Journal of Occupational Health

Publisher: Japan Society for Occupational Health

Journal description

Current impact factor: 1.10

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2015
2013 / 2014 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 1.80
Cited half-life 10.00
Immediacy index 0.14
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 0.53
ISSN 1348-9585
OCLC 66371254
Material type Periodical
Document type Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this review was to summarize the lessons learned from the experience in protecting the health of workers engaged in operations following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). We reviewed all types of scientific papers examining workers' health found in Medline and Web of Sciences as well as some official reports published by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan and other governmental institutes. The papers and reports were classified into those investigating workers at the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini NPPs workers engaged in decontamination operations in designated areas, and other workers. Regarding workers at the NPPs, many efforts were made to establish an emergency-care and occupational health system. Risk management efforts were undertaken for radiation exposure, heat stress, psychological stress, outbreak of infectious diseases, and fitness for work. Only a few reports dealt with decontamination workers and others; however, the health management of these workers was clearly weaker than that for workers at the NPPs. Many lessons can be learned from what occurred. That knowledge can be applied to ongoing decommissioning work and to future disasters. In addition, it is necessary to study the long-term health effects of radiation exposure and to accumulate data about the health of workers engaged in decontamination work and other areas.
    Journal of Occupational Health 08/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.15-0084-RA
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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
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    ABSTRACT: Young adults entering employment are a key group in extending work careers, but there is a lack of research on trends in work ability among young employees. Prolonged sickness absence (SA) constitutes a risk for permanent work disability. We examined 12-year trends in SA spells among young female and male municipal employees. The data were obtained from the employers' registers in the City of Helsinki, Finland. The data included employees aged 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, and 35-54 from 2002 to 2013 (the average number for each year was 31,600). Self-certified (1-3 days) and medically certified intermediate (4-14 days) and long (15+ days) SAs were examined. Joinpoint regression models were used to identify major changes in SA trends. Younger employees had more short SAs but fewer long SAs than older employees. During the study period, SAs of almost any length first increased and later decreased among both genders, except for young men. The turning points for short SA were in 2007-2011 among younger and older employees. In intermediate and long SAs the respective turning points were in 2008-2009 and 2005-2009. Women had more SAs in all categories. Age is related to the length of absences. Given the relatively low chronic morbidity among younger employees, it is likely that reasons other than ill health account for increased SA. More evidence on factors behind the changing trends is needed in order to reduce SA and extend the working careers of young people.
    Journal of Occupational Health 07/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.14-0236-OA
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    ABSTRACT: The present study aimed to describe the prevalence, type, and influencing factors of occupational injuries of staff working at special schools with multiple and severely handicapped pupils in Southwestern Germany. This cross-sectional study was carried out between August 2010 and August 2012 at 13 special schools with focus on motoric and/or holistic development of handicapped pupils in Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany). Participants were interviewed using a written questionnaire. There were 395 participants (response proportion: 59.7%) in our study, with 390 being eligible for statistical analysis. Respondents were on average 45 years old and mainly female (86.9%). The 12-month injury prevalence was 16.9%. Joint dislocations, sprains, and torn ligaments (41.6%) were the main types of injuries. Pupils (59.8%) and auxiliary equipment (12.2%) were identified as the main causes of injury by the respondents. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that washing pupils (using auxiliary equipment) (aOR, 3.93; 95% CI, 1.66-9.31) and daily physical strain due to unexpected conduct of pupils (aOR, 3.70; 95% CI, 1.20-11.37) were the main influencing factors for an occupational injury. Almost one in five persons suffered an occupational injury in the previous 12 months. Nursing activities, including close contact with pupils, were identified as the most important factors for an injury. In order to prevent injuries at special schools, a multifaceted approach is necessary. This includes sufficient supply of auxiliary devices including proper technical maintenance. Furthermore, regular participation in training for manual handling of heavy loads and schooling on the technical use of auxiliary devices should be encouraged.
    Journal of Occupational Health 07/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.14-0210-OA
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between job characteristics and musculoskeletal pain among shift workers employed at a 24-hour poultry processing plant in Southern Brazil. This was a cross-sectional study of 1103 production line workers aged 18-52 years. The job characteristics of interest were shift (day/night), shift duration, and plant sector ambient temperature. Musculoskeletal pain was defined as self-reported occupational-related pain in the upper or lower extremities and trunk, occurring often or always, during the last 12 months. The mean (SD) participant age was 30.8 (8.5) years, and 65.7% of participants were women. The prevalence of musculoskeletal pain was greater among female participants than male participants. After adjustment for job characteristics and potential confounders, the prevalence ratios (PR) of lower extremity musculoskeletal pain among female workers employed in extreme-temperature conditions those working the night shift, and those who had been working longer on the same shift were 1.75 (95% CI 1.12, 2.71), 1.69 (95% CI 1.05, 2.70), and 1.64 (95% CI 1.03, 2.62), respectively. In male workers, only extreme-temperature conditions showed a significant association with lower extremity musculoskeletal pain (PR = 2.17; 95% CI 1.12, 4.22) after adjustment analysis. These findings suggest a need for implementation of measures to mitigate the damage caused by nighttime work and by working under extreme temperature conditions, especially among female shift workers, such as changing positions frequently during work and implementation of rest breaks and a workplace exercise program, so as to improve worker quality of life.
    Journal of Occupational Health 07/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.14-0201-OA
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the effect of autism spectrum (AS) tendencies and psychosocial job characteristics on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among factory workers. A questionnaire survey was administered to 376 Japanese factory employees from the same company (response rate: 83.6%) in 2010. Psychosocial job characteristics, including job demand, job control, and social support, were evaluated using the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ). AS tendencies was assessed using the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), and HRQOL was assessed using the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form General Health Survey (SF-8). Associations were investigated using multiple logistic regression analysis adjusted for confounders. In the multivariate analysis, AQ was positively (odds ratio [OR]: 3.94; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.70-9.73) and social support in the workplace was inversely (OR: 0.25; 95% CI: 0.10-0.57) associated with poor mental HRQOL. No significant interaction was observed between AQ and JCQ subitems. Only social support was inversely associated with poor physical HRQOL (OR and 95% CI for medium social support: 0.45 and 0.21-0.94), and a significant interaction between AQ and job control was observed (p=0.02), suggesting that high job control was associated with poor physical HRQOL among workers with high AQ, whereas low job control tended to be associated with poor physical HRQOL among others. Our results suggest that AS tendencies have a negative effect on workers’ HRQOL and social support is a primary factor in maintaining HRQOL. Moreover, a structured work environment can maintain physical HRQOL in workers with high AS tendencies since higher job control will be stressful.
    Journal of Occupational Health 06/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.14-0231-OA
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated effects of workers’ cultural and personal characteristics on the relationship between workplace mistreatment and health problems in both South Korea and EU Countries. Data were obtained from nationally representative interview surveys: the third Korean Working Conditions Survey (KWCS) in 2011 (50,032 participants) and fifth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) in 2010 (41,302 participants). The Pressure-State-Response model was adapted to explore differences in the relationship between mistreatment and health problems according to country, and logistic regression analysis was used after stratification of moderating factors. Workplace mistreatment, such as discrimination, violence, harassment, and self-reported health problems, were assessed by gender and educational level. Among KWCS participants, there were 4,321 victims (14.70%) of workplace mistreatment; among EWCS participants, there were 5,927 victims (17.89%). There was a significant positive association between workplace mistreatment and self-reported health problems. A stronger association was found among workers with higher educational levels in Korea (2- to 4-fold higher odds for mental and physical health problems), but there was no significant difference by education level in workers of EU Countries. Female Koreans who worked alone had a higher risk of health problems related to workplace mistreatment than other gender compositions in the workplace (the OR for psychological symptoms reached 6.631). In contrast, the gender composition of the workplace did not significantly affect EU workers. Workplace mistreatment is significantly associated with physical and mental health problems, especially among workers with higher educational levels and females who work alone in Korea.
    Journal of Occupational Health 06/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.14-0270-OA
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    ABSTRACT: About 160 patients in Japan were infected with dengue virus by mosquito's bites in the summer and autumn of 2014. In this report, I describe a case of occupational dengue virus infection by needle-stick injury from the 1990s to alert health-care workers to the fact that dengue virus is among the causative agents responsible for occupational infectious disease even in Japan. A Japanese female in her thirties, a nurse at our hospital in Tokyo, was admitted to our hospital in January 1992 three days after the onset of fever, headache, and general malaise. She had never been overseas. Five days before the onset of her symptoms, she had pricked her finger with an injection needle used to draw blood from a febrile patient infected with dengue virus. She was diagnosed with dengue virus infection based on three findings: detection of the dengue virus genome in serum, isolation of dengue virus from serum, and serum samples positive for IgM antibodies against dengue virus. The patient contracted dengue virus infection via a needle-stick injury at our hospital. Although this occurred more than two decades ago, in 1992, health-care workers should still be mindful of the risk of dengue virus infection via needle-stick injury even in Japan.
    Journal of Occupational Health 06/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.14-0224-CS
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    ABSTRACT: We evaluated factors associated with increased radiation exposure dose in nursing staff who assisted patients with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) examinations. The Barthel Index and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score were obtained before PET/CT examinations in 193 patients (mean age ± SD, 77.7 ± 8.0 yr). Three nurses self-measured their radiation exposure dose while assisting patients during each PET examination. Disturbance factors during PET examinations (use of a stretcher or wheelchair, use of lines or tubes connected to the patient, use of diapers or urethral catheterization, patient age), (18)F-FDG injection dose, and previous PET/CT experience in the patients and outpatient or inpatient status were evaluated as factors possibly associated with increased radiation exposure. Principle component analysis, univariate analysis, and multivariate regression analysis were used for assessing associations between radiation exposure dose and factors. The mean radiation exposure dose of the nursing staff was 6.07 ± 5.71 µSv per examination. Statistically significant factors associated with increased radiation exposure (<8 or ≥8 µSv/case) in the univariate analysis were the Barthel Index (<75 or ≥75), MMSE score (<22 or ≥22) of the patients, numbers of lines or tubes to the patient, use of a stretcher or wheelchair, and (18)F-FDG injection dose. Multivariate logistic regression modeling showed that the Barthel Index (<75 or ≥75) and MMSE score (<22 or ≥22) of the patients were significant factors in the final model. Lower Barthel Indexes (lower ADL) and lower MMSE scores (lower cognitive function) were independent factors associated with increased radiation exposure dose in nursing staff assisting during (18)F-FDG PET/CT.
    Journal of Occupational Health 05/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.14-0282-OA
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    ABSTRACT: The aims of this study were to clarify in detail the levels of whole-body vibration (WBV) exposure from a variety of agricultural machines in a rice farmer over one year, and to evaluate the daily level of exposure compared with European and Japanese threshold limits. The subject was a full-time, male rice farmer. We measured vibration accelerations on the seat pan and at the seat base of four tractors with various implements attached, one rice-planting machine, two combine harvesters, produced by the same manufacturer, and one truck used for transportation of agricultural machines. The position and velocity of the machines were recorded in parallel with WBV measurements. In addition, during the year starting in April 2010, the subject completed a questionnaire regarding his work (date, place, content, hours worked, machines used). We calculated the daily exposure to WBV, A(8), on all the days on which the subject used the agricultural machines. The WBV magnitude in farm fields was relatively high during tasks with high velocity and heavy mechanical load on the machine, and had no dominant axis. The subject worked for 159 days using the agricultural machines during the year, and the proportion of days on which A(8) values exceeded the thresholds was 90% for the Japan occupational exposure limit and 24% for the EU exposure action value. Our findings emphasize the need for rice farmers to have health management strategies suited to the farming seasons and measures to reduce WBV exposure during each farm task.
    Journal of Occupational Health 05/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.14-0260-OA
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    ABSTRACT: For several organic solvents (solvents in short), biological occupational exposure limits (BOELs) have been established for un-metabolized solvents in urine, based on the solvent exposure-urinary excretion relationship. This study was initiated to investigate the possibiliy of estimating a BOEL from the Pow (the partition coefficient between n-octyl alcohol and water), a physico-chemical parameter. Data were available in the literatures for exposure-excretion relationship with regard to 10 solvents for men and 7 solvents for women. Statistical analysis revealed that the slopes (after correction for molecular weights and logarithmic conversion) of the exposure-excretion regression lines linearly correlated (p<0.01) with the log Pow values the respective solvents. No significant difference (p>0.05) was observed between men and women, and it was acceptable to combine the data for the two sexes. Thus the log Pow-log slope relation was represented by a single equation for both sexes. Based on the observations, procedures were established to estimate BOEL values from Pow. Successful estimations of BOELs for styrene, tetrahydrofuran and m-xylene (a representative of xylene isomers) were calculated as examples. The present study proposed promising procedures for estimation of a BOEL from the Pow.
    Journal of Occupational Health 05/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.15-0011-OA
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to investigate the association of one-year change in organizational justice (i.e., procedural justice and interactional justice) with job performance in Japanese employees. This study surveyed 425 men and 683 women from a manufacturing company in Japan. Self-administered questionnaires, including the Organizational Justice Questionnaire (OJQ), the World Health Organization Health and Work Performance Questionnaire (WHO-HPQ) and the scales on demographic characteristics, were administered at baseline (August 2009). At one-year follow-up (August 2010), the OJQ and WHO-HPQ were used again to assess organizational justice and job performance. The change in organizational justice was measured by dichotomizing each OJQ subscale score by median at baseline and follow-up, and the participants were classified into four groups (i.e., stable low, adverse change, favorable change and stable high). Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was employed. After adjusting for demographic and occupational characteristics and job performance at baseline, the groups classified based on the change in procedural justice differed significantly in job performance at follow-up (ANCOVA: F [3, 1097]=4.35, p<0.01). Multiple comparisons revealed that the stable high procedural justice group had significantly higher job performance at follow-up compared with the stable low procedural justice group. The groups classified based on change in interactional justice did not differ significantly in job performance at follow-up (p>0.05). The present findings suggest that keeping the level of procedural justice high predicts higher levels of job performance, whereas the psychosocial factor of interactional justice is not so important for predicting job performance.
    Journal of Occupational Health 05/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.14-0212-BR
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to comparatively evaluate the usefulness of urinary cyclohexanediols (CHdiols-U) and cyclohexanol (CHol-U) as biomarkers of occupational exposure to cyclohexane (CH). Sixteen subjects (14 men and 2 women) were exposed to CH during proof-printing work. Personal exposure monitoring was conducted during the whole shift on the last working day of the week. The time-weighted average level of exposure to CH (CH-A) was measured using a diffusive sampler. Two urine samples were collected from each worker at different times during the same week: a baseline urine sample (before the first shift of the working week, after a 5-day holiday with no CH exposure) and an end-of-shift urine sample (after the last shift of the same working week, the same day personal exposure monitoring was conducted). CH-A, CHdiols-U and CHol-U were determined using a gas chromatograph-flame ionization detector. The CH-A concentrations ranged from 4.5 to 60.3 ppm, with a geometric mean (GM) of 18.1 ppm. The GMs and ranges (in parenthesis) of the creatinine (cr)-corrected end-of-shift 1,2-CHdiol-U, 1,4-CHdiol-U and CHol-U concentrations were 12.1 (4.1-36.6), 7.5 (2.4-20.1) and 0.4 (0.2-1.0) mg/g cr, respectively. Both CHdiols-U at the end of the shift were significantly correlated with CH-A (correlation coefficients for 1,2-CHdiol-U and 1,4-CHdiol-U of 0.852 and 0.847, respectively). No correlation was observed between CH-A and CHol-U. CHdiols-U at the end of the last shift of the working week are suitable biomarkers of occupational exposure to CH, but CHol-U is not suitable.
    Journal of Occupational Health 05/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.14-0291-OA
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate whether rotating shift work increases occupational stress in nurses. This study measured shift work scheduling and occupational stress by using the Effort-Reward Imbalance model with self-reported questionnaires in a sample of 654 female nurses. Overcommitment risk was higher in nurses who worked rotating shifts than in those who worked day/non-night shifts (OR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.03-4.66). However, an effort/reward imbalance was not directly associated with work schedules (OR, 1.88; 95% CI, 0.87-4.35). Among nurses working rotation rotating shifts, those who had 2 days off after their most recent night shifts showed an alleviated risk of overcommitment (OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.32-0.82), but those who had worked for at least one series of 7 consecutive work days per month had an increased risk of effort/reward imbalance (OR, 2.75; 95% CI, 1.69-4.48). Additionally, those who had little or no participation in planning working hours and shift scheduling and worked overtime at least three times per week during the preceding 2 months tended to have high stress. The nurses who worked rotating shifts tended to experience work-related stress, but their stress levels improved if they had at least 2 days off after their most recent night shift and if they were not scheduled to work 7 consecutive days. These empirical data can be used to optimize work schedules for nurses to alleviate work stress.
    Journal of Occupational Health 05/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.13-0284-OA
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    ABSTRACT: Indium was added to the list of substances regulated by the Ordinance on Prevention of Hazards due to Specified Chemical Substances (OPHSCS) in 2013. Indium metal (IM), however, is not regulated by the OPHSCS due to insufficient information on pulmonary effects following exposure. From 2011 to 2013, a cross-sectional study was conducted on 141 IM-exposed workers at 11 factories. Subjective symptoms were assessed, including levels of serum biomarkers, spirometry readings and total and diffuse lung capacity. Krebs von den Lungen-6 (KL-6) and surfactant protein D (SP-D) were selected as biomarkers of interstitial pneumonia. Indium serum concentration (In-S) and personal air sampling data were used to estimate exposure. Subjects were categorized into 5 groups based on occupation and type of exposure: smelting, soldering, dental technician, bonding and other. The highest level of In-S was 25.4 µg/l, and the mean In-S level was significantly higher in the smelting group than in other groups. In the smelting group, the prevalence of increased In-S levels was 9.1%, while that of abnormal KL-6 was 15.2%. A significant dose-effect relationship was observed between the In-S and KL-6 levels. No marked differences were observed between any of the groups in SP-D values, pulmonary symptoms, or pulmonary function test results. A total of 31% of the subjects worked in an environment with IM levels exceeding 0.3 µg/m(3), which requires a protective mask to be worn. For workers exposed to IM, work environments should be monitored, appropriate protective masks should be worn, and medical monitoring should be conducted according to the OPHSCS.
    Journal of Occupational Health 05/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.14-0262-OA
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to compare Control of Substances Hazard to Health (COSHH) Essentials (a chemical risk assessment method in the UK) with Chemical Hazard Risk Management (CHARM) (a chemical risk assessment method in South Korea). The differences between the two processes were explored with a particular focus on their features and distinctions. The results obtained from applying COSHH Essentials and CHARM to 59 carcinogenic, mutagenic, and reprotoxic (CMR) substances were analyzed. The outcomes of the working environment assessments and the collated information about the usage of CMR chemicals were used for the analysis. Among the 59 substances tested, 56 substances were rated at a risk level lower than 2, when evaluated with CHARM. However, with COSHH, all 59 substances were rated at risk level 3 or higher. With COSHH Essentials, the highest hazard group of 4 was automatically assigned to category E substances, regardless of the exposure level assessment. However, for CHARM, the risk could be adjusted according to the exposure level assessment, even for hazard group of 4. CHARM allocated lower risk levels to hazardous substances than COSHH Essentials. Ultimately, COSHH Essentials assesses exposure level through the physical properties and overall handling, and considers hazard with H-statements and R-phrases. COSHH Essentials was deemed more conservative than CHARM. CHARM may have underestimated the risk according to exposure level, even though the chemicals were highly hazardous. Therefore, CHARM can be used for the localized risk assessment of chemicals used in individual workplaces.
    Journal of Occupational Health 04/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.14-0253-OA