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10.  Shift and dayworkers' absence: relationship with some terms and conditions of service 
Taylor, P. J., Pocock, S. J., and Sergean, R. (1972).Brit. J. industr. Med.,29, 338-340. Shift and dayworkers' absence: relationship with some terms and conditions of service. A previous investigation in 29 organizations showed that although shift workers had less absence overall than their counterparts on days, some inconsistencies existed. These are now examined in relation to company sick pay schemes, details of shift rotas, weekly hours of work, and earnings. No evidence was found to associate sick pay or details of the rota with the ratio of shift-to-day absence. An association was found between gross pay and frequency of certified sickness absence such that the more highly paid the shift worker relative to the day worker, the less satisfactory his absence record. Sickness absence was also related, though less closely, to hours of work: the shorter the shift workers' hours relative to those of day workers, the better their attendance. The implications of these results are discussed.
PMCID: PMC1009434  PMID: 4261470
11.  Absenteeism of shift and day workers: A study of six types of shift system in 29 organizations 
Taylor, P. J., Pocock, S. J., and Sergean, R. (1972).Brit. J. industr. Med.,29, 208-213. Absenteeism of shift and day workers. Previous evidence on the effects of shift work upon absence behaviour is conflicting, this being due in part to the variety of shift systems in use. A study is described in which absence records over two years were obtained for 965 matched pairs of shift and day workers from 29 organizations. Six types of shift system were involved, providing comprehensive coverage of shift work in the United Kingdom. Matching was achieved for sex, age, workplace, and occupation. Absence records included certified sickness, short sickness, and non-medical absence.
The overall results showed that shift workers had less absence of all three types than their colleagues on day work, this difference being most marked in the numbers of men having several episodes. No significant differences were found in the diagnostic pattern of certified absence. Comparisons between day work and each of the six types of shift work did not provide any definite conclusions as to their relative merits as far as absence is concerned. The results from the different organizations were not wholly consistent, but a substantial majority followed the general trend.
PMCID: PMC1009401  PMID: 5022000
12.  Mortality of shift and day workers 1956-68 
Taylor, P. J., and Pocock, S. J. (1972).Brit. J. industr. Med.,29, 201-207. Mortality of shift and day workers 1956-68. Little research has been reported about the long-term effects of shift work. An investigation is described on 8 603 male manual workers from 10 organizations in England and Wales designed to assess the mortality experience of day, shift, and ex-shift workers. Three major types of shift system were involved. All had been employed by the same organization for not less than 10 years and the follow-up period was between 1956 and 1968. Only 22 men could not be completely traced and the cause of death was obtained for all but eight of the 1 578 deaths. Man-years at risk for each group were calculated in order to compare observed deaths with those expected from national mortality rates. The overall number of deaths was very close to that expected and no significant excess mortality was found in either the shift or ex-shift groups. Shift workers in some age groups had higher mortality than expected but this was not consistent between either organizations or types of shift work. A study of 14 main causes of death revealed some differences from national experience in both day and shift workers but these can be attributed to regional and occupational differences. To eliminate any occupational factor the mortality of skilled craftsmen and their mates was compared for day and shift work with no evidence of any shift work effect. The results lead to the conclusion that shift work would appear to have no adverse effect upon mortality.
PMCID: PMC1009400  PMID: 5021999
14.  Headaches and migraine in colour retouchers 
Taylor, P. J., Pocock, S. J., Hall, S. A., and Waters, W. E. (1970).Brit. J. industr. Med.,27, 364-367. Headaches and migraine in colour retouchers. A method is described for the study of headaches and migraine in occupational groups. The prevalence of headaches was studied in 158 colour retouchers and 115 page planners in the photogravure industry by means of a self-administered questionnaire and a clinical interview. There was no difference in types of headaches although the first group used the word `migraine' more frequently than the second. Questionnaire findings were very similar to those obtained from a sample of 727 males in South Wales, although infrequent headaches were more common in both printing groups.
PMCID: PMC1069428  PMID: 5488696
16.  Personal Factors Associated with Sickness Absence: A Study of 194 Men with Contrasting Sickness Absence Experience in a Refinery Population1 
Men with different patterns of sickness absence behaviour have been identified from a refinery population by simple epidemiological techniques. A detailed clinical study is described of four groups: 56 men with five or more sickness spells in 1964 and a matched control of 56 men; 35 men who had 60 or more days of sickness absence in 1964; and finally 47 men who had not had one day off sick for at least eight years.
Whereas the men who were frequently sick tended to be younger and mostly on day work, those with long periods of sickness were reasonably representative of the whole population, and the men without any sickness absence were older and mostly on shift work. An analysis of records both before and since 1964 showed that the groups had maintained a consistent pattern of sickness absence, but when individuals were considered their behaviour was less consistent. Nevertheless there appeared to be states of sickness absence `liability' and also `resistance' which persisted for a variable length of time from a year or two up to many years.
The pre-employment medical examination proved in retrospect to have been of little predictive value. Absenteeism, lateness, and also occupational injuries were all strongly associated with sickness spells, although the level of overtime was not. Previous episodes of neurotic illness, peptic ulceration, and loss of work due to back pain were also associated with frequent sickness spells, so also were frequent colds and troublesome constipation. An unexpected finding from the physical examination was that over one quarter of those who were never sick had some organic disease.
Although neither the social nor economic circumstances differed between the groups, the attitude of the men towards themselves and their work proved to be of major importance. A memory of an unhappy childhood was more common in both groups with a lot of sickness absence, whilst dislike of the job or frustrated ambition was common in men with frequent spells. Those who were never sick denied all such problems as they denied illness. Personality testing revealed that extroversion was more marked in the frequently sick group, neuroticism in the long sick, and introversion in the never sick.
The validity and significance of the results are discussed and suggestions are made for further investigation.
PMCID: PMC1008718  PMID: 4231051
17.  Individual Variations in Sickness Absence 
Records of personal sickness absence, including all spells of one day's duration or more, have been kept at this refinery for more than 20 years. The distributions of sickness spells and also calendar days of absence have been analysed for single years and also for periods of up to 20 years' continuous service for the 1,350 hourly paid male employees. It is shown that both these measures of sickness absence are distributed among the men in an unequal fashion (negative binomial) rather than at random (Poisson) and thus resemble the distribution of industrial accidents first described almost 50 years ago. This pattern of distribution is not related to occupation or to length of service. Analysis of the distribution of lateness and absenteeism for reasons other than sickness or holidays shows that these also follow this pattern. It is postulated that this could be a principle applicable to all forms of industrial absenteeism as well as to accidents.
The personal records of 187 men with continuous service from 1946 to 1965 have been studied to investigate the trends in their sickness absence over this 20-year period. In contrast to the well-recognized pattern that in any one period of time young men have more spells of absence than their older fellows, this secular study shows that sickness spells have not decreased with age. This apparent paradox is explicable by the rising national trend in sickness absence and by a high labour turnover in young men with frequent sickness spells.
PMCID: PMC1008578  PMID: 6028712
18.  Shift and Day Work: A Comparison of Sickness Absence, Lateness, and other Absence Behaviour at an Oil Refinery from 1962 to 1965 
Despite the increasing use of continuous process shift work in modern industry, few studies on the medical aspects of shift work can be found in recent literature of occupational health. Physiologists have shown that the ability of the body to adjust its circadian rhythms to alteration in hours of work or sleep can take up to a month. The usual type of shift work in industry involves weekly changes of hours, and thus on theoretical grounds at least this may not be the most suitable frequency for shift changes.
Sickness absence of male refinery workers has been studied over a four-year period. The figures show that continuous three-cycle shift workers have consistently and significantly lower rates of sickness than day workers in similar occupations. The annual inception rate (spells) standardized for age was 108% for shift workers and 182% for day workers, and the average annual duration per man was 11 days for shift workers and 18 days for day workers, although the average length of spell was slightly longer among shift workers. As far as is known, such a difference has not been described before in detail.
Age-related lateness and absenteeism have been measured and show similar wide differences between the two groups.
Although both types of worker are largely self-selected, the difference is not due to medical selection or to an excess of any one type of disease in day workers. Over three-quarters of 150 shift workers interviewed stated that they preferred shift work hours and that sleeping difficulties were not common.
It is suggested that the main reasons for the difference between shift and day workers' sickness absence lie in the degree of personal involvement in the work and in the social structure of the working group.
PMCID: PMC1008539  PMID: 6023084
19.  Acute Intoxication from Antimony Trichloride 
Seven men were accidentally exposed to the fume of antimony trichloride. Their symptoms included not only the well-recognized upper respiratory irritation from hydrochloric acid but, in five of the men, an additional, slightly delayed onset of gastro-intestinal disturbance including abdominal pain and persistent anorexia. Urine antimony estimations revealed a concentration in excess of 1 mg./litre in these five men. Environmental measurements suggest that they were briefly exposed to air containing up to 146 mg. hydrochloric acid and 73 mg. antimony per m.3 expressed as the metal. These findings are compared with other reports on chronic antimony intoxication. No report could be found in recent literature about acute intoxication from antimony trichloride.
PMCID: PMC1008471  PMID: 5224624

Results 1-19 (19)