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Topical Collection "Contemporary and Emerging Issues of Occupational Safety and Health"

Editor

Collection Editor
Dr. Alan H. S. Chan

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

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Topical Collection on “Contemporary and Emerging Issues of 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 areas of occupational health, safety and human factors. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.
Nowadays, the concern with occupational safety and health no longer emphasizes physical health problems, and mental health has gradually become a prevailing issue. Mental health problems are usually intangible and workers struggle to exactly recognize the symptoms. Meanwhile, the repercussions of mental health problems can be unpredictably severe. Physical health and mental health interact with each other. Therefore, it is vital to acknowledge the methods to prevent and minimize the occurrence of both physical and mental health problems.
To exchange information and ideas about occupational safety and health, articles may deal with a variety of research areas, such as risk perception, workplace safety and health, risk-taking behaviour, safety culture, work performance, aging workforce, work capability, and ethical considerations and policy enforcement. In particular, submissions on newly emerging and contemporary research areas, like measurements for physical health and mental health, ergonomic factors and the consequences of occupational burnout and job stress, and work–life balance, etc., are welcome.

This Topical Collection is open to any subject area related to occupational safety and health. The listed keywords suggest just a few of the many possibilities. Please consult the editor for further information.

Dr. Alan H. S. Chan
Collection 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 collection 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 semimonthly 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 1800 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
  • Burnout
  • Exhaustion
  • Healthcare
  • Job stress
  • Mental fatigue
  • Mental health
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Non work factors
  • Occupational safety and health
  • Physical health
  • Prevention and protection
  • Psychological well-being
  • Risk-taking behaviour
  • Risk perception and management
  • Safety citizen behaviour
  • Safety culture
  • Safety supervision
  • Safety working environment
  • Work–life balance
  • Work–life conflict

Published Papers (27 papers)

2019

Open AccessArticle
The Subjective Well-Being Challenge in the Accounting Profession: The Role of Job Resources
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3073; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173073 (registering DOI)
Received: 6 August 2019 / Revised: 22 August 2019 / Accepted: 23 August 2019 / Published: 23 August 2019
PDF Full-text (606 KB)
Abstract
The main activity of the accountant is the preparation and audit of the financial information of a company. The subjective well-being of the accountant is important to ensure a balanced professional judgment and to offer a positive image of the profession in the [...] Read more.
The main activity of the accountant is the preparation and audit of the financial information of a company. The subjective well-being of the accountant is important to ensure a balanced professional judgment and to offer a positive image of the profession in the face of the incorporation and retention of talent. However, accountants are subjected to intense pressures that affect their well-being in the performance of their tasks. In this paper, the job demands–resources theoretical framework is adopted to analyze the relationships between job demands, job resources, and the subjective well-being of a large sample of 739 accounting experts at the European level. Applying a structural equations model, the results confirm, on the one hand, the direct effects provided in the theoretical framework and, on the other, a new mediating role of job demands–subjective well-being relationship resources. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Work Fatigue in a Non-Deployed Military Setting: Assessment, Prevalence, Predictors, and Outcomes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 2892; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16162892
Received: 22 July 2019 / Revised: 6 August 2019 / Accepted: 8 August 2019 / Published: 13 August 2019
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Abstract
Although work fatigue represents an important issue among military personnel in combat settings, little attention has been paid to work fatigue in the non-deployed setting. This issue was addressed by (a) validating the Three-Dimensional Work Fatigue Inventory (3D-WFI) among non-deployed military personnel, (b) [...] Read more.
Although work fatigue represents an important issue among military personnel in combat settings, little attention has been paid to work fatigue in the non-deployed setting. This issue was addressed by (a) validating the Three-Dimensional Work Fatigue Inventory (3D-WFI) among non-deployed military personnel, (b) assessing the prevalence of work fatigue in a non-deployed setting, and (c) exploring several potential predictors and outcomes of work fatigue in this setting. Data came from a large national probability sample (N = 1375) of non-deployed Royal Canadian Air Force military personnel. Results demonstrated that the 3D-WFI provided a psychometrically sound assessment of physical, mental, and emotional work fatigue among military personnel, which was invariant across sex, age, military component, and military role. All three types of work fatigue were highly prevalent among military personnel in a non-deployed setting. In terms of predictors, job demands were positively associated, and distributive justice, perceived organizational support, physical activity and sleep quality were negatively associated with each type of work fatigue, whereas role ambiguity was positively associated with mental and emotional work fatigue, and interpersonal justice was negatively associated with physical and emotional fatigue. Abusive supervision and sleep quantity were unrelated to work fatigue. In terms of outcomes, the three types of fatigue were positively associated with workplace cognitive failures and work-to-family conflict. In contrast, mental and emotional work fatigue were negatively related to military morale and positively associated with turnover intentions. This study demonstrates that work fatigue is a critical issue among military personnel in non-deployed settings, and an essential issue for military policy development. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Application of an Improved Model for Accident Analysis: A Case Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(15), 2756; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16152756
Received: 16 July 2019 / Revised: 29 July 2019 / Accepted: 31 July 2019 / Published: 2 August 2019
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Abstract
An improved accident causation model which demonstrates the relationships among different causal factors was proposed in this study. It provides a pathway for accident analysis from the individual level to the organizational level. Unsafe acts and conditions determined by individuals’ poor safety knowledge, [...] Read more.
An improved accident causation model which demonstrates the relationships among different causal factors was proposed in this study. It provides a pathway for accident analysis from the individual level to the organizational level. Unsafe acts and conditions determined by individuals’ poor safety knowledge, low safety awareness, bad safety habits, etc. are the immediate causes of an accident. Deficiencies in safety management systems and safety culture remain the root causes, which can cause consequences at the individual level. Moreover, the weaknesses of an organization’s safety culture can have a great impact on the formation of a good safety climate and can further lead to poor decision-making and implementation of procedures in the safety management system. In order to contribute to a better perception and understanding of the accident causation model, one typical case in the process industry, the oil leak and explosion of the Sinopec Donghuang pipelines, was selected for this study. The causality from immediate causes to root causes is demonstrated in sequence and can be shown in this model explicitly and logically. Several important lessons are summarized from the results and targeted measures can be taken to avoid similar mistakes in the future. This model provides a clear and resourceful method for the safety and risk practitioner’s toolkit in accident investigation and analysis, and the organization can use it as a tool to conduct staff trainings and thus to keep accidents under control. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Work-Family Balance Policy for Enhancing Social Sustainability: A Choice Experiment Analysis of Koreans in their Twenties and Thirties
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(14), 2553; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16142553
Received: 17 June 2019 / Revised: 11 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
PDF Full-text (328 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Korea is facing problems, such as inequality within society and an aging population, that places a burden on public health expenditure. The active adoption of policies that promote work-family balance (WFB), such as parental leave and workplace childcare centers, is known to help [...] Read more.
Korea is facing problems, such as inequality within society and an aging population, that places a burden on public health expenditure. The active adoption of policies that promote work-family balance (WFB), such as parental leave and workplace childcare centers, is known to help solve these problems. However, there has, as yet, been little quantitative evidence accumulated to support this notion. This study used the choice experiment methodology on 373 Koreans in their twenties and thirties, to estimate the level of utility derived from work-family balance policies. The results show that willingness to pay for parental leave was found to be valued at 7.81 million Korean won, while it was 4.83 million won for workplace childcare centers. In particular, WFB policies were found to benefit workers of lower socioeconomic status or belonging to disadvantaged groups, such as women, those with low education levels, and those with low incomes. Furthermore, the utility derived from WFB policies was found to be greater among those who desire children compared to those who do not. The results suggest that the proactive introduction of WFB policies will help solve problems such as inequality within society and population aging. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Smart Software Can Increase Sit–Stand Desk Transitions During Active Computer Use
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2438; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132438
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 27 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
The objective use of table top adjustable sit–stand desks has yet to be determined, due to the lack of an effective digital evaluation method. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of computer prompt software on table top sit–stand desks [...] Read more.
The objective use of table top adjustable sit–stand desks has yet to be determined, due to the lack of an effective digital evaluation method. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of computer prompt software on table top sit–stand desks to determine if there was a difference in the frequency of desk position changes. This five month, pre-post pilot study on 47 university staff members used a novel USB accelerometer sensor and computer software reminders to continuously record and prompt increases in desk usage to promote physical activity at the workstation. During the baseline phase (3 months), desk usage data were continuously recorded for all workers. Following the baseline, the results from a two-month intervention of personalized computer reminders doubled the number of desk position changes per work day from 1 desk position change every 2 work days to 1 change every work day. Furthermore, those who changed desk positions once or twice a day increased from 4% to 36% from baseline to intervention. Overall, the intervention was encouraging, but longer intervention studies are warranted to determine if the desk usage behavior change can be improved and sustained for years and whether that change results in health gains. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Coworking Spaces: The Better Home Office? A Psychosocial and Health-Related Perspective on an Emerging Work Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2379; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132379
Received: 23 May 2019 / Revised: 25 June 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 4 July 2019
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Abstract
With the ongoing flexibilization of work, new trends concerning work outside the company’s premises such as coworking spaces are on the rise. Coworking spaces are designed to offer collaboration and community in furnished and equipped workspaces on a rental base. There is a [...] Read more.
With the ongoing flexibilization of work, new trends concerning work outside the company’s premises such as coworking spaces are on the rise. Coworking spaces are designed to offer collaboration and community in furnished and equipped workspaces on a rental base. There is a growing body of scientific literature on coworking spaces with empirical results of qualitative and quantitative research. The present study adds to the latter by examining psychosocial demands experienced by coworkers in Germany based on a quantitative survey (n = 112). Among coworkers the home office was or still is another frequently used workplace. However, can the coworking space be seen as a better alternative to the home office in terms of work- and performance-related, social, environmental and health-related aspects? Results showed moderate to low psychosocial demands regarding quantitative workloads. Compared to the home office, the coworking space proved to be the preferred work arrangement. Results are discussed with regard to current literature and workplace design. In conclusion, coworking spaces can be seen as an alternative to the home office that was highly valued in the present sample. It is recommended to further emphasize aspects of work environment and ergonomics in order to create health-promoting and satisfying workplaces. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Lifting of Two Types of Barrels on Postural Control, Trunk Muscle Recruitment, and Kinematic Measures in Manual Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(12), 2183; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16122183
Received: 27 March 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of 2 types of beer barrels on postural control, trunk activation, and kinematic measures in adult workers. Twelve (12) males randomly performed 4 tasks on a force platform for 20 s: (1) hold [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of 2 types of beer barrels on postural control, trunk activation, and kinematic measures in adult workers. Twelve (12) males randomly performed 4 tasks on a force platform for 20 s: (1) hold an empty recyclable barrel, (2) hold a full recyclable barrel (30 L), (3) hold an empty steel barrel, and (4) hold a full steel barrel (30 L). Trunk muscular activation, force platform and kinematic measures at the trunk, hip, and knee joints were computed. The full steel barrel produced greater postural oscillation than other conditions. Higher trunk activity was also reported during the full steel barrel task. Significant kinematic changes only in the trunk were observed between the empty steel barrel and the full recyclable barrel tasks. In conclusion, the full steel barrel produced a negative impact on postural control, increasing trunk activity and changing trunk flexion angle in adult workers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Implementation of an Interdisciplinary Approach to Promote Workers Global Health Status in the Oil Industry, Brazil (2006–2015)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(12), 2148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16122148
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (817 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study intends to analyse the behaviour of epidemiological variables of workers in an oil industry of Bahia, Brazil, before and after implementation of interdisciplinary practices in occupational health assessments between 2006 and 2015. This is a retrospective longitudinal study carried out in [...] Read more.
This study intends to analyse the behaviour of epidemiological variables of workers in an oil industry of Bahia, Brazil, before and after implementation of interdisciplinary practices in occupational health assessments between 2006 and 2015. This is a retrospective longitudinal study carried out in two time periods. Data were collected from the workers electronic medical record and time trends were analysed before (2006–2010) and after (2011–2015) the implementation of the interdisciplinary practices focusing on health promotion. The data were complementarily compared to a control group from the same industry. A statistically significant reduction for data on the number of smokers, periodontal disease and of days away from work was obtained. A significant increase in the number of physically active subjects was also observed. While not statistically significant, a reduction in the number of workers with obesity and overweight, with caries and altered glycemia, was identified. Coronary risk and high blood pressure indicators have shown aggravation. It can be concluded that an interdisciplinary health approach during the annual occupational assessments, with action directed to the population needs, can be associated with the improvement of the health indicators assessed, contributing to increased worker productivity in the oil industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Long Working Hours and Overtime on Occupational Health: A Meta-Analysis of Evidence from 1998 to 2018
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(12), 2102; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16122102
Received: 19 May 2019 / Revised: 8 June 2019 / Accepted: 10 June 2019 / Published: 13 June 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1154 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
There has been no subsequent meta-analysis examining the effects of long working hours on health or occupational health since 1997. Therefore, this paper aims to conduct a meta-analysis covering studies after 1997 for a comparison. A total of 243 published records were extracted [...] Read more.
There has been no subsequent meta-analysis examining the effects of long working hours on health or occupational health since 1997. Therefore, this paper aims to conduct a meta-analysis covering studies after 1997 for a comparison. A total of 243 published records were extracted from electronic databases. The effects were measured by five conditions, namely, physiological health (PH), mental health (MH), health behaviours (HB), related health (RH), and nonspecified health (NH). The overall odds ratio between long working hours and occupational health was 1.245 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.195–1.298). The condition of related health constituted the highest odds ratio value (1.465, 95% CI: 1.332–1.611). The potential moderators were study method, cut-point for long weekly working hours, and country of origin. Long working hours were shown to adversely affect the occupational health of workers. The management on safeguarding the occupational health of workers working long hours should be reinforced. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Personal Occupational Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields in Libraries and Media Libraries, Using Calibrated On-Body Exposimeters
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(12), 2087; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16122087
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 1 June 2019 / Published: 13 June 2019
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: With the spread of Wifi networks, safety concerns have arisen, with complaints of somatic disorders, notably in traditional libraries and media libraries. The aim of the present study was to describe the conditions and levels of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: With the spread of Wifi networks, safety concerns have arisen, with complaints of somatic disorders, notably in traditional libraries and media libraries. The aim of the present study was to describe the conditions and levels of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields in the real-life occupational conditions of those working in traditional libraries and media libraries. Methods: Dynamic measurements, using an exposimeter, were taken in 20 radiofrequency bands from 88 to 5850 MHz. The activity of 28 library workers was analyzed on a space-time budget. An audit of exposure sources and static measurements enabled the work-places to be mapped. Results: In seven libraries, 78,858 samples were taken over the 20 radiofrequency bands from 88 to 5850 MHz. Exposure was described for 28 working days. The median total field was 0.071 V/m (10th percentile: 0.022 V/m, 90th percentile: 0.534 V/m) and for Wifi the median field was 0.005 V/m (10th percentile: 0.005 V/m, 90th percentile: 0.028 V/m). Median individual exposure to Wifi frequency waves ranged from 0.005 to 0.040 V/m. Conclusions: Overall, the occupational exposure in this sector was close to the exposure in the general population. Peaks were due to the use of walkie-talkies by security staff. Exposure due to external sources depended on geographic location. Exposure in this occupation is well below the general occupational exposure levels, notably as regards Wifi. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Can Engagement Go Awry and Lead to Burnout? The Moderating Role of the Perceived Motivational Climate
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 1979; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16111979
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 27 May 2019 / Accepted: 29 May 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
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Abstract
In this study, we propose that when employees become too engaged, they may become burnt out due to resource depletion. We further suggest that this negative outcome is contingent upon the perceived motivational psychological climate (mastery and performance climates) at work. A two-wave [...] Read more.
In this study, we propose that when employees become too engaged, they may become burnt out due to resource depletion. We further suggest that this negative outcome is contingent upon the perceived motivational psychological climate (mastery and performance climates) at work. A two-wave field study of 1081 employees revealed an inverted U-shaped relationship between work engagement and burnout. This finding suggests that employees with too much work engagement may be exposed to a higher risk of burnout. Further, a performance climate, with its emphasis on social comparison, may enhance—and a mastery climate, which focuses on growth, cooperation and effort, may mitigate the likelihood that employees become cynical towards work—an important dimension of burnout. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Emergency Evacuation Plan for Hazardous Chemicals Leakage Accidents Using GIS-based Risk Analysis Techniques in South Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 1948; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16111948
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 28 May 2019 / Published: 1 June 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2439 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite improvements in chemical safety management systems, incidents involving the release of hazardous chemicals continue to happen. In some cases, they result in the evacuation of residents. For hazardous chemical release accidents, an evacuation plan needs to be selective enough to consider both [...] Read more.
Despite improvements in chemical safety management systems, incidents involving the release of hazardous chemicals continue to happen. In some cases, they result in the evacuation of residents. For hazardous chemical release accidents, an evacuation plan needs to be selective enough to consider both the indoor and outdoor concentrations of nearby buildings and the time in which the maximum allowable concentration may occur. In this study, a real-time risk analysis tool was developed based on the geographic information system (GIS) in order to establish the emergency response and risk communication plan for effectively assisting decision-making personnel. A selective evacuation plan was also established by a proposed assessment module considering the indoor/outdoor pollution concentration of buildings and the release duration time of chlorine gas leakage. The GIS-based simulated modules were performed based on eleven buildings of Ulsan city, located near an industrial cluster and home to a high population density. As a result of the simulated real-time risk assessment, only four buildings were affected by chlorine gas concentration according to wind direction and diffusion time. In addition, it was considered effective to establish an indoor/outdoor evacuation plan as opposed to an outdoor evacuation plan which is outside the range of the damage. Subsequently, an emergency evacuation plan was established with the concentration of a hazardous chemical according to the decision-making matrix. This study can enlighten the real-time emergency risk assessment based on GIS while effectively supporting the emergency action plans in response to the release of hazardous chemicals in clustered plants and the community. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Factors and the Corresponding Interactions That Influence Construction Worker Safety Performance from a Competency-Model-Based Perspective: Evidence from Scaffolders in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 1885; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16111885
Received: 17 April 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 25 May 2019 / Published: 28 May 2019
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Abstract
Purpose: Construction workers’ reactions to safety-related issues during operation vary from person to person due to their different occupational levels, which can be attributed to various influencing factors and their correspondingly complicated interactions. This research aims to propose an integrated framework to combine [...] Read more.
Purpose: Construction workers’ reactions to safety-related issues during operation vary from person to person due to their different occupational levels, which can be attributed to various influencing factors and their correspondingly complicated interactions. This research aims to propose an integrated framework to combine the concepts of these factors and provide a holistic interpretation of the interrelationship among them. Methods: Based on items that were mainly extracted from competency theory, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were conducted to identify the critical factors from the data collected from 243 scaffolders on Wuhan Metro construction sites. The interactions among the identified factors were then analyzed, and the safety competency model was thus established with the use of structural equation modeling (SEM). Results: A total of 17 items were identified as critical to workers’ safety competency, and these were further tested and attributed to four factors: (1) individual character and inclination; (2) self-adjustment and adaptability; (3) working attitudes; (4) safety-related operation qualification. Subsequent analysis showed that all the factors significantly contributed to one’s safety competency, and individual character and inclination contributed most to the formation of one’s ability, while the intermediating effects of self-adjustment and adaptability should not be neglected both in theoretical and practical terms. The resultant safety competency model consisting of these four factors was revealed to share a hierarchical structure with the classical competency model. Significance: This study provided an integrated theoretical framework and a set of modeling approaches to combine the related concepts and facilitate a greater understanding of construction safety in terms of workers’ characteristics and behaviors. Practical implications: This study presented a tentative approach for assessing construction workers’ safety competency, as well as emphasized to the managers and professionals the necessity of developing training systems to ensure workers are integrated into a crew in an appropriate and smooth manner. Limitations and Future Work: The volume and the scope of samples impeded the study from achieving a more generalized result and a more cost-efficient data collection approach is in need of development for a comprehensive and in-depth investigation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Work Ability among Italian Bank Video Display Terminal Operators: Socio-Demographic, Lifestyle, and Occupational Correlates
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(9), 1653; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16091653
Received: 11 February 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 12 May 2019
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Abstract
Bank employees, especially video display terminal (VDT) operators, are constantly exposed to various occupational risks, such as the adoption of awkward postures, repetitive finger movements, and utilization of software with poor usability, which may lead to computer visual syndrome, tension headache, lower back [...] Read more.
Bank employees, especially video display terminal (VDT) operators, are constantly exposed to various occupational risks, such as the adoption of awkward postures, repetitive finger movements, and utilization of software with poor usability, which may lead to computer visual syndrome, tension headache, lower back pain, and/or stress, which compromises their overall health and work ability (WA). Thus, in this cross-sectional study, we aimed to establish that the determinants among socio-demographic, lifestyle, and occupational characteristics are associated with impaired WA in bank VDT operators. To this end, we administered a set of socio-demographic, lifestyle, occupational, and Work Ability Index (WAI) questionnaires to 2077 Italian bank VDT operators. Univariate linear regression models reveal that their mean WAI score is inversely associated with gender, age, dependent family members, and a part-time job, whereas it is directly associated with the educational level and physical activity. In addition, multivariate analysis shows that their mean WAI score is inversely associated with age and a part-time job, but was directly associated with the educational level, the marital status, and physical activity. Overall, VDT operators working in Italian banks display high WA even though this latter tends to decline with aging. In light of the progressive aging of the workforce in Italy, our results provide the rationale for the design of interventions aimed to mitigate the detrimental effects of aging on WA of bank VDT operators. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improving Working Conditions to Promote Worker Safety, Health, and Wellbeing for Low-Wage Workers: The Workplace Organizational Health Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1449; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081449
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
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Abstract
This paper addresses a significant gap in the literature by describing a study that tests the feasibility and efficacy of an organizational intervention to improve working conditions, safety, and wellbeing for low-wage food service workers. The Workplace Organizational Health Study tests the hypothesis [...] Read more.
This paper addresses a significant gap in the literature by describing a study that tests the feasibility and efficacy of an organizational intervention to improve working conditions, safety, and wellbeing for low-wage food service workers. The Workplace Organizational Health Study tests the hypothesis that an intervention targeting the work organization and environment will result in improvements in workers’ musculoskeletal disorders and wellbeing. This ongoing study is being conducted in collaboration with a large food service company. Formative evaluation was used to prioritize outcomes, assess working conditions, and define essential intervention elements. The theory-driven intervention is being evaluated in a proof-of-concept trial, conducted to demonstrate feasibility and potential efficacy using a cluster randomized design. Ten worksites were randomly assigned to intervention or control conditions. The 13-month intervention uses a comprehensive systems approach to improve workplace policies and practices. Using principles of participatory engagement, the intervention targets safety and ergonomics; work intensity; and job enrichment. The evaluation will provide a preliminary assessment of estimates of the intervention effect on targeted outcomes and inform understanding of the intervention implementation across worksites. This study is expected to provide insights on methods to improve working conditions in support of the safety and wellbeing of low-wage workers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Scales to Measure and Analyse the Relationship of Safety Consciousness and Safety Citizenship Behaviour of Construction Workers: An Empirical Study in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1411; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081411
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
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Abstract
China’s construction industry has experienced a long period of development and reform but compared to developed countries, safety on construction sites in China continues to present serious problems. Safety consciousness and safety citizenship behaviour are influential factors related to safety issues in the [...] Read more.
China’s construction industry has experienced a long period of development and reform but compared to developed countries, safety on construction sites in China continues to present serious problems. Safety consciousness and safety citizenship behaviour are influential factors related to safety issues in the construction industry and may play a direct role in improving the safety of personnel on construction sites. However, recently no research has been focused on the relationship between safety consciousness and safety citizenship behaviour. Therefore, this paper aimed to investigate the relationship between safety consciousness and safety citizenship behaviour for personnel working on construction sites in China by using a questionnaire survey and statistical analysis, so that correlation between safety consciousness and safety citizenship can be demonstrated and effective measures suggested to improve the safety of construction workers in China, and perhaps in other countries as well. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Survey of Work-Related Pain Prevalence Among Construction Workers in Hong Kong: A Case-Control Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1404; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081404
Received: 4 March 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
Construction workers undertake demanding physical work and face high risk of injuries in poor working environments. This case-control study investigated the extent of their musculoskeletal pain incidence at work. A total of 2021 construction workers in different trades were interviewed on-site in a [...] Read more.
Construction workers undertake demanding physical work and face high risk of injuries in poor working environments. This case-control study investigated the extent of their musculoskeletal pain incidence at work. A total of 2021 construction workers in different trades were interviewed on-site in a survey from December 2017 to December 2018. The survey results revealed that the pain prevalence of the subjects in the last 24 h was 10.6 %. The worst and top most common pain spots caused by work were central lower back, left/right shoulders, and knees. Regarding pain management, their most common method was to ignore the pain (21.4%). The average percentage of pain relief after receiving treatment in the 24 h was 37.12%. Besides, significant differences were found between the pain and non-pain groups regarding their employment duration in current job or their average sleep duration in the 24 h. The study showed that those with multiple and bilateral pain sites had pain interference on their living activities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Construction Worker Risk-Taking Behavior Model with Individual and Organizational Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1335; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081335
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 13 April 2019
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Abstract
Behavioral-based safety is an important application of behavioral science that can be used to address safety problems in the construction sector. An understanding of construction worker risk-taking behavior is deemed to be a crucial basis on which concerned authorities and construction companies can [...] Read more.
Behavioral-based safety is an important application of behavioral science that can be used to address safety problems in the construction sector. An understanding of construction worker risk-taking behavior is deemed to be a crucial basis on which concerned authorities and construction companies can develop effective safety interventions to reduce construction accidents. However, no studies have been conducted to examine the effects of safety climate, work condition, attitude toward risk, cognitive bias, and risk perception on construction worker risk-taking behavior through a quantitative approach. Accordingly, this study aims to propose a research model that explains construction worker risk-taking behavior. A total of 188 valid datasets were obtained through a series of questionnaire surveys conducted in representative construction projects in Hong Kong. Confirmatory factor analysis with structural equation modeling was adopted to validate the hypothesized research model. Results show that attitudes toward risk and cognitive bias have a positive influence, whereas risk perception and work conditions have a negative influence on construction worker risk-taking behavior. In addition, safety climate was negatively correlated with construction worker risk-taking behavior. Practical recommendations for reducing construction worker risk-taking behavior are also discussed in this paper. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Strength Decrease, Perceived Physical Exertion and Endurance Time for Backpacking Tasks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(7), 1296; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16071296
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 9 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Manual material handling (MMH) tasks create a burden for workers which could result in musculoskeletal injuries. Assessments of the decrease of muscular strength and the maximum endurance time (MET) for MMH tasks are essential in studying the ergonomic risk of MMH tasks. A [...] Read more.
Manual material handling (MMH) tasks create a burden for workers which could result in musculoskeletal injuries. Assessments of the decrease of muscular strength and the maximum endurance time (MET) for MMH tasks are essential in studying the ergonomic risk of MMH tasks. A backpacking experiment was conducted for measuring the MET for MMH tasks. Human participants carried a load on their back and walked on a treadmill under various load, walking speed, and ramp angle conditions until they coud no longer do so. It was found that the participants were able to walk for approximately 15 min to two hours before they needed to have a pause. Their back and leg strengths declined moderately due to performing the tasks. These tasks resulted in an increase in heart rate and elevated perceived physical exertion. The rating of perceived exertion (RPE)/heart rate ratio in our backpacking tasks was 31% higher than that in the literature, implying the calibration of the RPE may be required for such tasks. A MET model incorporating the fMVC_back, body weight, walking speed, and ramp angle was established. This model may be used to determine the work/rest allowance for backpacking tasks under conditions similar to this study. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Nature of Job Crafting: Positive and Negative Relations with Job Satisfaction and Work-Family Conflict
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(7), 1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16071176
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 28 March 2019 / Accepted: 29 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
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Abstract
This study investigated job crafting as mediator and its relation with job satisfaction and work-family conflict, considering job autonomy as antecedent. The research involved 389 participants working in a public organization. A structural equations model was estimated revealing that job autonomy is positively [...] Read more.
This study investigated job crafting as mediator and its relation with job satisfaction and work-family conflict, considering job autonomy as antecedent. The research involved 389 participants working in a public organization. A structural equations model was estimated revealing that job autonomy is positively associated with job crafting and job satisfaction, and negatively associated with work-family conflict. Job crafting is positively related with job satisfaction and work-family conflict, as adverse effect of job crafting. As regards mediated effects, results show positive associations between job autonomy and both job satisfaction and work-family conflict through job crafting. This study contributes to literature, considering positive and negative outcomes, covering the lacking literature on job crafting and work-family conflict, and suggesting implications for employees’ well-being. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Stress and Strain among Seafarers Related to the Occupational Groups
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(7), 1153; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16071153
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 30 March 2019
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Abstract
The present study analyses whether the stress and strain experienced by seafarers differ between the various occupational groups on board container ships. In a maritime field study, 323 sailors on 22 container ships were asked to complete a questionnaire and were biometrically surveyed. [...] Read more.
The present study analyses whether the stress and strain experienced by seafarers differ between the various occupational groups on board container ships. In a maritime field study, 323 sailors on 22 container ships were asked to complete a questionnaire and were biometrically surveyed. In addition, a survey of energy expenditure and heart rate (variability) was carried out with the SenseWear® armband monitor and the Polar RS800 watch, respectively. The activity data objectively collected by the armband monitor showed an average sleep duration of 5.0 h per day, with particularly short sleep episodes amongst nautical officers. This occupational group also significantly more frequently reported sleep deficits (67%). The highest work-related energy expenditure per day was among the deck ratings (801 kcal), followed by the engine room personnel (777 kcal), and finally the nautical officers (568 kcal). The last-mentioned group, who were also the most likely to experience mental stress in the workplace, had the lowest heart rate variability compared to the other occupational groups. The average working time was the only stress parameter that correlated significantly negatively with the heart rate variability (r = −0.387; p = 0.002). Overall, job-related stressors of seafarers on board should be objectified in further studies and occupational group-specific health promotion programmes should be developed. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Development of A Safety Climate Scale for Geological Prospecting Projects in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 1082; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16061082
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
The geological prospecting industry has developed rapidly in China over the past few years. It has made outstanding contributions to the discovery of new mineral resources, new energy sources, and the excavation and utilization of resources. However, geological prospecting projects do not have [...] Read more.
The geological prospecting industry has developed rapidly in China over the past few years. It has made outstanding contributions to the discovery of new mineral resources, new energy sources, and the excavation and utilization of resources. However, geological prospecting projects do not have effective safety management measures at present. Moreover, the geological prospecting project has its own traits and features that differ from other industries, leading to the fact that safety management measures in other industries cannot be used in geological prospecting projects. Therefore, development of an effective safety management measuring tool is urgent and necessary. In recent years, safety climate has drawn great attention from scholars, and research results have been successfully applied in construction, coal mining and other industries. Based on the extensive literature review on safety climate as well as its organizational structure and employees’ individual behavior characteristics, this paper first extracted the factor structure of the safety climate and then developed a safety climate scale for geological prospecting projects. This paper used the methods of exploratory factor analysis and reliability analysis to ensure the developed safety climate scale was valid and reliable. The safety climate scale developed has four dimensions, i.e., project leader’s safety commitment, safety institutions, risk response, and employee’s safety attitude, containing a total of 17 measurable items. This study contributes to the current literature by exploring the factor structure of the safety climate for geological prospecting projects, and further provides a scientific basis for improvements in the geological prospecting industry. Meanwhile, the findings not only provide technical support for investigating and analyzing the safety management levels of the geological prospecting industry, but also contribute to the benchmarking standards among different enterprises and projects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Work-Life Conflict among U.S. Long-Haul Truck Drivers: Influences of Work Organization, Perceived Job Stress, Sleep, and Organizational Support
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 984; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16060984
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
Work-life balance and job stress are critical to health and well-being. Long-haul truck driving (LHTD) is among the unhealthiest and most unsafe occupations in the U.S. Despite these disparities, there are no extant published studies examining the influence of work, stress and sleep [...] Read more.
Work-life balance and job stress are critical to health and well-being. Long-haul truck driving (LHTD) is among the unhealthiest and most unsafe occupations in the U.S. Despite these disparities, there are no extant published studies examining the influence of work, stress and sleep outcomes on drivers’ work-life balance. The current study investigated whether adverse work organization, stress, and poor sleep health among LHTDs are significantly associated with work-life conflict. Logistic regression was used to examine how work organization characteristics, job stress, and sleep influenced perceived stress and a composite measure of work-life conflict among a sample of 260 U.S. LHTDs. The pattern of regression results dictated subsequent analyses using structural equation modeling (SEM). Perceived job stress was the only statistically significant predictor for work-life balance. Fast pace of work, sleep duration and sleep quality were predictors of perceived job stress. SEM further elucidated that stress mediates the influences of fast work pace, supervisor/coworker support, and low sleep duration on each of the individual work-life balance indicators. There is an urgent need to address work conditions of LHTDs to better support their health, well-being, and work-life balance. Specifically, the findings from this study illustrate that scheduling practices and sleep outcomes could alleviate job stress and need to be addressed to more effectively support work-life balance. Future research and interventions should focus on policy and systems-level change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Model for Promoting Occupational Safety and Health in Taiwan’s Hospitals: An Integrative Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 882; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050882
Received: 11 February 2019 / Revised: 3 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
Advocating for improving workplace safety and health has gained substantial support in recent years. The medical industry is a high-risk industry and receives considerable public attention. This study used an integrative approach as a starting point and combined the contextual factors of an [...] Read more.
Advocating for improving workplace safety and health has gained substantial support in recent years. The medical industry is a high-risk industry and receives considerable public attention. This study used an integrative approach as a starting point and combined the contextual factors of an organization: perceived organizational support, safety climate, social influence, and shared decision making. Subsequently, the effects of these factors on preventive action and safety satisfaction were investigated. This study surveyed employees of two hospitals, one in Northern Taiwan and one in Eastern Taiwan, collecting valid data from 468 respondents. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to verify our research framework. The finding indicates that (1) All hypotheses proposed in this study were supported. (2) The overall goodness of fit of the model was excellent, and the explained variance of the outcome variables was high. (3) Safety climate had the strongest total effects on preventive action and safety satisfaction simultaneously, whereas preventive action had the strongest direct effect on safety satisfaction. The objective of this study was to obtain empirical conclusions and make suggestions for academic theory and clinical practice. The findings may serve as a reference for future research and for scholars and practitioners, enabling the creation of healthy workplaces and, thus, a brighter future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Prevalence and Work-Related Factors Associated with Lower Back Musculoskeletal Disorders in Female Shellfish Gatherers in Saubara, Bahia-Brazil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 857; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050857
Received: 27 January 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 8 March 2019
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Abstract
Lower back musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are an important public health problem and the leading cause of disability worldwide, but with yet unknown prevalence among shellfish gatherers. To investigate the prevalence and work-related factors associated with lower back MSD in a population of female [...] Read more.
Lower back musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are an important public health problem and the leading cause of disability worldwide, but with yet unknown prevalence among shellfish gatherers. To investigate the prevalence and work-related factors associated with lower back MSD in a population of female shellfish gatherers, an epidemiological cross-sectional study was carried out in Saubara, Bahia-Brazil, in 2013. The Brazilian version of the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) and the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ), in addition to a questionnaire containing the physical demands adapted to the artisanal work, were applied to a random sample of 209 female shellfish gatherers. The prevalence of lower back MSD was 72.7%. Using multivariate logistic regression, the shellfish gatherers who had worked for more than 26 years in the activity showed a prevalence of 1.22 (95% CI: 1.04–1.44) times higher compared to those unexposed. Lower back MSD was 1.24 (95% CI: 1.08–1.42) times higher among those more exposed to work sitting with trunk flexion. Those performed manual handling and muscle force with the arms had a prevalence ratio of 1.18 (95% CI: 1.01–1.39). These results show the need for greater awareness of health and social welfare factors impacting workers in small-scale fisheries and will promote the elaboration of health care policies for this occupational class. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Supervisor Support, Coworker Support and Presenteeism among Healthcare Workers in China: The Mediating Role of Distributive Justice
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 817; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050817
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 6 March 2019
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Abstract
Healthcare workers in China are exposed to extremely high job stress and inequitable work conditions, and the Healthy China 2030 blueprint has made them an important focus of policymakers. To examine the importance of distributive justice in Chinese medical reform, we analyzed data [...] Read more.
Healthcare workers in China are exposed to extremely high job stress and inequitable work conditions, and the Healthy China 2030 blueprint has made them an important focus of policymakers. To examine the importance of distributive justice in Chinese medical reform, we analyzed data from 1542 healthcare workers employed in 64 primary, secondary and tertiary hospitals in 28 Chinese cities in Western, Central and Eastern China in 2018. Supervisor support, coworker support, distributive justice, and presenteeism were assessed with the supervisor support scale, coworker support scale, distributive justice scale and perceived ability to work scale, respectively. Structural equation modeling was used to examine relationships among variables. The mediating effect of distributive justice on associations between supervisor support, coworker support, and presenteeism was examined with the Sobel test. The results revealed that significant indirect effects between supervisor support and presenteeism and between coworker support and presenteeism were significantly mediated by distributive justice. Better supervisor and coworker support might improve distributive justice among healthcare workers in Chinese hospitals, thereby increasing their performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Synergistic Effects of Organizational Justice and Trust to Supervisor on Vagal Tone: Preliminary Findings of an Empirical Investigation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 790; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050790
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 21 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 4 March 2019
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Abstract
The influence of perceived unfairness at the workplace (organizational injustice) on employee health is well established. Several theories explain the unpleasant and stressful nature of the experience of injustice, using trust as a central element. This study examines the effect of trust to [...] Read more.
The influence of perceived unfairness at the workplace (organizational injustice) on employee health is well established. Several theories explain the unpleasant and stressful nature of the experience of injustice, using trust as a central element. This study examines the effect of trust to supervisor on the association of perceived injustice with vagal tone—an objective marker for stress experience. Questionnaires assessed organizational justice and trust. Vagal tone was measured by indictors of heart rate variability (HRV), which captured parasympathetic (pNN50, RMSSD, and HF) and parasympathetic and sympathetic (SDNN, and LF) regulation. Synergistic effects were tested by linear regressions with interaction terms between organizational justice and trust to supervisor in 38 managers. Organizational justice was related to HRV indicators that reflect in particular the parasympathetic branch (βpNN50 = 0.32, p < 0.05; βRMSSD = 0.27, p < 0.1), and interaction effects with trust to supervisor were also most pronounced there (interaction βpNN50 = −0.41, p < 0.01; βRMSSD = −0.47, p < 0.01). In conclusion, the combination of low perceived justice and trust to supervisor appears substantial to the physiological stress threat of employees. Promoting fairness at the workplace might reduce stress; if not possible, trust to supervisor should be enhanced. Full article
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