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Special Issue "Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Occupational Safety and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Alan H. S. Chan

Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
E-Mail
Interests: occupational safety and health; human factors and ergonomics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on “Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health” in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The venue is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of health, safety and human factors. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to http://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph

Occupational safety and health emphasizes hazard and risk prevention in workplaces by establishing a positive working culture and environment to ensure the safety, health and welfare of workers. Multidisciplinary fields are involved in occupational safety and health, for instance, human factors, ergonomics, technology, industrial and organizational psychology, and law.

Certain research issues are identified as important for enhancing the occupational safety and the health of workers, including, but not limited to, policy and system establishment, program formulation, participant and stakeholder consultation, education and training, ethical consideration and policy enforcement, to managing the risk and guarantees the well-being of workers. In particular, submissions on newly-emerging research areas, like human factors in safety and health, risk perception and measurements, health and safety of the aging workforce, etc., are welcome.

This Special Issue is open to any subject areas related to occupational safety and health. The listed keywords suggest just a few of the many possibilities. Please consult the Guest Editor for further information.

Prof. Dr. Alan H. S. Chan
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Aging workforce
  • Control
  • Hazard
  • Human factors
  • Inspection
  • National governments
  • Occupational ergonomics
  • Occupational safety and health
  • Older people
  • Prevention and protection
  • Risk perception and management
  • Safety and health promotion
  • Work environment
  • Workers
  • Workplace
  • Work-related diseases

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Open AccessArticle Job Satisfaction and Associated Factors among Medical Staff in Tertiary Public Hospitals: Results from a National Cross-Sectional Survey in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1528; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071528 (registering DOI)
Received: 12 June 2018 / Revised: 10 July 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 19 July 2018
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Abstract
Medical staff in China’s tertiary public hospitals are responsible for providing healthcare to a considerable number of patients, and their job satisfaction needs attention. The aim of this study is to investigate the job satisfaction of medical staff in tertiary public hospitals and
[...] Read more.
Medical staff in China’s tertiary public hospitals are responsible for providing healthcare to a considerable number of patients, and their job satisfaction needs attention. The aim of this study is to investigate the job satisfaction of medical staff in tertiary public hospitals and to explore its associated factors. Based on a national survey conducted in 2016, this study included 43,645 physicians and nurses nested in 136 tertiary public hospitals in 31 provinces of China. Multi-level logistic regression was used to examine job satisfaction and its association with individual characteristics and job-related factors. Results showed that 48.22% respondents were satisfied with their job, and they were least satisfied with their compensation. Individual characteristics including occupation, gender, education background, alcohol drinking and self-reported health status, as well as job-related factors regarding professional title, work years, income, workload, doctor-patient relationship and practice setting were found to be significantly associated with job satisfaction. Given that some of these factors may be amenable to interventions, we suggest that government and hospital administrators could take some measures to promote continuing education, improve personal health, balance workload and compensation for medical staff, in order to improve the job satisfaction of medical staff in tertiary public hospitals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
Open AccessArticle Gender Differences in Psychological Well-Being and Health Problems among European Health Professionals: Analysis of Psychological Basic Needs and Job Satisfaction
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1474; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071474
Received: 8 June 2018 / Revised: 4 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 12 July 2018
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Abstract
Background: The aim was to examine the mediating role of basic psychological needs and job satisfaction in the relationship between the gender effect on health problems and psychological well-being for health professionals in Europe in 2015. Methods: Two multiple partial mediation
[...] Read more.
Background: The aim was to examine the mediating role of basic psychological needs and job satisfaction in the relationship between the gender effect on health problems and psychological well-being for health professionals in Europe in 2015. Methods: Two multiple partial mediation analyses were conducted in order to test the partial mediation of both basic needs and job satisfaction, with gender as the independent variable and health problems or well-being, respectively, as the dependent variables, with a sample of health professionals. Results: Women reported lower psychological well-being and more health problems than men. The total effect of gender on both well-being and health problems was found to be significant. Regarding multiple mediation analyses: (a) the effect of gender on well-being was fully mediated by global basic need satisfaction and job satisfaction, such that gender did not present a significant direct effect and (b) the effect of gender on health problems was partially mediated by global basic need satisfaction and job satisfaction, such that the direct effect remained significant. Conclusions: The fulfillment of basic needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness, as postulated within self-determination theory, was hypothesized to play a mediating role in the relationship between gender and well-being. Since significant gender differences in basic need satisfaction were observed, such a mediator should be controlled in order to achieve a significant relationship between gender and well-being when basic needs comes into play. The current study adds to the research emphasizing the need for satisfaction as a promising mechanism underlying for female health professionals’ well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle Associations of Family Demands and Work–Life Conflict with Musculoskeletal Disorders among Korean Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1419; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071419
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 29 June 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
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Abstract
Although family-related demands play a role in the effect of psychosocial work characteristics on health, research on work-related health has neglected the family domain. The aim of the present study was to identify the effects of family demands and work–life conflict (WLC) on
[...] Read more.
Although family-related demands play a role in the effect of psychosocial work characteristics on health, research on work-related health has neglected the family domain. The aim of the present study was to identify the effects of family demands and work–life conflict (WLC) on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among Korean workers. We analyzed data from the nationally representative Korean Working Conditions Survey conducted with 50,007 workers in 2014. Logistic regression analyses stratified by gender were performed to identify gender differences, and interaction terms including WLCs and key covariates were also incorporated. Childcare demands (odds ratio (OR), 1.16) were related to MSD only in male workers, whereas homemaking (OR, 1.09) and eldercare (OR, 1.26) demands were related to MSDs only in female workers. WLC was also associated with MSDs among both male (OR, 1.50) and female (OR, 1.55) workers. We found no gender difference in the effect of WLC on MSDs (p = 0.91). Moreover, childcare demands may exacerbate the effect of WLC on MSDs. Our data suggest that family demands and WLC could be important targets of workplace interventions to prevent MSDs, and future research should evaluate the role of family demands and WLC as stressors in the workplace. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
Open AccessArticle Monitoring and Simulating Environmental Asbestos Dispersion from a Textile Factory
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1398; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071398
Received: 20 May 2018 / Revised: 17 June 2018 / Accepted: 26 June 2018 / Published: 3 July 2018
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Abstract
Although workplace asbestos concentrations (AC) have been reported several times, the past environmental AC are relatively poorly studied. Due to the harmful effects of the asbestos industry, production has moved from early industrialized countries (Japan), to late industrialized countries (Korea), and finally to
[...] Read more.
Although workplace asbestos concentrations (AC) have been reported several times, the past environmental AC are relatively poorly studied. Due to the harmful effects of the asbestos industry, production has moved from early industrialized countries (Japan), to late industrialized countries (Korea), and finally to industrializing countries (Indonesia). The purpose of this study was to determine current occupational exposure levels and evaluate neighborhood environmental exposure levels in an Indonesian asbestos textile factory through collaboration among three generation of industrialized countries. Asbestos concentrations were measured inside and outside of the factory and compared with simulated data. ACs in the factory were similar to those of 1980s and 1990s levels in the Korean factory that transferred the machines. Environmental ACs were dispersed according to wind direction. There were no significant differences between monitored and simulated data, and correlation coefficients between downwind, upwind, and middle wind directions were high, with some statistical significance. This study can be used to estimate past environmental ACs to understand the causality of asbestos related diseases. Because of the small sample size and specific weather conditions, a large-scale study of various asbestos exposure sources, including asbestos cement factories, shipyards, and mines, and various atmospheric conditions is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Efficient Measurement of Job Satisfaction: Facet-Items versus Facet Scales
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1362; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071362
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 18 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
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Abstract
The measurement of job satisfaction as a central dimension for workplace health and well-being is crucial to set suitable health- and performance-enhancing management decisions. Measuring different facets of job satisfaction leads to a more precise understanding about job satisfaction in research as well
[...] Read more.
The measurement of job satisfaction as a central dimension for workplace health and well-being is crucial to set suitable health- and performance-enhancing management decisions. Measuring different facets of job satisfaction leads to a more precise understanding about job satisfaction in research as well as to more specific interventions in companies. This study examines the measurement of job satisfaction with facet scales (multiple-items for one facet) and facet-items (one item for one facet). Facet-items are a cost-effective and fast way to measure job satisfaction in facets, whereas facet scales are more detailed and provide further information. Results from 788 bank employees showed that facet-items of job satisfaction were significantly correlated with the corresponding facet scales and had high factor loadings within the appropriate factor. Furthermore, the same correlational pattern between facet scales and external criteria was found for facet-items and external criteria (identification with the company, work engagement, stress, resources). The findings support the usage of facet-items in companies and in research where cost- and time-effectiveness is imperative and the usage of facet scales where an even deeper understanding of job satisfaction is needed. In practice, the usage of efficient measurements is evident, especially in the upcoming field of eHealth tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
Open AccessArticle Duty of Notification and Aviation Safety—A Study of Fatal Aviation Accidents in the United States in 2015
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1258; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061258
Received: 15 April 2018 / Revised: 6 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
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Abstract
After the Germanwings accident, the French Safety Investigation Authority (BEA) recommended that the World Health Organization (WHO) and European Community (EC) develop clear rules for the duty of notification process. Aeromedical practitioners (AMEs) face a dilemma when considering the duty of notification and
[...] Read more.
After the Germanwings accident, the French Safety Investigation Authority (BEA) recommended that the World Health Organization (WHO) and European Community (EC) develop clear rules for the duty of notification process. Aeromedical practitioners (AMEs) face a dilemma when considering the duty of notification and conflicts between pilot privacy and public and third-party safety. When balancing accountability, knowledge of the duty of notification process, legislation and the clarification of a doctor’s own set of values should be assessed a priori. Relatively little is known of the magnitude of this problem in aviation safety. To address this, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) database was searched to identify fatal accidents during 2015 in the United States in which a deceased pilot used a prescribed medication or had a disease that potentially reduced pilot performance and was not reported to the AME. Altogether, 202 finalized accident reports with toxicology were available from (the year) 2015. In 5% (10/202) of these reports, the pilot had either a medication or a disease not reported to an AME which according to the accident investigation was causal to the fatal accident. In addition, the various approaches to duty of notification in aviation in New Zealand, Finland and Norway are discussed. The process of notification of authorities without a pilot’s express permission needs to be carried out by using a guidance protocol that works within legislation and professional responsibilities to address the pilot and the public, as well as the healthcare provider. Professional guidance defining this duty of notification is urgently needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle An Interactive Model among Potential Human Risk Factors: 331 Cases of Coal Mine Roof Accidents in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1144; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061144
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
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Abstract
In order to explore optimal strategies for managing potential human risk factors, this paper developed an interactive model among potential human risk factors based on the development processes of accidents. This model was divided into four stages, i.e., risk latency stage, risk accumulation
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In order to explore optimal strategies for managing potential human risk factors, this paper developed an interactive model among potential human risk factors based on the development processes of accidents. This model was divided into four stages, i.e., risk latency stage, risk accumulation stage, risk explosion stage and risk residue stage. Based on this model, this paper analyzed risk management procedures and relevant personal’s responsibility in each stage, and then probed into the interactive mechanism among human risk factors in three aspects, i.e., knowledge, information and communication. The validity and feasibility of the model was validated by analyzing a coal mine roof accident in China. In addition, the contribution of different functional levels’ personnel in risk evolution was discussed. It showed that this model can effectively reveal the interactive mechanism of potential human risk factors, and can thus give significant insights into the development of risk management theories and practices. It also proves that the contribution of different functional levels’ personnel in the model is different. This can further help practitioners design enhanced Behavioral-Based Safety (BBS) intervention approaches which can have a more sustainable and persistent impact on corporate personnel’s safety behavior. Specific recommendations and suggestions are provided fundamentally for future BBS practices in the coal mine industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle Map Changes and Theme Evolution in Work Hours: A Co-Word Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 1039; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15051039
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 22 May 2018
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Abstract
(1) Background: Work hours are the basic carrier impacting employees’ work–life experience and organizational performance, and employees have greater anxiety in relation to work hours as new technology requires an increasingly faster work rhythm. However, scientific research on this topic lags far behind
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(1) Background: Work hours are the basic carrier impacting employees’ work–life experience and organizational performance, and employees have greater anxiety in relation to work hours as new technology requires an increasingly faster work rhythm. However, scientific research on this topic lags far behind the practice, calling to attention the need for research on work hours from the perspective of historical evolution; (2) Methods: The Bibliometric method is used to analyze the 6364 articles and their contained 77 high-frequency keywords related to work hours from the Web of Science published between 1901 and 2017. Additionally, an individual–organization–society integrative perspective was adopted to describe the map changes and theme evolution of work hours; (3) Results and conclusions: The hot spots of research at the organizational level changed significantly around 1990, with the theme of “long work hours” becoming the core issue in recent years. Studies on the individual level have gradually moved from physiological aspects to the issues of burnout and psychological distress. Research topics related to the social level are somewhat loose, and mainly focused on work–life conflict areas. In addition, the cluster analysis based on the high-frequency keywords classifies six research types according to their research themes. Based on these findings, future trends are proposed to provide theoretical and practical reference for future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Work Ability of Hong Kong Construction Workers in Relation to Individual and Work-Related Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 990; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050990
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 8 May 2018 / Accepted: 10 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
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Abstract
The shortage in Hong Kong of construction workers is expected to worsen in future due to the aging population and increasing construction activity. Construction work is dangerous and to help reduce the premature loss of construction workers due to work-related disabilities, this study
[...] Read more.
The shortage in Hong Kong of construction workers is expected to worsen in future due to the aging population and increasing construction activity. Construction work is dangerous and to help reduce the premature loss of construction workers due to work-related disabilities, this study measured the work ability of 420 Hong Kong construction workers with a Work Ability Index (WAI) which can be used to predict present and future work performance. Given the importance of WAI, in this study the effects of individual and work-related factors on WAI were examined to develop and validate a WAI model to predict how individual and work-related factors affect work ability. The findings will be useful for formulating a pragmatic intervention program to improve the work ability of construction workers and keep them in the work force. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Influence of Professional Identity, Job Satisfaction, and Work Engagement on Turnover Intention among Township Health Inspectors in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 988; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050988
Received: 10 April 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
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Abstract
Health inspectors are part of the public health workforce in China, and its shortage has been identified as an urgent priority that should be addressed. Turnover is one of the main contributors to the shortage problem. This research assessed the influence of professional
[...] Read more.
Health inspectors are part of the public health workforce in China, and its shortage has been identified as an urgent priority that should be addressed. Turnover is one of the main contributors to the shortage problem. This research assessed the influence of professional identity, job satisfaction and work engagement on turnover intention of township health inspectors and explored the intermediary effect of job satisfaction and work engagement between professional identity and turnover intention among township health inspectors in China. Data were collected from 2426 township health inspectors in Sichuan Province, China. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to test the hypothesized relationship among the variables. Results showed that a total of 11.3% of participants had a high turnover intention and 34.0% of participants had a medium turnover intention. Job satisfaction had a direct negative effect on turnover intention (β = −0.38, p < 0.001), work engagement had a direct negative effect on turnover intention (β = −0.13, p < 0.001), and professional identity had an indirect negative effect on turnover intention through the mediating effect of job satisfaction and work engagement. Our results strongly confirmed that professional identity, job satisfaction and work engagement were strong predicators of turnover intention. According to the results, desirable work environment, quality facilities, fair compensation and adequate advancement opportunities should be emphasized to improve job satisfaction. The turnover intention of health inspectors could be reduced through improving professional identity, enhancing job satisfaction and work engagement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle Extremely Low Frequency-Magnetic Field (ELF-MF) Exposure Characteristics among Semiconductor Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040642
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 31 March 2018
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Abstract
We assessed the exposure of semiconductor workers to extremely low frequency-magnetic fields (ELF-MF) and identified job characteristics affecting ELF-MF exposure. These were demonstrated by assessing the exposure of 117 workers involved in wafer fabrication (fab) and chip packaging wearing personal dosimeters for a
[...] Read more.
We assessed the exposure of semiconductor workers to extremely low frequency-magnetic fields (ELF-MF) and identified job characteristics affecting ELF-MF exposure. These were demonstrated by assessing the exposure of 117 workers involved in wafer fabrication (fab) and chip packaging wearing personal dosimeters for a full shift. A portable device was used to monitor ELF-MF in high temporal resolution. All measurements were categorized by operation, job and working activity during working time. ELF-MF exposure of workers were classified based on the quartiles of ELF-MF distribution. The average levels of ELF-MF exposure were 0.56 µT for fab workers, 0.59 µT for chip packaging workers and 0.89 µT for electrical engineers, respectively. Exposure to ELF-MF differed among types of factory, operation, job and activity. Workers engaged in the diffusion and chip testing activities showed the highest ELF-MF exposure. The ELF-MF exposures of process operators were found to be higher than those of maintenance engineers, although peak exposure and/or patterns varied. The groups with the highest quartile ELF-MF exposure level are operators in diffusion, ion implantation, module and testing operations, and maintenance engineers in diffusion, module and testing operations. In conclusion, ELF-MF exposure among workers can be substantially affected by the type of operation and job, and the activity or location. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Roles of Motivation and Coping Behaviours in Managing Stress: Qualitative Interview Study of Hong Kong Expatriate Construction Professionals in Mainland China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030561
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
Driven by fast-growing economies worldwide, the number of international construction projects is booming, and employing expatriates has inevitably become a strategy used by construction firms. However, stress arising from expatriate assignments can lead to early return, assignment failure, and staff turnover, causing in
[...] Read more.
Driven by fast-growing economies worldwide, the number of international construction projects is booming, and employing expatriates has inevitably become a strategy used by construction firms. However, stress arising from expatriate assignments can lead to early return, assignment failure, and staff turnover, causing in significant losses to an organisation. Extensive research has focused on the effectiveness of coping behaviours in relation to stress. However, studies investigating the antecedents of coping are rare. The limited studies to date tend to focus on content-based motivations (identifying what), instead of on how coping behaviours can be motivated in the stress management process (identifying how). Focus on expatriate construction professionals (ECPs) is further limited. Hence, this study aims to investigate from a process theory perspective the role of motivation in the stress management process. Using a qualitative interview study approach, involving 22 in-depth interviews, this study first identifies the content of motivation, coping behaviours, performance, and stress in the context of Hong Kong ECPs working on cross-cultural projects in China; it then unveils and explains the associations between the identified variables. Based on the results, stakeholders are recommended to review pre-departure training, so as to ensure that key elements such as personal awareness of stress (cognitive, affective, and physical), expectancies of coping strategies on stress (adaptive or maladaptive), and expectancies of the influence of stress on performance are covered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Work-Related Factors in the Development of Psychological Distress and Associated Mental Disorders: Differential Views of Human Resource Managers, Occupational Physicians, Primary Care Physicians and Psychotherapists in Germany
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030559
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 1 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
Objectives: This study analyses the perceived relevance of stress-dimensions in work-settings from the differential views of Human Resource Managers (HRM), Occupational Physicians (OP), Primary Care Physicians (PCP) and Psychotherapists (PT) in Germany. Methods: Cross-sectional study design, using a self-report questionnaire. Descriptive
[...] Read more.
Objectives: This study analyses the perceived relevance of stress-dimensions in work-settings from the differential views of Human Resource Managers (HRM), Occupational Physicians (OP), Primary Care Physicians (PCP) and Psychotherapists (PT) in Germany. Methods: Cross-sectional study design, using a self-report questionnaire. Descriptive measures and explorative bivariate methods were applied for group-comparisons. Results are presented as rankings of perceived importance and as polarity profiles of contrasting views. Results: N = 627 participants completed the questionnaires (HRM: n = 172; OP: n = 133; PCP: n = 136; PT: n = 186). The stress dimensions with the highest mean ratings across all four professions were: ‘social relationships in the work place’ (M = 3.55, SD = 0.62) and ‘superiors´ leadership style’ (M = 3.54, SD = 0.64). Mean ratings of perceived relevance of stress dimensions differed most between HRM and the three medical professions. Conclusions: The perceived importance of work-related stress-dimensions seems to be higher in the medical disciplines (OP, PCP, PT) than in the group from the management sector (HRM). However, no fundamental disagreement on the role of work-related stress-dimensions seems to hinder e.g., intensified efforts of cooperation across sectors in tackling the “stress-pandemic” and improving the (mental) health of employees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle What Can We Learn about Workplace Heat Stress Management from a Safety Regulator Complaints Database?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030459
Received: 7 February 2018 / Revised: 24 February 2018 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published: 6 March 2018
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Abstract
Heat exposure can be a health hazard for many Australian workers in both outdoor and indoor situations. With many heat-related incidents left unreported, it is often difficult to determine the underlying causal factors. This study aims to provide insights into perceptions of potentially
[...] Read more.
Heat exposure can be a health hazard for many Australian workers in both outdoor and indoor situations. With many heat-related incidents left unreported, it is often difficult to determine the underlying causal factors. This study aims to provide insights into perceptions of potentially unsafe or uncomfortably hot working conditions that can affect occupational health and safety using information provided by the public and workers to the safety regulator in South Australia (SafeWork SA). Details of complaints regarding heat exposure to the regulator’s “Help Centre” were assembled in a dataset and the textual data analysed thematically. The findings showed that the majority of calls relate to indoor work environments such as kitchens, factories, and warehouses. The main themes identified were work environment, health effects, and organisational issues. Impacts of hot working conditions ranged from discomfort to serious heat-related illnesses. Poor management practices and inflexibility of supervisors featured strongly amongst callers’ concerns. With temperatures predicted to increase and energy prices escalating, this timely study, using naturalistic data, highlights accounts of hot working conditions that can compromise workers’ health and safety and the need for suitable measures to prevent heat stress. These could include risk assessments to assess the likelihood of heat stress in workplaces where excessively hot conditions prevail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Emerging Workforce of International University Student Workers: Injury Experience in an Australian University
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030456
Received: 11 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published: 6 March 2018
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Abstract
International university students are a growing section of the workforce and are thought to be at greater risk of injury. Qualitative studies have highlighted vulnerabilities, but there is a shortage of quantitative research exploring the injury experience and associated risk factors of this
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International university students are a growing section of the workforce and are thought to be at greater risk of injury. Qualitative studies have highlighted vulnerabilities, but there is a shortage of quantitative research exploring the injury experience and associated risk factors of this emerging issue. In this study, a total of 466 university student workers across a range of study programs in a single Australian university completed an online survey, with questions relating to their background, working experience, training and injury experience. Risk factors for injury were explored in a multivariate statistical model. More than half had not received any safety training before they started work, and 10% reported having had a work injury. About half of these injuries occurred after training. Statistically significant risk factors for injury included working more than 20 h per week (adjusted odds ratio 2.20 (95% CI 1.03–4.71) and lack of confidence in discussing safety issues (AOR 2.17; 95% CI 1.13–4.16). The findings suggest the need for a more engaging and effective approach to safety education and a limit on working hours. This situation is a moral challenge for universities, in that they are effectively sponsoring young workers in the community. It is recommended that longitudinal studies of international student workers be conducted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)

Other

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Open AccessBrief Report Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia among Inpatients via the Emergency Department: A Propensity-Score Matched Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1178; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061178
Received: 6 April 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 16 May 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
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Abstract
Background: Hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) is an inflammatory condition of the lung that develops at least 48–72 h after admission. HAP is contracted by both intensive care unit (ICU) and non-ICU patients, but no studies have examined the risk of HAP in patients admitted
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Background: Hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) is an inflammatory condition of the lung that develops at least 48–72 h after admission. HAP is contracted by both intensive care unit (ICU) and non-ICU patients, but no studies have examined the risk of HAP in patients admitted to the emergency department (ED). This study investigated the risk of developing HAP in ED patients and compared the occurrence of HAP 3–10 days after the first day of hospitalization in patients hospitalized via ED with those hospitalized via outpatient clinics. Methods: We analyzed the 2010 National Inpatient Sample data collected by the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service in South Korea. After propensity score matching for age, sex, residential area, hospital, and diseases, 153,130 inpatients (76,565 admitted via ED and 76,565 admitted via outpatient clinics) were included in the analysis. The diagnosis of pneumonia was based on the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (Pneumonia, all (J12–J18); Pneumonia, bacterial (J13–J15); Pneumonia, non-bacterial (J12, J16, J17); and Pneumonia, unspecified (J18)). Results: The percentage of newly diagnosed cases of pneumonia in inpatients admitted via ED was significantly higher than that in inpatients admitted via outpatient clinics. After propensity score matching for baseline characteristics, the likelihood of developing pneumonia (excluding the category of ‘Pneumonia, non-bacterial’) in inpatients hospitalized via ED was significantly increased by 1.33–1.97-fold. The cumulative incidence of pneumonia was also significantly higher in patients admitted via ED than in those hospitalized via outpatient clinics. Conclusions: ED visits may be an important risk factor for the development of HAP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
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