Employment after spinal cord injury

Employment after spinal cord injury

Bender, and J. A. HolL Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 63, 67-71. This paper discusses characteristics of occupational traumatic deaths, ...

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Bender, and J. A. HolL Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 63, 67-71. This paper discusses characteristics of occupational traumatic deaths, caused by helicopters, during 1980-1985. Death certificate data are used to describe demographic characteristics and causes of death. Information from National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigations is used to describe pilot experience and environmental circumstances surrounding the incident. During 1980-1985, 374 worker deaths involving helicopters were identified in the National Traumatic Occupational Fatality (NTOF) database. The majority of deaths resulted from trauma to body organs (including the brain). According to NTSB investigations, 59% of crashes in this study were attributed to pilot error, compared to 16.5% from mechanical failure of the helicopter. Thirty percent of deaths were related to military use of helicopters. While death due to occupational exposure to helicopters is not common, some workers (e.g., helicopter pilots) appear to be at especially high risk. This group should be studied further to develop better strategies for their protection. Accidents of Elderly Drivers and Intersection Traffic Control Devices. N. Stamatiadis, W. C. Taylor, and F. X. McKelvey. Journal of Advanced Transportation, 24(2), 99-112. The research reported in this paper examined the relationship between accidents of elderly drivers and intersection traffic control devices. The analysis was performed using the induced exposure method, where the exposure to an accident is defined as the probability of being the driver not cited for the accident occurrence. The results indicate that the accident involvement of elderly drivers is higher than that of the other drivers under certain circumstances. To reduce these rates, modifications in the licensing procedures and training programs are suggested. Industrial Safety E f f e c t s o f O c c u p a t i o n a l Stress on the P h y s i c a l and P s y c h o l o g i c a l Health of


Women in a Microelectronics Plant. E. J. Bromet, M. A. Dew, D. K. Parkinson, S. Cohen, and J. E. Schwartz. Social Science Medicine, 34(12), 1377-1383. Physical and psychological effects of occupational stress were examined in a sample of 552 female blue collar employees of a microelectronics facility. After controlling for demographic and biological risk factors, nonwork life events, and solvent exposure, jobrelated conflict was associated with depressive symptomatology, severe headaches, lightheadedness, weakness/fatigue, rashes, and presence of multiple symptoms. Job demands were only associated with multiple symptoms. Solvent exposure did not interact with either of the job stress measures synergistically to increase symptom reports. Although the main effects of social support, when present, were in the direction of reducing symptomatology, the interactive effects of social support and stress on health were inconsistent and dependent on the source of support. Employment after Spinal Cord Injury. J. S. Krause. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 73(2), 163-169. The purpose of this study was to compare preinjury and post-injury employment rates in a diverse sample of persons with spinal cord injuries. Several employment variables were compared in individuals grouped into cohorts based on injury level, chronologic age, age at injury, time since injury, and years of education. The study sample (N = 286) was highly educated (~- = 14.2 years of education) and was an average of 18.6 years post-injury. Forty-eight percent of the participants were working at the time of the study, and 75% had worked at some time since injury. Only 12% of the persons who were employed at the time of the injury returned to the same job after injury. Several noteworthy findings among the groups were: (1) participants with paraplegia were more likely than those with quadriplegia to return to their preinjury jobs; (2) employment rates were dramatically lower in the 51to-60-year group; (3) more than 85% of persons in the cohorts who were at least 21 years post-injury had worked at some time since

Journal of Safety Research

injury; (4) younger age at injury was associated with higher current employment rates; and (5) nearly 95% of all participants with 16 or more years of education had worked at some point since injury. The study results reaffirmed the need for comprehensive rehabilitation, identified the need for retraining several years after injury, and pointed to the role of higher education in producing high employment rates.

Penetrating Eye Injuries in the Workplace: The National Eye Trauma System Registry. A. L. Dannenberg, L. M. Parver, R. J. Brechner, and L. Khoo. Archives of Ophthalmology, 110(6), 843-848. Occupational eye injuries are common and preventable. Between 1985 and 1991, there were 635 w o r k - r e l a t e d penetrating eye injuries among the 2,939 cases (22%) reported to the National Eye Trauma System Registry by 48 collaborating centers in 28 states and Washington, DC. The median age of the injured workers was 30 years; 75% were younger than 40 years; and 97% were male. The commonest causes of injuries were projectiles (457 cases), sharp objects (166 cases), blunt objects (60 cases), and blasts (22 cases); these terms are not m u t u a l l y exclusive. Specific objects causing injuries included nails, wire, screwdrivers, and other hand tools. There was evidence of alcohol use by at least 2% of the injured workers. When they were injured, 6% of the workers were wearing safety glasses; 3% were wearing nonsafety eyewear. Posterior s e g m e n t trauma, which occurred in 63% of the cases, included vitreous hemorrhage (42%), intraocular foreign bodies (35%), and retinal detachment (10%). Hyphema occurred in 35% and traumatic cataract in 32% of the cases. Initial visual acuity after injury was hand motion or worse in 43% of the cases. National Eye Trauma System Registry data are useful to identify strategies to prevent occupational eye injuries such as wider use of safety glasses and improvement in engineering controls.

The Effects of Varying Levels of OutdoorAir Supply on the Symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome. R. Menzies, R. Tamblyn, Winter 1993/Volume 24/Number4

J. P. Farant, J. Hanley, F. Nunes, and R. Tamblyn. The New England Journal of Medicine, 328(12), 821-827. Background. The sick building syndrome is the term given to a constellation of symptoms reported by workers in modern office buildings, hypothesized to occur when the supply of outdoor air is reduced, because of the accumulation of contaminants arising from within the building. We undertook this study to determine the effect of changing the supply of outdoor air in four office buildings on the symptoms reported by workers and their perception of the indoor environment. Method. Within each of three consecutive 2-week blocks, the ventilation systems in each building were manipulated, in random order, to deliver the indoor environment an intended 20 or 50 ft 3 (0.57 or 1.4m 3) of outdoor air per minute per person for one week at a time. Each week, the participants, unaware of the experimental intervention, reported symptoms, and the indoor environment was thoroughly evaluated. Results. Of 1,838 eligible workers in the four buildings, 1,546 (84 percent) participated in the study. The supply of outdoor air averaged 7 percent and 32 percent in the ventilation systems and 30 and 64 ft 3 (0.85 and 1.8 m 3) per minute per person in the work sites at the lower and higher ventilation levels, respectively. These changes in the supply of outdoor air were not associated with changes in the participants' ratings of the office environment or in symptom frequency (crude odds ratio, 1.0; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.9 to 1.1). After work-site measures of ventilation, temperature, humidity, and air velocity were included in the regression analysis, the adjusted odds ratio was also 1.0 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.8 to 1.2). Conclusions. Increases in the supply of outdoor air did not appear to affect workers' perceptions of their office environment or their reporting of symptoms considered typical of the sick building syndrome.

Hazards of Chemotherapy: Implementing Safe Handling Practices. D. K. Mayer. Cancer, 70(4), 988-992. 257