Displaying all 14 publications

  1. Sayapathi BS, Su AT, Koh D
    J Occup Health, 2014;56(1):1-11.
    PMID: 24270928
    OBJECTIVES: A systematic review was conducted to identify the effectiveness of different permissible exposure limits in preserving the hearing threshold level. This review compared the limits of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health with those of the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The prevalence of occupational noise-induced hearing loss is on an increasing trend globally. This review was performed to reduce the prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss.

    METHODS: We searched 3 major databases, i.e., PubMed, Embase and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Journals@Ovid, for studies published up until 1May 2013 without language restrictions. All study designs were included in this review. The studies were identified and retrieved by two independent authors.

    RESULTS: Of 118 titles scanned, 14 duplicates were removed, and a total of 13 abstracts from all three databases were identified for full-text retrieval. From the full text, eight articles met the inclusion criteria for this systematic review. These articles showed acceptable quality based on our scoring system. Most of the studies indicated that temporary threshold shifts were much lower when subjects were exposed to a noise level of 85 dBA or lower.

    CONCLUSIONS: There were more threshold shifts in subjects adopting 90 dBA compared with 85 dBA. These temporary threshold shifts may progress to permanent shifts over time. Action curtailing noise exposure among employees would be taken earlier on adoption of 85 dBA as the permissible exposure limit, and hence prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss may be reduced.

  2. Su AT, Fukumoto J, Darus A, Hoe VC, Miyai N, Isahak M, et al.
    J Occup Health, 2013;55(6):468-78.
    PMID: 24162147
    OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical characteristics of HAVS in a tropical environment in comparison with a temperate environment.

    METHODS: We conducted a series medical examinations among the forestry, construction and automobile industry workers in Malaysia adopting the compulsory medical examination procedure used by Wakayama Medical University for Japanese vibratory tools workers. We matched the duration of vibration exposure and compared our results against the Japanese workers. We also compared the results of the Malaysian tree fellers against a group of symptomatic Japanese tree fellers diagnosed with HAVS.

    RESULTS: Malaysian subjects reported a similar prevalence of finger tingling, numbness and dullness (Malaysian=25.0%, Japanese=21.5%, p=0.444) but had a lower finger skin temperature (FST) and higher vibrotactile perception threshold (VPT) values as compared with the Japanese workers. No white finger was reported in Malaysian subjects. The FST and VPT of the Malaysian tree fellers were at least as bad as the Japanese tree fellers despite a shorter duration (mean difference=20.12 years, 95%CI=14.50, 25.40) of vibration exposure.

    CONCLUSIONS: Although the vascular disorder does not manifest clinically in the tropical environment, the severity of HAVS can be as bad as in the temperate environment with predominantly neurological disorder. Hence, it is essential to formulate national legislation for the control of the occupational vibration exposure.

  3. Ng YG, Shamsul Bahri MT, Irwan Syah MY, Mori I, Hashim Z
    J Occup Health, 2014;55(5):405-14.
    PMID: 23892641
    OBJECTIVES: Production agriculture is commonly associated with high prevalence of ergonomic injuries, particularly during intensive manual labor and during harvesting. This paper intends to briefly describe an overview of oil palm plantation management highlighting the ergonomics problem each of the breakdown task analysis.

    METHODS: Although cross-sectional field visits were conducted in the current study, insight into past and present occupational safety and health concerns particularly regarding the ergonomics of oil palm plantations was further exploited. Besides discussion, video recordings were extensively used for ergonomics analysis.

    RESULTS: The unique commodity of oil palm plantations presents significantly different ergonomics risk factors for fresh fruit bunch (FFB) cutters during different stages of harvesting. Although the ergonomics risk factors remain the same for FFB collectors, the intensity of manual lifting increases significantly with the age of the oil palm trees-weight of FFB.

    CONCLUSIONS: There is urgent need to establish surveillance in order to determine the current prevalence of ergonomic injuries. Thereafter, ergonomics interventions that are holistic and comprehensive should be conducted and evaluated for their efficacy using approaches that are integrated, participatory and cost-effective.

  4. Su AT, Darus A, Bulgiba A, Maeda S, Miyashita K
    J Occup Health, 2012;54(5):349-60.
    PMID: 22863899
    The internationally accepted limit values and the health effects of hand-transmitted vibration exposure have been described extensively in the literature from temperate climate countries but not from a tropical climate environment.

    OBJECTIVES: We conducted a systematic review of the health effects of hand-transmitted vibration exposure in tropical countries to determine the characteristics of hand-arm vibration syndrome in a warm environment and compared the findings with the results of the systematic reviews published by the US NIOSH.

    METHODS: We searched major medical databases including MEDLINE, PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, Ovid and Cochrane based on the terms "hand arm vibration syndrome," "hand transmitted vibration," "vibration white finger" and "Raynaud" up to January 2011. Only studies conducted in a tropical or subtropical environment were selected for the review. The quality of the selected papers was assessed independently by two investigators using predefined criteria. A standard set of information was abstracted from the papers for review.

    RESULTS: Only six papers from tropical countries and three papers from subtropical countries were available in the literature. No vibration white finger was reported in the tropical countries. Neurological symptoms were prevalent in the vibration-exposed workers. Finger coldness seems to be an important surrogate for vascular disorder in a tropical environment. Meta-analysis could not be performed due to inadequacy of the information reported in these papers.

    CONCLUSIONS: The current dose-response relationship in ISO5349-1 for hand-transmitted vibration exposure is not applicable to a tropical environment. Further studies on hand-arm vibration syndromes in tropical countries are needed.

  5. Aziz SA, Nuawi MZ, Nor MJ
    J Occup Health, 2015;57(6):513-20.
    PMID: 26269278 DOI: 10.1539/joh.14-0206-OA
    OBJECTIVE: 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).

    METHODOLOGY: 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.

    RESULTS: Based on the results obtained, HAV experienced by drivers can be determined using the daily vibration exposure A(8), I-kaz Vibro coefficient (Ƶ(v)(∞)), and the I-kaz Vibro display. The I-kaz Vibro displays also showed greater scatterings, indicating that the values of Ƶ(v)(∞) and A(8) were increasing. Prediction of HAV exposure was done using the developed regression model and graphical representations of Ƶ(v)(∞). The results of the regression model showed that Ƶ(v)(∞) increased when the vehicle speed and HAV exposure increased.

    DISCUSSION: 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.

  6. Idris MA, Dollard MF, Winefield AH
    J Occup Health, 2011;53(6):447-54.
    PMID: 21952295
    OBJECTIVE: To examine the impact of globalization on employee psychological health and job satisfaction via job characteristics (i.e., job demands and job resources) in an emerging economy, that of Malaysia. As external factors are regarded as influences on the working environment, we hypothesized that global forces (increased pressure and competition) would have an impact on burnout and job satisfaction via increased demands (role conflict, emotional demands) and reduced resources (supervisor support, coworkers support).

    METHODS: Data were collected using a population based survey among 308 employees in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. Participants were approached at home during the weekend or on days off from work. Only one participant was selected per household. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse the data. Nearly 54% of respondents agreed that they need to work harder, 25% agreed that their job was not secure and 24% thought they had lost power and control on the job due to global trade competition.

    RESULTS: Consistent with our predictions, demands mediated the globalization to burnout relationship, and resources mediated the globalization to job satisfaction relationship.

    CONCLUSIONS: Together, these results support the idea that external factors influence work conditions and in turn employee health and job satisfaction. We conclude that the jobs demands-resources framework is applicable in an Eastern setting and that globalization is a key antecedent of working environments.

  7. Hossain F, Ali O, D'Souza UJ, Naing DK
    J Occup Health, 2010;52(6):353-60.
    PMID: 20924153
    OBJECTIVES: To determine the relationship between semen quality and exposure to pesticide residues.

    METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among male farmers from 3 different communities in Sabah, Malaysia. A total of 152 farmers participated in this study of whom 62 farmers had been exposed to either paraquat or malathion or both to varying extents. Questionnaires were designed to record a history of pesticides exposure and other potential risk factors among farmers. All semen samples were collected, processed and analyzed by qualified personnel based on WHO guidelines. Volume, pH, sperm concentration, motility, morphology and WBC count were examined and recorded. The association between pesticide exposure and semen parameters was highly significant.

    RESULTS: The mean values of volume, pH, sperm concentration, motility, and WBC count were significantly less in the exposed group than in compared with the non-exposed group, with p<0.005. Those who were exposed to pesticides had greater risk of having abnormal semen parameters than those in with the non exposed group, with p values of less than 0.05. The comparison between semen qualities such as lower sperm count, motility and higher percentage of sperm abnormality of those exposed to different types of pesticides (paraquat and malathion) showed no significant differences.

    CONCLUSION: The results showed a significant decline in semen quality with a decline in sperm count, motility and higher percent of teratospermia among subjects with pesticide exposure, and those who were exposed to pesticides had significantly 3 to 9 times greater risk of having abnormal semen parameters.

  8. Al-Dubai SA, Rampal KG
    J Occup Health, 2010;52(1):58-65.
    PMID: 19907108
    OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to determine the level and factors contributing to burnout among doctors in Sana'a City, Yemen and to determine the relationship between burnout and psychological morbidity.

    METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study of 563 working doctors in the four main hospitals in Sana'a City, Yemen. The 12-item version of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ12) was used as a measure of psychological morbidity and the 22-item Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) was used to measure emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. Sources of job stress were determined using a 37-item scale questionnaire. The questionnaire elicited information about socio-demographic and work characteristics.

    RESULTS: On the MBI, 356 doctors showed high emotional exhaustion (63.2%), 109 showed high depersonalization (19.4%) and 186 showed low personal accomplishment (33.0%). Sixty six doctors (11.7%) were identified as experiencing a high degree of burnout (high emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and low personal accomplishment). The prevalence of high degree of burnout was significantly higher in those with duration of work or=40 h/wk (OR=2.1, 95% CI 1.25-3.62) and in those who had psychological morbidity (OR=5.3, 95% CI 2.22-12.39). Thirteen out of 37 sources of stress were significantly associated with high degree of burnout. In multivariate analysis, the significant predictors of high burnout were: dealing with patient's psychosocial problems, feeling of isolation, disturbance of home/family life by work, not chewing khat, long working hours and psychological morbidity.

    CONCLUSION: The prevalence of high degree of burnout as well as emotional exhaustion in Yemeni doctors was higher than those reported internationally and was associated with psychological morbidity and many important sources of job stress.
  9. Samad AH, Usul MH, Zakaria D, Ismail R, Tasset-Tisseau A, Baron-Papillon F, et al.
    J Occup Health, 2006 Jan;48(1):1-10.
    PMID: 16484757
    This study was designed to evaluate the health and economic benefits of a workplace vaccination programme against influenza funded by the employer. Employees of a Malaysian petrochemical plant volunteered to take part in this prospective, non-randomised, non-placebo-controlled study. Demographic and health information, including influenza-like symptoms, sick leave and post-vaccination adverse events were collected via questionnaires. Cost-benefit analyses were performed from the employer's perspective.

    RESULTS: A total of 1,022 employees took part in the study, with 504 choosing to be vaccinated against influenza, and 518 remaining unvaccinated. The rate of influenza-like illness (ILI) was lower among vaccinated (8.13%) than non-vaccinated subjects (30.31%). Fever and respiratory symptoms were associated with all ILI cases. ILI-related sick leave was taken by 58.54% of vaccinated employees with ILI and 71.34% of non-vaccinated employees with ILI. Vaccination was financially beneficial, with the employer saving up to US dollar 53.00 per vaccinated employee when labour costs only were considered. Savings rose to up to US dollar 899.70 when the operating income of each employee was also considered. Workplace vaccination of healthy adults against influenza had a clear impact on ILI rates, absenteeism and reduced productivity in this Malaysian company. The health benefits translated into financial benefits for the employer, with cost savings significantly outweighting the costs of the vaccination programme.
  10. Norsayani MY, Noor Hassim I
    J Occup Health, 2003 May;45(3):172-8.
    PMID: 14646293
    Medical students face the threat of needle stick injury with the consequent risk of acquiring blood-borne infection by pathogens such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C while performing their clinical activities in the hospitals. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 417 final year medical students from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), University Malaya (UM) and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). The aims of the study were to determine the incidence of cases and episodes of needle stick injury among them in the past year. This study was also done to find out the factors that might be associated with the occurrence of this problem. The factors were sociodemographic factors, duration of exposure, level of knowledge of blood-borne diseases and Universal Precaution, perception of risk of blood-borne diseases and level of practice of Universal Precaution. The incidence of needle stick injury among medical students was 14.1% (59 cases). The total number of episodes of needle stick injury was 87 and the incidence of episodes among respondents was high i.e. 20.9%. The highest incidence of episodes of needle stick injury occurred in Obstetric & Gynaecology postings, followed by Medicine and Surgery. For clinical procedures, venepuncture had the highest incidence followed by setting up drips and giving parenteral injections. The results showed the students who had needle stick injury (cases) had lower scores in the practice of Universal Precautions than non-cases (p<0.05). There was a significant association between the level of practice of Universal Precautions and the number of episodes of needle stick injury, i.e. the higher the score for the practice of Universal Precautions, the lower the number of episodes (beta=-2.03 x 10(-2), p<0.05). This study showed that medical students are at risk of needle stick injury and blood-borne infections during their clinical activities while performing procedures on patients especially for those who were poor at practising Universal Precautions. Therefore some preventive measures should be taken by the management of the universities and medical students to avoid the occurrence of these problems.
  11. Onuki M, Yokoyama K, Kimura K, Sato H, Nordin RB, Naing L, et al.
    J Occup Health, 2003 May;45(3):140-5.
    PMID: 14646288
    To assess dermal absorption of nicotine from tobacco leaves in relation to Green Tobacco Sickness (GTS), urinary cotinine concentrations were measured in 80 male tobacco-growing farmers and in 40 healthy males (controls) who did not handle wet tobacco leaves in Kelantan, Malaysia. Among non-smokers, urinary cotinine levels in farmers were significantly higher than those of controls; farmers with urinary cotinine of 50 ng/ml/m2 or above showed eye symptoms more frequently than those below this level (p<0.05). Farmers who did not wear protective equipment had subjective symptoms more frequently than those who used the equipment (p<0.05); some of these symptoms were seen more frequently in organophosphate (Tamaron) users than in non-users. As tobacco farmers evidence a risk of nicotine poisoning from tobacco leaves, assessment including GTS together with effects of pesticides will be necessary.
  12. Saffree Jeffree M, Ismail N, Awang Lukman K
    J Occup Health, 2016 Sep 30;58(5):434-443.
    PMID: 27488035
    INTRODUCTION: Hearing impairment remains the main occupational health problem in the manufacturing industry, and its contributing factors have not been well controlled.

    METHODS: Unmatched case control and comparative studies were carried out among fertilizer factory workers in Sarawak with the aim of determining contributing factors for hearing impairment. Respondents consisted of 49 cases that were diagnosed from 2005 to 2008 with 98 controls from the same work places. Chi-square test and Mann-Whitney test were used in a univariate analysis to determine the association between hearing impairment and the contributing risks being studied.

    RESULTS: The results of the univariate analysis showed that hearing impairment was significantly (p<0.05) associated with older age, lower education level, high smoking dose, high occupational daily noise dose, longer duration of service, infrequent used of hearing protection device (HPD), and low perception of sound on HPD usage. Multivariate logistic regression of hearing impairment after controlling for age found the following five variables: occupational daily noise dose ≥50% (OR 3.48, 95% CI 1.36-8.89), ≥15 years of services (OR 2.92, 95% CI 1.16-7.33), infrequent use of HPD (OR 2.79, 95% CI 1.15-6.77), low perception of sound on HPD (POR 2.77, 95% CI 1.09-6.97), and smoking more than 20 packs per year (OR 4.71, 95% CI 1.13-19.68).

    DISCUSSION: In conclusion, high occupational noise exposure level, longer duration of service, low perception of sound on HPD, infrequent used of HPD, and smoking more than 20 packs per year were the contributing factors to hearing impairment, and appropriate intervention measures should be proposed and taken into considerations.

  13. Qamruddin AA, Nik Husain NR, Sidek MY, Hanafi MH, Ripin ZM, Ali N
    J Occup Health, 2019 Nov;61(6):498-507.
    PMID: 31364246 DOI: 10.1002/1348-9585.12078
    BACKGROUND: Prolonged exposure to hand-arm vibration is associated with a disorder of the vascular, neurological, and musculoskeletal systems of the upper limb known as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). Currently, the evidence of HAVS in tropical environments is limited.

    OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence and severity of HAVS among tyre shop workers in Kelantan, Malaysia.

    METHODS: A cross-sectional study involving 200 tyre shop workers from two districts in Kelantan was performed. Part one data were collected at the field using questionnaire, and hand-arm vibration was measured. Part two involved a set of hand clinical examinations. The workers were divided into high (≥5 m s-2 ) and low/moderate (<5 m s-2 ) exposure group according to their 8-hr time weighted average [A(8)] of vibration exposure. The differences between the two exposure group were then compared.

    RESULTS: The prevalence of the vascular, neurological, and musculoskeletal symptoms was 12.5% (95% CI 10.16 to 14.84), 37.0% (95% CI 30.31 to 43.69), and 44.5% (95% CI 37.61 to 51.38) respectively. When divided according to their exposure statuses, there was a significant difference in the prevalence of HAVS for all three components of vascular, neurological, and musculoskeletal (22.68% vs 2.91%, 62.89% vs 12.62% and 50.52% and 38.83%) respectively. All the clinical examinations findings also significantly differed between the two groups with the high exposure group having a higher abnormal result.

    CONCLUSION: Exposure to high A(8) of vibration exposure was associated with a higher prevalence of all three component of HAVS. There is a need for better control of vibration exposure in Malaysia.

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