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What's Trending
(Source: PLoS ONE, Aug 2019)
iWorkHealth: An instrument to identify workplace psychosocial risk factors for a multi-ethnic Asian working population

The increasing presence of workplace psychosocial risk factors leading to work stress can negatively impact a worker’s personal wellbeing, physical health and safety, as well as cause poor organisational outcomes such as loss of productivity and absenteeism.

The iWorkHealth is developed from various validated instruments and is a self-administered tool to identify workplace psychosocial risks in culturally diverse workplaces such as Singapore. The validation of the iWorkHealth tool involved a cross-sectional study among 2,718 employees aged 18 years and above who were working in Singapore in the healthcare, finance and legal sectors.

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Relevance: The use of such a tool would provide a baseline to track the success of interventions and could lead to best practices, standards and guidelines for the management of psychosocial risk factors in the workplace in Singapore.

WT_2_new (Source: JOEM, Aug 2019)
Potential work time lost due to sickness absence and presence among Japanese workers

By using a Work Functioning Impairment (WFun) tool, this study aimed to quantify both absenteeism and presenteeism in five Japanese companies.

The study found that the five companies lost an average of 0.11% of their workers’ total working days per annum due to long-term sick leave, and more than half of these absences were attributed to mental disorders.

Findings from the study showed that presenteeism was a more critical issue than absenteeism in Japan.

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Relevance: While absenteeism can impact an organisation’s productivity and business outcomes negatively, presenteeism should be addressed as it is seen to be a more critical issue compared to absenteeism.
Books from the WSH Institute Collection*
Mindfulness in the Workplace: An evidence-based approach to improving wellbeing and maximising performance

Margaret Chapman-Clarke

Workplace Wellbeing

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Fall Protection and Scaffolding Safety

Gagnet, CSP, Grace Drennan

Workplace Safety, Falls from Height

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Click here to access WSH Institute's e-books collection.

* The WSH Institute Collection is a compilation of WSH-related resources accessible to the public through our collaboration with the National Library Board (NLB).

OWL Highlights
Work accidents correlation analysis for construction projects in northern Greece 2003-2007: A retrospective study

This research focused on work accidents that occurred in construction projects in northern Greece. A sample of 413 reported cases of construction accidents from 2003 to 2007 were analysed from “Greek Work Inspection Organization”.

The results showed that majority of accidents were linked to workers in the 24- 44 years age group, skilled workers and inexperienced workers. Falls contributed to 54% of the accidents, indicating that workers neglected using safety barriers/equipment when working in a dangerous location or environment. The second major contributor to accidents was being “struck by falling objects”. This was attributed to the lack of protective measures either to secure an object from falling down or to minimise the consequences of a falling object striking an individual.

Fracture injuries were at 43% followed by cuts, head injuries, bruises with cuts or nail or ear loss at 15%, and concussions and internal injuries at 12%.

The major factor resulting in dangerous situations was “Organisation and safety management” accounting for 35% of the cases, followed by ““inadequate protection” at 34%.

To further improve health and safety in construction sites, this study suggested:

  1. Management to enforce use of individual protection gear;
  2. Management to promote health and safety training; and
  3. Government to implement stricter legislation for workplace health and safety.

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Theme: Construction Safety
Date of Publication: May 2019
Source: Safety

Destress 9-1-1 – an online mindfulness-based intervention in reducing stress among emergency medical dispatchers: A randomised controlled trial

Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) are known to be effective in reducing stress amongst the working population. This research investigated the effectiveness of a seven-week online MBI, which was customised specifically for the emergency medical dispatchers (EMDs) in the United States and Canada.

323 participants were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. Participants in the intervention group were asked to complete surveys of stress and mindfulness at baseline, post intervention and three-month follow-up. The online intervention, named Destress 9-1-1, comprised seven modules each completed on a weekly basis.

The results indicated that there were significant reductions in stress scores amongst EMDs in the intervention group after treatment.

The group also continued to show reduced stress scores at three-month follow-up when compared to the control group. These results indicated that online MBIs, which are affordable and convenient, may be a promising direction for clinical prevention and intervention to reduce stress.

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Theme: Psychosocial Health
Date of Publication: May 2019
Source: Occupational & Environmental Medicine

Embracing new loading dock technology to improve safety

Technological advancements such as automation, deployment of sensors and LED lights have made loading docks a safer workplace for employees. For example, the use of a highly visible LED light increases visibility of vehicle operators whose views might be obstructed by other objects. Other than light communication tools, motion sensor-based systems which trigger audio, and visual cues can help to improve safety by preventing collisions with moving vehicles.

Aside from safety, automation has also improved workers’ ergonomics by reducing the amount of manual operations needed to be done such as operating vehicle restraints, levellers and overhead doors.

The article also suggested for facility managers to look beyond exploring the use of only a single equipment to address safety challenges at loading docks.

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Theme: Technology and new ways of work
Date of Publication: Sep 2019
Source: EHS Today

Useful Resources
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The Observatory for WSH Landscape (OWL) is a function of the WSH Institute. OWL serves to observe, analyse and communicate developments affecting WSH, and promote collaboration among researchers, policy makers and industries to advance WSH policies and practices.