (n = 3454).
The average annual prevalence of current smoking was 25% in all workers. In 2000, 84% of smokers reported visiting an HCP during the past 12 months; 53% reported being advised by their physician to quit smoking (range 42%–66% among 30 occupations). However, an estimated 10.5 million smokers were not advised to quit smoking by their HCP. Workers with potentially increased occupational exposure to dusty work environments (including asbestos, silica, particulates, etc), at high risk for occupational lung disease and with high smoking prevalence, had relatively low reported discussions with an HCP about smoking cessation, including farm workers (30% overall smoking prevalence; 42% told to quit), construction and extractive trades (39%; 46%), and machine operators/tenderers (34%; 44%).
The relatively low reported prevalence of HCP initiated smoking cessation discussion, particularly among currently employed workers with potentially synergistic occupational exposures and high current smoking prevalence, needs to be addressed through educational campaigns targeting physicians and other HCPs.
occupational health; National Health Interview Survey; tobacco use
Occupational hepatitis B remains a threat to healthcare workers (HCWs) worldwide, even with availability of an effective vaccine. Despite limited resources for public health, the Czech Republic instituted a mandatory vaccination program for HCWs in 1983. Annual incidence rates of acute hepatitis B were followed prospectively through 1995. Despite giving vaccine intradermally from 1983 to 1989 and intramuscularly as half dose from 1990 to 1995, rates of occupational hepatitis B decreased dramatically, from 177 cases per 100,000 workers in 1982 (before program initiated) to 17 cases per 100,000 in 1995. Among high-risk workers, the effect was even more dramatic (from 587 to 23 per 100,000). We conclude that strong public-health leadership led to control of occupational hepatitis B among HCWs in the Czech Republic, despite limited resources that precluded administering full-dose intramuscular vaccine for much of the program. Application of a similar program should be considered for other countries in regions that currently do not have a hepatitis B vaccination program.
Firefighters and police officers have the third highest prevalence of obesity among 41 male occupational groups in the United States (US). However, few studies have examined the relationship of firefighter working conditions and health behaviors with obesity. This paper presents a theoretical framework describing the relationship between working conditions, health behaviors, and obesity in firefighters. In addition, the paper describes a detailed study plan for exploring the role of occupational and behavioral risk factors in the development of obesity in firefighters enrolled in the Orange County Fire Authority Wellness Fitness Program. The study plan will be described with emphasis on its methodological merits: adopting a participatory action research approach, developing a firefighter-specific work and health questionnaire, conducting both a cross-sectional epidemiological study using the questionnaire and a sub-study to assess the validity of the questionnaire with dietary intake and physical activity measures, and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the body mass index as an obesity measure in comparison to skinfold-based percent body fat. The study plan based on a theoretical framework can be an essential first step for establishing effective intervention programs for obesity among professional and voluntary firefighters.
Obesity; Firefighter; Occupations; Behavior
Data on occupational injury fatalities in Alaska for the period 1980-85 were complied from workers' compensation claims and death certificates. These data yielded 422 unique cases for the 6-year period, for an average annual fatality rate of 36.3 per 100,000 workers. This rate is 5 times higher than the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate of 7.6 per 100,000 for the United States during the same period. The four industries with the highest fatality rates were the same for Alaska as for the nation (agriculture-forestry-fishing, construction, mining, and transportation-communication-public utilities). The leading causes of occupational fatalities in Alaska, however, were considerably different than for the United States as a whole. Nationally, motor vehicles and industrial equipment accidents are the leading causes of death. In Alaska, the leading causes of occupational injury mortality are aircraft crashes and drowning. These findings highlight the benefit of local surveillance in planning prevention strategies.
MUSIC T. (2012) A review of the role the role of influenza vaccination in protecting patients, protecting healthcare workers the role of influenza vaccination. International Nursing Review59, 161–167
Many health authorities recommend routine influenza vaccination for healthcare workers (HCWs), and during the 2009 A (H1N1) pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended immunization of all HCWs worldwide. As this remains an important area of policy debate, this paper examines the case for vaccination, the role of local guidelines, barriers to immunization and initiatives to increase uptake.
Seasonal influenza is a major threat to public health, causing up to 1 million deaths annually. Extensive evidence supports the vaccination of priority groups, including HCWs. Immunization protects HCWs themselves, and their vulnerable patients from nosocomial influenza infections. In addition, influenza can disrupt health services and impact healthcare organizations financially. Immunization can reduce staff absences, offer cost savings and provide economic benefits.
This paper reviews official immunization recommendations and HCW vaccination studies, including a recent International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) survey of 26 countries from each region of the world.
HCW immunization is widely recommended and supported by the WHO. In the IFPMA study, 88% of countries recommended HCW vaccination, and 61% supported this financially (with no correlation to country development status). Overall, coverage can be improved, and research shows that uptake may be impacted by lack of conveniently available vaccines and misconceptions regarding vaccine safety/efficacy and influenza risk.
Many countries recommend HCW vaccination against influenza. In recent years, there has been an increased uptake rate among HCWs in some countries, but not in others. Several initiatives can increase coverage, including education, easy access to free vaccines and the use of formal declination forms. The case for HCW vaccination is clear, and in an effort to further accelerate uptake as a patient safety measure, an increasing number of healthcare organizations, particularly in the USA, are implementing mandatory immunization policies, similar to other obligatory hygiene measures. However, it would be desirable if similar high vaccination uptake rates could be achieved through voluntary procedures.
Coverage; Education; Guideline; Influenza; Policy; Recommendation; Reimbursement; Seasonal; Vaccine
Healthcare workers are still recognised as a high-risk group for latent TB infection (LTBI). Therefore, the screening of people employed in the healthcare sector for active and LTBI is fundamental to infection control programmes in German hospitals. It was the aim of the study to determine the prevalence and putative risk factors of LTBI.
We tested 2028 employees in the healthcare sector with the QuantiFERON-Gold In-tube (QFT-IT) test between December 2005 and May 2009, either in the course of contact tracing or in serial testing of TB high-risk groups following German OSH legislation.
A positive IGRA was found in 9.9% of the healthcare workers (HCWs). Nurses and physicians showed similar prevalence rates (9.7% to 9.6%). Analysed by occupational group, the highest prevalence was found in administration staff and ancillary nursing staff (17.4% and 16.7%). None of the individuals in the trainee group showed a positive IGRA result. In the different workplaces the observed prevalence was 14.7% in administration, 12.0% in geriatric care, 14.2% in technicians (radiology, laboratory and pathology), 6.5% in admission ward staff and 8.3% in the staff of pulmonary/infectious disease wards. Putative risk factors for LTBI were age (>55 years: OR14.7, 95% CI 5.1-42.1), being foreign-born (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.4-2.8), TB in the individual's own history (OR 4.96, 95% CI 1.99-12.3) and previous positive TST results (OR 3.5, 95% CI 2.4-4.98). We observed no statistically significant association with gender, BCG vaccination, workplace or profession.
The prevalence of LTBI in low-incidence countries depends on age. We found no positive IGRA results among trainees in the healthcare sector. Incidence studies are needed to assess the infection risk. Pre-employment screening might be helpful in this endeavour.
Challenges exist regarding TB infection control and TB in hospital-based healthcare workers in South Africa. However, few studies report on TB in non-hospital based healthcare workers such as primary or community healthcare workers. Our objectives were to investigate the implementation of TB infection control measures at primary healthcare facilities, the smear positive TB incidence rate amongst primary healthcare workers and the association between TB infection control measures and all types of TB in healthcare workers.
One hundred and thirty three primary healthcare facilities were visited in five provinces of South Africa in 2009. At each facility, a TB infection control audit and facility questionnaire were completed. The number of healthcare workers who had had TB during the past three years was obtained.
The standardised incidence ratio of smear positive TB in primary healthcare workers indicated an incidence rate of more than double that of the general population. In a univariable logistic regression, the infection control audit score was significantly associated with reported cases of TB in healthcare workers (OR=1.04, 95%CI 1.01-1.08, p=0.02) as was the number of staff (OR=3.78, 95%CI 1.77-8.08). In the multivariable analysis, the number of staff remained significantly associated with TB in healthcare workers (OR=3.33, 95%CI 1.37-8.08).
The high rate of TB in healthcare workers suggests a substantial nosocomial transmission risk, but the infection control audit tool which was used did not perform adequately as a measure of this risk. Infection control measures should be monitored by validated tools developed and tested locally. Different strategies, such as routine surveillance systems, could be used to evaluate the burden of TB in healthcare workers in order to calculate TB incidence, monitor trends and implement interventions to decrease occupational TB.
Workers in the tea planting industry are exposed to a variety of occupational health and safety hazards. Whether the workers perceive the risks involved and to what degree is an interesting point in question.
To identify occupational health and safety risks involved in the tea planting sector and to rate these risks from the workers’ perspective.
Settings and Design:
Permanent workers from four estates belonging to one tea planting company in southern India were enlisted in this descriptive study
Materials and Methods:
The sample was randomly and then proportionately selected to give a total number equal to the calculated sample size of 341. Data were collected by reviewing medical records, conducting focus group discussions with field officers and supervisors, worker interviews and key informant interviews with the management in these four estates. Proportions were used to describe occurrence and distribution of work-related injuries. The risks as perceived by the workers were rated on their severity and frequency, using a Risk Rating Matrix.
Results and Conclusion:
The incidence of injuries was greater among male workers, those working both in the field and factory and those handling multiple tasks. The most common morbidities suffered were “small cuts and abrasions” in about 53%of the workers. Backache and insect bites were assigned the highest risk rating scores. Continued monitoring of the risk assessment by the workers could help in a planned reduction of commonly occurring injuries by agreeing on a specified risk limit.
Hazards; injury; risk rating; tea planting industry; workers
In 1992 a cargo aircraft crashed into a residential area of Amsterdam. A troublesome aftermath followed, with rumors on potential toxic exposures and health consequences. Health concerns remained even though no excess morbidity was predicted in retrospective risk evaluations. This study aimed to assess to what extent the rescue workers attribute long-term physical complaints to this disaster, including its aftermath, and to examine associations between such attribution and types of exposure and background variables.
Historic cohort study that collected questionnaire data on occupational disaster exposure, attribution of physical complaints, and background variables on average 8.5 years post-disaster. For the present study the workers who were exposed to the disaster were selected from the historic cohort, i.e. the professional firefighters (n = 334), police officers (n = 834), and accident and wreckage investigators (n = 241) who performed disaster-related tasks.
Across the three occupational groups, a consistent percentage (ranging from 43% to 49%) of exposed workers with long-term physical complaints attributed these to the disaster, including its aftermath. Those with more physical complaints attributed these to a stronger degree. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that attribution was significantly more often reported by firefighters who rescued people, and by police officers who reported the identification and recovery of or search for victims and human remains, clean-up, or security and surveillance of the disaster area; who witnessed the immediate disaster scene; who had a close one affected by the disaster; and who perceived the disaster as the worst thing that ever happened to them. Age, sex and educational level were not significantly associated with attribution.
This study provides further cross-sectional evidence for the role of causal attribution in post-disaster subjective physical health problems. After on average 8.5 years, almost a third (32%) of all the exposed workers, and almost half (45%) of the exposed workers with physical complaints, attributed these complaints to the disaster, including its aftermath. The similarity of the results across the occupational groups suggests a general rather than an occupation-specific attribution process. Longitudinal studies are needed to determine whether causal disaster attribution leads to persistence of post-disaster complaints and health care utilization.
Describe the health status and risk indicator trends in a representative sample of US healthcare workers aged 45+ years.
Using pooled data from the 1997–2009 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), logistic regression analyses were performed to determine if age-group specific morbidity risks differed within occupational subgroups of the healthcare workforce (N=6,509). Health and morbidity trends were examined via complex survey adjusted and weighted Chi-square tests.
Rates of functional limitation and hypertension increased among diagnosing/assessing healthcare workers. The prevalence of hearing impairment, cancer, and hypertension was 2–3x greater in health diagnosing/assessing workers 60+ years versus younger workers. Healthcare service workers were up to 19x more likely to be obese, compared to workers who diagnose/assess health.
Healthier workplaces and targeted interventions are needed to optimize the ability to meet healthcare demands of this aging workforce.
occupational health; healthcare industry; US workers
Injuries with sharps are common occupational hazards for healthcare workers. Such injuries predispose the staff to dangerous infections such as hepatitis B, C and HIV.
The present study was conducted to investigate the behaviors of healthcare workers in Kashan healthcare centers after needle sticks and injuries with sharps in 2012.
Materials and Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted on 298 healthcare workers of medical centers governed by Kashan University of Medical Sciences. A questionnaire was used in this study. The first part included questions about demographic characteristics. The second part of the questionnaire consisted of 16 items related to the sharp instrument injuries. For data analysis, descriptive and analytical statistics (chi-square, ANOVA and Pearson correlation coefficient) SPSS version 16.0 software was used.
From a total of 298 healthcare workers, 114 (38.3%) had a history of injury from needles and sharp instruments in the last six months. Most needle stick and sharp instrument injuries had occurred among the operating room nurses and midwifes; 32.5% of injuries from sharp instruments occurred in the morning shift. Needles were responsible for 46.5% of injuries. The most common actions taken after needle stick injuries were compression (27.2%) and washing the area with soap and water (15.8%). Only 44.6% of the injured personnel pursued follow-up measures after a needle stick or sharp instrument injury.
More than a half of the healthcare workers with needle stick or sharp instrument injury had refused follow-up for various reasons. The authorities should implement education programs along with protocols to be implemented after needle stick injuries or sharps.
Needle stick Injuries; Behaviors; Knowledge; Health Personnel
There has been significant growth in the number of healthcare workers born outside the UK or recruited to the UK from countries with a high prevalence of TB, Hepatitis and other blood borne infections. Government policy recognises the need for occupational health procedures to facilitate treatment for these individuals and to reduce the risk of transmission of disease to patients.
The aim of this study was to undertake a survey of nursing and residential homes in South East England, to assess whether homes had occupational health screening policies for healthcare workers who have originated from overseas, and what level of occupational health screening had been undertaken on these employees.
An anonymous survey was sent to all 500 homes in West Sussex assessing occupational health practices for "overseas health care workers", defined as health care workers who had been born outside the UK.
Only one employer (0.8%) reported they had an occupational health screening policy specific for healthcare workers who originate from overseas. Over 80% of homes who had recruited directly had no evidence of screening results for HIV, TB, Hepatitis B and C. The commonest countries of origin for staff were the UK, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and India.
This study suggests that screening of overseas healthcare workers is not routine practice for residential or nursing care homes and requires further input from Primary Care Trust's, Health Care Commission, Commission for Social Care Inspection, and Professional bodies.
To estimate the rate of work injury over the 24 h clock in Ontario workers over 5 years (2004–2008).
A cross-sectional, observational study of work-related injury and illness was conducted for a population of occupationally active adults using two independent data sources (lost-time compensation claims and emergency department encounter records). Hours worked annually by the Ontario labour force by time of day, age, gender and occupation were estimated from population-based surveys.
There was an approximately 40% higher incidence of emergency department visits for work-related conditions than of lost-time workers’ compensation claims (707 933 emergency department records and 457 141 lost-time claims). For men and women and across all age groups, there was an elevated risk of work-related injury or illness in the evening, night and early morning periods in both administrative data sources. This elevated risk was consistently observed across manual, mixed and non-manual occupational groups. The fraction of lost-time compensation claims that can be attributed to elevated risk of work injury in evening or night work schedules is 12.5% for women and 5.8% for men.
Despite the high prevalence of employment in non-daytime work schedules in developed economies, the work injury hazards associated with evening and night schedules remain relatively invisible. This study has demonstrated the feasibility of using administrative data sources to enhance capacity to conduct surveillance of work injury risk by time of day. More sophisticated aetiological research is needed to understand the specific mechanisms of hazards associated with non-regular work hours.