Air transportation - 364 entries found
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Chorley A.C., Evans B.J., Benwell M.J.
Civilian pilot exposure to ultraviolet and blue light and pilot use of sunglasses
A search and appraisal of the relevant literature was conducted which showed that within the airline pilot population, there is limited evidence of a higher prevalence of cataracts. There are no data of other known ultraviolet (UV)-related ocular pathology. There is some evidence of higher prevalence of skin melanomas. Studies measuring cockpit UV radiation levels are limited and leave unanswered questions regarding airline pilot exposure. Data from optical transmission of cockpit windshields demonstrates the UV blocking properties at sea level. No studies have addressed the occupational use of sunglasses in airline pilots. Although it is likely that an aircraft windshield effectively blocks UV-B, the intensity of UV-A and short-wavelength blue light present within the cockpit at altitude is unknown. Pilots may be exposed to solar radiation for periods of many hours during flight where UV radiation is known to be significantly greater. Aircraft windshields should have a standard for optical transmission, particularly of short-wavelength radiation. Clear, un-tinted prescription glasses will offer some degree of UV protection; however, sunglasses will offer superior protection. Any sunglasses used should conform to a national standard.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2011, Vol.82, No.9, p.895-900. 46 ref.
Civilian_pilot_exposure_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
Prombumroong J., Janwantanakul P., Pensri P.
Prevalence of biopsychosocial factors associated with low back pain in commercial airline pilots
The aim of this study was to examine the 12-month prevalence of low back pain (LBP) and to identify individual, flight-related and psychosocial factors associated with the prevalence of LBP in commercial airline pilots. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with a self-administered questionnaire delivered to 708 Thai airline pilots during their regular medical examinations. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to assess the associations between the prevalence of LBP and statistically significant factors. A total of 684 subjects (97%) returned the questionnaires. The 12-month prevalence of self-reported LBP among commercial airline pilots was 55.7%. An elevated risk of experiencing LBP was associated with occasionally to frequently encountering turbulence in the previous year, lifting luggage four or more times per duty period, perception of noise in the cockpit as being too loud, and perception of work hazards at intermediate to high levels. On the other hand, the factors that reduced the risk of experiencing LBP were performing vigorous exercise regularly and having 5-23 h rest breaks between flights.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2011, Vol.82, No.9, p.879-884. 29 ref.
Prevalence_of_biopsychosocial_factors_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
Liang G.F., Lin J.T., Hwang S.L., Wang E.M.Y., Patterson P.
Preventing human errors in aviation maintenance using an on-line maintenance assistance platform
In an effort to increase aviation maintenance and inspection safety, an on-line maintenance assistance platform (on-line MAP) was developed for technicians to perform maintenance tasks. In this platform, the risk of human error was defined for each task procedure. The platform was validated on a jet engine by comparing the current work-card instruction and the proposed on-line MAP in two high-complexity teamwork tasks and one low-complexity individual task. In addition, a subjective questionnaire survey (addressing maintenance behavior, issues related to the current work-card, performance shaping factor investigation, and mental workload), an objective performance measure (expert evaluation and situation awareness), and time performance were collected from 42 participants and analyzed to quantify the human errors into the human error impact risk index. The results revealed that teams' risk cognition, situation awareness, technicians' performance and their job satisfaction were all increased by the proposed on-line MAP instruction compared to the current work-card instruction system.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 2010, Vol.40, p.356-367. Illus. 41 ref.
Forde K.A., Albert W.J., Harrison M.F., Neary P., Croll J., Callaghan J.P.
Neck loads and posture exposure of helicopter pilots during simulated day and night flights
This study investigated neck loads and neck postures experienced by Canadian Forces helicopter pilots during routine simulator day and night flights. During the night flights pilots' helmets were equipped with night vision goggles (NVG) which have been implicated in the increase of neck pain amongst pilots. Pilot's postures were determined from video recordings of their flight missions. Neck postures and peak and cumulative cervical kinetic loading were significantly different between day and night. The percentage of work cycle spent in mildly flexed posture increased significantly from 43% during day flights to 74% during night flights. Furthermore, cumulative reaction compression values increased significantly. The biomechanical results lend support to previous physiological investigations of NVG use and further justify the need for guidelines associated with their use.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 2010, Vol.41, p.128-135. Illus. 46 ref.
Dorevitch S., Lacey S.E., Abelmann A., Zautcke J.
Occupational needlestick injuries in a US airport
To characterize needlestick injuries (NSIs) among airport workers, and to suggest preventive strategies, a retrospective review (2003-2008) was conducted of workers evaluated at a clinic in a large United States airport that provides occupational health services. Over a period of six years, 14 NSI cases were seen. The majority of injuries occurred while workers cleaned lavatories in the airport or on airplanes. Insulin needles were involved in most cases, and the injuries typically occurred on the hand. No cases of hepatitis B, C, or HIV seroconversion were documented, although follow-up was typically incomplete. The improper disposal of used insulin needles among travellers can result in potential bloodborne pathogen exposure among airport workers.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, May 2010, Vol.52, No.5, p.551-554. 31 ref.
Occupational_needlestick_injuries.pdf [in English]
Malakis S., Kontogiannis T., Kirwan B.
Managing emergencies and abnormal situations in air traffic control: Taskwork strategies (Part I); Teamwork strategies (Part II)
A large body of research in air traffic control has focused on human errors in decision making while little attention has been paid to the cognitive strategies employed by controllers in managing abnormal situations. This study examines the cognitive strategies in taskwork and teamwork that enable controllers to become resilient decision-makers. Two field studies were carried out where novice and experienced controllers were observed in simulator training in emergency and unusual scenarios. A prototype model of taskwork and teamwork strategies in air traffic management was developed and its construct validity was tested in the context of the field studies, leading to the development of a generic model of Taskwork and Teamwork strategies in Emergencies in Air traffic Management (T(2)EAM). Difficulties experienced by novice controllers are discussed, together with strategies employed by experts to manage uncertainty and balance workload during emergencies.
Applied Ergonomics, July 2010, Vol.41, No.4, p.620-627. Illus 34 ref. (part I); 628-635. Illus. 36 ref. (part II).
Lacey S.E., Abelmann. A., Dorevitch S.
Exposure to human waste from spills while servicing aircraft lavatories: Hazards and methods of prevention
Workers service the lavatories of commercial aircraft approximately 11 million times per year in the United States and may have exposure to the spectrum of pathogenic viruses, bacteria and parasites potentially found in human waste. An industrial hygiene inspection of the workplace was conducted by an interdisciplinary occupational safety and health team, during which the tasks carried out by lavatory waste operators and supervisors were observed. Exposure to untreated waste can occur through dermal, ingestion and inhalation in quantities ranging from droplets to large spills. Several engineering and administrative measures were advised to minimize worker exposure, including the effective locking of a critical valve and a mechanism for communicating valve locking problems.
Industrial Health, Jan. 2010, Vol.48, No.1, p.123-128. Illus. 20 ref.
Exposure_to_human_waste.pdf [in English]
Houston S., Mitchell S., Evans S.
Application of a cardiovascular disease risk prediction model among commercial pilots
In this cross-sectional study, a cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk prediction model was applied to United Kingdom commercial pilots. Variables included age, sex, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, use of antihypertensive medication, current smoking and diabetes status. Individual 10-year absolute CVD risk scores (also referred to as 10-yr global CVD risk) were calculated using a model developed by the Framingham Heart Study, a long-term ongoing cardiovascular cohort study on residents of a locality of the United States. None of the female pilots and 9.7% of male pilots were found to be at high risk. High-risk pilots are concentrated around 60 years of age. These pilots may require more comprehensive risk assessment. Other findings are discussed.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2010, Vol.81, No.8, p.768-773. Illus. 17 ref.
Chang Y.H., Wang Y.C.
Significant human risk factors in aircraft maintenance technicians
This study examined significant human risk factors among aircraft maintenance technicians in Taiwan. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire from 20 technicians having more than 15 years of supervisory experience. The study identified 46 possible risk factors, of which nine were found to be critical. This list will help airlines to improve their risk management and maintenance operations.
Safety Science, Jan. 2010, Vol.48, No.1, p.54-62. Illus. 34 ref.
Oxley L., Riley D., Tapley S.
Musculoskeletal ill-health risks for airport baggage handlers
In the United Kingdom, the majority of baggage handling is contracted out from the airline to ground handling services. Little consideration has been given to the design and working of the interface between the airline, aircraft, airport, handling equipment manufacturer and ground handler. This report describes the work undertaken to gather further information on the musculoskeletal ill-health risks associated with baggage handling operations and to appraise the efficacy of new extending belt loader (EBL) technology. The various parties formed a collaborative working group to take this work forward. The evidence presented in this report and in previous work by the HSE provides a strong case for this task to be re-designed or mechanised to reduce the risk of injury. See also RR 674, ISN 111995
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2009. x, 94p. Illus. 29 ref.
RR_675.pdf [in English]
Reducing the risks associated with the manual handling of air passenger baggage for narrow bodied aircraft
This report is an update of an earlier review for ramp-based baggage handling related literature undertaken in 2005. The aim of this review is to present information relating to alternative methods of loading narrow-bodied aircraft that reduce the manual handling related injury and ill-health risks to the handlers, and to identify knowledge gaps. This was used to inform subsequent work on the prevention of musculoskeletal diseases at an airport in the United Kingdom (East Midlands Airport, see ISN 111996, RR675).
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2009. vi, 25p. Illus. 46 ref.
RR_674.pdf [in English]
Webb C.M., Bass J.M., Johnson D.M., Kelley A.M., Martin C.R., Wildzunas R.M.
Simulator sickness in a helicopter flight training school
Simulator sickness is a common problem during flight training and can affect both instructor pilots and student pilots. This study was conducted in response to complaints about a high incidence of simulator sickness associated with use of new simulators for rotary-wing aircraft. Data were collected by means of questionnaires from 73 instructors and 129 students who used the new simulators. Based on analysis of these data, operator comments and a literature survey, it was recommended limiting simulator flights to 2h, removing unusual or unnatural manoeuvres, turning off the sidescreens to reduce the field-of-view, avoiding use of improperly calibrated simulators until repaired, and stressing proper rest and health discipline among the pilots. The success of these measures was evaluated one year later by collecting data from 25 instructors and 50 students. Implementation of the recommendations reduced simulator sickness in the new simulators, however at the cost of limiting session duration and shutting down some simulator features.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, June 2009, Vol.80, No.6, p.541-545. 11 ref.
Evans A.D., Watson D.B., Evans S.A., Hastings J., Singh J., Thibeault C.
Safety management as a foundation for evidence-based aeromedical standards and reporting of medical events
The various national interpretations of the aeromedical standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization have resulted in a variety of approaches to the development of national aeromedical policy, and consequently a relative lack of harmonization. However, in many areas of aviation, safety management systems have been recently introduced and may represent a way forward. This article discusses the main areas where safety management principles can help improve the use of aeromedical data to enhance flight safety.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, June 2009, Vol.80, No.6, p.511-515. 15 ref.
Wagstaff A.S., Årva P.
Hearing loss in civilian airline and helicopter pilots compared to air traffic control personnel
In order to investigate possible hearing loss as a consequence of aviation noise, audiometric data from Air Traffic Control (ATC) personnel, airline pilots and helicopter pilots was compared. Male subjects randomly-selected from the Norwegian civil aviation staff included 50 ATC, 81 helicopter pilots and 51 airline pilots, who were subjected to audiometric testing at two intervals 2-3yrs apart. For all three groups, mean hearing threshold levels were above ISO 7129 values for most frequencies. The fact that helicopter pilots had similar hearing loss to their other aviation colleagues indicates that current hearing protection for these pilots is effective in counteracting the increased noise levels in helicopters. Other findings are discussed.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2009, Vol.80, No.10, p.857-861. Illus. 16 ref.
Yong L.C., Sigurdson A.J., Ward E.M., Waters M.A., Whelan E.A., Petersen M.R., Bhatti P., Ramsey M.J., Ron E., Tucker J.D.
Increased frequency of chromosome translocations in airline pilots with long-term flying experience
Chromosome translocations are an established biomarker of cumulative exposure to external ionising radiation. This study determined the frequency of translocations in the peripheral blood lymphocytes of 83 airline pilots and 50 comparison subjects. Translocations were scored in an average of 1039 cell equivalents (CE) per subject using fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) whole chromosome painting and expressed per 100 CE. Data were subjected to statistical analyses. There was no significant difference in the mean translocation frequency of pilots and comparison subjects. However, among pilots, the adjusted translocation frequency was significantly associated with flight years. Other findings are discussed.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2009, Vol.66, No.1, p.56-62. 40 ref.
Arjomandi M., Haight T., Redberg R., Gold W.M.
Pulmonary function abnormalities in never-smoking flight attendants exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke in the aircraft cabin
To determine whether the flight attendants who were exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke in the aircraft cabin have abnormal pulmonary function, 61 never-smoking female flight attendants who worked in active air crews before the smoking ban on commercial aircraft were administered questionnaires and pulmonary function testing. Although the flight attendants had normal FVC, FEV1 and FEV1/FVC ratio, other pulmonary function abnormalities were suggestive of airway obstruction and impaired diffusion, likely to be related to their exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke in the cabin.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2009, Vol.51, No.6, p.639-646. Illus. 55 ref.
Wong D.K.Y., Pitfield D.E., Caves R.E., Appleyard A.J.
The development of a more risk-sensitive and flexible airport safety area strategy
This two-part paper presents the development of an improved airport risk assessment methodology aimed at assessing risks related to aircraft accidents at and in the vicinity of airports and managing airport safety areas as a risk mitigation measure. The methodology is more quantitative, risk-sensitive, flexible and transparent than standard risk assessment approaches. A first part of the paper presents the methodological advances made in the development of accident frequency models, while second part presents the analysis of accident locations, including the plotting of Complementary Cumulative Probability Distributions for the relevant accident types. The improved risk assessment technique and management strategy was also demonstrated in two case studies based on two airports in the United States.
Safety Science, Aug. 2009, Vol.47, No.7, p.903-912. Illus. 35 ref. (Part 1); p.913-924. Illus. 5 ref. (Part 2).
Rodrigues de Carvalho P.V., Gomes J.O., Huber G.J., Vidal M.C.
Normal people working in normal organizations with normal equipment: System safety and cognition in a mid-air collision
A fundamental challenge in improving the safety of complex systems is to understand how accidents emerge in normal working situations, with equipment functioning normally in normally structured organizations. This article presents an analysis of a true case of a mid-air collision between a commercial carrier and an executive jet, in a clear afternoon sky in which 154 people lost their lives. The focus was on how and why several safety barriers of a well structured air traffic system failed, leading to the occurrence of this tragedy, without any catastrophic component failure, and in a situation where everything was functioning normally.
Applied Ergonomics, May 2009, Vol.40, No.3, p.325-340. Illus. 40 ref.
Caldwell J.A., Mallis M.M., Caldwell J.L., Paul M.A., Miller J.C., Neri D.F.
Fatigue countermeasures in aviation
Accident statistics, reports from pilots themselves, and operational flight studies all show that fatigue is a growing concern within commercial civil aviation. This position paper reviews relevant scientific literature, analyses applicable United States civilian and military flight regulations, evaluates various in-flight and pre- and post-flight fatigue countermeasures, and describes emerging technologies for detecting and countering fatigue. Following the discussion of each major issue, position statements address ways to deal with fatigue in specific contexts with the goal of using current scientific knowledge to update policy and provide tools and techniques for improving air safety.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2009, Vol.80, No.1, p.29-59. 237 ref.
Missoni E., Nikolić N., Missoni I.
Civil aviation rules on crew flight time, flight duty, and rest: Comparison of 10 ICAO member States
Members of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) use various criteria to control flight crew scheduling and rest periods with the intention of reducing fatigue and thus improving airline safety. Comparison of these rules across nations may allow future harmonization of the criteria. The regulations of 10 ICAO member states were compiled to determine the factors used by each to control scheduling. Although the 10 states in this study have common aims for regulating crew duty, their regulations diverge with respect to details, using different tools in an effort to prevent the occurrence of excessive fatigue.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2009, Vol.80, No.2, p.135-138. 23 ref.
Kagami S., Bradshaw S.E., Fukumoto M., Tsukui I.
Cataracts in airline pilots: Prevalence and aeromedical considerations in Japan
A retrospective cohort study of 3780 Japanese airline pilots revealed 105 (2.8%) cases of actual or past cataracts. In no case was visual acuity sufficiently impaired for the pilot's licence to be suspended. It is recommended that more attention be paid to potential cataracts in pilots in the future.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2009, Vol.80, No.9, p.811-814. Illus. 23 ref.
Collet C., Averty P., Dittmar A.
Autonomic nervous system and subjective ratings of strain in air-traffic control
The objective of this study was to evaluate the perceived mental strain among air-traffic controllers by means of self-evaluation and five physiological indicators from the autonomic nervous system, namely: skin potential, skin conductance, skin blood flow, skin temperature and heart rate. Each physiological variable was averaged to match the times spent monitoring a given number of aircraft. After the session, participants rated their stress using the NASA-TLX rating scale. Both subjective ratings and physiological values were closely correlated to the number of aircraft being monitored, which could evolve at random between one and ten. Results provide objective information to prevent air-traffic controllers from overloaded situations.
Applied Ergonomics, Jan. 2009, Vol.40, No.1, p.23-32. Illus. 33 ref.
Atuchaan C., Mueller C.
Evaluation of radiation exposure to TSA baggage screeners
In 2002 and 2003, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received health hazard evaluation (HHE) requests from Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees at several airports, expressing concerns about a variety of issues including exposure to X-rays from carry-on baggage and checked baggage screening machines. TSA management also submitted a separate request for NIOSH to perform an independent study to determine the levels of radiation emissions from the various TSA screening equipment, and whether routine use of dosimetry is warranted. In May 2003, 12 airports were randomly selected for study. Basic characterizations of work practices, spot measurements for radiation, and employee interviews were completed between 2003 and 2004. Monthly radiation measurements were obtained from personal dosimeters issued to TSA baggage screeners. It was observed that Explosive Detection System (EDS) machines at several airports exhibited a flaw that could be a source of unnecessary radiation exposure to baggage screeners operating these machines. However none of the participants' doses exceeded the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) permissible exposure limit. Furthermore, no doses exceeded 25% of the OSHA quarterly limit which would require employee monitoring. Recommendations include taking some defective machines offline and extending the evaluation to a larger number of airports.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-2001, USA, Sep. 2008. vi, 50p. Illus. 19 ref.
HETA_2003-0206-3067.pdf [in English]
Radican L., Blair A., Stewart P., Wartenberg D.
Mortality of aircraft maintenance workers exposed to trichloroethylene and other hydrocarbons and chemicals: Extended follow-up
The objective of this study was to extend the follow-up of 14,455 aircraft maintenance workers from 1990 to 2000, and evaluate mortality risk from exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) and other chemicals. Multivariable Cox models were used to estimate relative risk (RR) for exposed versus unexposed workers. Among TCE-exposed workers, there was no statistically significant increased risk of all-cause mortality (RR 1.04) or death from all cancers (RR 1.03). Some significant excesses were found for several chemical exposure subgroups and causes. However, interpretation is difficult due to the small numbers of events for specific exposures.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Nov. 2008, Vol.50, No.11, p.1306-1319. 34 ref.
Hymel P., Yang W.
Review of malaria risk and prevention for use in corporate travel
Malaria continues to be a significant, life-threatening illness in many parts of the world. For corporate travellers from countries with low endemicity, the risk of infection is considerable. Many corporate travellers are unaware of their risk, unsure of the correct preventative measures and receive incorrect advice regarding prevention or do not comply with advice they have received. This review addresses the risk of malaria to the non-immune corporate traveller, disease transmission, and recommended means of prevention, including the protection against mosquito bites and anti-malaria chemoprophylaxis.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug 2008, Vol.50, No.8, p.951-959. Illus. 61 ref.
Connor B.A., Patron D.J.
Use of an accelerated immunization schedule for combined hepatitis A and B protection in the corporate traveler
Increased international business travel to moderate or high endemic areas of hepatitis A and B may leave many business travellers at risk for infection if not vaccinated. Often, the decision to travel to these regions is taken less than two months before departure. Because many areas endemic for hepatitis A are also endemic for hepatitis B, accelerated administration of the combined vaccine can offer protection for international business travellers destined for these countries, and should be part of corporate travel immunization programmes.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug 2008, Vol.50, No.8, p.945-950. Illus. 44 ref.
Risk and burden associated with the acquisition of viral hepatitis A and B in the corporate traveler
As the number of international business travellers continues to grow, so does the list of destinations, many of which are endemic for hepatitis A and B. For employers, infected employees can result in increased health care costs and reduced productivity. Safe and efficacious vaccines are available. Well-designed immunization plans organized within the enterprise health system can prevent hepatitis A and B when employees are abroad on business. This article discusses the risks, costs and prevention of hepatitis A and B for international business travellers.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug 2008, Vol.50, No.8, p.935-944. Illus. 74 ref.
Hudson T.W., Fortuna J.
Overview of selected infectious disease risks for the corporate traveler
International business travel to developing countries has increased considerably over the past two decades. Many of these destinations are endemic to a variety of infectious diseases, some of which are associated with considerable morbidity, mortality, or both. Non-immune travellers are at risk. Comprehensive pre-travel consultation is essential to prevent travel-related illness. This review addresses some of the infectious diseases that can be acquired during international travel, including endemic regions, assessment of risk and available means of prevention.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug 2008, Vol.50, No.8, p.924-934. Illus. 77 ref.
Powell D., Spencer M.B., Holland D., Petrie K.J.
Fatigue in two-pilot operations: Implications for flight and duty time limitations
Fatigue is an important consideration in two-pilot commercial flights as there is little opportunity for in-flight rest. This study investigated the role of duty length and time of day on fatigue. Pilots flying two-pilot operations ranging from 3-12h completed fatigue ratings prior to descent at the end of each flight over a 12-week period. A total of 3023 usable ratings were collected. It was found that time of day had a marked effect on the pattern of fatigue at the start of the duty and on the rate at which fatigue levels increased, with the highest levels in the circadian low (from 2 to 6 a.m.). Fatigue also increased with the length of duty and was 0.56 points higher at the end of a two-sector compared with a single-sector duty. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Nov. 2008, Vol.79, No.11, p.1047-1050. Illus. 7 ref.
Pauley K.A., O'Hare D., Mullen N.W., Wiggins M.
Implicit perceptions of risk and anxiety and pilot involvement in hazardous events
Pilots' decision making consists of both explicit processes and implicit, or intuitive, processes. This study examined the relationship between the implicit reactions toward risk among general aviation pilots in New Zealand and Australia, and their involvement in hazardous events. The pilots responded to a questionnaire and the Implicit Association Test was used to measure their associations between weather conditions and perceived risk and anxiety. It was found that the more weather-related hazardous events the pilots had been involved in, the less they associated implicit risk with adverse weather and the less implicitly anxious they were toward adverse weather. Pilots may therefore be involved in risk-taking behaviour because they perceive less risk in, and are implicitly less afraid of, hazardous conditions.
Human Factors, Oct. 2008, Vol.50, No.5, p.723-733. 54 ref.
Pizzi C., Evans S.A., De Stavola B.L., Evans A., Clemens F., dos Santos . Silva I.
Lifestyle of UK commercial aircrews relative to air traffic controllers and the general population
A cohort of 17,990 commercial aircrews in the United Kingdom was identified through the Civil Aviation Authority records. Demographic, lifestyle, reproductive and medical characteristics of commercial aircrews were compared with those of air traffic controllers identified in a similar way as aircrews and estimates for the general population of the United Kingdom. Both aircrews and air traffic controllers differed considerably from the general population with, for instance, much lower prevalences of current smoking, obesity and hypertension but higher levels of regular physical exercise. Aircrews and air traffic controllers undergo a similar employment selection process and thus taking the latter as the reference population, in addition to the general population, will allow minimizing the "healthy worker effect" in future epidemiological studies.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2008, Vol.79, No.10, p.964-974. Illus. 25 ref.
Rosenkvist L., Klokker M., Katholm M.
Upper respiratory infections and barotraumas in commercial pilots: A retrospective survey
The 948 commercial pilots having visited the Danish Aero Medical Centre during a six-month period were given a questionnaire on symptoms of upper respiratory infections (URI) and barotrauma incidence in relation to flying with a common cold. Every pilot declared having experienced one to two URIs per year. 57.2% reported themselves unfit, while 42.8% continued with their flying duties despite their symptoms. Of the latter group, 78.0% reported taking decongestant medication. More than one-third of the pilots (37.6%) reported having experienced one or more episodes of ear barotrauma, mainly during descent, whereas 19.5% reported one or more sinus barotrauma incidents during their flying career. The findings show that not all pilots and airline companies consider URI a valid reason for unfitness to fly despite the risk for acute incapacitation.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2008, Vol.79, No.10, p.960-963. 18 ref.
Viitasalo K., Kuosma E., Laitinen J., Härmä M.
Effects of shift rotation and the flexibility of a shift system on daytime alertness and cardiovascular risk factors
This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of changes in shift rotation (direction and speed) and in the flexibility of the shift system on alertness and cardiovascular risk factors. Altogether 84 male maintenance workers of an airline in Finland working in a backward-rotating shift system volunteered for the study, among whom 40 changed to a rapidly forward-rotating shift system, 22 to a more flexible shift system and 22 remained with the old shift system. Data on health effects were collected by means of clinical examinations, blood tests and questionnaires before and after the shift changes. Analyses of variance were used to study associations of cardiovascular risk factors and daytime sleepiness according to the change in shift systems. It was found that that faster speed together with a change to the forward direction in shift rotation alleviates daytime sleepiness. Furthermore, increased flexibility has favourable effects on blood pressure. Other findings are discussed.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, June 2008, Vol.34, No.3, p.198-205. Illus. 34 ref.
McKernan L.T., Hein M.J., Wallingford K.M., Burge H., Herrick R.
Assessing total fungal concentrations on commercial passenger aircraft using mixed-effects modeling
The primary objective of this study was to compare airborne fungal concentrations onboard commercial passenger aircraft at various in-flight times with concentrations measured inside and outside airport terminals. Culturable and total spore samples were collected on twelve wide-body commercial passenger aircraft during various stages of the flight. Comparison samples were collected inside and outside origin and destination airport terminals. Overall, both total culturable and total spore fungal concentrations were low while the aircraft were in flight. Both culturable and total spore concentrations were significantly higher outside the airport terminal compared with inside the airport terminal and inside the aircraft. On the aircraft, most exposures occurred during the boarding and deplaning processes, when the aircraft utilized ancillary ventilation and passenger activity was at its peak.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Jan. 2008, Vol.5, No.1, p.48-58. Illus. 22 ref.
Prieto M.J., Moreno M., Nava P., Zapata L., Herranz R.
Study based on biological dosimetry techniques of the possible effects of ionizing radiation on the health of airline personnel
Investigación, mediante técnicas de dosimetría biológica, de posibles efectos sobre la salud por causa de las radiaciones ionizantes en profesionales de líneas aéreas [in Spanish]
Following a presentation of the characteristics, indications and methodology of biological dosimetry, together with the effects of ionizing radiation on biological structures, this article describes a project undertaken in a university hospital in Madrid, Spain, aimed at quantifying the effects of such radiation by means of biological dosimetry. Calibration curves (number of translocations or dicentrics per cell as a function of dose) were determined. The basic frequencies of dicentrics within two population samples were first studied: a sample consisting of subjects not having been occupationally or medically exposed to ionizing radiation and a sample consisting of persons exposed to low radiation doses (personnel of the radiological department). A case-control study was next carried out among employees of an airline (cabin crews and ground staff) in order to determine the rate of translocations among persons chronically exposed to ionizing radiation. This project is still under way and the partial results are yet difficult to interpret.
Prevención, Jan.-Mar. 2008, No.183, p.18-35. Illus.
D'Este C., Attia J.R., Brown A.M., Gibson R., Gibberd R., Tavener M., Guest M., Horsley K., Harrex W., Ross J.
Cancer incidence and mortality in aircraft maintenance workers
A cancer incidence and mortality study was conducted in response to health concerns raised by workers from fuel tank seal maintenance programmes of a type of fighter aircraft used by the Australian air force. The number of deaths and cancers for individuals involved in seal maintenance activities were matched against two Air Force comparison groups. Analyses were weighted to adjust for differences in age, exposure period and rank. Subjects included 873 exposed, 7,577 comparison group one, and 9,408 comparison group two individuals. Cancer incidence was higher in the exposed group (cancer incidence rate ratio range 1.45-1.62). Other findings are discussed.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Feb. 2008, Vol.51, No.2, p.16-23. 16 ref.
Kojo K., Helminen M., Leuthold G., Aspholm R., Auvinen A.
Estimating cosmic radiation dose for a cabin crew with flight timetables
The aim of this study was to develop an assessment method for occupational exposure of the cabin crew of a Finnish airline to cosmic radiation based on flight timetables. The frequency of flights, aircraft types and flight profiles from timetables were collected. The cosmic radiation dose was calculated with the EPCARD software. Based on annual doses and work history, the cumulative dose was estimated. The annual dose increased linearly: 0.7 milliSievert (mSv) in 1960, 1.6mSv in 1980, 2.3mSv in 1985, and 2.1mSv in 1995. The median cumulative dose was 20.8mSv. This method provides a simple algorithm for occupational dose assessment for cabin crew and can also be used in other research settings.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, May 2007, Vol.49, No.5, p.540-545. Illus. 19 ref.
Glitsch U., Ottersbach H.J., Ellegast R., Schaub K., Franz G., Jäger M.
Physical workload of flight attendants when pushing and pulling trolleys aboard aircraft
Musculoskeletal loads from moving trolleys aboard aircraft were assessed by observations of trolley handling on aircraft and in a laboratory set up. Trolley handling by 15 female flight attendants was observed on 10 short- and medium-distance flights. Furthermore, 25 selected flight attendants (22 women; three men) from five German airlines took part in the laboratory study, which comprised three-dimensional measurements of posture and hand forces during pushing and pulling of trolleys in a variety of configurations. From the on-flight observations performed, between 150 and 250 trolley movements can be projected for a work shift. The greatest physical workload is to be expected at the beginning of service, when the trolleys are fully laden then and the cabin floor can be inclined up to 8°, as the aircraft is still climbing. In addition, the forces depend significantly on the trolley type, mode of handling and personal dexterity. Other findings are discussed.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 2007, Vol.37, p.845-854. Illus. 22 ref.
François M., Liévin D., Mouzé-Amady M.
Tasks, workload and stress among airline flight staff
Activité, charge de travail et stress du personnel navigant des compagnies aériennes [in French]
This article presents the findings of a study carried out between 2000 and 2004 on the relationships between job requirements and the physical, mental and emotional workload of airline flight staff in France. The scope focussed on short- and medium-haul flights. The method used was based on ergonomic and psychosocial approaches, and involved a literature survey, interviews, questionnaires and job observations. Findings are centred on three main areas: physical environment, workload and stress. Practical prevention proposals are presented.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 3rd Quarter 2007, No.111, p.307-333. Illus. 24 ref.
http://www.dmt-prevention.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/IntranetObject-accesParReference/TC%20115/$File/TC115.pdf [in French]
Lindgren T., Andersson K., Norbäck D.
Perception of cockpit environment among pilots on commercial aircraft
Impaired cockpit environment may influence both well-being and performance of pilots. The purpose of this study was to assess the perception of cockpit environment among pilots in relation to demographic factors and type of aircraft. A standardized questionnaire was mailed to all pilots of one airline, among whom 622 responded (81%). Multiple logistic regression analysis was applied, controlling for age, gender, smoking, perceived psychosocial work environment and type of aircraft. Younger age, a history of atopy and stress due to excess work were the main predictors of symptoms and cockpit environment perceptions. The most common symptoms were fatigue, facial dermal and nasal symptoms. Other findings are discussed.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2006, Vol.77, No.8, p.832-837. 13 ref.
Lee H., Wilbur J.E., Conrad K.M., Mokadam D.
Work-related musculoskeletal symptoms reported by female flight attendants on long-haul flights
The purpose of this study was to identify the prevalence and severity of work-related musculoskeletal symptoms (WMSS) among female flight attendants working on long-haul flights at a major airline. A cross-sectional, mailed survey was conducted with female flight attendants randomly selected among eligible subjects, 185 of who returned completed questionnaires (63% response rate). WMSS in nine body regions were determined by the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire and the NIOSH Symptom Survey Questionnaire. The prevalence of WMSS by body region ranged from 50% to 86%. Almost all (97%) of the flight attendants in this study experienced some level of WMS during the past year. The WMSS tended to involve more than one body region and the lower back was the most commonly affected body region.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 2006, Vol.77, No.12, p.1283-1287. 15 ref.
Iavicoli I., Carelli G., Bergamaschi A.
Exposure evaluation to airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in an Italian airport
The aim of this study was to evaluate occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and biphenyl in an Italian airport. In winter 2005, 12 air samples were taken at 120L/min during 24h in three different areas of the airport. PAH levels were found to be generally low. In all investigated areas, the highest concentrations were found for naphthalene (130-13,050ng/m3), followed by 2-methylnaphthalene (64-28,500ng/m3), 1-methylnaphthalene (24-35,300ng/m3), and biphenyl (24-1610ng/m3). However, in some instances, the levels found for benzo[i+j+k]fluoranthenes and benzo[α]pyrene, two high-boiling PAHs, (54.2ng/m3 and 8.6ng/m3, respectively) are a cause of concern.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2006, Vol.48, No.8, p.815-822. 32 ref.
The purpose of aircraft disinsection is to protect public health, the environment, agriculture and livestock from insect vectors. The World Health Organization published general disinsection procedural guidelines in the International Health Regulations (IHR). A 2% pyrethrum solution, a naturally occurring substance found in the chrysanthemum flower, or several synthetic pyrethroids, are the recommended agents because they are extremely effective insecticides which pose minimal health risks. However, there are reports of symptoms allegedly due to insecticide exposure among cabin crew. This paper discusses the background of aircraft disinsection and the procedures to be followed, together with the types of agents and their toxicity.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, July 2006, Vol.77, No.7, p.733-736. 16 ref.
Lipscomb H.J., Glazner J.E., Bondy J., Guarini K., Lezotte D.
Injuries from slips and trips in construction
Data on injuries preceded by a slip or trip were collected during the construction of the Denver International Airport, the largest construction project in the world at the time. Slips and trips occurred at a rate of 5/200,000 hours worked, accounting for 18% of all injuries and 25% of workers' compensation payments, or more than USD 10 million. Slips contributed to the vast majority (85%) of same-level falls and over 30% of falls from height, as well as a significant number of musculoskeletal injuries sustained after slipping or tripping but without falling. In contrast to other types of injuries, the most common contributing factors were environmental in nature and included conditions of walking and working surfaces, terrain and weather. Reducing slips and trips require a focus on environmental and organizational solutions that need to be adapted as the site changes and the construction project evolves.
Applied Ergonomics, May 2006, Vol.37, No.3, p.267-274. Illus. 24 ref.
Norbäck D., Lindgren T., Wieslander G.
Changes in ocular and nasal signs and symptoms among air crew in relation to air humidification on intercontinental flights
This study evaluated the influence of aircraft air humidification on self-reported symptoms among aircrew. Participants comprised 71 flight staff who were examined during eight outbound flights from Stockholm to Chicago and eight return flights. The aircraft were equipped with an evaporation humidifier in the forward part of the cabin. Four of the flights had the air humidification device active on the outbound and deactivated on the inbound flights, while the other four flights had the inverse humidification sequence. The humidification increased the relative air humidity by 10% in the first row of the cabin, by 3% in the last row and by 3% in the cockpit. Air humidification increased tear-film stability and nasal patency and decreased ocular, nasal and dermal symptoms, and headache. The mean concentration of viable bacteria was low, both during the humidified and non-humidified flights. Air humidification could improve passenger and crew comfort and reduce the incidence of various symptoms.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Apr. 2006, Vol.32, No.2, p.138-144. 29 ref.
Eriksen C.A., Åkerstedt T., Nilsson J.P.
Fatigue in trans-Atlantic airline operations: Diaries and actigraphy for two- vs. three-pilot crews
The aim of this study was to compare intercontinental flights with two-pilot and three-pilot crews with respect to fatigue, sleepiness and sleep, as there is considerable economic pressure on airlines to use two-pilot crews. Twenty pilots participated. Data were collected before, during and after outbound and homebound flights using a diary and wrist actigraphy. The duration of flights was approximately 8h, and six time zones were crossed. Sleep, sleepiness, subjective performance, boredom, mood and layover sleep quality were assessed as having deteriorated in the two-pilot condition. It is suggested that time allotted to sleep in the two-pilot condition should be extended to improve alertness.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, June 2006, Vol.77, No.6, p.605-612. Illus. 28 ref.
Lauria L., Ballard T.J., Caldora M., Mazzanti C., Verdecchia A.
Reproductive disorders and pregnancy outcomes among female flight attendants
This study examined reproductive health among female flight attendants. A cross-sectional health survey was carried out among an occupational cohort of current and former flight attendants using a postal questionnaire including items on pregnancy outcome, menstrual characteristics and infertility. The questionnaire was sent to 3036 women with a response rate of 64% (74% for current and 48% for former flight attendants). Spontaneous abortion rates were similar for pregnancies of women in service and not (12.6 and 11.4% respectively). Induced abortion rates were lower for in-service pregnancies (7.9%) compared with pregnancies of women not in service (21.1%). Menstrual irregularities in the year preceding the survey for women aged under 40 years were more frequent among current than former flight attendants (20.6% and 10.4% respectively). Fertility problems were reported by 20.6% of respondents. An association between infertility and irregular menstrual cycles was found (odds ratio 1.6).
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, May 2006, Vol.77, No.5, p.533-539. Illus. 35 ref.
Martinussen M., Richardsen A.M.
Air traffic controller burnout: Survey responses regarding job demands, job resources, and health
There are currently many changes taking place in the aviation sector that affect the work of air traffic controllers (ATCOs), and thus it was considered important to assess work-related demands and stress responses among ATCOs. The purpose of this study was to assess the level of burnout among ATCOs compared to workers in other occupations, to examine the relationship between job demands, job resources and burnout, and to examine if burnout could predict both work and health-related outcomes. A questionnaire survey was carried out among 209 Norwegian ATCOs. The overall level of burnout was lower than among journalists and police officers, and similar to that of construction workers. This could be related to selection procedures for the profession. Burnout was related to important outcome variables such as psychosomatic complaints and attitudes toward work.
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2006, Vol.77, No.4, p.422-428. 33 ref.
Radican L., Wartenberg D., Rhoads G.G., Schneider D., Wedeen R., Stewart P., Blair A.
A retrospective occupational cohort study of end-stage renal disease in aircraft workers exposed to trichloroethylene and other hydrocarbons
Various case-control studies suggest that hydrocarbons increase end-stage renal disease (ESRD) risk. No cohort studies have been conducted. In this study, an occupational database was matched to the U.S. Renal Data System, and the outcome of ESRDs was examined using multivariable Cox regression. Sixteen individual hydrocarbons were studied. For the 1973-2000 period there was an approximate twofold increased risk of ESRD among workers exposed to trichloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and JP4 gasoline compared with unexposed subjects. Relative risk was greater than unity for several other hydrocarbons. Associations attenuated when 2001-2002 data were included in the analyses. It is concluded that certain hydrocarbons may increase ESRD risk, although some findings are contradictory and further research is needed.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2006, Vol.48, No.1, p.1-12. 32 ref.
Leggat P.A., Smith D.R.
Dermatitis and aircrew
Airline personnel are exposed to a wide range of potential chemical irritants and other aggravating factors such as low relative humidity. Common skin irritants include dielectric fluids, prepreg materials, sealants and jet-fuel, which consists of a complex mixture of aliphatic and aromatic compounds. Low relative humidity appears to exacerbate dermatitis amongst aircrew, especially on longer flight durations. Pilots may also be exposed to additional skin irritants outside of the cabin environment, such as ethylene glycol, hydraulic fluid or jet fuel, all of which may be encountered during routine inspections of aircraft before and after flight. Given these factors, preventive measures must carefully consider the potential for contact with irritants and allergens, which may lead to dermatitis in airline personnel.
Contact Dermatitis, Jan. 2006, Vol.54, No.1, p.1-4. 40 ref.
Pan J., Barbeau E.M., Levenstein C., Balbach E.D.
Smoke-free airlines and the role of organized labor: A case study
Labour unions play an important role in debates about smoke-free worksites. This study investigated the role of flight attendants and their unions in creating smoke-free air travel. Case study methodology was used to search tobacco industry documents and labour union periodicals and to interview key informants (people identified as having first-hand information and experience in the campaign to make airlines smoke free). Tobacco industry strategies against the establishment of smoke-free worksites failed in the case of airlines, largely because of the efforts of flight attendants and their unions. Other factors contributed to the failure but likely would have been insufficient to derail industry efforts without strong stands by the flight attendants. This case illustrates the potential for successful partnerships between unions and tobacco control policy advocates when developing smoke-free worksite policies.
American Journal of Public Health, Mar. 2005, Vol.95, No.3, p.398-403. 40 ref.
Smoke-free_airlines_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
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