Vol 8 No 2 (2016)
Introduction: Direct sunlight and increased heat load influence mental and physical health of workers negatively and result in performance impairment. Activity reduction is a natural body response to increase in internal body temperature, and a compensatory mechanism to make body balanced. This study was carried out to estimate productivity loss due to heat exposure among Iranian outdoor workers. The study population was entire Iranian outdoor workers in 2014, in different job categories.
Method: Heat exposure was calculated using Wet Bulb Globe Temperature using of meteorological data from 83 synoptic stations in 30 Iran’s provinces. Estimation of heat induced productivity loss was done based on graph of “work capacity”.
Discussion: The results show that WBGT value reached its highest level during summer, especially in Bushehr (38.87 °C), Khuzestan (38.54 °C), and Sistan-and-Baluchestan (32.51 °C). While, in Chahar-Mahal-and-Bakhtiari (26.55 °C) and West-Azarbaijan (27.25°C) the least values of WBGT was observed. The highest productivity loss occurred during summer with its highest level in two provinces of Khuzestan and Bushehr (96%). In conclusion, by moving from north-west regions toward south-east regions, the level of productivity loss greatly increased. In Iran, the average of productivity loss during summer period is 60%, which is a significantly high value, in terms of climate condition and occupational distribution.
Result: Due to the important role of outdoor workers and growing trend of increase in temperature, productivity loss of this working population is undeniable. Adopting preventive strategies to increase compatibility and reduce sensitivity of exposed workers is essential.
Training interventions are regarded as essential managerial strategies in various organizations. The present study investigated managerial interventions in training based on Deming model and their effectiveness to decrease the rate of unsafe behaviors of workers. It was a case study, conducted in a rolling industry and a descriptive- analytic research, done periodically during three years (2012-2015). It was tried to implement training programs based on the Deming cycle. To study the effectiveness of training interventions, safety performance indicators and standardized questionnaires were used. A comparison was also drawn between the rate of unsafe behaviors before and a year after applying the interventions. Sampling safety behavior was used to determine the rate of unsafe behaviors and such behaviors were investigated through checklists and random observations. The mean score of unsafe behaviors was 46%. The most and the least frequently occurred unsafe behaviors were failure to use earmuffs (14.5%) and throwing tools (0.02%) respectively. The results showed that applying interventions were influential in decreasing unsafe behaviors (31%, P=0.006). After interventions, obtained results of safety performance indicators and the status of training came to a desirable level. Findings also proved that training is one of the major cornerstones of improved safe behaviors. Therefore, it is important to hold regular training courses and establish an efficient training system in the workplace to develop safety purposes and professional health.
Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders among Administrative Employees of Kerman University of Medical Sciences
Background: This study examined the factors affecting on musculoskeletal disorders and its frequency among administrative employees of Kerman University of Medical Sciences in 2015.
Materials and Method: This cross-sectional study conducted among 300 employees (94% response rate) from different Department of Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran. The data were collected by standard Nordic questionnaire. We used the binary logistic regression in spss v.16 software to calculate odds ratios and confidence intervals, and chi-square and t tests to investigate the relationship between variables.
Results: The highest disorders were in the lower back (41%), shoulder (28%) and the lowest were to the elbow and forearm (5%). Among the different Departments, Health Department Staff (92.7%) and Food and Drug (92.5%) had the highest rate and Research Department had the least amount of disorders (70%). Among the variables, only age and body mass index were significantly associated with the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (P<0.05). The chances of developing musculoskeletal symptoms in people 22-29 years old compared to those older than 46 years, was 74% lower (OR=0.26 and P=0.03). Besides, chance for the Support staff Department to Research staff Department was 6 times higher (OR=5.96 and P=0.01).
Conclusion: Providing the necessary training courses about appropriate working postures and about consequences of weight gain can reduce the prevalence of these disorders. So according to the limitations of resources and as well as to preventing and reducing the prevalence of disorders, priority and focus should be on the employees Department of Health and Department of Food and Drug.
The aims of this study were to determine hippuric acid and toluene in urine samples, airborne toluene levels, health effects, and to describe any correlation between specimen samples. Seventy-five printing workers exposed to toluene at work (exposed group), and 60 nonexposed people (control group) were studied. Study participants were selected from same factories in the different positions. Urine samples were collected at the end of a shift and analyzed for hippuric acid, toluene in urine, and airborne toluene by using Gas Chromatograph (GC). The median of the 75 airborne toluene levels was 11.16 ppm (range, 3.72-68.83 ppm). The median of the urinary hippuric acid level was 200 mg/g creatinine (range, 78-1870 mg/g creatinine), and toluene in urine was 13 µg/L (range, 11-58 µg/L). A statistically significant positive correlation was found among airborne toluene exposure, hippuric acid levels, and urinary toluene levels (r= 0.713, P<0.001, and r= 0.738, P<0.001, respectively) and the relationship between toluene in urine levels and hippuric acid levels was significant (r=0.578, P<0.001). Workers with health effects were exposed to significantly higher toluene levels than those who did not (P < 0.05). Improvements in working conditions and occupational health education are required at these workplaces.
Assessment of the Effects of Different Sound Pressure Levels on Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions (DPOAEs) in Rats
Excessive exposure to noise can lead to Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. Otoacoustic emissions affect the microscopic biomechanical activities of healthy outer hair cells. The present study aimed at assessing the influence of various sound pressure levels on Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions (DPOAEs) in rats. To this end, 27 adult male rats with an age range of 3 to 4 months and a weight of 200 ± 50 g were randomly divided into nine groups of three. Three groups were considered as the control groups and the rest (i.e. Six groups) as the case groups. Rats of the case groups were exposed to sound pressure levels of 85, 95, and 105 dBA. White noise was used as the noise to which the rats were exposed. The signal to noise ratio (SNR) of otoacoustic emissions of rats’ ears was measured at different frequencies in an acoustic room using a DPOAE machine (4000 I/O manufactured by Homoth of Germany). The collected data were analyzed by the use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 18. The results of SNR measurement indicated that over 90% of the data had SNR values of 6dB or more. Furthermore, sound pressure level had a significant negative correlation with SNR, i.e. as the sound pressure level increased, the SNR declined (p<0.001). There was also a significant negative correlation between exposure time and SNR, meaning that increase in the exposure time led to decline in the SNR (p=0.008). It is thus concluded that higher sound pressure levels result in decrease in DPOAE levels.
Organizations and companies have realized that HSE management is an integral and vital part of modern factories and organizations. Developing HSE processes requires performance assessment, for which defining appropriate indicators is a necessity. As a result of the non-deterministic nature of performance indicators, assessments are prone to influence from the personal judgments by the evaluators. This study aims to present a performance assessment model for HSE in fuzzy environments in the smelting industry. A questionnaire is used to conduct the study in one of the biggest steel production units in Iran. The results revealed that, in the areas of health, safety, and environment, control of disease, fire hazards, and air pollution are of paramount importance, with coefficients of 0.057, 0.062, and 0.054, respectively. Furthermore, health and environment indicators were found to be the most common causes of poor performance. Finally, it was shown that HSE management systems can affect the majority of performance safety indicators the short run, whereas health and environment indicators require longer periods of time.
Ergonomic Evaluation of Musculoskeletal Disorders in Construction Workers Using Posture, Activity, Tools, Handling (PATH) Method
Introduction: Musculoskeletal disorders are the major causes of occupational diseases in the work places and they are the most important cause of disability and absenteeism. For the prevention of these disorders and improvement of working, it is necessary to use ergonomics assessment techniques. This study aimed to assess ergonomic risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders in construction workers in Gonabad, Iran, using Postur, Activity, Tools, Handling (PATH) method.
Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive– analytical study conducted on 72 construction workers in three groups of jobs including brickwork, joinery and foundation in Gonabad, Iran. Sampling was done randomly. Workplace ergonomic assessment was conducted using PATH method and data analysis was performed by SPSS 20 statistical software and presented with descriptive statics.
Results: The mean age of participants was 30.44± 10.21 yr, and the average work experience was 9.26 ±7.20 yr. Legs status assessment showed that neutral state labors make up about 46% of the time. In most jobs, about 39% of labors work in a neutral position and about 50% of labors bear more than 15 kg weight during their work, and about 96% of labors spent their time working with elbows above their shoulder.
Conclusion: Mostly, in time of working, trunk state of construction workers was in a non-neutral posture and construction workers are exposed to musculoskeletal disorders. Thus, it is necessary to conduct more studies on these topics in order to prevent musculoskeletal disorders.
It is essential to make urban spaces usable for a wide range of citizens, including aged people. This study was carried out in Sari, the center of Mazandaran Province, northern Iran in 2013 to prioritize five urban parks of the city using Fuzzy-AHP method in terms of three pre-defined criteria, including safety, security, and environmental health. Firstly, the criteria and alternatives were defined using Delphi technique and random sampling, and then the questionnaires were designed. The questionnaires were filled by a group of 10 experts and their consistencies were assessed by the Expert Choice software. Finally, criteria and alternatives` total weights were calculated. Among all the cases, Keshavarz, Aftab, and Ghaem parks were ranked first to third, respectively; however, Shahrdari and Koosha both occupied the fourth place. Aged adults as one of the vulnerable groups of the society need an appropriate plan for which not only reduces many unnecessary social and economic costs but it has also co-benefits for the other members of the society.