There is growing interest in the field of occupational medicine concerning employee health. This interest has been prompted by responsible corporate management as well as to the passage of Federal Legislation. An Occupational Health Information System (OHIS) has been developed to perform data base management functions for tracking employee health. OHIS is comprised of 3 modules which contain personnel, medical, and industrial hygiene/toxicology information. Each module contains information which is integrated into one data base. A dictionary system defining all possible data elements provides powerful analysis and reporting of selected data keys. The present system not only enhances health care delivery by virtue of its reporting and data management capabilities, but provides powerful data analysis capabilities which are otherwise impossible by manual recordkeeping systems.
This article outlines how the tobacco industry has undermined tobacco control efforts in Lebanon since the early 1970s.
An analysis of online and on-site tobacco industry documents, reviews of newspapers, policy and other documents, and interviews with key policy makers were conducted.
Findings reveal how the weakness of tobacco control legislation in Lebanon has been the product of an effective tobacco industry strategy to weaken the content and scope of regulation, and delay adoption and implementation.
The tobacco industry has built and maintained strong alliances that were and are regularly mobilised to effectively oppose regulation. Despite ratification of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2005, Lebanon's tobacco control track remains weak. Public health professionals and the government should work hard to oppose such tobacco industry tactics.
According to official statistics, the rate of occupational accidents (OAs) and fatal injuries in Russia decreased about 5-fold and 2-fold, respectively, from 1975 to 2010, but working conditions during this period had the opposite trend; for example, the number of people who work in unfavourable and hazardous conditions (particularly since 1991) has increased significantly.
This review summarises the results of a search of the relevant peer-reviewed literature published in Russia and official statistics on OAs and occupational safety in Russia and the Russian Arctic in 1980–2010.
The occupational safety system in Russia has severely deteriorated in the last 2 decades, with legislators tending to promote the interests of industry and business, resulting in the neglect of occupational safety and violation of workers’ rights. The majority of workers are employed in conditions that do not meet rules of safety and hygiene. More than 60% of OAs can be attributed to management practices – violation of safety regulations, poor organisation of work, deficiency of certified occupational safety specialists and inadequate personnel training. Research aimed at improving occupational safety and health is underfunded. There is evidence of widespread under-reporting of OAs, including fatal accidents. Three federal agencies are responsible for OAs recording; their data differ from each other as they use different methodologies. The rate of fatal OAs in Russia was 3–6 times higher than in Scandinavian countries and about 2 times higher compared to United States and Canada in 2001. In some Russian Arctic regions OAs levels are much higher.
Urgent improvement of occupational health and safety across Russia, especially in the Arctic regions, is needed.
occupational accidents; injuries; fatal accidents; occupational safety; labour conditions; Russian Arctic
Lee, W. R. (1973).British Journal of Industrial Medicine,30, 118-124. Emergence of occupational medicine in Victorian times. The events surrounding the establishment and development of legislation to protect the health of people at work in Victorian times are already well documented. This paper deals with some other aspects of the development of occupational medicine.
Medical opinions at the time did not always see the misuse of child labour as due simply to avaricious mill owners, but in part due to the parents and in part to the workmen subcontractors. The establishment of the certifying surgeons is briefly reviewed and their coming together to form an association in 1868 may be related to questions about the need for medical certificates of age which were being requested by the many factory owners brought under factory legislation for the first time in 1864 and 1867.
The plight of injured workmen and their dependents was early recognized, although it was late in the Victorian era before any statutory provision was made for them. The idea of linking compensation with preventive measures came to the fore in 1845 when some Manchester doctors, later supported by Edwin Chadwick, examined the workings at the Woodhead railway tunnel across the Pennines. When compensation legislation was passed some half a century later the idea was lost, and to this day compensation for and prevention of industrial injury and disease remain separated.
The change of industrial diseases from a medical curiosity to a problem requiring State intervention is traced over the latter part of the Victorian era.
The whole piecemeal pattern illustrating the precept that `social problems come first, social philosophy after' has persisted until the far-reaching changes in health and safety legislation of the present day.
Hygiene inspections on passenger ships are important for the prevention of communicable diseases. The European Union (EU) countries conduct hygiene inspections on passenger ships in order to ensure that appropriate measures have been taken to eliminate potential sources of contamination which could lead to the spread of communicable diseases. This study was implemented within the framework of the EU SHIPSAN project and it investigates the legislation applied and practices of hygiene inspections of passenger ships in the EU Member States (MS) and European Free Trade Association countries.
Two questionnaires were composed and disseminated to 28 countries. A total of 92 questionnaires were completed by competent authorities responsible for hygiene inspections (n = 48) and the creation of legislation (n = 44); response rates were 96%, and 75.9%, respectively.
Out of the 48 responding authorities responsible for hygiene inspections, a routine programme was used by 19 (39.6%) of these to conduct inspections of ships on national voyages and by 26 (54.2%) for ships on international voyages. Standardised inspection forms are used by 59.1% of the authorities. A scoring inspection system is applied by five (11.6%) of the 43 responding authorities. Environmental sampling is conducted by 84.1% of the authorities (37 out of 44). The inspection results are collected and analysed by 54.5% (24 out of 44) of the authorities, while 9 authorities (20.5%) declared that they publish the results. Inspections are conducted during outbreak investigations by 75% and 70.8% of the authorities, on ships on national and international voyages, respectively. A total of 31 (64.6%) and 39 (81.3%) authorities conducted inspections during complaint investigations on ships on international and on national voyages, respectively. Port-to-port communication between the national port authorities was reported by 35.4% (17 out of 48) of the responding authorities and 20.8% (10 out of 48) of the port authorities of other countries.
This study revealed a diversity of approaches and practices in the conduct of inspections, differences in the qualifications/knowledge/experience of inspectors, the legislation applied during inspections, and the lack of communication and training among many EU countries. An integrated European inspection programme involving competent expert inspectors in each EU Member States and special training for ship hygiene delivered to crew members and inspectors would help to minimize the risk of communicable diseases. Common inspection tools at a European level for hygiene inspection practices and port-to-port communication are needed.
The past two decades saw tremendous achievements in blood safety, which are due to the commitment of blood establishments and industry, progress in technology such as the improvement of serological and NAT screening tests, and stringent regulatory control. Milestones in the legislation were the inclusion of plasma derivatives in the pharmaceutical legislation of the European Community (EC) in the year 1989 and special laws for the blood sector in EC and in member states, such as the Transfusionsgesetz (Transfusion Law) in Germany. The legal frame has to be supplemented by scientific and technical guidance, which is provided on the European level by the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Health Care and by the European Medicines Agency. In the member states, guidelines taking into account the national peculiarities can be elaborated, such as the German hemotherapy guidelines issued by the German Medical Association (Bundesärztekammer) in agreement with the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut. The regulatory control of screening tests, and the introduction of NAT testing lead to a remarkably high degree of safety concerning the most relevant viruses HIV, HBV and HCV. Issues needing further attention are bacterial contamination and transfusion-associated acute lung injury (TRALI). Measures aiming at minimizing risks have to be balanced against their impact on supply. In order to ensure the assured supply with safe blood products, sustained efforts and research are needed as well as a continuous dialogue among blood services, industry, physicians, patients and regulatory authorities.
Blood supply; HIV; NAT testing; Adverse reaction; Regulatory authority
The processing of single-use products is permissible pursuant to medical device law. This is apparent both from the wording of the German Law on Medical Devices and from the purpose and the objectives underpinning the legislative materials. The prerequisite for processing is, however, compliance with the the Joint Recommendation of the Commission for Hospital Hygiene and the Prevention of Infection at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Products (BfArM).
For medical devices in the category “critical C”, the RKI/BfArM-recommendation provides that the processor’s quality management system must be certified by a body accredited by the Central Authority of the Federal States for Health Protection with regard to Medicinal Products and Medical Devices (Zentralstelle der Länder für Gesundheitsschutz bei Arzneimitteln und Medizinprodukten, ZLG). The certification must be carried out in accordance with EN ISO 13485:2003+AC:2007.
On April 4, 2008 the Federal Health Ministry (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit, BMG) presented a progress report on the processing of medical devices. The BMG concludes that the legal framework for the processing of medical devices is sufficient, and that a prohibition on the processing of single-use products is inappropriate.
reprocessing; medical devices; certification; single-use product; DIN EN ISO 13485:2003+AC:2007; Federal Health Ministry; Central Authority of the Federal States for Health Protection with regard to Medicinal Products and Medical Devices; accreditation
This report outlines the content of a one-day workshop on Generic Medicines that was held at KIST Medical College, Lalitpur, Nepal on 13th December 2010, which was attended by 32 delegates from different institutions in Nepal, including pharmacists, pharmacologists and medical doctors. Right medicine, right patient, right dose, right frequency and duration, right information and right monitoring are conditions to be fulfilled for the rational use of medicine (RUM). The World Health Organization (WHO) defines generic medicine as ‘a pharmaceutical product, usually intended to be interchangeable with the innovator product, marketed after the expiry of patent or other exclusivity rights’. Economic factors, supportive legislation and regulation, public and professional acceptance and quality assurance are key enabling factors promoting use of generics. Increased patent protection for medicines and removing process patents is a key feature of new trade agreements and newer medicines for diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and infectious diseases are likely to be more expensive. The Medicine and Therapeutics Committee (MTC) can play a key role in promoting generic medicine use in institutions.
Nepal being among the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) need not provide patent protection for medicines until 31st December 2015. Only a few ‘true’ generics are available in Nepal and there is huge cost variation in the price of different branded generics. Clinicians have concerns about the quality of medicines in general, substitution of poor quality brands by pharmacists and about therapeutic substitution. Generics have to meet the same regulatory requirements and be bioequivalent to reference preparations assuring their quality.
Generic medicines; Nepal; Patents; Rational use of medicines
Industrial medicine saw its tentative beginnings among the inquiring minds of 16th century physicians such as Paracelsus. In the 17th century, reports of conditions in mines on the Continent prompted natural scientists at the Royal Society to initiate a research programme into what we now know as mercurial poisoning. The latter part of the eighteenth century witnessed the change from domestic to factory industry with its concomitant social, economic, and technological upheaval, resulting in great shifts of population away from the countryside to the towns. Men, women, and children were employed in the new factories in primitive, unhygienic conditions, and mill fever and illness generally were rife. It was against this background that Percival and Thackrah, prompted no doubt in large measure by the conditions of child labour, inquired into, and made recommendations for, the improvement of hygiene in the factories, thus laying the foundations of industrial medicine as we know it today.
Industrial renewal in the bio/nanopharma sector is important for the long term strength of the Australian economy and for the health of its citizens. A variety of factors, however, may have caused inadequate attention to focus on systematically promoting domestic generic and small biotechnology manufacturers in Australian health policy.
Despite recent clarifications of 'springboarding' capacity in intellectual property legislation, federal government requirements for specific generic price reductions on market entry and the potential erosion of reference pricing through new F1 and F2 categories for the purposes of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) assessments, do not appear to be coherently designed to sustainably position this industry sector in 'biologics,' nanotherapeutics and pharmacogenetics.
There also appears to have been little attention paid in this context to policies fostering industry sustainability and public affordability (as encouraged by the National Medicines Policy). One notable example includes that failure to consider facilitating mutual exchanges on regulatory assessment of health technology safety and cost-effectiveness (including reference pricing) in the context of ongoing free trade negotiations between Australia and China (the latter soon to possess the world's largest generic pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity). The importance of a thriving Australian domestic generic pharmaceutical and bio/nano tech industry in terms of biosecurity, similarly appears to have been given insufficient policy attention.
Reasons for such policy oversights may relate to increasing interrelationships between generic and 'brand-name' manufacturers and the scale of investment required for the Australian generics and bio/nano technology sector to be a significant driver of local production. It might also result from singularly effective lobbying pressure exerted by Medicines Australia, the 'brand-name' pharmaceutical industry association, utilising controversial interpretations of reward of pharmaceutical 'innovation' provisions in the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) through the policy-development mechanisms of the AUSFTA Medicines Working Group and most recently an Innovative Medicines Working Group with the Department of Health and Ageing. This paper critically analyses such arguments in the context of emerging challenges for sustainable industrial renewal in Australia's bio/nanopharma sector.
Smiley, J. A. (1971).Brit. J. industr. Med.,28, 315-322. Some aspects of the early evolution of the Appointed Factory Doctor Service. The appointment of certifying surgeons marks the beginning of the recognition by the State of its responsibility for the supervision of the health and welfare of young people in industry. The importance of the rôle played by Leonard Horner, one of the first four inspectors of factories, is discussed. Some of the problems and vicissitudes of the service in the 19th century are outlined and it is suggested that the system is inappropriate to the needs of the present. Legislation which would integrate all the agencies which are concerned with the well-being of young people, including the Appointed Factory Doctor Service, should be actively considered.
Objective: To outline a novel strategy for controlling the tobacco market.
Arguments: More comprehensive controls over the tobacco market are essential and long overdue. Effective controls need to encourage the development of less harmful products; control commercial communication to ensure that potential harms are highlighted relative to any benefits; and provide mechanisms to move consumers away from tobacco use, or at least towards less harmful alternatives. Achieving this by regulating the existing industry is one strategy. This paper puts the case for an alternative: to have marketing controlled by an agency (called here the Tobacco Products Agency, or TPA) which tendered to manufacturers for product and which distributed to retailers in ways that reduce incentives to bend or break the law. The TPA would be backed by legislation that made tobacco a controlled substance with possession sale and use only allowed as permitted by the regulations, which in reality would be only as provided by the TPA.
Conclusions: The overall effect of such a model, which we call a "regulated market model", would be to eliminate most of the incentives and remaining opportunities for commercial promotion of tobacco and to create incentives to encourage the development of less harmful tobacco products. Such a model preserves the competition inherent in a free market, but directs it towards the challenge of reducing the harm from tobacco use.
In silico models have prompted considerable interest and debate because of their potential value in predicting the properties of chemical substances for regulatory purposes. The European REACH legislation promotes innovation and encourages the use of alternative methods, but in practice the use of in silico models is still very limited. There are many stakeholders influencing the regulatory trajectory of quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) models, including regulators, industry, model developers and consultants. Here we outline some of the issues and challenges involved in the acceptance of these methods for regulatory purposes.
Research models and regulatory measures could aid in developing antimicrobial drugs to address bacterial resistance.
Innovative regulatory and legislative measures to stimulate and facilitate the development of new antimicrobial drugs are needed. We discuss research approaches that can aid regulatory decision making on the treatment of resistant infections and minimization of resistance selection. We also outline current and future measures that regulatory agencies may employ to help control resistance and promote drug development. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic research models offer promising approaches to define the determinants of resistance selection and drug doses that optimize efficacy and reduce resistance selection. Internationally, variations exist in how regulators use drug scheduling, subsidy restrictions, central directives, educational guidelines, amendments to prescribing information, and indication review. Recent consultations and collaborations between regulators, academics, and industry are welcome. Efforts to coordinate regulatory measures would benefit from greater levels of international dialogue.
Antibiotic resistance; Bacterial infections; Clinical trials; Drug approval; Drug industry; Drug resistance, microbial; Outcome assessment; Pharmacology; Pharmacokinetics
In the 1930s in Britain, industrial medicine was a clinical discipline, the main purposes of which were to diagnose disability in applicants for work, to identify industrial disease in the dangerous trades, and to provide first aid treatment for those injured or taken sick in the workplace. Following rapid developments in epidemiology and occupational hygiene and with more emphasis on "group health" and less on "individual care", occupational medicine has tended to become less of a clinical discipline; yet clinical skills are needed to assess fitness for work, to identify adverse effects of work, and to undertake consultations on a variety of health problems. Although care of the individual worker is a major task, an occupational health service has a responsibility for the health of the workforce as a whole, using epidemiology to plan and administer health care, to identify and control work related disorders, and to promote health by identifying positive factors in the organisation that induce a sense of well being; and by health screening and education programmes. Academic occupational health should not lose its identity as a clinical discipline in any merger with environmental health. Medical skills are needed to assess fitness for work and to identify human responses to adverse factors in the environment and to evaluate control measures.
Objective: To examine the tobacco industry's efforts to influence public policy and block the legislative process on tobacco control in Hong Kong, 1973 to 1997.
Method: Systematic review of relevant tobacco industry documents made public via the Master Settlement Agreement.
Results: The tobacco industry in Hong Kong has sought to manipulate the policymaking process and delay the introduction of tobacco control legislation in Hong Kong from at least 1973. The industry ensured that each of the government's initial meagre steps toward tobacco control were delayed and thwarted by drawn out "cooperation" followed by voluntary concessions on issues the industry regarded as minor. By the 1980s the government had became increasingly active in tobacco control and introduced a number of initiatives, resulting in some of the tightest legislative restrictions on smoking in Asia. The tobacco industry was successful in thwarting only one of these initiatives.
Conclusions: Throughout the 1980s and 1990s two factors played a significant role in hindering the tobacco industry from successfully blocking policy initiatives: a growing political imperative, and an active and sophisticated tobacco control movement. Political will to promote public health and a strong tobacco control advocacy presence can enable governments to resist the enormous pressure exerted upon them by multinational tobacco companies.
OBJECTIVE: To determine state legislators' perceptions about health and tobacco lobbyists, their frequency of contact with these lobbyists, and the amount of campaign contributions from health professional organisations and the tobacco industry. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SUBJECTS: State legislators from North Carolina, Texas, and Vermont (USA), serving in 1994. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Perceptions about lobbyists representing the tobacco industry, non-profit health organisations, and state medical societies with respect to their credibility, importance as sources of information, and persuasiveness; extent of lobbying activities; campaign contributions from health professional organisations and the tobacco industry. RESULTS: Almost all legislators reported that medical society and non-profit health organisation lobbyists are credible on tobacco issues and just over half believed that these lobbyists are important sources of information. More legislators said they could be persuaded by medical and health lobbyists than by tobacco lobbyists. Although health professional Political Action Committees (PACs) gave campaign contributions to more state legislators, and gave higher amounts on average, than tobacco PACs, legislators reported less contact with medical society lobbyists than tobacco lobbyists about tobacco issues. CONCLUSIONS: State legislators have positive attitudes toward lobbyists for non-profit health organisations and state medical societies regarding tobacco issues. These groups may be an underused resource for educating legislators about tobacco control measures.
The federal campaign Wir gegen Viren [Us against viruses] promoted hygiene in Germany during the influenza A H1N1 pandemic in 2009. The intervention aimed to encourage people to protect themselves against respiratory infections by simple means of hygiene behaviour. Quantitative research was carried out to outline changes in hygiene perception of the population over time, and to find out whether the potential hygiene perception changes were consistent to the federal campaign about hygiene or not.
To determine changes in the hygiene perception of the population, two cross-sectional telephone surveys were held, each one with n = 2006 participants. The initial survey was carried out before the influenza A H1N1 pandemic in calendar week 49–51 in 2008 and the second in week 48 in 2009 directly after the peak of the pandemic in Germany. The questionnaire contained indicators about perceived hand hygiene efficacy, preference for coughing into the sleeve, propensity for presenteeism while showing symptoms of a cold and acceptance of hygiene masks.
The proportion of people who perceive the efficacy of hand washing as “very good” increased significantly from 50.9% in 2008 to 61.1% in 2009. The proportion of people who perceive coughing into the sleeve as the best way to cough increased even more dramatically from 4.8% in 2008 to 38.3% in 2009. In contrast the propensity for presenteeism decreased significantly: The proportion of people who state that they always report to work while they show symptoms of a cold decreased from 50.8% in 2008 to 40.9% in 2009. Acceptance of hygiene masks has not changed significantly from 2008 to 2009.
The results revealed changes in hygiene perception during influenza A H1N1 pandemic in Germany. The changes we found are in accordance with the hygiene recommendations given by the federal campaign Wir gegen Viren [Us against viruses]. Results can constitute a practical benchmark for future research about hygiene perception and hygiene promotion for adults. A pivotal question is: does the increase in hygiene perception persist after the pandemic has ceased?
Lead poisoning is one of the earliest identified and most known occupational disease. Its acute effects have been recognized from antiquity when this condition principally afflicted manual workers and slaves, actually scarcely considered by the medicine of that time. The Industrial Revolution caused an epidemic of metal intoxication, urging scientists and physician of that period to study and identify specific symptoms and organ alterations related to chronic lead poisoning. During the 20th century, the acknowledgment of occupational and environmental toxicity of lead fostered public awareness and legislation to protect health. More recently, the identification of sub-clinical effects have greatly modified the concept of lead poisoning and the approaches of medicine towards this condition. Nowadays, lead poisoning is rarely seen in developed countries, but it still represents a major environmental problem in certain areas. Consequently, it may appear as a paradigm of "occupational and environmental disease," and the history of this condition seems to parallel the historical development of modern "Occupational and Environmental Health" as a more complete medical discipline.
Lead poisoning; Occupational health; History
The international pharmaceutical industry has made significant efforts towards ensuring compliant and ethical communication and interaction with physicians and patients. This article presents the current status of the worldwide governance of communication practices by pharmaceutical companies, concentrating on prescription-only medicines. It analyzes legislative, regulatory, and code-based compliance control mechanisms and highlights significant developments, including the 2006 and 2012 revisions of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) Code of Practice.
Developments in international controls, largely built upon long-established rules relating to the quality of advertising material, have contributed to clarifying the scope of acceptable company interactions with healthcare professionals. This article aims to provide policy makers, particularly in developing countries, with an overview of the evolution of mechanisms governing the communication practices, such as the distribution of promotional or scientific material and interactions with healthcare stakeholders, relating to prescription-only medicines.
Pharmaceutical industry; Self-regulation; Code compliance; Promotion of medicines
To describe the strategies pursued by the tobacco industry (TI) to interfere with the ratification of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in Argentina.
We conducted semi-structured interviews about the FCTC, the TI and the legislative process with 3 legislators, 4 public health officials, 1 representative of the tobacco growers and two tobacco-control advocates. We reviewed 6 newspapers from the 4 tobacco growing provinces, searched TI documents in the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library and reviewed 1624 documents. Proposed legislation and related documents on tobacco control from Argentina’s National Congress and the Provincial Jujuy Congress were reviewed.
The principal strategy used by the TI was lobbying of provincial legislators and federal officials from the Ministry of the Economy by the tobacco growers associations. These legislators prevented the passage of comprehensive bills on tobacco control or of less comprehensive national laws. A typical legislative strategy used was to request additional analyses of the proposed bills from committees that prioritized economic issues over health. FCTC was mentioned in regional newspapers three to seven times per week in articles about alleged adverse economic effects of tobacco control. Direct physical threats to legislators who were openly supportive of FCTC ratification were made.
Tobacco producers and TI opposed FCTC ratification in Argentina by lobbying elected representatives and placing stories in regional media to obstruct approval of tobacco control laws. These activities have led to a delay in consideration of Argentina’s ratification of the FCTC despite the President’s signature in 2003. (250 words)
FCTC; Argentina; Tobacco Control
Background: Little is known about the differential impact of comprehensive and partial smoke-free legislation on smoking cessation. This study aimed to examine the impact of comprehensive smoke-free workplace legislation in Ireland and England, and partial hospitality industry legislation in the Netherlands on quit attempts and quit success. Methods: Nationally representative samples of 2,219 adult smokers were interviewed in three countries as part of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Europe Surveys. Quit attempts and quit success were compared between period 1 (in which smoke-free legislation was implemented in Ireland and the Netherlands) and period 2 (in which smoke-free legislation was implemented in England). Results: In Ireland, significantly more smokers attempted to quit smoking in period 1 (50.5%) than in period 2 (36.4%) (p < 0.001). Percentages of quit attempts and quit success did not change significantly between periods in the Netherlands. English smokers were significantly more often successful in their quit attempt in period 2 (47.3%) than in period 1 (26.4%) (p = 0.011). In the first period there were more quit attempts in Ireland than in England and fewer in the Netherlands than in Ireland. Fewer smokers quitted successfully in the second period in both Ireland and the Netherlands than in England. Conclusion: The comprehensive smoke-free legislation in Ireland and England may have had positive effects on quit attempts and quit success respectively. The partial smoke-free legislation in the Netherlands probably had no effect on quit attempts or quit success. Therefore, it is recommended that countries implement comprehensive smoke-free legislation.
This survey was undertaken by a group of doctors, nurses, and lecturers in the Department of Public Health of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as part of the teaching programme for the Diploma in Public Health. Fifty small factories in an area of a metropolitan borough were invited to answer questions concerning their industrial processes, their labour force, their premises, their first-aid provision, and the visits they received from officials of local and central government. Forty-eight of these factories responded and observations were made by teams of three recording independently of each other in 45. A variety of industries was represented in these 48 firms, half of which employed less than 10 workers.
The working environment, in respect of sanitary arrangements, cleanliness and tidiness, lighting on stairs and passage ways, was considered to be unsatisfactory in many firms. Some instances of inadequate safeguards of machines were seen. The accident rate was found to be rather less than the computed national rate for manufacturing industry in 1956.
First-aid equipment and workers were also considered to be deficient in a number of instances. In case of accident and for the treatment of minor ailments most firms made use of a local casualty and out-patient department of a general hospital. This service was considered quite adequate.
Many firms had not been visited by the Factory Inspector or his deputy during the previous year. Rather more had received visits from the local authority health inspectors. Many firms expressed confusion about the duties and functions of their various official visitors.
The conclusions drawn from this limited enquiry were that the working conditions in small factories are often unsatisfactory; that in areas such as the one surveyed it is unrealistic to think in terms of development of an industrial health service similar to those operating in Slough and Harlow; and that the greatest impact on environmental conditions might be made by an improved and simplified system of inspection especially adapted to the needs of the small factory.
Occupational health and safety programs involve professionals in occupational medicine and nursing, industrial hygiene, safety and accident prevention, psychology, sociology and health physics. Occupational health programs should allow regular health evaluations of workers, and the recognition, evaluation, and control of environmental hazards. When designing in-plant medical facilities, accommodation should be made for possible future expansion, disabled people, and an access route for an ambulance. Treatment and prevention facilities should be separate. Patients' records must be complete and kept confidential. The occupational health program must also be evaluated regularly. Education of management and the work force is necessary to ensure that the environment is safe and to prevent accidents. Special programs may be introduced, based on the particular risks, toxicants, and problems in different industries.
Occupational health; health care team; safety
Background. Hand hygiene is a cost-effective method in preventing infection transmission. Hand hygiene practices have been found to be faulty in most healthcare settings. We conducted a study to evaluate the awareness, and compliance of hand hygiene among undergraduate medical students during their clinical phase in Qassim College of Medicine, Saudi Arabia. Methods. A questionnaire based on World Health Organization's concept of “Five Moments for Hand Hygiene” was used to evaluate the awareness of the indications for hand hygiene and compliance was observed during Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) sessions. Sixty students including thirty-six males (60%) and twenty-four females (40%) participated voluntarily in the study. Results. The average awareness regarding the positive indications of hand hygiene was 56%. Rest of the 44% of students were either not sure or unaware of the indications of hygiene. Only 29% of students were able to identify all the five indications for hand hygiene in the questionnaire. Compliance as assessed during OSCE sessions was only 17% with no significant difference between the genders. Conclusion. It was concluded that serious efforts are needed to improve the hand hygiene practices among medical students.