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  • 1. Adam-Poupart, Ariane
    et al.
    Labreche, France
    Smargiassi, Audrey
    Duguay, Patrice
    Busque, Marc-Antoine
    Gagne, Charles
    Rintamaki, Hannu
    Kjellström, Tord
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Zayed, Joseph
    Climate Change and Occupational Health and Safety in a Temperate Climate: Potential Impacts and Research Priorities in Quebec, Canada2013In: Industrial Health, ISSN 0019-8366, E-ISSN 1880-8026, Vol. 51, no 1, p. 68-78Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The potential impacts of climate change (CC) on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) have been studied a little in tropical countries, while they received no attention in northern industrialized countries with a temperate climate. This work aimed to establish an overview of the potential links between CC and OHS in those countries and to determine research priorities for Quebec, Canada. A narrative review of the scientific literature (2005-2010) was presented to a working group of international and national experts and stakeholders during a workshop held in 2010. The working group was invited to identify knowledge gaps, and a modified Delphi method helped prioritize research avenues. This process highlighted five categories of hazards that are likely to impact OHS in northern industrialized countries: heat waves/increased temperatures, air pollutants, UV radiation, extreme weather events, vector-borne/zoonotic diseases. These hazards will affect working activities related to natural resources (i.e. agriculture, fishing and forestry) and may influence the socioeconomic context (built environment and green industries), thus indirectly modifying OHS. From this consensus approach, three categories of research were identified: 1) Knowledge acquisition on hazards, target populations and methods of adaptation; 2) Surveillance of diseases/accidents/occupational hazards; and 3) Development of new occupational adaptation strategies.

  • 2. Jussila, Kirsi
    et al.
    Rissanen, Sirkka
    Aminoff, Anna
    Wahlström, Jens
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.
    Vaktskjold, Arild
    Talykova, Ljudmila
    Remes, Jouko
    Mänttäri, Satu
    Rintamäki, Hannu
    Thermal comfort sustained by cold protective clothing in Arctic open-pit mining: a thermal manikin and questionnaire study2017In: Industrial Health, ISSN 0019-8366, E-ISSN 1880-8026, Vol. 55, no 6, p. 537-548Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Workers in the Arctic open-pit mines are exposed to harsh weather conditions. Employers are required to provide protective clothing for workers. This can be the outer layer, but sometimes also inner or middle layers are provided. This study aimed to determine how the Arctic open-pit miners protect themselves against cold and the sufficiency, and the selection criteria of the garments. Workers' cold experiences and the clothing in four Arctic open-pit mines in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia were evaluated by a questionnaire (n=1323). Basic thermal insulation (Icl) of the reported clothing was estimated (ISO 9920). The Icl of clothing from the mines were also measured by thermal manikin (standing/walking) in 0.3 and 4.0 m/s wind. The questionnaire showed that the Icl of the selected clothing was on average 1.2 and 1.5 clo in mild (-5 to +5°C) and dry cold (-20 to -10°C) conditions, respectively. The Icl of the clothing measured by thermal manikin was 1.9w2.3 clo. The results show that the Arctic open-pit miners' selected their clothing based on occupational (time outdoors), environmental (temperature, wind, moisture) and individual factors (cold sensitivity, general health). However, the selected clothing was not sufficient to prevent cooling completely at ambient temperatures below -10°C.

  • 3.
    Kjellström, Tord
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Lemke, Bruno
    Otto, Matthias
    Mapping Occupational Heat Exposure and Effects in South-East Asia: Ongoing Time Trends 1980-2011 and Future Estimates to 20502013In: Industrial Health, ISSN 0019-8366, E-ISSN 1880-8026, Vol. 51, no 1, p. 56-67Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A feature of climate impacts on occupational health and safety are physiological limits to carrying out physical work at high heat exposure. Heat stress reduces a workers work capacity, leading to lower hourly labour productivity and economic output. We used existing weather station data and climate modeling grid cell data to describe heat conditions (calculated as Wet Bulb Globe Temperature, WBGT) in South-East Asia. During the hottest month in this region (March) afternoon WBGT levels are already high enough to cause major loss of hourly work capacity and by 2050 the situation will be extreme for many outdoor jobs.

  • 4.
    Kjellström, Tord
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Sawada, Shin-Ichi
    Bernard, Thomas E.
    Parsons, Ken
    Rintamäki, Hannu
    Holmér, Ingvar
    Climate change and occupational heat problems2013In: Industrial Health, ISSN 0019-8366, E-ISSN 1880-8026, Vol. 51, no 1, p. 1-2Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 5. Lemke, Bruno
    et al.
    Kjellström, Tord
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Calculating workplace WBGT from meteorological data: a tool for climate change assessment2012In: Industrial Health, ISSN 0019-8366, E-ISSN 1880-8026, Vol. 50, no 4, p. 267-278Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The WBGT heat stress index has been well tested under a variety of climatic conditions and quantitative links have been established between WBGT and the work-rest cycles needed to prevent heat stress effects at the workplace. While there are more specific methods based on individual physiological measurements to determine heat strain in an individual worker, the WBGT index is used in international and national standards to specify workplace heat stress risks. In order to assess time trends of occupational heat exposure at population level, weather station records or climate modelling are the most widely available data sources. The prescribed method to measure WBGT requires special equipment which is not used at weather stations. We compared published methods to calculate outdoor and indoor WBGT from standard climate data, such as air temperature, dew point temperature, wind speed and solar radiation. Specific criteria for recommending a method were developed and original measurements were used to evaluate the different methods. We recommend the method of Liljegren et al. (2008) for calculating outdoor WBGT and the method by Bernard etal. (1999) for indoor WBGT when estimating climate change impacts on occupational heat stress at a population level.

  • 6.
    Pettersson, Hans
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland.
    Rissanen, Sirkka
    Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland.
    Wahlström, Jens
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Rintamäki, Hannu
    Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland; Research Unit of Biomedicine, University of Oulu, Finland..
    Skin temperature responses to hand-arm vibration in cold and thermoneutral ambient temperatures2018In: Industrial Health, ISSN 0019-8366, E-ISSN 1880-8026, Vol. 56, no 6, p. 545-552Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Hand-arm vibration (HAV) from hand-held vibrating machines increases the risk of injury in the form of vasoconstriction in the fingers, commonly named as vibration induced white fingers (VWF). Cold temperature may increase that risk. This experimental study examined and compared the effects of the skin temperature of the hands during and after exposure to HAV in thermoneutral and cold conditions. Fourteen subjects were exposed to three conditions: 25°C with HAV, 5°C with HAV or 5°C without HAV. Their skin temperatures were continuously recorded for the thumbs, index fingers, palms, and back of hands. After 20 min of acclimatization, the subjects held, for five min, two handles where the right handle could vibrate at 5 m/s2 and the left was stationary. Finally, they released their grip and stood still for 10 more min. HAV had no additional cooling effect in cold during gripping of the handles. After the subjects released the handles there was only a HAV-induced cooling effect in the left palm with on average 0.5°C colder skin temperature. A single exposure to HAV will not cause an injury such as VWF, but as the present study show: short-term exposure to HAV causes some changes in skin temperature.

  • 7. Sahu, Subhashis
    et al.
    Sett, Moumita
    Kjellström, Tord
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Heat Exposure, Cardiovascular Stress and Work Productivity in Rice Harvesters in India: Implications for a Climate Change Future2013In: Industrial Health, ISSN 0019-8366, E-ISSN 1880-8026, Vol. 51, no 4, p. 424-431Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Excessive workplace heat exposures create well-known risks of heat stroke, and it limits the workers' capacity to sustain physical activity. There is very limited evidence available on how these effects reduce work productivity, while the quantitative relationship between heat and work productivity is an essential basis for climate change impact assessments. We measured hourly heat exposure in rice fields in West Bengal and recorded perceived health problems via interviews of 124 rice harvesters. In a sub-group (n = 48) heart rate was recorded every minute in a standard work situation. Work productivity was recorded as hourly rice bundle collection output. The hourly heat levels (WBGT = Wet Bulb Globe Temperature) were 26-32 degrees C (at air temperatures of 30-38 degrees C), exceeding international standards. Most workers reported exhaustion and pain during work on hot days. Heart rate recovered quickly at low heat, but more slowly at high heat, indicating cardiovascular strain. The hourly number of rice bundles collected was significantly reduced at WBGT>26 degrees C (approximately 5% per C of increased WBGT). We conclude that high heat exposure in agriculture caused heat strain and reduced work productivity. This reduction will be exacerbated by climate change and may undermine the local economy.

  • 8. Sheffield, Perry E.
    et al.
    Herrera, Juan Gabriel Ruiz
    Lemke, Bruno
    Kjellström, Tord
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Romero, Luis E. Blanco
    Current and Future Heat Stress in Nicaraguan Work Places under a Changing Climate2013In: Industrial Health, ISSN 0019-8366, E-ISSN 1880-8026, Vol. 51, no 1, p. 123-127Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    While climate change continues to increase ambient temperatures, the resulting heat stress exposure to workers in non-climate controlled settings is not well characterized, particularly in low and middle income countries. This preliminary report describes current heat stress in Nicaraguan work places and estimates occupational heat stress in 2050. From over 400 measurements of heat exposure using wet bulb globe temperature, more than 10% of all measurements exceeded the safety threshold for the combination of light work and rest at the ratio of 25:75. By 2050, that percentage of "over-heated" days is projected to increase to over 15%. These findings support the idea that common working conditions in Nicaragua already represent a threat to the health and safety of the workers and that climate change driven trends could mean either a necessary curbing of economic productivity or an increased threat to worker health and safety.

  • 9. Tawatsupa, Benjawan
    et al.
    Yiengprugsawan, Vasoontara
    Kjellström, Tord
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Berecki-Gisolf, Janneke
    Seubsman, Sam-Ang
    Sleigh, Adrian
    Association between Heat Stress and Occupational Injury among Thai Workers: Findings of the Thai Cohort Study2013In: Industrial Health, ISSN 0019-8366, E-ISSN 1880-8026, Vol. 51, no 1, p. 34-46Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Global warming will increase heat stress at home and at work. Few studies have addressed the health consequences in tropical low and middle income settings such as Thailand. We report on the association between heat stress and workplace injury among workers enrolled in the large national Thai Cohort Study in 2005 (N=58,495). We used logistic regression to relate heat stress and occupational injury separately for males and females, adjusting for covariate effects of age, income, education, alcohol, smoking, Body Mass Index, job location, job type, sleeping hours, existing illness, and having to work very fast. Nearly 20% of workers experienced occupational heat stress which strongly and significantly associated with occupational injury (adjusted OR 2.12, 95%CI 1.87-2.42 for males and 1.89, 95%CI 1.64-2.18 for females). This study provides evidence connecting heat stress and occupational injury in tropical Thailand and also identifies several factors that increase heat exposure. The findings will be useful for policy makers to consider work-related heat stress problems in tropical Thailand and to develop an occupational health and safety program which is urgently needed given the looming threat of global warming.

  • 10.
    van den Berg, Johannes
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Sleepiness and head movements2006In: Industrial Health, ISSN 0019-8366, E-ISSN 1880-8026, Vol. 44, no 4, p. 564-576Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sleepiness in working life is critical and strongly associated to work related accidents. The relationship between sleepiness and head movements is poorly investigated. The pattern of head movements over time was investigated in a laboratory study with ten subjects either sleep-deprived or rested. Head movements were obtained by an inclinometer placed on the subject's forehead, and the recording was continuous. Results show that subjects when sleep-deprived moved their head more and had more extreme head movements compared to when rested. An increase of the velocity and the number of extreme head movements over time were noted when the subjects were sleep-deprived and when rested. The increase of head movements was more linear over time in the rested condition, whereas in sleep-deprived conditions most of the increase appeared during the first hour. No significant differences of between forward-backward movements and left-right movements could be found. When rested, the changes in head movements correlated with ratings of sleepiness, EEG activity, and heart rate variability. Head movements can be a used as an indicator of sleepiness.

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