The main objective of this study is to determine the association between respirable hexavalent chromium compounds with urinary β2-microglobulin levels among welders in an automotive components manufacturing plant. 49 welders and 39 workers involved in stamping process were selected as the exposed and the comparative group. β2-microglobulin is a protein renal tubular dysfunction marker that can indicate renal dysfunction caused by heavy metal. Air samples of worker’s breathing zone were collected using personal air sampling pump and filter papers. Filter papers were then diluted and analysed with Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (AAS). Workers’ urine samples were collected at the end of 8-hour work shift and analysed with β2-microglobulin ELISA Kit (IBL-Hamburg) and a microtiter reader. Meanwhile, creatinine levels were analysed with creatinine test strips and Reflotron®. A mean concentration of respirable hexavalent chromium compounds in air for the exposed group was 0.135 ± 0.043μg/m3 while for the non-exposed group was 0.124 ± 0.029μg/m3. The mean level of urinary β2-microglobulin per creatinine for the exposed group was 84.996 ± 39.246μg/g while that of the comparative group was 61.365 ± 21.609μg/g. The concentrations of respirable hexavalent chromium compounds were higher in the exposed group compared to the comparative group (Z=-2.444, p=0.015). β2-microglobulin level was also higher in the exposed group compared to the non-exposed group (t=3.821, p=
Studies have identified working postures as a major risk factors associated with Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) in industries. This study investigated the prevalence of WMSD among assembly workers in Malaysia and how psychosocial factors such as personal values and workers relationship with family and superior are associated with discomfort and pain. A survey was conducted among 127 workers at assembly process in the manufacturing industry. The workers were aged 28.74±6.74 years and 64.6% of them were males. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to determine the effect of workplace factors on WMSD at different body regions. Spearman’s rank correlation was used to investigate association between psychosocial factors and occurrence of discomfort and pain. Only occupation and job activities revealed any significant different with WMSD in the major body regions while there was no significant difference in gender, age and work duration classifications. Shoulder painis the most prevalent in terms of frequency and intensity of occurrence. Psychosocial issues that have to do with person values, effect of job on family relationship and workers rapport with superiors are all found to be associated with the discomfort and pain among the occupational group. Employers and concerned government agencies need to take more proactive steps in tackling the problem as the occurrence of WMSD will have a significant effect on the overall wellbeing of the working population.
There is a need to develop an Occupational Safety and Health Management System (OSHMS) Critical Success Factors (CSF) Monitoring among gas contractor in Malaysia. Critical Success Factors (CSF) can be used for future implementation, adaptation and practice for gas contractor work for both by clients and contractors in Malaysia. The main purpose of CSF implementation is to reduce the number of accident related with Occupational Safety and Health (OSH). The need for CSF is due to the requirement by law and standard that require companies to establish an arrangement related to the identified OSH risks. The objective of this study is to assess the established of OSHMS among gas contractor in Peninsular Malaysia and to identify the CSF imposed by these industries. A cross sectional study for eighty gas contractor companies using established questionnaire has been done. All data consolidated in order to determine the OSHMS and it CSF among gas contractor in Peninsular Malaysia that has registered with Department of Occupational Safety and Health. Established questionnaire are based on OSHMS MS 1722:2011 elements requirement No 1: Policy, No 2: Organizing, No 3: Planning and Implementation, No 4: Evaluation and No 5: Action for Improvement as parameters to come out with organization means and Z-scores. Descriptive statistic showed that element mean (standard deviation) score for policy is 75(6.6), for Organizing is 63(5.2), for Planning and Implementation is 59(9.4), for Evaluation is 66(5.1) and Action for Improvement is 63(1.3). Percentage of company that complies with the main element for Policy is 15%, for Organizing is 8.8%, for Planning and Implementation is 11.3%, for evaluation is 11.3% and for Action for improvement is 13.8%. Percentage of companies that partially comply with Policy element is distributed between 61.0% to 85.0% which is 76.3 %, for Organizing score is mainly distributed between 46.0% to 60.0% which is 62.5%, for planning and Implementation score for 80 companies distributed mainly in group score between 46.0 to 60.0% which is 56.3 %, for Evaluation the partially comply score is distributed in group score between 61.0% to 85.5% which is 41 % and for Action for Improvement partially comply score, the distribution is mainly distribute in range of 61.0% to 85.0% which is 62.5 %. Z-score for element policy is five points from policy mean, for organizing Z-score is three points from Organizing mean, for Planning and Implementation the Z-score is three points from Planning and Implementation mean, for Evaluation the Z-score is three points from evaluation mean and for Action for improvement Z-score is two to three points from Action for Improvement mean. Percentage of compliance with OSHMS MS 1722:2011 elements by gas contractors in almost main element and sub element are still low and can be further improved by focusing on all company element score for continual improvement of OSH elements compliances.
The objective of this study is to identify the type of occupational related musculoskeletal disorder among Malaysian Shipping Industry workers and to determine the relationship between workers sosio demographic factors with occupational related musculoskeletal disorder and injuries. This is a cross sectional, retrospective study using secondary data that is available at the physiotherapy centre of Malaysia Shipping in Selangor. The study population is the shipping port workers received physiotherapy treatment from 2011 and 2012. A total of 90 samples comprise of 85 male workers and the remaining is female. The mean age is 34.1 (±7.36). Crane operator is the largest number of workers seeks for physiotherapy treatment (68), office (15) and 7 from maintenance. The mean of employment duration is 8.02 (±4.47) years with the maintenance group of workers have longest working duration of 9 years. Muscle and ligament sprain strain known to be the commonest condition (80%) refer for physiotherapy rehabilitation, tendinitis (14%) and fracture (6%). Young age group of workers were significantly 9 times higher (95% CI 1.83 – 40.35) of getting back injuries. The prevalence of musculoskeletal disorder based on work categories vary with office type workers has 4.5 times higher (95% CI 1.06 – 19.7) on hand injuries. This study has revealed that workers age, different type of work categories, working experience, and body mass composition were associates with the occupational related injuries. The training programme emphasise on preventive measures should be tailored to empower the employee on safety measures at work.
Introduction: This study explores the health status of injured workers in return to work (RTW) programs based on their ability and capacity. Injured workers were diagnosed with work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The findings will help not only the service provider plan a specific strategy but also allow stakeholders to review their role in the RTW program.
Methods: 102 participants were chosen from a national RTW program, and categorized into three groups based on different phases of the RTW program: off-work (n=30, 29.4%), work re-entry (n=44, 43.1%) and maintenance (n=28, 27.5%). Self-report questionnaires identified demographic data, health surveillance via SF-36 and perceived physical and psychological workload by 10-point numerical scales. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Kruskal-Wallis Test was employed to examine the differences in three phases of the RTW program. Paired t-test analyzed the differences of related samples of physical and psychological workload before and after injuries.
Results: The domains of health status are below the average compared to the norm-based population. Mental health component summary is better than physical health. At the domain level, there are significant differences among injured workers, specifically in the three RTW program phases. The SF-36 domains are: role-physical, vitality, bodily-pain, general health, and mental health (p ! 0.049). In contrast, non-significant differences were found in physical and social functioning, and role of emotion status. Moreover, their self-perceived physical and psychological work-load significantly worsened after injuries (p ! 0.020).
Conclusions: The case manager-coordinated RTW program provided further opportunities to improve injured workers’ health status when looking at their differences for different phases of RTW. Other health professionals like occupational therapists, ergonomists and psychologists should become involved in the RTW program. Specific guidelines and regulations have to be implemented to ensure full participation with all parties in the workplace.
Manual work is associated with increased lung cancer risk possibly because of increased exposure to occupational and other carcinogens, reduced use of health care services and/or a less healthy lifestyle. The aim of this study was to examine whether the association between manual work and lung cancer risk has changed over time. Three separate retrospective studies were carried out over a 10-year period (1996-1997, 1998-2000 and 2003-2005) in patients attending a bronchoscopy clinic to investigate lung cancer risk in an area of Manchester characterised by high deprivation and unemployment. Cases (n=321) were patients newly diagnosed with a tumour of the lung, trachea or bronchus and controls (n=542) were patients free of tumours at the time of, and prior to, examination. Patients were interviewed using the same structured questionnaire for associations between risk factors and lung cancer examined. The study population in all three studies was similar with little difference in smoking history. In each study smoking was associated with lung cancer risk. Lung cancer risk was higher in manual workers (compared to managers and other professionals) in the first (OR 2.50, 95% CI 1.20 – 5.05) and second study (OR 2.73, 95% CI 0.97 – 7.70) but not the third (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.58 – 1.61). However, the summary odds ratio (meta-OR) for lung cancer in manual worker was 1.81 (95% 1.75 – 1.87) after controlling for sex, age and smoking. This study suggested that even after taking into account known occupational and environmental causes of cancer, there was a residual cancer risk associated with manual work, high risk working populations of lung cancer. However this appears to have attenuated recently for as yet unknown reasons.
Homocysteine could be a mechanism that underlies the effects of lead on cardiovascular system. This study aims to identify the relationship between lead exposure and homocysteine levels among workers. A comparative cross-sectional study was carried out on 80 workers of an automotive components manufacturing factory; that comprised of 40 exposed workers and 40 non-exposed workers. Blood samples of respondents were taken by fingerprick. The blood samples were analyzed for blood lead concentration by using Atomic Absorption Spectrometry Graphite Furnace Model GBC 908AA. Besides that, ELISA Kit was used to show the homocysteine level among the respondents. Questionnaires were used to obtain demography information of respondents. Results from the statistical analysis showed that the mean blood lead concentration for exposed respondents was 5.53±4.74 μg/dL and 3.53±2.81 μg/dL for the comparative respondents. Mann-Whitney U test showed that there was no significance difference between the mean blood lead concentration of the exposed and comparative group (z=-1.178; p=0.075). The blood lead concentration ranged 0.68-17.95 among the exposed group and with a range of 0.084-11.96 for the comparative group. The mean homocysteine level (μmol/L) was 32.48±2.481μmol/L for the exposed group and 16.50±4.0960 μmol/L for the comparative group. There was a significant difference in homocysteine level (μmol/L) between the exposed (32.48±2.481) and comparative (16.50±4.0959) groups (z = -7.699, p
Maritime transportation is very important for coastal state country like Malaysia. However, as having the busiest straits in the world, Malaysia is continuously exposed to the risk of marine spill. The nation had experienced around 30 marine spill incidents since 1976 to the present. The main contributor of marine spill is ship’s accident and in term of category of accident, collision had contributed the most. In term of type of substance that mostly spilled by ships is highly persistence crude oil. The management of marine spill response of Malaysia is applying the three tiers system which is base on the area and scale of the spill. The basis of establishing the marine response service is in accordance with OPRC, which incorporated into the national environmental law. With the three tiers of response system, Malaysia is equipped with arsenal of marine spill response and control equipments. However, with the present magnitude of threat, the current capacities of equipments are insufficient. Nevertheless, the possibility of full magnitude of marine spill is unlikely due to the safety features incorporated into the design of the ships and FSO/FPSO. In term of claim and compensation for marine spill incident, Malaysia is applying the two layers of compensation under the CLC 1992 Protocol and FUND 1992 Protocol. Therefore, Malaysia is ready in various aspects of marine spill response and control.
The paper writes on the possible origin of off-limit cases found in a noise project conducted internally in a factory in Malaysia. Out of 691 sampled workers’ that attended audiometric test results (some repeated), it was found that the mode of hearing ability is between 20 to 30 dB depending on individual worker’s age ranging from 20 to 55 years. Out of the total results, approximately 100 workers are above a limit defined here in this paper as the off-limit condition. The chance of a worker originating from a good condition to an unhealthy condition is about 1 percent. The data are tabulated to show that a sway pattern could be an explanation of workers’ origin. Although the data is profound, there is no evidence of a trace due to a short test period. Possibilities are highlight here to outline the severity of a cross over to the unhealthy condition (here defined as the off-limit condition). Some advises are mentioned here with individual susceptibility on the matter though there is no data to substantiate. Further findings are required to show a trace. In conclusion, the severity is highlight. A chart, developed to know the limits of hearing ability, is illustrated ased the findings.
Malaysia’s palm oil industry is growing in complexity and successively to succeed on the global level by accounts for about 36% of the word production of palm oil . But, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) issues are still problematic areas that need to be addressed by all parties concerned in this industry. In the olden days, unlike construction or manufacturing industry, palm oil industry was green in OHS management system. However, due to stringent in the legislative enforcement in the past few years, it has lead some of the plantation companies to develop OHS management system, which are based on Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS), towards corporate sustainability. Sustainability is not about paying lip-service to the latest corporate buzzword; neither is it about superficially meeting minimum requirements for the sake of compliance. Rather, sustainability is a core value that lies at the heart of the companies’ business conduct. In practical terms, this means strive to operate with due consideration for the interest of all stakeholders by making the health and safety of all workers a priority. This paper describes the certification of OHSAS 18001 and MS 1722 in Genting Plantations Berhad (GENP) prove the commitment to sustainability by forming guiding principle on safety management. Further, this paper also demonstrates that the implementation of safety management can help to reduce the accident rate, especially fatal accident.
Engineering control is a method of controlling the risk of exposure to contaminants. Health effects to industrial workers are more severe whilst high exposure and time exposed to contaminants at workplace. Installation of industrial ventilation or local exhaust ventilation (LEV) system is the proposed method to reduce the risk. This paper discusses the past, present and future relating to LEV system in Malaysia. Current issues related to monitoring reported by Hygiene Technician in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health (Use of Standard Chemical Hazardous to Health Regulation 2000) carried out in several states in Malaysia as a sample. The nanotechnology is a new area at present and future. The involvement of government, employers and employees need to be justified due to the attention to prevent and control of any exposure. It is suggested that using the Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) simulation, a new design of LEV system can be upgraded and predicted.
Fogging activity has become one of the important methods in tackling dengue outbreaks nowadays. Despite this, it is an occupation that has known hazards namely noise and pesticides which can affect the body organs. Based on this knowledge, a cross sectional study was conducted to determine the association between hearing impairment and serum cholinesterase level among foggers from five randomly selected Health District Offices in Selangor. A total of 200 workers comprising of 100 workers exposed to fogging activity and another 100 workers not exposed were randomly selected for this study. Data was obtained through self administered questionnaire, audiometric testing and serum cholinesterase level measurement. The overall prevalence of hearing impairment was 16% with foggers having significant higher prevalence (24%) compared to the non foggers (8%) (χ2=9.52, p=0.002). Measurement of serum cholinesterase showed that exposed workers had lower level compared to the non exposed group. Similarly, those who have hearing impairment had also lower serum cholinesterase level although it was not statistically different. Among all studied factors, age and duration of exposure to fogging activities were statistically different with hearing impairment (p
Comparative cross sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence of hearing impairment among workers in one of the airport in Malaysia and the factors associated with it. A total of 248 subjects comprising 175 from the exposed group and the remaining control group were sampled. The main tools used in this study were validated questionnaire on hearing assessment and pure tone audiometric test. Response rate was 94%. Both area and personal exposure monitoring have exceeded action level for 8 Hrs TWA in the exposed group but within normal limit in the control group. The prevalence of hearing impairment was 88% among the noise exposed group and 11% in the control group with prevalence odds ratio (POR) 3.569 (95%CI 1.210-10.53, p
Occupational health hazards as a result to exposure to mineral dust containing silica has been established long time ago in occupational health history. Its effects on lung function and symptom was evaluated in a cross sectional studied among 49 small enterprise pottery workers in the county of Sayong clustered in 3 villages. Respiratory symptoms and lung function was evaluated using MRC respiratory questionnaire 86 and standard spirometry performed. The prevalence of chronic cough, phlegm and chest tightness was 24.5%, 16% and16% respectively. There was no significant decrement in lung function parameters from the predicted normal value with the mean predicted FVC; FEV1 and FEV1/FVC ratio was 85.32%, 83.87% and 99.22 respectively. The relationship between lung symptoms and lung function parameters was evaluated and the result was not significant.
Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) are common occupational injuries among workers in the construction industry. Epidemiological studies indicated that WMSDs include neck pain, lower back pain, knee pain, leg fatigue as well as ankle and feet discomfort. The objectives of this study are to identify the WMSDs experienced by the workers during construction works and discuss the causes of those WMSDs. Subjective approach associated with modified Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) was applied to identify the symptoms of WMSDs. A case study was conducted in several construction sites situated at the southern region of Peninsular Malaysia. During the study, 37 construction workers with different age and scope of works were interviewed to determine the WMSDs that they have experienced. Based on distributed questionnaire, almost all workers experienced pain in the region of lower back, upper back and biceps. These pains were contributed by manipulation of heavy load and high force exertion. Based on discussed causations, control measures via engineering controls method and administrative controls method were proposed to alleviate the risk of WMSDs among construction workers.
This study analyzes the determinants of workplace injuries across 44 four-digit manufacturing industries in Malaysia from 1993 to 2008 through the business cycle and structural approaches. The results of fixed-effects estimations revealed that workplace injuries in Malaysian manufacturing sector were negatively influenced by firm size and positively influenced by business cycle. Consistent with the findings of previous studies in other countries, the empirical evidence of this study supports the pro-cyclical behavior of injury rates in manufacturing industries towards business cycle. The analysis demonstrates that both structural and cyclical variation effects are important determinants of workplace injuries in Malaysia.
Regulation on occupational safety and health in Malaysia had evolved from the prescriptive Factory and Machinery Act (1967) to a self-regulated Occupational Safety and Health Act (1994). However, from the authors’ observation the high standards of occupational safety and health culture that surpass the legal requirement were not widely practiced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The two main objectives of this study are: first, to identify and determine the level of conformity; and second, to investigate the reasons of nonconformity to Occupational Safety and Health Act (1994) regulation in SMEs involved the chemical industry sub-sectors. The survey questionnaire was distributed to 150 SMEs in chemical industry sub-sectors. Forty one of the survey questionnaires were completed and returned, giving a response rate of 27.3% for the survey. The survey results revealed that an overwhelming majority (92.7%) of the respondents from SMEs are likely not conforming to the basic requirement of Occupational Safety and Health Act (1994). In addition to this, the survey also found that only 3.1% of the management personnel can be considered competent in terms of knowledge, skill and ability in carrying out occupational safety and health regulation within their respective organization. While, 96.9% of the respondents that participated in the survey can be considered not competent. The authors hope the result of this survey could assist the relevant authorities in formulating a better policy and strategy for implementing occupational safety and health in SMEs involved in chemical industry sub-sectors.
Environmental factors such as temperature, lighting and noise have very significant impact to workers’ health, safety, comfort, performance and productivity. In an ergonomically design industrial work environment, these factors need to be control at their optimum levels. The main objective of this study is to find the effect of temperature, illuminance and sound pressure level on workers’ productivity in automotive industry. To perform this study a workstation in an automotive component manufacturing was selected as the location of the study. Results of data analysis showed there were relationships between temperature, illuminance and noise on workers’ productivity. Later, the authors’ developed multiple linear equation models to represent the relationships between temperature, illuminance and noise on the workers’ productivity. These multiple linear equation models could be used to predict the production rate for the workstation by referring to the value of temperature, illuminance and noise level.
Rapid development of technology has made simulator as a promising training tool. Advantages offered such as interactive and realistic training environments, mistake tolerance and training in hazardous scenario without causing harm to trainee, cost effectiveness, opportunity of training review and training time flexibility makes simulator widely used in aviation training, driver training, medical training and rehabilitation. Despite of these advantages, a major drawback of simulator is simulator sickness. Simulator sickness is a condition caused by inconsistency perceived by our vestibular system. Effected individual reported that they are experiencing nausea, fatigue, postural instability, headaches and difficulty in focusing which linger for hours or days in some cases. This paper will discuss the simulator usage and simulator sickness condition in Malaysia as experienced by researchers and a few organizations that use simulator as their training tool.
Individual factors have been considered to be a key issue to organizations’ performance and survival. Specifically, previous studies provide evidence that individual factors are closely associated with accidents in the workplace. Therefore, this study seeks to investigate the relationship between individual factors and workplace safety. 50 respondents have been randomly chosen from a manufacturing company in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Data are collected using a survey and are analyzed using SPSS version 16.0. A descriptive statistic, cross tabulation, independent sample t-test and one-way between groups ANOVA are employed to interpret findings of the study. Findings show that employees’ perception on safety performance is at high level (Mean= 115, Standard Deviation= 17.73). Furthermore, the results of cross tabulation demonstrate that individual factors play a key role to determine the organization safety performance level. Another significant finding reveals that there is a significant difference of safety performance mean to two of individual factors namely gender and tenure of service. Individual factors namely gender, age, tenure of service and academic qualification give a significant impact to employees’ perception on safety performance.