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- Abuso de alcohol y drogas
Ryan J., Zwerling C., Jones M.
The effectiveness of preemployment drug screening in the prediction of employment outcome
Studies of adverse employment outcomes associated with positive pre-employment drug screens have tracked employees for only about one year. Changes in drug use after hire may invalidate the predictions of employment outcome in later years which are essential for cost-benefit analyses. This blinded, prospective cohort study tracks absence, occupational accidents and injuries, discipline, and turnover in 2,537 screened employees through an average of two years. Marijuana-positive urine predicted increased turnover, accidents, injuries, discipline, and absence, but these risks appeared lower in the second year than in the first. Cocaine-positive urine predicted increased turnover, accidents, injuries, discipline, and absence at levels not consistently different from the first year. Cost-benefit analyses of drug screening project employment risks throughout employees' careers. This study raises the possibility that elevated risks may decrease after the first year.
Journal of Occupational Medicine, Nov. 1992, Vol.34, No.11, p.1057-1063. 15 ref.
Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission: Occupational Health and Safety Heritage Grant Program
Substance use and the Alberta workplace
The study was designed to assess the scope of substance use in the Alberta (Canada) workplace, and to assist in the development of appropriate preventive and remedial actions. It examines the prevalence of both alcohol and drug use among members of the workforce, and the various occupational and demographic factors associated with higher levels of use. The bulk of the data is based on three surveys: a telephone survey of over 2,000 people in the workforce encompassing all major industries and occupational groups; mail surveys of 325 employers and 43 unions. Topics include: patterns of substance use; situational factors, including the relation of job stress and alcohol use; the effects of substance use, including injuries and accidents, and health and productivity effects; workplace policies and assistance programmes; suggestions for actions. Includes summary report, final report, and appendices.
Price Waterhouse, 2401 Toronto Dominion Tower, Edmonton Centre, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2Z1, Canada, 1992. 3 vols. Illus. 69 ref.
Ross L.E., Ross S.M.
Professional pilots' evaluation of the extent, causes and reduction of alcohol use in aviation
A survey of professional pilots indicated that alcohol was judged to be a more serious problem in general aviation than in corporate, charter, regional and major airline activities. Respondents identified the individual's inability to control alcohol use as a primary reason for drinking and flying and they endorsed remedies directed toward those individuals. Other factors considered important causes of drinking and flying included pilots' belief that they can compensate for the effects of alcohol and their lack of knowledge about the rate of decrease in blood alcohol concentration as a function of time and amount consumed.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 1992, Vol.63, No.9, Section 1, p.805-808. Illus. 4 ref.
The Victorian Congress of Employer Associations
Occupational health and safety handbook
This manual is divided into five parts: Part 1 - General information (government authorities; costs and benefits of OHS; understanding Acts, Regulations, Codes and Awards); Part 2 - Requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1985 (duties of employers and employees; procedures for dealing with OHS issues; OHS representatives and committees; role of inspectors; for text of the Act, see CIS 88-1751); Part 3 - Specific OHS issues (reporting and recording of accidents and injuries; fire hazards; machine guarding; manual handling; occupational over-use syndrome; noise; asbestos; chemicals; hot working conditions; smoking in the workplace; personal protective equipment; first aid; general facilities; walk-through surveys; OHS training; sick building syndrome and Legionnaires' disease); Part 4 - Related issues (industrial waste, air and water pollution; alcohol in the workplace; AIDS in the workplace; opposition policy on OHS; Part 5 - Directory of OSH products and services.
Information Australia, A.C.N. 006 042 173, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia, 2nd edition, 1992. xv, 268p. Illus.
Heller D., Robinson A.E.
Substance abuse in the workforce - A guide to managing substance abuse problems in the workplace
Examined in this review document are: the known effects of alcohol, drugs and other substances of abuse and how they affect work performance and safety; the consequences of intoxication and the potential for jeopardising safety; the effects of chronic abuse; possible techniques for managing workforce substance abuse, including prevention, monitoring, rehabilitation, and discipline; current legislation, regulations and policies applicable to workforce substance abuse and drug testing.
Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, Suite 480, 112 Kent Street, Ottawa K1P 5P2, Canada, 1992. 115p. Approx. 230 ref.
Establishment of resource centres on rehabilitation, workplace initiatives and community action on drugs and alcohol
A set of four manuals aimed at the staff of addiction (to drugs including alcohol) rehabilitation programmes. The titles are: (1) Manual on addiction rehabilitation programming (Zackon F.), including a chapter on vocational rehabilitation. (2) Manual on community action against drugs and alcohol (Lauthan S.), including a discussion of the role of the business community in preventing addiction. (3) Manual on drug and alcohol policy development (Waahlberg R.), concentrating on national policies, but also discussing alcohol in the workplace and the involvement of professional groups in the development of policies. (4) Manual on the design, implementation and management of alcohol and drug programmes at the workplace (Fauske S.), which deals primarily with the workplace aspects of alcoholism and its prevention: design and implementation of workplace programmes; primary (awareness), secondary (assistance) and tertiary (rehabilitation) prevention strategies; evaluation programmes; sample brochures, posters and questionnaires.
Vocational Rehabilitation Branch, International Labour Office, 1211 Genève 22, Switzerland, 1992. 4 volumes. Illus. Bibl.ref.
General trends in policies concerning the prevention of occupational hazards in France - 1992 Programme
Orientations générales de la politique de prévention des risques professionnels - Programme 1992 [en francés]
In 1992, the French Higher Council for the Prevention of Occupational Risks engaged in seven principal activities: ensuring the implementation of Act No.91-1414 modifying the Labour Code and the Public Health Code; application of FACT funds to research projects; concentration on priority research areas (construction, chemical hazards, workers in an unusual situation, particularly employees of subcontractors); provision of support to external activities of the Ministry of Labour and co-ordination of the activities of various OSH organisations and specialists; introduction into French law of EEC directives; occupational medicine activities; continuation of activities from previous years (an "observatory" of occupational hazards; updating of the schedule of occupational diseases).
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 2nd Quarter 1992, No.50, p.207-212.
Poole C.J.M., Evans G. R., Spurgeon A., Bridges K.W.
Effects of a change in shift work on health
Aspects of health were studied in a sample of factory workers who changed their pattern of working from "fortnight about" to three advancing shifts. Within the same factory and doing similar work there was a comparison group who were working permanent days only. The change in shifts was associated with more difficulty with sleep, more indigestion, higher alcohol consumption, reduced alertness and a worse social life. There was more minor psychiatric disturbance in those who worked three shifts than in those who worked days only.
Occupational Medicine, Nov. 1992, Vol.42, No.4, p.193-199. 23 ref.
Pisaniello D.L., Tkaczuk M.N., Owen N.
Occupational wood dust exposures, lifestyle variables, and respiratory symptoms
The quantitative relationship of occupational exposure to wood dust with nasal and pulmonary health problems is not clearly established, particularly for low to moderate exposures in the wooden furniture manufacturing industry. The associations of pulmonary and nasal symptoms, wood dust exposure, and lifestyle variables (cigarette smoking, alcohol use, overweight, physical inactivity, and stress) were examined in a sample of 168 woodworkers. Levels of wood dust exposure were not systematically associated with symptoms. Statistically significant associations were found for cigarette smoking. After controlling for the effects of smoking, heavy drinking was significantly associated with pulmonary symptoms. Perceived stress was associated with pulmonary and nasal symptoms. These findings suggest that studies of the effects of low-level occupational wood dust exposure should control for the potential effects of lifestyle variables.
Journal of Occupational Medicine, Aug. 1992, Vol.34, No.8, p.788-792. 17 ref.
Zwerling C., Ryan J.
Preemployment drug screening - The epidemiologic issues
The paper reviews recent studies of postal workers which suggest an association between positive pre-employment drug screens and turnover, absenteeism, accidents, injuries, and discipline. It is argued that these associations are weaker than had been assumed; cost-benefit analyses show that whether drug screening saves money depends both on the costs associated with adverse outcomes such as accidents and on the prevalence of drug use in the population screened. Finally, it is argued that the predictive value of a positive drug screen also depends crucially on the prevalence of drug use; in populations with low prevalence of drug use, a large proportion of the positives may be false positives.
Journal of Occupational Medicine, June 1992, Vol.34, No.6, p.595-599. 24 ref.
Hooper K., LaDou J., Rosenbaum J.S., Book S.A.
Regulation of priority carcinogens and reproductive or developmental toxicants
In California, 370 carcinogens and 112 reproductive/developmental toxicants have been identified as a result of the State's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. The lists of chemicals were compiled following systematic review of published data, including technical reports from the US Public Health Service - National Toxicology Program (NTP), and evaluation of recommendations from authoritative bodies such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Given the large number of chemicals that are carcinogens or reproductive/developmental toxicants, regulatory concerns should focus on those that have high potential for human exposure, e.g., widely distributed or easily absorbed solvents, metals, environmental mixtures, or reactive agents. This paper presents a list of 33 potential priority carcinogens and reproductive/developmental toxicants, including alcoholic beverages, asbestos, benzene, chlorinated solvents, formaldehyde, glycol ethers, lead, tobacco smoke, and toluene.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Dec. 1992, Vol.22, No.6, p.793-808. 52 ref.
Dal Grande M., Zanderigo C., Coato F., Menegolli S., Cipriani E., Pancheri V., Malesani F., Perbellini L.
Sudden death from freon 22?
Morte improvvisa da freon 22? [en italiano]
Case report of a plumber's fatal work accident. Investigations into the causes of death made at post mortem showed that the worker had absorbed a large quantity of freon 22 (chlorodifluoromethane) which is known to be a narcotic agent and capable of inducing cardiac arrhythmia. It is believed that freon inhalation was the cause of loss of consciousness with consequent death from drowning in the water issuing from the pipes. Preventive measures need to be reinforced by adequate information to the workforce on the risks connected to this type of gas.
Medicina del lavoro, July-Aug. 1992, Vol.83, No.4, p.361-364. 20 ref.
Liver enzymes among microelectronics equipment maintenance technicians
Equipment maintenance workers within the microelectronics industry have opportunities for occupational exposure to a variety of toxic agents. This pilot investigation compares liver enzymes in this population with that of other co-workers. Participants (n=135) were randomly selected from a medical surveillance programme at the manufacturing facility. Nine job categories were examined, including equipment maintenance workers and electronic technicians. Abnormal liver enzymes were detected among equipment maintenance workers (n=8; odds ratio 16.4; p<.008) and electronic technicians (n=10; odds ratio 27; p<.0005). The data suggest that independent and/or interactive aetiologic roles of occupation and alcohol should be further investigated. Early detection of subclinical occupational or recreational hepatotoxicity with appropriate employment of industrial hygiene control technology and/or the reduction of alcohol consumption may provide a means of preventing liver disease.
Journal of Occupational Medicine, Apr. 1992, Vol.34, No.4, p.384-390. 31 ref.
Gottlieb N.H., Weinstein R.P., Baun W.B., Bernacki E.J.
A profile of health risks among blue-collar workers
This study describes the health risks and norms specific to a population of blue-collar gas pipeline workers. The workers completed a health risk appraisal and a survey designed to measure nutrition, physical activity, tobacco use, participation in health-promoting activities, group norms, and change efforts. Multivariate analysis confirmed the relationship of friends' behaviour patterns, risk-taking, and interpersonal experience to four lifestyle health behaviours. In addition to providing baseline information for the design and implementation of a health promotion programme for these gas pipeline workers, this study supplements the existing knowledge base for tailoring work-site health promotion programmes to blue-collar workers.
Journal of Occupational Medicine, Jan. 1992, Vol.34, No. 1, p.61-68. 29 ref.
Bross M.H., Pace S.K., Cronin I.H.
Chemical dependence - Analysis of work absenteeism and associated medical illnesses
Workers with a medical diagnosis of chemical dependence (addiction) were selected and compared with matched controls. It was hypothesised that there were significant differences in absenteeism and certain medical illnesses. Employee data were obtained from medical insurance sickness and accident reports. Illnesses were classified into diagnostic clusters for analysis. Chemically-dependent workers had significantly more (p<0.05) absenteeism, injuries, hypertension, and mental disorders than did the controls. Using these findings, employers can conduct prospective studies that select workers to be screened for chemical dependence.
Journal of Occupational Medicine, Jan. 1992, Vol.34, No.1, p.16-19. 19 ref.
Substance use and the Alberta workplace
This three-volume monograph reports on research into the prevalence and impact of alcohol and drug use on the Alberta (Canada) workplace, funded by the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Heritage Grant Programme. The study was designed to assess the scope of the problem and to assist in the development of appropriate preventive and remedial action. Volume I - Summary Report; volume II - Final Report; volume III - Appendices.
Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission, 6th Floor, Pacific Plaza, 10909 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3M9, Canada, 1992. 3 vols. (21p + 162p + 124p). Illus. 69 ref.
Deneauve-Lockhart C., Falcy M.
Drug taking and occupational activities
Conduites toxicophiles et activités professionnelles [en francés]
Report on two meetings held in Paris (France) on 2-3 Oct. 1991. One was organised by the French Toxicological Association, the other by the French Association for Analytical Toxicology. Both meetings concerned the non-medical use of drugs (including alcohol), and the methodological and analytical aspects of the detection of this use in the workplace. Main themes covered: (1) protocols for the detection of drug addiction in enterprises (survey of metabolism, difficulties of the interpretation of test results, protocols for urine sampling); (2) analytical methods used by laboratories specialised in the analysis of toxic substances; (3) detection of drug-related behaviour in the workplace - role of the industrial physician. Brief discussion of opportunities for drug detection in the workplace.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 1st Quarter 1992, No.49, p.99-102.
Izquierdo D.J., Sanz-Gallén D.P., Gaynés D.E., Alpuente D.L., Nogué D.S.
Principales sustancias utilizadas en el medio laboral que pueden producir efecto antabús
The ingestion of alcoholic drinks and the simultaneous ingestion of certain mushrooms, medical drugs and/or exposure to certain chemicals can produce a number of symptoms grouped together under the name Antabuse ® effect. This article lists the principal drugs and chemical substances known to produce this effect. Particular attention is paid to disulfiram, a substance widely used for the treatment of chronic alcoholism, but also used in agriculture as a fungicide and seed desinfectant and in the manufacturing of rubber. Other important substances concerned are dimethylformamide (an organic solvent, used in particular as a solvent for polyacrylonitrile), cyanamide and calcium cyanamide (used as fertilisers and in the synthesis of thiourea and sodium cyanamide), thrichloroethylene (used, among others, as a degreaser, an insecticide and in dry-cleaning establishments), carbon tetrachloride (a highly toxic solvent) and various oximes (anti-oxidants). For each substance, the symptoms of synergic exposure to alcohol are discussed, as are the appropriate treatment methods.
Prevención, Apr.-June 1992, No.120, p.22-26. Illus. 15 ref.
Smith K.G., McKee A.D.
The British Airways Employee Assistance Programme - A community response to a company's problems
The British Airways (BA) Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) offers help and counselling to BA staff, in particular those with alcohol- and drug-related problems. The EAP is a community model entailing peer group training, consultancy and support by professional resources. An independent review of EAP practice in 1987 revealed that 78% of clients felt that they had been helped by the Programme and that their work performance had improved as a result. Current data suggest that this level is being maintained.
Occupational Medicine, Feb. 1992, Vol.42, No.1, p.43-46. 5 ref.
Zwerling C., Ryan J., Orav E.J.
Costs and benefits of preemployment drug screening
In a study to estimate the benefits of drug testing, a cohort of 2,533 Boston postal workers were screened for drugs. Benefits to the Postal Service of such screening were estimated using average cost data for the Postal Service in Boston and nationwide. Results showed that drug screening would have saved the Postal Service USD 162 per applicant hired. However, this analysis is very sensitive to the assumptions made, and it is concluded that any company considering pre-employment drug screening should carefully weigh the costs and benefits in its own industry.
Journal of the American Medical Association, 1 Jan. 1992, Vol.267, No.1, p.91-93. 14 ref.
Izquierdo J., Gaynés E., Sanz P.
Efecto antabús debido a la inhalación de sustancias de origen industrial
Contenido de esta nota informativa sobre el efecto antabús debido a la interacción del consumo de alcohol y la exposición a determinadas sustancias de origen industrial o medicamentos: definición del efecto antabús; disulfirama; amidas (dimetilformamida, cianamida, cianamida de calcio); hidrocarburos halógenos (tricloroetileno, tetracloruro de carbono); recomendaciones. Listas resumidas de los medicamentos y sustancias de origen industrial potencialmente inductoras del efecto antabús.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, España, 1991. 4p. 29 ref.
Imbriani M., Di Nucci A.
Effects on interaction between ethanol and solvents
Effetti della interazione tra etanolo e solventi [en italiano]
Collection of ten research and review papers on various aspects of the interaction between ethanol and solvents. Papers cover the topic in relation to: pharmacokinetic behaviour of organic solvents (Sato A.); toxicological data in animals and humans (Mutti A.); toxicological and metabolic interaction among solvents (Perbellini L., Brugnone F.); interactions in humans (Riihimäki V., Elovaara E.); solvent interactions and biological monitoring (Tichi M., Mraz J.); metabolism of toluene in man I-II (Imbriani M., Ghittori S., Maestri L.); the glutathione system (Di Nucci A., Coccini T.); neurobehavioural effects (Gilioli R. et al); liver toxicity - definition of the risk and diagnostic implications (Franco G.).
Fondazione Clinica del Lavoro, IRCCS, Via Severino Boezio, 24-26, 27100 Pavia, Italy, 1991. 143p. Illus. Bibl.ref.
Coping with substance abuse in mining
This manual deals with the problem of alcohol and drug abuse among miners. A five-point strategy is put forward for the control of this problem: establishment of a written substance abuse policy; supervisor training; education of employees and increasing their awareness of the problem; development of an employee assistance programme (EAP); drug testing. In annex: available educational materials and posters.
National Mine Health and Safety Academy, P.O. Box 1166, Beckley, WV 25802, USA, 1991. 30p. (+7p. discussion guide). Illus. 16 ref.
Beaumont J.J., Chu G.S.T., Jones J.R., Schenker M.B., Singleton J.A., Piantanida L.G., Reiterman M.
An epidemiologic study of cancer and other causes of mortality in San Francisco firefighters
To test the hypothesis that firefighter exposures may increase cancer risk, mortality rates were calculated for 3,066 San Francisco Fire Department firefighters employed between 1940 and 1970. Vital status was ascertained through 1982, and observed and expected rates, rate ratios (RR), and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed using United States death rates for comparison. The total number deceased (1,186) was less than expected and there were fewer cancer deaths than expected. However, there were significant excess numbers of deaths from oesophageal cancer (12 observed, 6 expected), cirrhosis and other liver diseases (59 observed, 26 expected), and accidental falls (21 observed, 11 expected). There were 24 line-of-duty deaths, which were primarily due to vehicular injury, falls, and asphyxiation. Heart disease and respiratory disease deaths occurred significantly less often than expected. It was concluded that the increased risks of death from oesophageal cancer and cirrhosis and other liver diseases may have been due to firefighter exposures, alcohol consumption, or interaction between alcohol and exposures. Because this was an older cohort and firefighter exposures have changed due to the increasing use of synthetic materials, it is recommended that the effects of modern-day exposures be further studied.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Mar. 1991, Vol.19, No.3, p.357-372. Illus. 61 ref.
Fire safety data sheet prepared by the Loss Prevention Association in India, Warden House, Sir P.M. Road, Bombay 400 001, India. Health hazards: skin absorption; moderately toxic; irritation of skin and eyes; dermatitis; narcosis; neurotoxic effects (central nervous system).
Loss Prevention News, July-Sep. 1991, Vol.13, No.3, p.21-22.
Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften
General provisions on safety at work - Regulations and enforcement rules [Germany]
Allgemeine Vorschriften - VBG und Durchführungsanweisungen [en alemán]
Updated version of the general safety at work regulations and enforcement rules to be applied in Germany (previous versions, see CIS 85-253 and 89-159). Main topics covered by the Regulations: (1) Employer's responsibilities (supply of personal protective equipment (PPE); contract work; work organisation; information on safety regulations; appointment of safety officers); (2) Workers' responsibilities (application of safety rules, use of PPE); (3) Workplace installation and layout and requirements applicable (workstations; lighting; in-plant traffic; doors; fire and explosion prevention; harmful substances; labelling); (4) Medical supervision; (5) Transitional measures; (6) Effective date. Supplement: minimum number of safety officers. Contents of the enforcement rules: list of DIN standards applicable to PPE. Example of form for delegation of authority.
Carl Heymanns Verlag KG, Luxemburger Strasse 449, D-W-5000 Köln 41, Germany, 1991. 56p. + 24p. Index.
Health and Safety Executive
A report of the collision that occurred on 8 January 1991 at Cannon Street Station
Report of an investigation into an accident in which a passenger train collided heavily with the hydraulic buffer stops of the platform at the terminal station. The evidence showed no defect in either the braking or traction system which would have prevented the brakes from operating effectively and it was therefore concluded that the driver failed to make the proper brake application and was therefore responsible for the accident. No firm conclusion was reached as to whether the driver's use of cannabis was the cause of the error.
HMSO Books, P.O. Box 276, London SW8 5DT, United Kingdom, 1991. vi, 41p. Illus. Price: GBP 8.00.
Holder H.D., Blose J.O.
A comparison of occupational and nonoccupational disability payments and work absences for alcoholics and nonalcoholics
The study examines whether employed alcoholics have more frequent work absences and higher rates of disability benefit payments than do non-alcoholic employees. Using data from a large Midwestern manufacturing firm for the years 1974 through 1987, two groups were studied: 1,828 hourly employees who had received an International Classification of Diseases-9 diagnosis indicating chronic alcohol abuse and a group of employees with no history of alcohol problems, matched on age, sex, length of enrollment, and retirement status. The alcoholic group had average overall indemnity payments about twice that of the non-alcoholic group (USD 1,272 per year per capita vs. USD 671). Nonoccupational indemnity payments and work absences were also much higher for alcoholics. However, no statistically significant difference between the groups was found for occupation-related disability.
Journal of Occupational Medicine, Apr. 1991, Vol.33, No.4, p.453-457. 21 ref.
XXIst National Congress of Occupational Medicine, Rouen, France, 12-15 June 1990 - Theme No.2: Evaluation of preventive actions in occupational medicine
XXIes Journées nationales de médecine du travail, Rouen, France, 12-15 juin 1990 - Thème n°2: Evaluation des actions de prévention en médecine du travail [en francés]
This special issue includes reports, communications and posters presented at the 21st National Congress of Occupational Medicine (Rouen, France, 12-15 June 1990). Theme 2 was the evaluation of preventive actions of occupational medicine. One part of the periodical gives description of each poster presented.
Archives des maladies professionnelles, 1991, Vol.52, No.3, p.163-227. Illus. Bibl.ref.
Fanello S., Ripault B., Le Levier F., Queru M., Penneau-Fontbonne D.
Alcohol, employment and unemployment
Alcool, travail et non travail [en francés]
Unemployment is a worrying problem in France. How does it affect a population who benefited from a course of treatment for alcoholism in an appropriate medical service? Is it a factor of bad prognosis? An aggravating factor? Did abstinence allow a better reintegretation into workforce? These questions motivated a study of the occupational status of 544 patients one year after treatment for alcoholism.
Archives des maladies professionnelles, 1991, Vol.52, No.5, p.345-348. 17 ref.
A drug-free workplace (I - What employees can do; II - The supervisor's role)
Two training videotapes aimed at teaching workers and supervisors about the best ways to avoid the taking of non-medical drugs (including alcohol) in the workplace, and thus prevent the attendant safety hazards and reduction in productivity.
Tel-A-Train Inc., 309 N. Market Street, P.O. Box 4752, Chattanooga, TN 37405, USA, 1991. 2 videotapes. Length: 15min. + 20min.
General perspectives on the policies of the prevention of occupational hazards
Orientations générales de la politique de prévention des risques professionnels [en francés]
In 1991, the work of the French Higher Council for the Prevention of Occupational Hazards is guided by 8 priority objectives defining safety and health policies in the short and medium term. They are marked by Europe, and particularly by the adoption of the Social Charter by the EEC, which accompanies the establishment of the single European market on 1st January 1993. Topics covered: 1992 objectives; implementation of the proposals of the Querrien report on building and public works (BTP); FACT (funds for the improvement of working conditions) and modernisation undertaken within enterprises; establishments of a means for improving the health and safety of atypical workers; occupational medicine; continuation of actions initiated in 1990; preparation for 1992.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 2nd Quarter 1991, No.46, p.157-161.
Drug testing: Legal implications
Analysis of the legal issues raised by mandatory drug testing, in the context of the Canadian (federal) government's proposals to enact legislation requiring drug testing of transportation employees. The effect of drug testing on employee's rights to privacy under Canadian human rights legislation, the Privacy Act, and legislation concerning standards are covered. The paper also includes a brief analysis of relevant legal precedents in the United States, as these are likely to serve as models for Canadian actions.
Library of Parliament, Research Branch, Parliament Buildings, Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A9, Canada, rev., 1991. 19p. 11 ref.
Hegmann K., Greenlee P., Johns R.E.
Medication reporting in the workplace
Impairment from medication use in hazardous work environments has not been well studied. Incident events in an explosives manufacturing facility were analysed using a retrospective case control study to determine whether medication use was related to safety incidents. Medication use between the incident group and the controls was not significantly different. However, 23% of the incident group had been employed by the facility for less than 1 year compared with 2% of controls. Only 19% of restricted medication use was self-reported. In this study, being employed less than 1 year was a greater predictor of safety incidents than was medication use, and self-reporting did not reflect actual medication use. Medication use is not directly related to safety events and that a self-reporting programme is difficult to justify in the corporate setting.
Journal of Occupational Medicine, Nov. 1991, Vol.33, No.11, p.1131-1136. 19 ref.
The effects of behavioral risks on absenteeism and health-care costs in the workplace
The impact of behavioural risk factors on absenteeism and health care costs was analysed among 45,976 employees in a diversified industrial work force. Employees with any of 6 behavioural risks had significantly higher absenteeism (range = 10% to 32%) compared to those without risks, which led to significantly higher illness costs for those with risks. Annual excess illness costs per person at risk were smoking, USD 960; overweight, USD 401; excess alcohol, USD 389; elevated cholesterol, USD 370; high blood pressure, USD 343; inadequate seat belt use, USD 272; and lack of exercise, USD 130. The total cost to the company of excess illness was conservatively estimated at USD 70.8 million annually. These findings suggest that the cost of key behavioural risks provides an opportunity to manage health care cost increases through health promotion, financial incentives for healthy lifestyle, and environmental changes that affect health behaviours.
Journal of Occupational Medicine, Nov. 1991, Vol.33, No.11, p.1119-1124. 35 ref.
Høverstad T., Kjølstad S.
Use of focus groups to study absenteeism due to illness
Reasons for sick leaves are often complex and influenced by nonmedical factors. Focus groups, a qualitative research method, have been used to study the relationship between working conditions and absenteeism due to illness in both an industrial company and an insurance company. Ten focus groups within each company were organised with participants randomly selected from departments having similar work tasks within each company. The most important working conditions that influenced absenteeism were (a) feeling of well-being at work (mainly defined as security in social relations), (b) the organisation of the work, and (c) the department head. Factors considered to be less important included: number of employees, male/female ratios, group norms for absenteeism, age distribution, work-related illness, substance abuse, and work loads. There was substantial agreement between the groups, indicating that our findings may be relevant to other companies.
Journal of Occupational Medicine, Oct. 1991, Vol.33, No.10, p.1046-1050. 16 ref.
Emergency room evidence on the role of alcohol intoxication in injury at work in the U.S.
In a 6-month study, the US National Electronic Injury Surveillance System collected the first national sample data on alcohol and injuries presenting to hospital emergency rooms. The study included both work injuries and product-related, non-work injuries. Alcohol involvement was found to be much lower than in other studies, probably because of poor sensitivity to ascertainment, and was 10 times lower among work injuries than non-work injuries. Results of this national study are consistent with previous research in finding that alcohol poses a greater risk for non-work injury than for work injury.
Safety Science, Nov. 1991, Vol.14, No.3-4, p.241-252. 39 ref.
Seidman S.A., Zager J.
A study of coping behaviours and teacher burnout
This study investigated whether or not factors of teacher burnout were associated with adaptive and maladaptive coping behaviour. It was found, in a sample of 365 US (north Texas) school teachers, that many physical and psychological problems (e.g., stomach aches and depression) were related to teacher burnout factors. The data also showed that certain maladaptive coping mechanisms (e.g., excessive alcohol consumption) were associated with higher teacher burnout, while adaptive coping strategies (e.g., hobbies) were related to lower burnout levels among school teachers. An association was also revealed between certain demographic factors (e.g., sex) and coping behaviour.
Work and Stress, July-Sep. 1991, Vol.5, No.3, p.205-216. 80 ref.
Bond G.G., Lipps T.E., Stafford B.A., Cook R.R.
A comparison of cause-specific mortality among participants and non-participants in a work-site medical surveillance program
Non-participants in general population health surveys have been found to be less healthy than participants, but data on non-participants in work-site health surveys have been more scarce. Cause-specific mortality was compared among 11,156 male employees of The Dow Chemical Company who participated in at least one work-site health examination between 1967 and 1978 and among 6915 employees who did not participate. The non-participants experienced higher mortality rates for nearly every cause of death examined but particularly from smoking and alcohol-abuse related diseases. This was especially true during the first 5 years of follow-up, suggesting that some employees do not participate because they are already ill. These findings have important implications for the use of examination data for both primary and secondary disease prevention purposes, and these are discussed.
Journal of Occupational Medicine, June 1991, Vol.33, No.6, p.677-680. Illus. 13 ref.
Alleyne B.C., Stuart P., Copes R.
Alcohol and other drug use in occupational fatalities
Studies conducted to evaluate the problem of drug-related workplace accidents are restricted by concerns for individual rights and fears of jeopardising labour relations. However, in collaboration with the Medical Examiner's Office, Alberta Occupational Health and Safety examined a unique set of data on 459 deaths occurring at work. The only illicit drug found was cannabis for which 10 workers tested positive. Forty workers tested positive for alcohol, 28 for prescription, and 22 for non-prescription drugs. Evidence of alcohol use was found in a higher percentage of fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents, falls, and being caught in or under equipment than in other types of workplace facilities.
Journal of Occupational Medicine, Apr. 1991, Vol.33, No.4, p.496-500. 21 ref.
Gómez Pérez J.I., Seguí Cantos F., Gómez Pérez M.R., Juesas Francés A.
La investigación del alcoholismo en el medio laboral - Primera medida para su prevención
Following a discussion on the problem of alcoholism and its consequences at the workplace, the first stage of a preventive strategy to combat alcoholism at the workplace, i.e. investigation of the problem, is presented. A questionnaire, administered as part of the periodic medical examination of employees, is proposed. The results of the application of the questionnaire to a sample of 174 workers in two different enterprises are presented in terms of daily alcohol intake related to age and occupational group.
Medicina y seguridad del trabajo, Jan.-Mar. 1990, Vol.37, No.147, p.75-81. 23 ref.
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Building a drug-free workforce - An Office of National Drug Control Policy guide for state legislation
This package of legislation and commentary consists of four separate bills designed to help employers in the public and private sectors create incentives for employees to stop taking drugs and sanctions for employees who do not do so. The package should be viewed as a model for a co-ordinated offensive on drugs in the workplace.
Superintendent of Documents, US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, USA, 1990. 1 vol. (various pagination).
Proceedings of the Société de médecine et d'hygiène du travail - Meetings of 9 Jan., 12 Feb. and 13 Mar. 1990
Société de médecine et d'hygiène du travail - Séances du 9 janv., 12 fév. et 13 mars 1990 [en francés]
Papers on the following topics were presented: occupational asthma due to sulfites; occupational pathology of the thumb due to repetitive movements; recourse to legal proceedings in cases of potentially work-related diseases not recognised in the schedules; repercussions of AIDS in forensic and occupational medicine; autopsy in occupational medicine; new aspects of ethics in occupational medicine; civil liability of the occupational physician; occupational and preventive medicine in the public service; work and heroin addiction; description of an accident due to negligence that caused the death of a crane operator; respiratory pathology due to mineral oils; thermal comfort in air-conditioned offices.
Archives des maladies professionnelles, 1990, Vol.51, No.5, p.327-352. Illus.
Urban P., Lukáš E.
Visual evoked potentials in rotogravure printers exposed to toluene
Visual evoked potentials (VEPs) from stimulation by checkerboard pattern reversal were examined in 54 rotogravure printers exposed to toluene (all men, aged 22-64 years, duration of exposure 1-41 years). A control group consisted of 46 subjects (23 men and 23 women; aged 22-54 years). The VEPs were abnormal in 24% of workers. The frequency of abnormal VEPs correlated positively with the duration of exposure to toluene and also with the degree of alcohol drinking. A VEP measurement was made in 78% of the exposed workers two years after the first examination. No statistically significant difference between the two results was found. This suggests a marked stability of the observed VEP changes. These changes can be interpreted as a subclinical sign of dysfunction of the central nervous system (CNS) related to exposure to toluene and also to alcohol consumption.
British Journal of Industrial Medicine, Dec. 1990, Vol.47, No.12, p.819-823. Illus. 18 ref.
Piolatto G., Negri E., La Vecchia C., Pira E., Decarli A., Peto J.
An update of cancer mortality among chrysotile asbestos miners in Balangero, northern Italy
The mortality experience of a cohort of chrysotile miners employed since 1946 in Balangero, northern Italy was updated to the end of 1987 giving a total of 427 deaths out of 27,010 man-years at risk. For mortality from cancer, however, the number of observed deaths (82) was close to that expected (76.2). The SMR was raised for oral cancer, cancer of the larynx, and pleura, although the excess only reached statistical significance for cancer of the larynx. Rates were not increased for lung, stomach, or any other type of cancer. Although part of the excess mortality from laryngeal cancer is probably attributable to high alcohol consumption in this group of workers, the data suggest that exposure to chrysotile asbestos is associated with some, however moderate, excess risk of laryngeal cancer and pleural mesothelioma.
British Journal of Industrial Medicine, Dec. 1990, Vol.47, No.12, p.810-814. Illus. 25 ref.
Drug abuse at work
Some of the more frequently abused hallucinogenic drugs in Ireland are listed along with the methods by which they are taken and their side effects. Signs of drug abuse are outlined along with the reasons why action is needed and the benefits of taking positive action. Guidance is given on the development of a policy tailored to the size, structure and nature of the business.
Health and Safety, Oct. 1990, p.18-21.
Staessen J., Yeoman W.B., Fletcher A.E., Markowe H.L.J., Marmot M.G., Rose G., Semmence A., Shipley M.J., Bulpitt C.J.
Blood lead concentration, renal function, and blood pressure in London civil servants
Blood lead concentration was measured in 398 male and 133 female London civil servants not subject to industrial exposure to heavy metals. The relation between blood lead and serum creatinine concentrations and blood pressure was examined. In women blood lead concentration increased with age. In the 2 sexes blood lead concentration was positively correlated with the number of cigarettes smoked a day, with the reported number of alcoholic beverages consumed a day and with serum gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase. Blood lead concentration was not correlated with body weight, body mass index, and employment grade. In men 14% of the variance of blood lead concentration was explained by the significant and independent contributions of smoking and alcohol intake and in women 16% by age.
British Journal of Industrial Medicine, July 1990, Vol.47, No.7, p.442-447. Illus. 33 ref.
Doogan K., Means R.
Alcohol and the workplace
The aim of this book is to explore some of the key issues and dilemmas faced by alcohol educators wishing to engage public and private sector workplaces in alcohol initiatives. Part 1 sets the context for the present debates about alcohol and the workplace with a profile of British industry and a review of how key British reports have defined alcohol and workplace issues. Part 2 presents some exploratory research based on industrial relations and marketing perspectives and includes case studies illustrating differences in concern and awareness attached to alcohol and the workplace. In Part 3, alcohol education practitioners describe their workplace experiences.
University of Bristol, School for Advanced Urban Studies, Rodney Lodge, Grange Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4EA, United Kingdom, 1990. 134p. Bibl.ref. Price: GBP 7.50.
This textbook provides a complete guide to common occupational injuries and illnesses, their diagnosis and treatment, and preventive and remedial measures in the workplace. It is a comprehensive resource for health care professionals in all specialities dealing with the complexities of occupational medicine. Its broad coverage and emphasis on fundamental concepts also make it an ideal text for students and residents.
Prentice-Hall International Inc., 66 Wood Lane End, Hemel Hempstead HP2 4RG, United Kingdom, 1990. xiii, 594p. Illus. Bibl.ref. Appendix. Index. Price: USD 43.15.
Bélanger J.D., Stanziani C.
Library of Parliament, Research Branch
This overview of railway safety issues discusses recent accident trends in Canada and the U.S. Most derailments are caused by track and equipment problems while collisions are mostly due to human error. Most of the overview deals with the conclusions and recommendations of the Foisy Report, which investigated the 1986 Hinton (Alberta) rail accident. The Report dwelt at length on the working conditions which contributed to the accident, plus shortcomings in the system of evaluating, monitoring and maintaining employee health. Government legislation which resulted from the Report is summarised, including the Ministerial task force recommendations concerning alcohol and drug screening tests for employees. The publication is also available in a French-language version.
Supply and Services Canada, Place du Portage, Phase III, 11 Laurier Street, Hull, Quebec K1A 0S5, Canada, Rev.ed., 7 Sep. 1990. 17p. 11 ref.
Petiot J.C., Parrot J., Lobreau J.P., Smolik H.J.
Combined effects of a moderate dose of alcohol and of exposure to noise upon auditory fatigue
Effects of alcohol consumption on hearing thresholds at 4 and 6kHz were studied on 16 subjects exposed for 20 minutes to 105dB continuous pink noise. Two minutes after noise had ceased, the mean hearing thresholds at 4kHz reached a significantly lower level in subjects under the effect of alcohol. Auditory fatigue was significantly lower than in a noise condition without alcohol. The rate of recovery from auditory fatigue was not modified by alcohol, but owing to initially lower auditory fatigue, recovery at 4kHz was attained earlier under alcohol. No noticeable effect of alcohol was found for auditory fatigue at 6kHz.
Archives of Complex Environmental Studies, Mar. 1990, Vol.2, No.1, p.37-41. Illus. 18 ref.
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