Journal of Occupational Health

Publisher: Japan Society for Occupational Health

Current impact factor: 1.11

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2016
2014 Impact Factor 1.109
2013 Impact Factor 1.096
2012 Impact Factor 1.634
2011 Impact Factor 1.55
2010 Impact Factor 1.701
2009 Impact Factor 1.252
2008 Impact Factor 1.209
2007 Impact Factor 1.597
2006 Impact Factor 1.848
2005 Impact Factor 1.5
2004 Impact Factor 0.791
2003 Impact Factor 1.047
2002 Impact Factor 1.067
2001 Impact Factor 0.935
2000 Impact Factor 0.892
1999 Impact Factor 0.934
1998 Impact Factor 1.417

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 1.51
Cited half-life >10.0
Immediacy index 0.27
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 0.45
ISSN 1348-9585
OCLC 66371254
Material type Periodical
Document type Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The Japanese government launched a new occupational health policy called the Stress Check Program. This program mandates that all workplaces with 50 or more employees conduct the Stress Check Program for workers at least once a year. This article gives a brief overview and critical review of the program. Methods: We reviewed relevant laws, guidelines, and manuals, as well as the policy development process. The policy and the components of the program were compared using available scientific evidence and trends in the management of psychosocial factors at work according to the policies and guidelines of international bodies and European countries. Results: The process of program policy development was based on a discussion among employer and employee representatives, occupational health professionals, and mental health experts. Scientific evidence shows that mandated components of the program (i.e., feedback of stress survey results and physician's interview) may be ineffective. However, additional components recommended to employers, such as stress management skill provision and work environment improvement, in conjunction with the program may be effective in improving psychosocial stress at work. The Stress Check Program is unique compared with the global trend for psychosocial risk management because it focuses on the assessment of stress among individual workers. Conclusion: The new program may be effective in improving worker mental health by facilitating the psychosocial risk management approach in Japan. Concerns regarding the program include mass leakage of collected information, and possible disadvantages for workers labeled as having high stress.
    Journal of Occupational Health 11/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.15-0001-ER
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Even though shift work has been suspected to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, little research has been done to determine the logical underlying inflammation mechanisms. This study investigated the association between shift work and circulating total and differential leukocyte counts among Chinese steel workers. Methods: The subjects were 1,654 line workers in a steel plant, who responded to a cross-sectional survey with a questionnaire on basic attributes, life style, and sleep. All workers in the plant received a periodic health checkup. Total and differential leukocytes counts were also examined in the checkup. Results: Shift workers had higher rates of alcohol use, smoking, poor sleep, poor physical exercise, and obesity than daytime workers. In further analysis, we found that the peripheral total WBC, monocyte, neutrophil, and lymphocyte counts were also greater in shift workers than in daytime workers. When subjects were divided into quartiles according to total WBC, neutrophil, monocyte, and lymphocyte counts, increased leukocyte count was associated with shift work. Using stepwise linear regression analysis, smoking, obesity, and shift work were independently associated with total WBC, monocyte, neutrophil, and lymphocyte counts. Conclusions: This study indicates that peripheral total and differential leukocyte counts are significantly higher in shift workers, which suggests that shift work may be a risk factor of cardiovascular disease. Applicable intervention strategies are needed for prevention of cardiovascular disease for shift workers.
    Journal of Occupational Health 11/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.15-0137-OA
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: In Japan, employee fitness for work is determined by annual medical examinations. It may be possible to reduce the variability in the results of work fitness determination, particularly for situation, if there is consensus among experts regarding consideration of limitation of work by means of a single parameter. Methods: Consensus building was attempted among 104 occupational physicians by employing a 3-round Delphi method. Among the medical examination parameters for which at least 50% of participants agreed in the 3rd round of the survey that the parameter would independently merit consideration for limitation of work, the values of the parameters proposed as criterion values that trigger consideration of limitation of work were sought. Parameters, along with their most frequently proposed criterion values, were defined in the study group meeting as parameters for which consensus was reached. Results: Consensus was obtained for 8 parameters: systolic blood pressure 180 mmHg (86.6%), diastolic blood pressure 110 mmHg (85.9%), postprandial plasma glucose 300 mg/dl (76.9%), fasting plasma glucose 200 mg/dl (69.1%), Cre 2.0mg/dl (67.2%), HbA1c (JDS) 10% (62.3%), ALT 200 U/l (61.6%), and Hb 8 g/l (58.5%). Conclusions: To support physicians who give advice to employers about work-related measures based on the results of general medical examinations of employees, expert consensus information was obtained that can serve as background material for making judgements. It is expected that the use of this information will facilitate the ability to take appropriate measures after medical examination of employees.
    Journal of Occupational Health 11/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.15-0188-OA
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Health-care workers in emergency departments are frequently exposed to risk of antisocial behavior and violence (ABV) by users. Underreporting of ABV by health-care professionals has been identified. In order to understand this phenomenon, we explored the experience of ABV in 30 health workers in an ophthalmology emergency department in the Rh?ne-Alpes administrative region of France. Methods: A grounded theory qualitative approach was followed. Data were collected from field observations, 30 semistructured individual interviews, violence report forms, and 364 patient satisfaction questionnaires. Qualitative thematic content analysis of the interviews was performed with qualitative data analysis software. Results: Third-party antisocial behaviors and violence were an everyday occurrence, with varying levels of seriousness: impoliteness, vulgarity, nonrecognition, insults, verbal threats, and aggressive gestures. Health-care workers adopted various strategies to adapt to such violence: proactive and reactive attitudes and avoidance. Several organizational factors concerning the political and economic context, hospital work organization, and health workers' behavior were identified as potentially contributing to ABV. Excessive waiting times, lack of user information, and understaffing emerged as factors contributing to users' ABV. Conclusion: Antisocial behaviors by hospital users are underreported by professionals and under-recognized. They appear to be like continuous occupational exposure leading to delayed adverse consequences either on workers' health or motivation. However, violence in hospitals is not the result of only the action of users, and it may be related to work organization and workers' own behaviors. Only a grounded analysis of the causes of violence in the local work context can uncover relevant solutions.
    Journal of Occupational Health 11/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.15-0184-FS
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) in serum detoxifies organophosphate (OP) insecticides by hydrolysis. The present cross-sectional study aimed to clarify the relationship between PON1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and enzyme activities or OP metabolite concentrations in urine of workers occupationally exposed to low-level OPs. Methods: Among 283 workers in 10 pest control companies located in central Japan who underwent checkups, 230 subjects (male 199, female 31, average age 38.9±11.1 years old) participated in the study. Q192R and L55M polymorphisms were determined by TaqMan assay. PON1 activity was measured using fenitrothion (FNT) oxon, chlorpyrifos-methyl (CPM) oxon, chlorpyrifos (CP) oxon, and phenyl acetate as substrates. Urinary OP metabolite concentrations were measured with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Results: The maximum differences in enzyme activities between individuals were 64.6-, 6.3-, 7.7-, and 2.0-fold for FNT oxonase, CPM oxonase, CP oxonase, and arylesterase (ARE), respectively. The activities of CPM oxonase and ARE in workers having the RR genotype were 53.5% and 18.2% lower than in those with the QQ genotype, respectively. CP oxonase activity was 15.0% lower in those having the M allele (LM+MM compared with LL). Urinary metabolite concentrations were not associated with PON1 polymorphisms, but negative associations were observed between the concentrations and activities of FNT oxonase and ARE. Conclusions: While PON1 SNPs can explain differences in catalytic activities toward some OPs, differences in urinary concentrations of OP metabolites are not attributable to PON1 SNPs but instead are attributable to its serum activities. Its serum activities might be more sensitive biomarkers for estimation of individual susceptibility to OP toxicities.
    Journal of Occupational Health 11/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.15-0175-OA
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: This study examined the mediating role of personal goal facilitation through work (PGFW), defined as perceptions of the extent to which one's job facilitates the attainment of one's personal goals, in the association between psychosocial job characteristics and psychological distress and job-related well-being. Material and methods: Questionnaire data from 217 nurses (84% female, with a mean age of 42.7 years, SD = 7.2) were analyzed. Participants completed the following measures: the Leiden Quality of Work Questionnaire for Nurses, Workplace Goal Facilitation Inventory, Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey, and Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (short version). A cross-sectional study design was applied. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted. Results: The results indicated that unfavorable psychosocial job characteristics (high demands, low control, and low social support) were associated with lower PGFW. Furthermore, personal goal facilitation through work explained significant additional variance (from 2% to 11%) in psychological distress (somatic complaints and emotional exhaustion) and job-related well-being (personal accomplishment, job satisfaction, and work engagement), controlling for demographic indicators and psychosocial job characteristics. Finally, the results provided support for the mediating effects of PGFW between all psychosocial job characteristics and all outcomes, except in the case of depersonalization. Conclusions: This study suggests that hindered personal goal facilitation may be a mechanism through which psychosocial job characteristics have a negative impact on employees' well-being.
    Journal of Occupational Health 11/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.15-0117-OA
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: We studied the physical and mental conditions of 8 healthy young female ambulance paramedics working 24-hour shifts during their menstrual cycle, including assessment of cardiac autonomic nervous system activity by heart rate variability power spectral analysis. Methods: The autonomic activity during the awake period of on- and off-duty days in the follicular, late luteal, and menstruation phases was measured. Questionnaires regarding fatigue and menstrual distress were administered and correlated with the autonomic profile. Results: While degrees of fatigue significantly increased after work, the changes in autonomic activity during the awake period on on-duty days were not significantly different from those on off-duty days (LF/HF, p = 0.123; HF/(HF+LF), p = 0.153). As for the sleeping period, there were no significant differences. Although the Menstrual Distress Questionnaire (MDQ) revealed the presence of mild menstrual discomfort in the late luteal and menstruation phases, no significant difference was observed in the autonomic profile of the three menstrual cycle phases. No significant correlation was observed between the degree of menstrual distress and autonomic profile, though there was a significant correlation in the late luteal phase between degree of menstrual distress and fatigue after work (p < 0.01). Conclusion: These results showed that, while subjects experienced menstrual discomfort and fatigue after work, their autonomic profile did not alter in the menstrual cycle. It is suggested that healthy young female ambulance paramedics may tolerate 24-hour shifts, though attention should be paid to subjective menstrual symptoms and fatigue.
    Journal of Occupational Health 10/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.15-0095-OA
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: All occupations expose workers to varied and unique conditions. The nature of work has been recognized as influencing the health of workers. Whether predictors for chronic neck and low back pain would be occupation-specific is unknown. This study aimed to identify predictors for chronic neck and low back pain in a cohort of office workers. Methods: A prospective study was carried out among 669 healthy office workers. At baseline, risk factors were assessed using a questionnaire and standardized physical examination. A symptomatic case was defined as an individual who reported pain greater than 30 mm on a 100-mm VAS, and chronic pain was defined as experiencing ongoing neck or low back pain for greater than 3 months over the past 6 months. Two regression models were built to analyze the risk factors for developing chronic neck and low back pain. Results: Of the sample, 17% and 27% of office workers who reported a new onset of neck or low back pain developed chronicity, respectively. Predictors for chronic neck pain were high body mass index, frequent neck extension during the work day, high initial pain intensity, and high psychological job demands. The development of chronic low back pain was associated with history of low back pain and high initial pain intensity. Conclusions: The findings suggest that predictors for chronic musculoskeletal pain in a subpopulation may be a subset of predictors identified in a general population or occupation specific. Successful management to prevent chronic musculoskeletal pain may also need to consider the patient's occupation.
    Journal of Occupational Health 10/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.15-0168-OA
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify the determinants of presenteeism, taking health and individual factors into account. Methods: A quantitative analysis applying structural equation modelling analysis was conducted on the basis of secondary data from the Health and Retirement Survey (2008 wave), which measured presenteeism and its determinants. Results: Stress-related factors at work (β = -0.35, p< 0.001), individual factors (β = -0.27, p< 0.001), and health (β = 0.24, p< 0.001) were significantly related to presenteeism. Individual factors were found to be directly correlated with stress-related factors at work (β =0.22, p< 0.001). Significant indirect effects between stress-related factors at work and presenteeism (Sobel z = -6.61; p< 0.001) and between individual factors and presenteeism (Sobel z = -4.42; p< 0.001), which were mediated by health, were also found. Overall, the final model accounted for 37% (R(2) = 0.37) of the variance in presenteeism. Conclusions: Our study indicates some important and practical guidelines for employers to avoid the burdens of stress-related presenteeism among their employees. These findings could help select target factors in the design and implementation of effective presenteeism interventions in the aging working population.
    Journal of Occupational Health 10/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.15-0114-OA
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The aim of this estudy was to investigate the influence of allergen exposure levels and other risk factors for allergic sensitization, asthma, and bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) in workers exposed to laboratory animals. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study performed at two universities, 123 workplaces with 737 subjects. Dust samples were collected from laboratories and animal facilities housing rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, or hamsters and analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to measure allergen concentrations. We also sampled workplaces without animals. Asthma was defined by both symptoms and BHR to mannitol. The concentrations of allergens were tested for association with a skin prick test, respiratory symptoms, spirometry data, and BHR. This multivariate analysis was performed by using Poisson regression to estimate the relative risk (RR) for the exposed group. Results: Our sample comprised students and workers, with 336 subjects in the nonexposed group and 401 subjects in the exposed group. Sixty-nine subjects (17%) had positive results in the skin prick test for animal allergens in the exposed group; in the nonexposed group, 10 subjects had positive results (3%) (p < 0.001). Exposure to laboratory animals over 2.8 years was associated with atopic sensitization (RR = 1.85; 95% confidence interval: 1.09-3.15; p = 0.02). Allergen concentration was not associated with sensitization, asthma, or BHR. Conclusion: Exposure to laboratory animals was associated with atopic sensitization. However, we did not find a cutoff allergen concentration that increased the risk for sensitization. Duration of exposure seems to be more relevant to sensitization than concentration of allergens in dust.
    Journal of Occupational Health 10/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.15-0045-OA
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: This study aimed to identify the chemicals used by five printing workers and one coating worker who developed cholangiocarcinoma and estimate the workers' levels of chemical exposure. Methods: We obtained information on chemicals from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan, and estimated working environment concentrations of the chemicals in printing and coating rooms and exposure concentrations during the ink and dirt removal processes. We also calculated shift time-weighted averages of exposure concentrations. Results: All five printing workers were exposed to both 1,2-dichloropropane (1,2-DCP) and dichloromethane (DCM). The estimated maximum exposure concentrations for each of the five workers were 190 to 560 ppm for 1,2-DCP and 300 to 980 ppm for DCM, and the estimated shift average exposure concentrations were 0 to 230 ppm for 1,2-DCP and 20 to 470 ppm for DCM. The coating worker was exposed to 1,2-DCP, but not DCM. He did not use ink, and thus was subjected to different conditions than the printing workers. The estimated maximum exposure concentration of 1,2-DCP was 150 ppm, and the estimated shift time-weighted average exposure concentration was 5 to 19 ppm. Conclusion: Our findings support the notion that 1,2-DCP contributes to the development of cholangiocarcinoma in humans and the notion that DCM may also be a contributing factor. The finding that the coating worker was exposed to 1,2-DCP at a lower exposure concentration is important for determining the occupational exposure limit. Furthermore, the subject did not use ink, which suggests that ink did not contribute to the development of cholangiocarcinoma.
    Journal of Occupational Health 10/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.15-0170-OA
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Workplace violence in the health sector is a worldwide concern. Physicians play an essential role in health-care teamwork; thus, understanding how organizational factors influence workplace violence against physicians is critical. Methods: A total of 189 physicians from three public hospitals and one private hospital in Northern Taiwan completed a survey, and the response rate was 47.1%. This study was approved by the institutional review board of each participating hospital. The 189 physicians were selected from the Taipei area, Taiwan. Results: The results showed that 41.5% of the respondents had received at least one workplace-related physical or verbal violent threat, and that 9.8% of the respondents had experienced at least one episode of sexual harassment in the 3 months before the survey. Logistic regression analysis revealed that physicians in psychiatry or emergency medicine departments received more violent threats and sexual harassment than physicians in other departments. Furthermore, physicians with a lower workplace safety climate (OR = 0.89; 95% CI = 0.81-0.98) and more job demands (OR = 1.15; 95% CI = 1.02-1.30) were more likely to receive violent threats. Conclusion: This study found that workplace violence was associated with job demands and the workplace safety climate. Therefore, determining how to develop a workplace safety climate and ensure a safe job environment for physicians is a crucial management policy issue for health-care systems.
    Journal of Occupational Health 10/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.15-0111-OA
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The purpose of this study was to develop a new work functioning impairment scale (WFun) and examine its validity. Methods: The WFun was developed based on the Rasch model, which consists of seven items. We conducted a pilot study (n=1,000) using an Internet investigation and a field study (n=1,294) in a manufacturing industry, and we additionally collected data from six workplaces from other industries. This series of studies was examined with a Rasch model analyses including item fit statistics as well as hypothesis testing. Convergent validity was used to examined the association of the WFun with the Stanford Presenteeism Scale, SF-8, Work Ability Index, and several types of job disruptions. We also examined differential test functioning. Results: All the items showed adequate fit (infit mean-square statistics <1.5). The item reliability was 0.98, and the item separation index was 6.37. The person reliability was 0.86, and the person separation index was 2.32. All tests for convergent validity showed significant differences. All p values derived from ANOVA were highly significant (p < 0.001). No differential test function was observed between groups by age, sex, or job type or between various samples from different workplaces. The intraclass correlation of the estimated Rasch measurements from these groups was 0.99 (95% CI: 0.976-0.992). Conclusions: The WFun was confirmed to show good fit to a Rasch model and construct validity. Given that its good fit indicates specific objectivity, this tool will be useful in assessing the ability of individuals to function at work and in evaluating group levels for benchmarking.
    Journal of Occupational Health 09/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.15-0135-OA
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to present a new method for determination of hand-arm vibration (HAV) in Malaysian Army (MA) three-tonne truck steering wheels based on changes in vehicle speed using regression model and the statistical analysis method known as Integrated Kurtosis-Based Algorithm for Z-Notch Filter Technique Vibro (I-kaz Vibro). The test was conducted for two different road conditions, tarmac and dirt roads. HAV exposure was measured using a Brüel & Kjær Type 3649 vibration analyzer, which is capable of recording HAV exposures from steering wheels. The data was analyzed using I-kaz Vibro to determine the HAV values in relation to varying speeds of a truck and to determine the degree of data scattering for HAV data signals. Based on the results obtained, HAV experienced by drivers can be determined using the daily vibration exposure A(8), I-kaz Vibro coefficient (Zv(∞)), and the I-kaz Vibro display. The I-kaz Vibro displays also showed greater scatterings, indicating that the values of Zv(∞) and A(8) were increasing. Prediction of HAV exposure was done using the developed regression model and graphical representations of Zv(∞). The results of the regression model showed that Zv(∞) increased when the vehicle speed and HAV exposure increased. For model validation, predicted and measured noise exposures were compared, and high coefficient of correlation (R(2)) values were obtained, indicating that good agreement was obtained between them. By using the developed regression model, we can easily predict HAV exposure from steering wheels for HAV exposure monitoring.
    Journal of Occupational Health 08/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.14-0206-OA