Ramazzini; Blog on work and health by Annet Lenderink

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Elevated suicide risk among veterinary surgeons

An accumulating body of research demonstrates that risk of suicide varies between occupational groups. There is preliminary evidence to suggest that veterinary surgeons are a group at risk. A systematic review of studies of rates and methods of suicide in the veterinary profession shows that there appears to be an elevated risk of suicide for veterinary surgeons in several countries.

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Filed under: Job well being, Psychosocial disorders, Psychosocial exposure, Stress, Well-being, , ,

Long work hours no problem for construction workers

forced gripTo investigate changes of physical performance during long working hours and extended workweeks among construction workers, 19 construction workers with 12-h workdays and extended workweeks participated. Heart Rate (HR) during each of the two separate workdays corresponded to a relative workload of 25%. Sub-maximal HR was lower, reaction time faster and handgrip strength higher in the end of each test day. No trends of decreased physical performance were found after a workday or a work period.

Changes in physical performance among construction workers during extended workweeks with 12-hour workdays
Anne Faber , Jesper Strøyer, Nis Hjortskov and Bente Schibye
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, online 27 October 2009 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Job well being, Physical load, ,

Video on stress at work

stress at workHere you can find a video in several languages dealing with European measures to tackle stress at work

Filed under: Job well being, Psychosocial disorders, Psychosocial exposure, Stress, ,

Every figure you want to know about stress at work in Europe

Just recently published report on stress at work in Europe, with data on a wide range of countries and subjects. European Risk Observatory Report Nr.9, publication from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work in Bilbao, Spain.

OSH in figures: Stress at work- facts and figures

“Stress at work is common throughout Europe. In surveys carried out every five years by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, respondents name it as the second most common threat posed by the working environment. Only musculoskeletal problems are seen as more likely to damage workers’ health. According to the fourth European Survey of Working Conditions, carried out in 2005 in all Member States, stress was experienced by an average 22% of working Europeans. In 2002, the annual economic cost of work-related stress in the EU15 was estimated at EUR 20,000 million.”

Filed under: Job well being, Psychosocial disorders, Psychosocial exposure, Stress, ,

Work and suicide, not only France Telecom

In the past weeks alarming news items came up about the high suicide rate among France Telecom workers. The Unions blamed reorganisations and management methods, but the company claims the number of suicides is not higher than might be expected. The WHO figures mentioned in several online articles say the same: France Telecom employs just over 100,000 people in France. The French suicide rate is 26.4 a year for every 100,000 men and 9.2 per for every 100,000 women. On those figures, the company points out, the number of suicides in France Telecom since February 2008 is below the national average.

sources: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8252547.stm and http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?

Nevertheless countries worry about work-related suicide, especially in connection with the economic crisis. US Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries,August 2009: “Workplace suicides rose from 196 cases in 2007 to 251 cases in 2008, an increase of 28 percent and the highest number ever reported by the fatality census.” 

On the website Hazards Magizine, there is a special page gathering links and news about work and suicide http://www.hazards.org/suicide/

In Japan besides work-related suicide (karojisatsu) there is death by overwork (karoshi). Also here they see record numbers:

Japan: Record numbers worked to death
Record numbers of Japanese workers were worked to death last year, according to official compensation figures. A total of 269 cases qualified for state compensation last year, one up on the preceding year and a record high for the third straight year.
According to the Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry, among the cases approved for state compensation were 66 work-related suicides (karojisatsu) or attempted suicides. This was down 15 on the previous year, but was still the second highest ever annual toll, according to the ministry. Meanwhile, the deaths of 158 workers from brain or heart disease (karoshi) were recognised as caused by overwork in the reporting year, up 16.  Among the 66 suicides or attempted suicides, 24 were in their 50s, 15 in their 40s and 11 in their 30s.

Filed under: Job well being, Psychosocial exposure, ,

What do Europeans think about their working conditions?

Results of a poll Pan-European opinion poll recently run by EU-OSHA provides current and reliable data on people’s perception of their working environment.

According to the findings, there is widespread concern among European citizens that the current economic crisis could adversely affect health and safety at work. A majority of them also consider it an important factor when choosing a new job. 

The poll provides current and reliable data on people’s perception of their working environment, such as:

  • Deciding factors when looking for a new job
  • Work as cause for ill health
  • Development of safety and health at work
  • Impact of the economic crisis on working conditions
  •  Information levels regarding occupational safety and health risks

The results can be accessed by Member State in a user-friendly format (in the corresponding language) or for EU-27 in English.

  Austria   Belgium NL  Belgium FR   Bulgaria
  Cyprus   Czech Republic   Denmark
  Estonia   Finland   France
  Germany   Greece   Hungary
ireland.gif  Irland italy.gif  Italy latvia.gif  Latvia
lithuania.gif  Lithuania luxembourg.gif  Luxemburg   Malta
netherlands.gif  Netherlands   Poland   Portugal
romania.gif  Romania slovakia.gif  Slovakia slovenia.gif  Slovenia
spain.gif  Spain sweden.gif  Sweden unitedkingdom.gif  United Kingdom

Filed under: Job well being, Occupational exposure, ,

Judges and prosecuters experience a lot of stress in Taiwan

To examine the associations between occupational stress and burnout among among 211 judicial officers, comprising 87 judges and 98 procurators, in Taiwan, the job content questionnaire (JCQ), Siegrist’s effort–reward imbalance questionnaire (ERI), and the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI) were administered.

High psychological demand, effort, and overcommitment were significantly associated with both personal and work-related burnout. Low workplace social support was significantly associated with client-related burnout.

In general, occupational stress was associated with personal and work-related burnout for both judges and prosecutors.

Feng-Jen Tsai, Chang-Chuan Chan
Occupational stress and burnout of judges and procurators   International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Job well being, Psychosocial disorders, Stress,

Work Health Promotion can work

burn_out_cm300Work Health Promotion, Job Well-Being, and Sickness Absences-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Kuoppala, Jaana MD, PhD; Lamminpää, Anne MD, PhD; Husman, Päivi MSocSc

A systematic review by Finnish researchers shows that work health promotion is valuable on employees’ well-being and work ability and productive in terms of less sickness absences. Activities involving exercise, lifestyle, and ergonomics are potentially effective. On the other hand, education and psychological means applied alone do not seem effective. Work health promotion should target both physical and psychosocial environments at work.Work Health Promotion, Job Well-Being, and Sickness Absences-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Filed under: Job well being, Sickness absence, , ,

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Annet Lenderink

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