Fire fighting, police, prisons and the armed forces - 407 entries found
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Infection hazards among fighters
Sapeurs-pompiers et risque infectieux [in French]
Short report of a one-day conference on biological hazards among firefighters, held in Aix-en-Provence, France, 8 June 2011. In France, 249,000 firefighters carry out more than four million interventions each year, of which it is estimated that 70% involve an infection hazard. Speakers included biological hazard experts, particularly on the chain of infection and vaccinations. Topics addressed also included accident analysis and feedback by safety and health professionals involved with firefighters and police officers.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, Dec. 2011, No.128, p.637-646. 4 ref.
Sapeurs-pompiers_et_risque_infectieux_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in French]
Michel X., Bohand S., G. Gagna, Lacoste A., Géraut L., Rivière F., Renard C., Laroche P.
Occupational hydrogen cyanide poisoning among firefighters: A myth or a fact?
Intoxications cyanhydriques professionnelles des pompiers: mythe ou réalité? [in French]
During fires involving buildings or work premises, firefighters are exposed to hydrogen cyanide formed by the decomposition of plastics or natural products, particularly if clearing operations are carried out without respirators. Atmospheric sampling of cyanides and carbon monoxide was performed after 82 urban fires during clearing and cleaning operations. Median values were consistently below occupational threshold limit values. In some cases however (such as fires in clothing stores), concentrations may exceed these limits. Acute hydrogen cyanide poisoning is an emergency requiring hydroxocobalamine to be available in the emergency response vehicles.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, Dec. 2011, No.128, p.603-614. Illus. 32 ref.
Intoxications_cyanhydriques_professionnelles_des_pompiers.pdf [in French]
Adetona O., Dunn K., Hall D.B., Achtemeier G., Stock A., Naeher L.P.
Personal PM2.5 exposure among wildland firefighters working at prescribed forest burns in Southeastern United States
This study investigated occupational exposure to smoke in a group of 28 forest firefighters at prescribed forest fires in the southeastern United States during the winters of 2003-2005. During burn activities, 203 individual person-day PM2.5 and 149 individual person-day CO samples were collected; during non-burn activities, 37 person-day PM2.5 samples were collected as controls. Time-activity diaries and post-work shift questionnaires were administered to identify factors influencing smoke exposure and to determine how accurately the firefighters' qualitative assessment estimated their personal level of smoke exposure. Findings are discussed. Overall occupational exposures to particulate matter were low, but results indicate that exposure could exceed the ACGIH-recommended threshold limit value of 3 mg/m3 for respirable particulate matter in a few extreme situations. Self-assessed exposure levels agreed with measured concentrations of PM2.5. Correlation analysis shows that either PM2.5 or CO could be used as a surrogate measure of exposure to smoke during forest fires.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Aug. 2011, Vol.8, No.8, p.503-511. Illus. 34 ref.
Personal_PM2.5_exposure_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
Katica C.P., Pritchett R.C., Pritchett K.L., Del Pozzi A.T., Balilionis G., Burnham T.
Effects of forearm vs. leg submersion in work tolerance time in a hot environment while wearing firefighter protective clothing
This study compared physiological responses and total work tolerance time following forearm submersion (FS) or leg submersion (LS) in cool water, after performing work in a hot environment while wearing firefighting protective clothing (FPC). Participants walked at 3.5 mph on a treadmill in a hot environment until a rectal temperature of 38.5°C was reached. They were then subjected to one of two peripheral cooling interventions, in a counterbalanced order. Forearms or lower legs were submerged in water (16.9±0.8°C) for 20 min, followed by a work tolerance trial. Findings are discussed. There was little difference between FS and LS for physiological measures. Despite a lack of statistical significance a 5-min (24%) increase was found for work tolerance time following LS.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Aug. 2011, Vol.8, No.8, p.473-477. Illus. 18 ref.
Effects_of_forearm_vs._leg_submersion_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
Marchand A., Boyer R., Nadeau C., Martin M.
Predictive factors for the development of post-traumatic stress disorder following a critical accident involving police officers -Prospective study
Facteurs prévisionnels du développement de l'état de stress post-traumatique à la suite d'un événement traumatique chez les policiers -Volet prospectif [in French]
After having shown in an earlier study that Quebec police officers are not more susceptible than the general population to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) even though they are potentially at higher risk of being exposed to traumatic events (TEs), this second study established that the symptoms associated with PTSD development in police officers can be reduced or prevented with specific and adapted interventions. The risk factors are mainly that they experience, during or after the event, dissociation, intense emotional and physical reactions, acute stress, depressive symptoms or even the avoidance of any form of emotion. Rapid intervention with a police officer shortly after the TE as well as in the following weeks increases the chances of preventing the development of PTSD. Eighty-three male and female Quebec police officers, all involved in a major event, voluntarily participated in this prospective study. The study shows that police officers use various means and strategies of adaptation to deal with a critical event at work. Talking about it with their colleagues, obtaining their support, and having leisure activities are aspects that help them, particularly after a traumatic event. The police officers even advise their coworkers to consult a psychologist and are themselves open to the idea of receiving such support.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2011. viii, 74p. Illus. 169 ref.
Facteurs_prévisionnels_du_développement_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in French]
Vu-Khanh T., Dolez P., Nguyen C.T., Gauvin C., Lara J.
Glove resistance to needle puncture - Development of a test method
Résistance des gants à la piqûre par les aiguilles - Mise au point d'une méthode d'essai [in French]
At the request of sector-based associations and three workplaces at risk of needle-stick injuries, namely police officers, officers in correctional facilities and blue collar workers, the IRSST developed a test method for determining the resistance of protective gloves against needle pricks. The project involved taking into consideration the impact of needle characteristics, including their sharp points, in order to define prick resistance. Various models of protective gloves were then evaluated to determine which performed the best by measuring their resistance to three types of mechanical agents: pricks by medical needles, puncture and cutting. The report recommends the most suitable gloves according to the type of use.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2011. xvi, 103p. Illus. 78 ref.
Résistance_des_gants_à_la_piqûre_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in French]
Baur D.M., Christophi C.A., Tsismenakis A.J., Cook E.F., Kales S.N.
Cardiorespiratory fitness predicts cardiovascular risk profiles in career firefighters
The objective of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the association between cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in firefighters. It involved 968 male career firefighters. Cardiorespiratory fitness was measured by maximal exercise tolerance tests. Cardiovascular disease risk parameters included body composition, resting vital signs, and metabolic profiles. Higher metabolic equivalents categories were significantly associated with lower diastolic blood pressure, body fat, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and total/high-density cholesterol ratio, and higher high-density lipoprotein. Firefighters should be encouraged to increase their CRF to decrease their future risk of CVD.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2011, Vol.53, No.10, p.1155-1160. 37 ref.
Cardiorespiratory_fitness_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
ILO_LABORDOC_[INTRANET_ACCESS] [in English]
Guest M., D'Este C., Attia J., Boggess M., Brown A., Tavener M., Gibson R., Gardner I., Harrex W., Ross J.
Impairment of color vision in aircraft maintenance workers
The purpose of this study was to examine possible persisting effects to colour vision in a group from the Royal Australian Air Force who had exposure to formulations containing neurotoxins during fighter aircraft fuel tank maintenance, relative to two contemporaneous comparison groups. Colour vision was tested in 512 exposed personnel, 458 technical-trade comparisons, and 330 non-technical comparisons. Regression models were used to examine whether there was an association between colour vision deficiencies and fuel tank maintenance, adjusting for possible confounders. Logistic regression demonstrated statistically significant differences in the colour confusion index in the exposed group versus the technical group (odds ratio 1.7) and a blue-yellow confusion in the exposed group versus the technical group (odds ratio 1.4). No differences were observed between the exposed group and the non-technical group. Possible implications of these findings are discussed.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Oct. 2011, Vol.84, No.7, p.723-733. Illus. 50 ref.
Impairment_of_color_vision_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Wright B.R., Barbosa-Leiker C., Hoekstra T.
Law enforcement officer versus non-law enforcement officer status as a longitudinal predictor of traditional and emerging cardiovascular risk factors
The objective of this study was to determine whether law enforcement officer (LEO) status and perceived stress are longitudinal predictors of traditional and inflammatory cardiovascular (CV) risk factors. Linear hierarchical regression was employed to investigate the longitudinal (more than seven years) relationship between occupational category (LEO as opposed to non-LEO) and perceived stress scale scores, and traditional and inflammatory CV risk factors in an all-male sample of 105 LEOs and 65 non-LEOs. The occupational status of LEOs, compared with that of non-LEOs, predicted higher levels of C-reactive protein, systolic blood pressure, body mass index and waist circumference. Perceived stress across occupational categories was directly associated with diastolic blood pressure and waist circumference and inversely with fibrinogen. Perceived stress did not interact with occupational category to predict any risk factor. Traditional and inflammatory risk factors, but not perceived stress, appear to contribute to elevated CV risk among LEOs.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, July 2011, Vol.53, No.7, p.730-734. 38 ref.
Law_enforcement_officer_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
ILO_LABORDOC_[INTRANET_ACCESS] [in English]
Morse T., Dussetschleger J., Warren N., Cherniack M.
Talking about health - Correction employees' assessments of obstacles to healthy living
The objective of this study was to describe health risks and obstacles to health among correctional employees. It involved combining the results from four focus groups, 10 interviews, 335 surveys and 197 physical assessments. Obesity levels were higher than national averages (40.7% overweight and 43.3% obese), with higher levels associated with job tenure, male gender, and working off-shift. Despite widespread concern about the lack of fitness, leisure exercise was higher than national norms. Respondents had higher levels of hypertension than national norms, with 31% of men and 25.8% of women hypertensive compared with 17.1% and 15.1% for national norms. Stress levels were elevated. Officers related their stress to concerns about security, administrative requirements, and work/family imbalance. High stress levels are reflected in elevated levels of hypertension. Correctional employees are at high risk for chronic disease, and environmental changes are needed to reduce risk factors.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2011, Vol.53, No.9, p.1037-1045. Illus. 51 ref.
Talking_about_health_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
Carey M.G., Al-Zaiti S.S., Dean G.E., Sessanna L., Finnell D.S.
Sleep problems, depression, substance use, social bonding, and quality of life in professional firefighters
Little attention has been given to factors contributing to firefighters' well-being. The purpose of this descriptive study was to examine such contributing factors in a sample of 112 professional firefighters. Overall, many firefighters reported sleep deprivation (59%), binge drinking behavior (58%), poor mental well-being (21%), current nicotine use (20%), hazardous drinking behavior (14%), depression (11%), poor physical well-being (8%), caffeine overuse (5%) and poor social bonding (4%). Small-to-medium correlations were identified between sleep deprivation, depression, physical/mental well-being and drinking behaviors. High-risk behaviors that impact psychosomatic well-being are prevalent in professional firefighters, which require environmental and individual-based health promotion interventions.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2011, Vol.53, No.8, p.928-933. Illus. 31 ref.
Sleep_problems_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
Greubel J., Kecklund G.
The impact of organizational changes on work stress, sleep, recovery and health
The study objective was to investigate the impact of various types of organizational changes, as well as anticipation of such changes, on work-related stress, sleep, recovery and health. It was hypothesized that impaired sleep and recovery increase the adverse health consequences of organizational changes. The data consisted of cross sectional questionnaire data from a random sample of 1,523 employees in the Swedish police force. It could be shown that extensive organizational changes including downsizing or a change in job tasks were associated with a small increase in work stress, disturbed sleep, incomplete recovery and health complaints. However, less extensive organizational changes such as relocation did not affect these outcome variables. Anticipation of extensive organizational changes had almost the same effect as actual changes. Furthermore a moderating effect of sleep and work stress on gastrointestinal complaints and depressive symptoms was found.
Industrial Health, May 2011, Vol.49, No.3, p.353-364. Illus. 37 ref.
The_impact_of_organizational_changes_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Gollion A., Provini G., Valente L., Cordat M.F., Mullot J.U., Bousquet A.
15-year compressed air analysis at a French Navy laboratory in Toulon
Quinze années d'analyse d'air comprimé au sein du laboratoire de la Marine de Toulon [in French]
Breathing compressed air is a common practice for many professionals. Among them, French Navy personnel uses compressed air for diving and operations conducted in polluted environments (closed respiratory systems). The Navy has implemented a monitoring plan for several decades to limit chemical toxicity risks associated with compressed air usage. Laboratories offering expert surveys are a key component of this programme. This article's main aim is to present compressed air analysis results obtained over the last 15 years by the Naval expert survey and surveillance laboratory (LASEM) in Toulon. This retrospective analysis shows in particular that the overall non-compliance rate is less than 10%, excluding humidity measurements, despite the very stringent standards. Prospects for improving analytical services are proposed for guaranteeing better assessment of compressed air-related chemical risks.
Cahiers de notes documentaires - Hygiène et sécurité du travail, 3rd quarter 2011, No.224, p.3-8. Illus. 15 ref.
Balasubramanian V., Dutt A., Rai S.
Analysis of muscle fatigue in helicopter pilots
Helicopter pilots espouse ergonomically unfavourable postures and endure vibrations which result in low back pain. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of a helicopter flight on pilots back and shoulder muscles using surface electromyography (sEMG) analysis. This study also correlates low back pain symptoms from Rehabilitation Bioengineering Group Pain Scale (RBGPS) questionnaire with muscle fatigue rates obtained. RBGPS was administered on 20 Indian Coast Guard helicopter pilots. sEMG was acquired before and after flight from erector spinae and trapezius muscles in 8 of these 20 pilots. Statistical analysis of time and frequency domain parameters indicated significant fatigue in right trapezius muscle due to flying. Muscle fatigue correlated with average duration of flight, total service as pilot, pain and total flying hours. However, muscle fatigue weakly correlated with body mass index.
Applied Ergonomics, Nov. 2011, Vol.42, No.6, p.913-918. Illus. 24 ref.
Knapik J.J., Spiess A., Swedler D., Grier T., Hauret K., Yoder J., Jones B.H.
Retrospective examination of injuries and physical fitness during Federal Bureau of Investigation new agent training
A retrospective examination of injuries, physical fitness and their association was conducted among Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) new agent trainees. Injuries and activities associated with injuries were obtained from a review of medical records in the medical clinic that served the new agents. A physical fitness test (PFT) was administered at Weeks 1, 7 and 14 of the 17-week new agent training course. The PFT consisted of push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, a 300-meter sprint, and a 1.5-mile run. Injury data were available from 2000 to 2008 and fitness data were available from 2004 to early 2009. During the survey period, 37% of men and 44% of women experienced one or more injuries during the new agent training course. The most common injury diagnoses were musculoskeletal pain (27%), strains (11%), sprains (10%), contusions (9%), and abrasions/lacerations (9%). Activities associated with injury included defensive tactics training (48%), physical fitness training (26%), physical fitness testing (6%), and firearms training (6%). Over a 6-year period, there was little difference in performance of push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, or the 300-meter sprint; 1.5-mile run performance was higher in recent years. Among both men and women, higher injury incidence was associated with lower performance on any of the physical fitness measures.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 2011, 6:26, 29p. Illus. 38 ref.
Retrospective_examination.pdf [in English]
Bridger R.S., Brasher K., Dew A., Kilminster S.
Job stressors in naval personnel serving on ships and in personnel serving ashore over a twelve month period
Sixty one percent of United Kingdom Navy respondents to a questionnaire survey of occupational stress (Phase I) returned follow-up questionnaires twelve months later (Phase II). The questionnaires measured psychological strain resulting from exposure to occupational stressors and measured the presence of stress buffers and demographic, psychological and lifestyle-related confounding factors, including age, rank and gender, mood state and the occurrence of stressful life events outside of work. The prevalence of strain was 31% at Phase I and 33% at Phase II. Fifty percent of personnel had no strain on either occasion, 15% had strain on both occasions and the remainder had strain on one occasion. The main stressor associated with strain at Phase I was an inability to disengage from work and this stressor accounted for a greater proportion of the variance in strain in personnel serving on ships than those serving ashore. The twelve-month follow-up questionnaire (Phase II) re-assessed psychological strain. A multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to identify factors measured at Phase I that predicted strain at Phase II in previously strain-free individuals. A lack of autonomy and control and dissatisfaction with living conditions predicted strain twelve months later in those serving on ships. Of the living conditions assessed, lack of privacy was the most strongly associated with strain twelve months later in those serving on ships. These stressors were not associated with strain twelve months later in those serving ashore. The findings suggest that improvements to the design of the environment on ships may have benefits for the psychological health of personnel.
Applied Ergonomics, July 2011, Vol.42, No.5, p.710-718. Illus. 28 ref.
Chou C., Tochihara Y., Ismail M.S., Lee J.Y.
Physiological strains of wearing aluminized and non-aluminized firefighters' protective clothing during exercise in radiant heat
This study examined the influences of aluminized and non-aluminized firefighters' protective clothing on physiological and subjective responses in radiant heat. Eight firefighters performed exercise at an air temperature of 30°C with 50%RH. Three bouts of 10 min-bicycle exercise in radiant heat (a globe temperature of 70°C) were spaced by a 10 min rest with no radiant heat. Results showed that rectal temperature, mean skin temperature, heart rate, and body weight loss were significantly greater for the aluminized clothing than for all types of non-aluminized clothing. For the aluminized clothing, thermal gradient of the body reached 0.0 ± 0.7°C, heart rate showed a maximum level of 183 ± 11 bpm and 1.9% of body weight was lost due to sweat secretion. Firefighters felt the hottest and most discomfort in the aluminized clothing. It appeared that firefighters' thermoregulatory mechanism was severely challenged by wearing aluminized protective clothing during exercise in strong radiant heat. Therefore, it is suggested that the safe upper limits while wearing aluminized firefighters' clothing should be distinguished from those for typical firefighters' protective clothing.
Industrial Health, Mar. 2011, Vol.49, No.2, p.185-194. Illus. 35 ref.
Physiological_strains.pdf [in English]
Webb T.S., Wells T.S.
Civil engineering airman at increased risk for injuries and injury-related musculoskeletal disorders
The purpose of this study was to examine the United States Air Force Civil Engineering career field to determine if they are negatively impacted by their work environment. Specifically, the objective of this study was to determine if 25,385 enlisted civil engineering airmen were at increased risk for injury or injury-related musculoskeletal disorders compared to 28,947 enlisted information management/communications airmen. Using an historical prospective design, electronic data were assembled and analyzed using Cox's proportional hazards modelling. Models were stratified by gender and adjusted for race/ethnicity, marital status, birth year and deployment status. Male civil engineers were observed to be at greater risk for both inpatient injury-related musculoskeletal disorders (HR 1.86) and injuries (HR 1.77), while female civil engineers were more than double the risk for both inpatient injury-related musculoskeletal disorders (HR 2.18) and injuries (HR 2.22) compared to information management/communications airmen. Based on these results, additional resources were allocated to survey civil engineers on their physical work demands and job requirements to identify key problem areas for further study and mitigation.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.248-254. 26 ref.
Greubel J., Kecklund G.
The impact of organizational changes on work stress, sleep, recovery and health
The study objective was to investigate the impact of various kinds of organizational changes, as well as anticipation of such changes, on work-related stress, sleep, recovery and health. It was hypothesized that impaired sleep and recovery increase the adverse health consequences of organizational changes. In this cross-sectional study, data were collected by means of questionnaires from a random sample of 1,523 employees in the Swedish police force. It was found that extensive organizational changes including downsizing or a change in job tasks were associated with a small increase in work stress, disturbed sleep, incomplete recovery and health complaints. However, less extensive organizational changes such as relocation did not affect these outcome variables. Anticipation of extensive organizational changes had almost the same effect as actual changes. The implications of these and other findings are discussed.
Industrial Health, 2011, Vol.49, p.353-364. Illus. 37 ref.
The_impact.pdf [in English]
Greven F.E., Rooyackers J.M., Kerstjens H.A., Heederik D.J.
Respiratory symptoms in firefighters
The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with respiratory symptoms among firefighters in the Netherlands. A total of 1330 firefighters from the municipal fire brigades of three provinces of the Netherlands were administered a Dutch version of the European Community Respiratory Health Survey questionnaire. General respiratory symptoms were associated with the number of fires fought in the last 12 months with odds ratios between 1.2 and 1.4 per 25 fires. A strong association was found between an inhalation incident and present respiratory symptoms with odds ratios between 1.7 and 3.0. Adjustments for smoking, sex, atopy and age did not change any of the associations. It is recommended that firefighters be made aware of these elevated healthcare risks associated with exposure to fire smoke and where possible supplied with self-contained respirators.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.350-355. 28 ref.
Williams W.J., Coca A., Roberge R., Shepherd A., Powell J., Shaffer R.E.
Physiological responses to wearing a prototype firefighter ensemble compared with a standard ensemble
This study investigated the physiological responses to wearing a standard firefighter ensemble (SE) and a prototype ensemble (PE) modified from the SE that contained additional features, such as magnetic ring enclosures at the glove-sleeve interface, integrated boot-pant interface, integrated hood-SCBA facepiece interface, and a novel hose arrangement that rerouted self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) exhaust gases back into the upper portion of the jacket. Although the features of the PE increased the level of encapsulation of the wearer that could lead to increased physiological stress compared with the SE, it was hypothesized that the rerouted exhaust gases provided by the PE hose assembly would provide convective cooling to the upper torso, reduce the thermal stress experienced by the wearer and reduce the overall physiological stress imposed by the PE such that it would be either less or not significantly different from the SE. Ten subjects (seven male, three female) performed treadmill exercise in an environmental chamber while wearing either the SE with an SCBA or the PE with an SCBA. Heart rate, rectal temperature, sweat loss, and endurance time were measured. It was concluded that the rerouting of exhaust gases to the jacket did not provide significant convective cooling or reduce thermal stress compared with the SE under the mild conditions selected, and the data therefore did not support the hypotheses of the present study.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Jan. 2011, Vol.8, p.49-57. Illus. 37 ref.
Compassion fatigue: experiences in occupational health, human resources, counselling and police
This study examines the impact that working with distressed employees, clients and members of the public has on four caring professions: occupational health advisors (OHAs), human resource advisors (HRs), counsellors (CLs) and family liaison officers (FLOs). Data were collected by means of questionnaires from 276 professionals (64 HRs, 53 OHAs, 114 CLs and 45 FLOs). There were few differences in the level of negative beliefs between groups, although CLs were found to experience more feelings of isolation and FLOs and CLs were more likely to believe that there was no justice in the world. OHAs, CLs and FLOs were significantly more likely to demonstrate personal growth than HRs. Reflection on the work facilitated through professional or peer supervision and a healthy lifestyle was found to be associated with higher levels of personal growth and satisfaction with their performance at work.
Occupational Medicine, Mar. 2010, Vol.60, No.2, p.133-138. 19 ref.
Compassion_fatigue_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Cowlishaw S., Evans L., McLennan J.
Work-family conflict and crossover in volunteer emergency service workers
A growing body of literature indicates that organizational and work demands place pressure on the partners and families of volunteer workers, as it does on paid workers. This study evaluated a conceptual model integrating work-family conﬂict and stress crossover theoretical frameworks, to investigate the mechanisms by which emergency service volunteer work predicts outcomes for the partners of volunteers. Matched data from 102 couples in which one partner was an Australian emergency services volunteer (fire-fighter, ambulance officer or emergency rescue volunteer) were analyzed using structural equation modelling. Findings suggested that one mechanism by which inter-role conflict related to partner adjustment was through elevated withdrawn marital behaviour and decreased intimacy reported by the couple, which indirectly affected partners' distress. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Work and Stress, 3rd quarter 2010, Vol.24, No.3, p.342-358. Illus. 59 ref.
Work-family_conflict.pdf [in English]
Cáceres Armendáriz P.
Protective clothing for wildland firefighters
Ropa de protección para bomberos forestales [in Spanish]
This technical note describes the requirements for protective clothing worn by wildland firefighters: design adapted to firefighting; ergonomics (permeability to sweat); protection against radiant heat and heat resistance; resistance to mechanical stress; high visibility in smoke (fluorescent marks); appropriate labelling.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2010. 4p. Illus. 7 ref.
NTP_867.pdf [in Spanish]
Juniper B., White N., Bellamy P.
A new approach to evaluating the well-being of police
Although police forces are under increasing pressure to improve efficiency and productivity, the evaluation of well-being in law enforcement is mostly restricted to self-report stress questionnaires that are based on questionable construction methodologies. No instrument to specifically determine the well-being of police force employees currently exists. The objective of this study was to construct an instrument that measures the work-related well-being of officers and staff within a police force. The approach was drawn from well-established clinical models used to evaluate the well-being of patients. Potential variables were confirmed using an item selection method known as impact analysis that places keen emphasis on frequency and importance as perceived by the respondents themselves. Analyses of 822 completed response sets showed that nine separate dimensions of police work can adversely affect well-being (advancement, facilities, home-work interface, job, physical health, psychological health, relationships, organizational and workload). Overall, officers showed inferior well-being compared with their colleagues. Content validity and adequate internal reliability were confirmed.
Occupational Medicine, Oct. 2010, Vol.60, No.7, p.560-565. Illus. 21 ref.
Dunleavy K., Taylor A., Gow J., Cullen B., Roy K.
Management of blood and body fluid exposures in police staff
Police service staff are at risk of occupational exposure to blood and body fluids with the consequent risk of blood-borne virus (BBV) infections. The objective of this study was to examine the types of occupational exposure incidents experienced by Scottish police service staff and to evaluate the post-incident management provided by their occupational health services. Data were collected on the circumstances and the post-incident management of each incident reported to occupational health services over 12 months. An expert panel reviewed the post-incident management provided by the occupational health service. The panel considered that the majority of cases of occupational exposure incurred little or no risk of BBV transmission. In general, the expert panel assessed the post-incident management provided by the occupational health service units serving the police as adequate and appropriate. However, some concerns were raised in relation to a small number of incorrect risk assessments and an inconsistent approach to hepatitis C virus follow-up blood testing.
Occupational Medicine, Oct. 2010, Vol.60, No.7, p.540-545. Illus. 22 ref.
Bevan A., Houdmont J., Menear N.
The management standards indicator tool and the estimation of risk
The indicator tool of the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) in the United Kingdom offers a measure of exposure to psychosocial work conditions that may be linked to stress-related outcomes. The HSE recommends that indicator tool data should be used as a basis for discussions concerned with the identification of psychosocial work conditions that might warrant prioritization for intervention. However, operational constraints may render discussions difficult to convene and when they do occur, the absence of information on risks associated with exposures can make it difficult to identify intervention priorities. The objective of this study was to examine the utility of the indicator tool for the identification of a manageable number of psychosocial work conditions as intervention candidates and to assess whether administration of a measure of stress-related outcomes alongside the indicator tool can facilitate the identification of intervention priorities. One thousand and thirty-eight employees in the London region of the Prison Service completed the indicator tool and a measure of psychological well-being. Odds ratios were calculated to estimate the risk of impairment to well-being associated with exposure to psychosocial work conditions. The indicator tool identified 34 psychosocial work conditions as warranting improvement. Intervention priority was given to those working conditions that were both reported to be poor by ≥50% of respondents and associated with risk of impairment to well-being. This method allowed for the identification of four areas for priority intervention.
Occupational Medicine, Oct. 2010, Vol.60, No.7, p.525-531. 24 ref.
The life-saving effectiveness of body armor for police officers
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of protective body armour on a police officer's risk of being killed and estimate the benefits and costs of outfitting police with body armour. In the United States, for the 262 cases of police being shot in the torso from 2004 to 2007, the study calculates the relative risk of death from a gunshot without and with body armour. The benefit of body armour is estimated using the willingness-to-pay approach and compares it with the cost of supplying armour to police not currently wearing armour. The results show that the relative risk of dying without armour is 3.4. Outfitting all police with armour would save at least 8.5 lives per year, resulting in a benefit that is nearly twice the cost, or a net benefit of approximately USD100/officer.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Oct. 2010, Vol.7, p.557-562. Illus. 23 ref.
Allen J.A., Baran B.E., Scott C.W.
After-action reviews: A venue for the promotion of safety climate
This study investigated the role of after-action reviews on perceptions of safety climate at the group and organizational levels. Moderated and mediated regression analyses of data from 67 firefighting crews suggest that after-action review frequency positively influenced both levels of safety climate. Safety-oriented group norms fully mediated the relationship between after-action review frequency and group-level safety climate. Fire-station busyness moderated the relationship between after-action review frequency and organizational-level safety climate, such that the relationship was non-existent for highly busy stations. These findings suggest that after-action reviews constitute a specific venue through which managers can promote safety climate in high-risk environments.
Accident Analysis and Prevention, Mar. 2010, Vol.42, No.2, p.750-757. Illus. 60 ref.
Preventing death and injuries of fire fighters operating modified excess/surplus vehicles
Fire fighters may be at risk for crash-related injuries while operating excess and other surplus vehicles that have been modified for fire service use. This information sheet summarizes the recommendations to prevent injuries and deaths while operating these vehicles.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-2001, USA, Dec. 2010. Internet document, PDF format, 3p. Illus. 10 ref.
DHHS_(NIOSH)_Publication_No.2011-125.pdf [in English]
Preventing deaths and injuries of fire fighters using risk management principles at structure fires
Prevención de muertes y lesiones de bomberos mediante el uso de principios de gestión de riesgos en incendios de estructuras [in Spanish]
Fire fighters are often killed or injured when fighting fires in abandoned, vacant or unoccupied structures. These structures pose additional and sometimes unique risks due to the potential for fire fighters to encounter unexpected and unsafe building conditions such as dilapidation, decay, damage from previous fires and vandals, and other factors such as uncertain occupancy status. Risk management principles must be applied at all structure fires to ensure the appropriate strategy and tactics are used based on the conditions encountered.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-2010, USA, July 2010. 21p. Illus. 43 ref.
DHHS_(NIOSH)_Publication_No.2010-153.pdf [in English]
DHHS_(NIOSH)_Publication_No.2010-153.pdf [in Spanish]
Baxter C.S., Ross C.S., Fabian T., Borgerson J.L., Shawon J., Gandhi P.D., Dalton J.M., Lockey J.E.
Ultrafine particle exposure during fire suppression - Is it an important contributory factor for coronary heart disease in firefighters?
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the primary cause of death among United States firefighters during fire suppression. In other populations, exposure to respirable particles, including ultrafine particles, has been widely implicated as a risk factor for CHD. This study is the first to report detailed characterization of respirable particles released by combustion of an automobile and laboratory models of residential structures under firefighter exposure conditions. Ultrafine particles accounted for over 70% of particles in all fire suppression stages, occurring in concentrations exceeding background by factors between two (automobile) and 400 (bedroom), consistent among all structures. Exposure to ultrafine particles during fire suppression should be considered a potential contributing factor for CHD in firefighters. Of major significance is their predominance during overhaul, where firefighters frequently remove respiratory protection.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2010, Vol.52, No.8, p.791-796. Illus. 47 ref.
Ultrafine_particle_exposure.pdf [in English]
Leffer M., Grizzell T.
Implementation of a physician-organized wellness regime (POWR) enforcing the 2007 NFPA standard 1582: Injury rate reduction and associated cost savings
The aim of this study was to determine the effects of a physician-organized wellness regime (POWR) on a cohort of firefighters, while applying the 2007 National Fire Protection Association Standard 1582. A prospective evaluation of the POWR was carried out by comparing baseline with postintervention injury rate data among 252 Maryland firefighters, with an analysis of return on investment. After implementation of POWR, the fire department showed a 40% reduction in recordable injuries during year 1, which increased to 60% during year 2. Return on investment was shown to be 4.6:1 by the second year. Moreover, the subpopulation of overweight firefighters showed statistically significant weight loss during the intervention period. It is concluded that a specific type of wellness initiative as POWR can lead to substantial cost savings from an injury-sparing perspective alone and has potential to decrease cardiac risk factors among a high-risk population of firefighters.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mar. 2010, Vol.52, No.3, p.336-339. 28 ref.
Arial M., Gonik V., Wild P., Danuser B.
Association of work related chronic stressors and psychiatric symptoms in a Swiss sample of police officers; a cross-sectional questionnaire study
The objectives of this cross-sectional study were to identify work-related stressors associated with psychiatric symptoms in a Swiss sample of policemen and to develop a model for identifying officers at risk for developing mental health problems. A total of 354 male police officers answered a questionnaire assessing a wide spectrum of work related stressors. Psychiatric symptoms were assessed using the "TST questionnaire". Logistic regression with backward procedure was used to identify a set of variables collectively associated with high scores for psychiatric symptoms. A total of 42 (11.9%) officers had a high score for psychiatric symptoms. All potential stressors considered (lack of support, self perception of bad quality work, inadequate work schedule, high mental/intellectual demands, age and physical environment) were significantly associated with a high score for psychiatric symptoms. Implications of these findings are discussed.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Mar. 2010, Vol.83, No.3, p.323-331. 34 ref.
Boivin D.B., Tremblay G.M., Boudreau P.
Rotating shifts for police officers: Study on complementary preventive approaches for fatigue reduction
Les horaires rotatifs chez les policiers - Etude des approches préventives complémentaires de réduction de la fatigue [in French]
Rotating schedules put greater stress on the body than night work because they force the biological clock to constantly readapt to a new activity and sleep schedule. An earlier study showed that an intervention combining intermittent exposure to light therapy lamps during the night, wearing of dark spectacles in the morning and maintaining regular sleep hours during the day can significantly improve the adaptation of the biological rhythms of nurses working a regular night shift. This report describes a project aimed at testing these methods among 15 police officers assigned to rotating shifts. The improvements obtained were limited. Possible reasons for these findings are discussed.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2010. xi, 102p. Illus. 180 ref. Price: CAD 12.60. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
Rapport_R-659.pdf [in French]
Webb H.E., McMinn D.R., Garten R.S., Beckman J.L., Kamimori G.H., Acevedo E.O.
Cardiorespiratory responses of firefighters to a computerized fire strategies and tactics drill during physical activity
Firefighters are subjected to a combination of physical and mental challenges in the course of their occupational responsibilities. However, due to the ecological factors involved with firefighting, it makes it extremely difficult to examine physiological and psychological changes that occur as a result of these combined challenges. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of a computer-based Fire Strategies and Tactics Drill (FSTD) in eliciting psychological and physiological measures of stress in professional firefighters. The study involved 12 healthy firefighters from a metropolitan area of the United States. Participants responded to a medical history questionnaire and exercised under various conditions of oxygen consumption on a cycle ergometer. Findings are discussed. Results suggest that the FSTD provides an effective method for examining the physiological and psychological responses of firefighters in a research laboratory environment.
Applied Ergonomics, May 2010, Vol.41, No.4, p.376-381. Illus. 33 ref.
In search of the one
This article discusses the legal responsibilities of occupational safety and health professionals in the United Kingdom, and particularly their risk of being questioned by the police, under suspicion, arrested or even prosecuted in the event of fatalities or major injuries at a site deemed to fall within their scope of responsibility.
Safety and Health Practitioner, Aug. 2010, Vol.28, No.8, p.42-44. Illus.
Marchand A., Boyer R., Martin M., Nadeau C.
Predictive factors for the development of post-traumatic stress disorder following a traumatic event for police officers - Retrospective component
Facteurs prévisionnels du développement de l'état de stress post-traumatique à la suite d'un événement traumatique chez les policiers - Volet rétrospectif [in French]
Frequently exposed to traumatic events, some police officers are subject to post-traumatic stress disorder. The objective of this study was to evaluate the risk factors as well as the coping factors that facilitate the adaptation of these workers following their involvement in such events. It involved 169 volunteers from the Police Department of the City of Montreal, among whom 132 had been exposed to at least one traumatic event. Data were collected by means of interviews and questionnaires, and subjected to multivariate statistical analyses aimed at highlighting the main predictive factors. Findings are discussed.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2010. xi, 109p. Illus. 152 ref. Price: CAD 11.55. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
Ready for the streets. Future police officers
Fit machen für die Strasse: Die Polizisten von morgen [in German]
In forma per affrontare la strada: i poliziotti di domani [in Italian]
Prêts pour la rue. Les agents de police de demain [in French]
This article presents the training provided by the intercantonal police school in Hitzkirch, Switzerland. Trainees learn how to protect the population while at the same time protecting themselves.
Benefit, Aug. 2009, No.3, p.4-8. Illus. 1 ref.
http://suva.blaetterkatalog.ch/bk/ch/b5722/b572221x010/blaetterkatalog/blaetterkatalog/pdf/save/bk_1.pdf [in French]
http://suva.blaetterkatalog.ch/bk/ch/b5722/b572211x010/blaetterkatalog/blaetterkatalog/pdf/save/bk_1.pdf [in German]
http://suva.blaetterkatalog.ch/bk/ch/b5722/b572231x010/blaetterkatalog/blaetterkatalog/pdf/save/bk_1.pdf [in Italian]
Joseph P.N., Violanti J.M., Donahue R., Andrew M.E., Trevisan M., Burchfiel C.M., Dorn J.
Police work and subclinical atherosclerosis
Employment as an urban police officer is believed to be associated with increased structural subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD), measured by carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT). This case-control study involved 312 police officers and 318 persons selected within the general population, free of clinical CVD. Officers had elevated levels of age-adjusted CVD risk factors (blood pressure, total cholesterol, smoking prevalence) compared with the population sample. Police officers exhibited increased mean carotid IMT. The increased levels of atherosclerosis among police officers are not fully explained by elevated CVD risk factors, thereby potentially implicating other mechanisms.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2009, Vol.51, No.6, p.700-707. Illus. 33 ref.
Fire protection at the speed of light
This article describes the operations of the Fermilab National Laboratory in the United States, which includes the world's second most-powerful particle accelerator and collider housed in a tunnel nine metres below the surface. Acceleration is achieved through the use of powerful superconductor magnets, which in turn require low temperatures obtained in large equipments producing cryogenic liquids. Other substances present include hydrofluoric acid, hydrogen gas and various specific mixtures of flammable gases. The article discusses some of the specific aspects of the laboratory's fire safety organization.
NFPA Journal, May-June 2009, Vol.103, No.3, p.74-78.
Penfold C., Lewis J., Tennant R.
Health and Safety Executive
Attendance management in the Fire and Rescue Service
This study examined policy the policies and practices in managing sickness absence within the Fire and Rescue Service of the United Kingdom. The aim of the study was to understand the views and experiences of policies and practices among different types of staff, the degree to which policies and practices reflect recent recommendations, the barriers and facilitators to adopting recommended practices, and how policies and practices in attendance management might be improved.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2008, xv, 74p. Illus. 5 ref.
Report_RR632.pdf [in English]
Wildland firefighter health risks and respiratory protection
Risques pour la santé des pompiers forestiers et protection respiratoire [in French]
Wildland firefighters are exposed to a complex mixture of combustion products, vapours and irritant gases, carcinogens, inhalable particles and nanoparticles. They exert considerable effort in fighting fires and their work shifts are sometimes longer than 16 hours. Research has shown that their exposure to certain toxic products exceeds the permitted limits, at least some of the time, and that they can be affected by respiratory and neurological problems. This report describes the working conditions of wildland firefighters and the most hazardous substances for their health. It concludes that these workers must wear appropriate respirators and be aware of the efficiency and lifetime of filter cartridges. It furthermore recommends that current equipment be used in conjunction with a carbon monoxide detector.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2008. x, 80p. Illus. Approx. 200 ref. Price: CAD 12.60. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
Rapport_R-571.pdf [in French]
Wildland firefighter health risks and respiratory protection
Wildland firefighters are exposed to a complex mixture of combustion products, vapours and irritant gases, carcinogens, inhalable particles and nanoparticles. These workers exert considerable effort in fighting fires and their work shifts are sometimes longer than 16 hours. Research has shown that their exposure to certain toxic products exceeds the permitted limits, at least some of the time, and that they can be affected by respiratory and neurological problems. In the United States, the National Fire Protection Association is preparing a new respiratory protection standard for wildland firefighting. This report mainly describes the working conditions of wildland firefighters and the most hazardous substances for their health. It concludes that these workers must wear appropriate respirators and know the efficiency and lifetime of filter cartridges in their work context. It recommends that current equipment be used in conjunction with a carbon monoxide detector.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2008. ix, 78p. Illus. Approx. 200 ref. Price: CAD 12.60. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
Report_R-572.pdf [in English]
In the line of fire - Protecting emergency services personnel from feeling the heat
Using the case of a fire having erupted in an Australian winery, this article explains the importance of protecting firefighters and volunteers not only from the fire itself, but also from the release of dangerous substances and from the high level of heat radiated by the fire. The conclusions of the investigations carried out after the fire are discussed, including the importance of carrying out regular hazard evaluations, training workers in emergency procedures, storing hazardous substances in dedicated areas and making the layout of the premises available and clearly visible to firefighting personnel.
National Safety - The Magazine of the National Safety Council of Australia, Apr. 2008, Vol.79, No.3, p.16-23. Illus.
Occupational stress: The emerging threat to police officers
Historically, stress has been seen as a major contributor to the many psychosocial problems faced by police officers. Traditional views have often held that the street duties of police officers were the main factor in the development of psychological distress. More recent views indicate that the police organization may be an increasing factor in police stress, leading to a range of mental health issues and, in some cases, suicide. Poor management and administrative practices, routine workplace events and workplace conflict are all major concerns for police officers, their families and, ultimately, the community that they serve. This article discusses human, financial and legal considerations of stress among police officers in Australia.
Journal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand, Dec. 2008, Vol.24, No.6, p.553-561. 54 ref.
Violanti J.M., Charles L.E., Hartley T.A., Mnatsakanova A., Andrew M.E., Fekedulegn D., Vila B., Burchfiel C.M.
Shift-work and suicide ideation among police officers
This cross-sectional study assessed the association between shift work and suicide ideation among police officers. Shift work was based on daily payroll records over five years for 41 women and 70 men. Standardized psychological measures were employed. ANOVA and Poisson regression models were used to evaluate associations. Among policewomen with increased depressive symptoms, prevalence of suicide ideation increased by 116% for every 10-unit increase in percentage of hours worked on day shift (prevalence ratio (PR) 2.16). Among policemen with higher posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, prevalence of suicide ideation increased by 13% with every 10-unit increase in the percentage of hours worked on afternoon shift (PR 1.13).
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Oct. 2008, Vol.51, No.10, p.758-768. 57 ref.
Böckelmann I., Maier F., Pfister E.A.
Heart rate variability among firing range police instructors exposed to lead under standard conditions
Herzfrequenzvariabilität bei bleibelasteten Polizeischiessausbildern unter standardisierten Laborbedingungen [in German]
Within the context of a survey on occupational medicine, the issue of possible neurotoxic effects due to lead exposure among police force firing range instructors was raised. A test under standardized conditions was therefore carried out on 10 officers (8 men and 2 women) working in a firing range and 10 volunteer unexposed controls. It involved a 5min rest period followed by a stimulation phase (including mental and cognitive tasks), with a final 5min recovery phase. The pulse rate was recorded during the three phases. Subjects exposed to lead were found to have reduced heart rate variability (HRV), a finding that was confirmed by statistical analysis. This reduced HRV can be attributed to lead exposure.
Zentralblatt für Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Ergonomie, Nov. 2008, Vol.58, No.11, p.322-328. Illus. 42 ref.
Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego
The work of monitors of Febem
O trabalho dos monitores na Febem [in Portuguese]
Study of working conditions and health problems among monitors working in a Brazilian detention centre for minors called FEBEM.
Fundacentro, Rua Capote Valente 710, São Paulo, SP 06409-002, Brazil, 2008. 84p. Illus. 15 ref.
http://www.fundacentro.gov.br/ARQUIVOS/PUBLICACAO/l/Monitores%20Febem.pdf [in Portuguese]
West C., Bernard B., Mueller C., Kitt M., Driscoll R., Tak S.
Mental health outcomes in police personnel after hurricane Katrina
This cross-sectional study examined symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) personnel who provided law enforcement and relief services to affected communities following Hurricane Katrina. Mental health outcomes related to personal and work-related exposures of police personnel eight weeks after the hurricane were surveyed by means of a questionnaire. Of the 912 police personnel who completed the questionnaire, 26% reported symptoms consistent with depression and 19% reported symptoms consistent with PTSD. For PTSD, risk factors included recovery of bodies, crowd control, assault and injury to a family member. Depressive symptoms were associated with rare family contact, uninhabitable home, isolation from the NOPD, assault and injury to a family member.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2008, Vol.50, No.6, p.689-695. 39 ref.
Violanti J.M., Charles L.E., Hartley T.A., Mnatsakanova A., Andrew M.E., Fekedulegn D., Vila B., Burchfiel C.M.
Shift-work and suicide ideation among police officers
This cross-sectional study assessed the association between shift work and suicide ideation among police officers. Shift work was based on daily payroll records over five years for 41 women and 70 men. Standardized psychological measures were employed. ANOVA and Poisson regression were used to analyse associations. Among policewomen with increased depressive symptoms, prevalence of suicide ideation increased by 116% for every 10-unit increase in percentage of hours worked on day shift (prevalence ratio (PR) 2.16). Among policemen with higher posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, prevalence of suicide ideation increased by 13% with every 10-unit increase in the percentage of hours worked on afternoon shift (PR 1.13). Other findings are discussed.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Oct. 2008, Vol.51, No.10, p.758-768. 57 ref.
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