The International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Safety (IJOOES) is an interdisciplinary journal with peer-review promoted by Sociedade Portuguesa de Segurança e Higiene Ocupacionais with support from Biblioteca da FEUP, for publication of original research. Literature review articles are also accepted. It covers basic and applied research in all areas of safety, industrial hygiene, ergonomics, biomechanics and health, including traffic, workplaces, home, and community.
IJOOES seeks to engage the global scientific community including academic researchers, safety professionals and practitioners, engineers, health professionals, psychologists, social scientists, government agencies, policy makers and corporate decision makers.
We are NOW accepting submissions for our Issue 4!
Vol 3 No 1 (2019)
Even in sedentary activities, the workload is justifying more accurate studies about its impact on human beings mainly when related to different temperature and humidity conditions. One of these impacts is related to mental activity, which can be studied by the amplitude of Alpha and Beta waves. This study aims to evaluate brain activity in the occipital lobe from the amplitude of the EEG signal (Alpha and Beta waves) and to relate it to different conditions of temperature and relative humidity (RH) in sedentary tasks. Tests were performed under four different conditions (22°C-40%RH, 22°C-80%RH, 32°C-40%RH and 32°C, 80%RH) with 30 volunteers from which 15 were validated. Results suggest that both temperature and humidity influence the amplitude of the EEG signal (Alpha and Beta waves) in both hemispheres. The greatest amplitudes were found whenever environmental temperature and/or relative humidity values were higher. The results are in agreement with other authors.
Muscle fatigue refers to the transient decrease in the capacity to perform physical actions and can cause productivity loss, human errors, unsafe actions, injuries and work related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). A total of 13 participants repetitively lifted a 2.5 kg load at a total elevation of 0.5 m, until voluntary exhaustion or intensive pain. Several indicators of muscle fatigue were found, including increased forward bending, micro expressions, changing load support strategy, holding load closer to the chest during elevation and increase in eccentric movement speed. Volunteers that practiced sports regularly lasted longer in the experiment and it was found that smoking and sedentarism limited the exercise capacity of some subjects. Volunteers increased the wrists and elbows velocity during the experiment. It was verified that half of the volunteers had less fluid movement during lifting, with higher acceleration values in some parts and lower values in others, translating into more impulsive movements. It was concluded that to compensate muscle fatigue, people adapt their working strategy, changing movement patterns, recruiting different muscles and changing kinetic or kinematic components of the movement (like joint angles and velocities).
Estimating occupational risks associated with roadside automobile vulcanizing trade in a part of southwestern Nigeria
This study investigated occupational risks associated with roadside vulcanizers in Ife Central Local Government Area, Southwestern Nigeria. The objectives of the study included the determination of spatial distribution pattern of vulcanizers, examination of location factors as well as the assessment of risks that vulcanizers were exposed to. High resolution imagery (IKONOS) was downloaded and roads of interest were extracted from the imagery to produce a map of the distribution of vulcanizers. Nearest Neighbour Analysis was carried out to determine the spatial pattern of distribution of vulcanizers in the study are. Factor analysis was carried out to extract most manageable factors of location choice, other descriptive statistics were conducted to determine risks factors that vulcanizers were exposed to in the study area. Results revealed that vulcanizers were distributed in a dispersed pattern in the study area given the NNI of 3.489. Also, proximity to traffic, distance from home, nearness to motor park, low competition, high traffic volume and opportunity for shelter were extracted factors which contributed a total of 61.314% of variance explained by the variables. However, traffic noise, exposure to weather condition and dust and smoke formed the major risks that vulcanizers were exposed to in the study area. The study concluded that most roadside vulcanizers were exposed to risks and actions be taken to relocate them from roadside to reduce mortality that may arise from unsafe trade location.
Proposing an Index to Determine the Contract Level at the Pre-Contract Stage from the Viewpoint of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE)
The level of contractor’s HSE is a major concern in outsourcing of the works for large organizations. In each tender a rational level of HSE holding by the contractors is recommended to reduce the project costs. By investigating the classification procedure of the contracts available in reliable manuals and models at international level, 6 main criteria were selected for determining the contract level from the viewpoint of HSE. Also, an indicator, called "contract separation" was proposed by weighting the criteria. Initial weight of the main criteria along with their scoring in this indicator was determined by applying sub-criteria characteristics, namely "specialized workforce", "man-day required for meeting the criteria", "required technology", and "impact of criterion on planning the next steps of the contract". Then, by preparing a questionnaire and applying the experts' opinion, the final weight of the criteria was specified, based on which all the contracts of Shahid Tondgouyan Oil Refinery Company in Tehran were divided into four levels, namely (1) advanced, (2) moderate, (3) basic, and (4) exempted from the initial HSE assessment. Results of the present study showed that the operational risk level had the highest impact percentage on determining the level of contract compared with other criteria, which indicates that regardless of other criteria, in case the level of contract risk is high, some special HSE measures should be planned for that contract according to the advanced contracts. Also, cost of the contract had the lowest weight; although cost of the contract is one of the most effective criteria in the contract classification, it cannot by itself represent the magnitude of the contract from the HSE perspective and its impact must be considered along with other criteria associated with HSE in order to determine the contract level.
Exploring study protocols examining muscle fatigue among transportation and transshipment operators: a systematic review
Transportation/transshipment was essential to logistics, enhancing growing economy. Work related muscle fatigue was acknowledged as contribution to significant losses in occupational safety and health. The study was conducted to review applicable electromyography examining protocols and indicators. The searches were achieved over 3 relevant available electronics data bases as well as search engines with 733 articles found. Only 13 articles were included corresponding to the criteria. To assess muscle fatigue; examining protocols during real-time, before-after and simulation of operation tasks were found utilizing. Time domain (RMS, muscle activity, MVC) and frequency domain (MNF, MDF) functioned as EMG indicators. Real-time protocol seemed to provide most information needed. However, other remaining protocols were still fairly selectable if no choice.
The new trends in technology, allied to the industrial revolution has been creating opportunities for developments in almost every industrial field, which includes the mining industry. Mining 4.0 is a recent conception, trying to achieve optimal production control through digital and technological innovations. However, it is of fundamental importance to know what are the existent methodologies for data digitalisation, as well as the data that is actually been used. In order to do so, the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews was used to write a guideline for conducting a scoping review on the subject. All information regarding the review are explained: screened sources, research methodologies, used keywords, exclusion and eligibility criteria, amongst others. The methodologies to handle the collected information is also clarified, as well as the research team’s instruments.
Evidencing the Applicability of Physiological Monitoring For Health Management within Occupational Settings: Protocol for a Systematic Review
Background: The resulting interaction between occupational stress and individual susceptibility to illness demands careful management. This represents a dual challenge to organizations responsible for the well-being of personnel who engage in strenuous physical exertion, imposing requirements to be vigilant for, or even curtail, situations that may result in high physiological strain in healthy personnel and also to identify and protect vulnerable individuals. The emergence of wearable physiological and medical monitoring technologies could prove advantageous in this regard. Objectives: A systematic review is proposed to summarize current progress in the development of physiological monitoring systems for occupational applications. Thus, adhering with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocols (PRISMA-P) Statement, this systematic review protocol aims to present adequate guidelines to develop research that can provide appropriate results to the sought objective. Data sources: Five databases will be accessed (SCOPUS, PubMed, Science Direct, Academic Search Complete and Web of Science) and a total of 12 keywords will be combined. Study eligibility and criteria: Working-age study participants will be included. Assessment procedures will be considered when they do not interfere with normal tasks development and involve harmless procedures for participants. Study appraisal and synthesis methods: Two authors will independently screen titles and abstracts against the eligibility criteria at first, and full-texts of potentially eligible records at a second phase, followed by extraction of data from qualifying studies. Two review authors will also assess the risk of bias and the quality of evidence, taking as a reference the Cochrane Collaboration’s Tool.
The Influence of applied pressure on the seated person and the prediction of early discomfort – protocol for a systematic review
Sitting comfortably in a vehicle, office or at home, besides design characteristics, requires excellent physical support of the material to the exposed body segments. An uncomfortable seat can cause well-known pain such as lower back pain, which is nowadays become as "chronical" pain among all the seated workers. This systematic review protocol is based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocols (PRISMA-P) Statement and presents a methodology to find possible evidence of critical values of the applied pressure which can cause a negative impact on the soft tissues of the seated person. Furthermore, if it is possible to correlate obtained critical values with the time spent in the sitting position. Based on this, the main databases (Scopus, PubMed and Science Direct) will be searched using the same keywords combination for all of them. Afterwards, articles selection process, data extraction, and validation will be approved independently by the reviewers and collected data will be summarized in a spreadsheet table. Outcomes of the selected articles will be examined in the details and will be analyzed in order to extract the main results.