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.. | Volume 11 Number 4, 2005 (free)






A Methodology for Assessing Blast Protection in Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bomb Suits
To reduce human casualties associated with explosive ordnance disposal, a wide range of protective wear has been designed to shield against the blast effects of improvised explosive devices and munitions. In this study, 4 commercially available bomb suits, representing a range of materials and armor masses, were evaluated against 0.227 and 0.567 kg of spherical C-4 explosives to determine the level of protection offered to the head, neck, and thorax. A Hybrid III dummy, an instrumented human surrogate [1], was tested with and without protection from the 4 commercially available bomb suits. 20 tests with the dummy torso mounted to simulate a kneeling position were performed to confirm repeatability and robustness of the dummies, as well as to evaluate the 4 suits.
Correlations between injury risk assessments based on past human or animal injury model data and various parameters such as bomb suit mass, projected area, and dummy coverage area were drawn.

Deposition and Resuspension of Selected Aerosols Particles on Electrically Charged Filter Materials for Respiratory Protective Devices
The primary aim of the study was to analyse the non-steady state of filtration for selected electrostatic filter materials designed for use in respiratory protective devices. The obtained results showed that the filtration process in electrostatic filters was dependent in the main on the following factors: type of the filter material,electrostatic field strength of the material, and the charge of the aerosol. To a lesser degree the filtration process depended on the sign of the charge and the relative humidity of the air. A significant correlation was found between the increase in the penetration and the decrease in breathing resistance while the filter was being loaded. The effect of resuspension (tearing off and re-deposition of dust agglomerates inside the filter) on the filtration process very significant. It was also observed that under certain conditions electrostatic filter materials lost their protection properties.

Sample Preparation Followed by High Performance Liquid Chromatographic (HPLC) Analysis for Monitoring Muconic Acid as a Biomarker of Occupational Exposure to Benzene
Factors affecting solid phase extraction (SPE) of trans,trans-muconic acid (ttMA), as a benzene biomarker,including sample pH, sample concentration, sample volume, sample flow rate, washing solvent, elution solvent, and type of sorbent were evaluated. Extracted samples were determined by HPLC-UV (high performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet). The analytical column was C18, UV wave length was 259 nm, and the mobile phase was H2O/methanol/acetic acid run at flow rate of 1 ml/min. A strong anion exchange silica cartridge was found successful in simplifying SPE. There was a significant difference between recoveries of ttMA when different factors were used (p < .001). An optimum recovery was obtained when sample pH was adjusted at 7. There was no significant difference when different sample concentrations were used (p > .05). The optimized method was then validated with 3 different pools of samples showing good reproducibility over 6 consecutive days and 6 within-day experiments.

Safety Climate in Finnish- and Swedish-Speaking Companies
The aim of this study was to compare assessments made by Finnish- and Swedish-speaking workers in Finland about the safety climate in their companies, because an earlier study showed that the accident frequency of Swedish-speaking workers was one third lower than that of Finnish-speaking workers. 148 Finnish-speaking and 138 Swedish-speaking workers from 14 small and medium-sized companies participated in this study. They filled out a Finnish safety climate questionnaire, the reliability of which was above the acceptable level. There
were no differences between the language groups in the total variables of safety climate and safety action. Based on the differences in single items, we interpreted that Swedish-speaking workers stressed collective safety more, whereas Finnish-speaking workers put more emphasis on their personal responsibility for safety.

Human Factors in Matching Images to Standards: Assimilation and Time Order Error
Objectives: This study examines recognition performance to depend on image context and time order error. Recognition of standard images is a basic process in medical image analysis. Methods: After the presentation of a standard square, 20 subjects identified the standard within a variety of 7 squares. The choice was between the standard and either 3 smaller and 3 larger squares, 5 smaller and 1 larger square, or 5 larger and 1 smaller square (context conditions).
Results: Multilevel regression analysis showed large individual differences in judgments (P < .001). Context induced assimilation of judgments to the medium-sized square within response options (P < .001). Negative time order error in rapid judgments caused an underestimation of the standard (P < .001).
Conclusions: Assimilation of judgments and time order error might be a threat to the reliability of medical image analysis. Some procedural recommendations are derived to reduce bias and increase patient safety in radiology.

CCall—Healthy and Successful Work in Call Centers
Call centre workplaces are in many ways a challenge to occupational health and safety. The occupation itself can be described as an information technology-supported, communication-intensive form of work with often unusual working hours and a high rate of part-time employment. Data on the employee turnover as well as absenteeism related to occupational disability is quite contradictory. Occupational safety and its proponents still have to find new ways into the corporate structures and cultures of this relatively new and rapidly growing branch of industry. In a 2-year research and development project, using a holistic approach and under consideration of all the relevant disciplines, call centre workplaces were studied, and organisational measures
were developed and field tested by putting them into practice. Practical help was developed for a sustainable strategy for successful and healthy work in call centres.

An Intervention to Reduce Work-Related Burnout in Teachers
The objective of the study was to develop and evaluate a 2-day burnout intervention program focused at enhancing coping with stresses observed in teachers’ work. Karasek’s job stress model was used as the theoretical framework. The aim of the intervention was to teach participants to deal better with high job demands and low job control. Some cognitive-behavioural methods of overcoming workload and enhancing a sense of self-mastery and relations with students were introduced in the workshop. 59 teachers were randomly assigned
to an experimental or to a control group. Results showed that emotional exhaustion, perceived workload and somatic complaints decreased significantly in the intervention group. The greatest effect of the intervention was observed with regard to increased behavioural job control. It was concluded that teaching participants how to manage their work environment better could help them in changing their perception of stressful job characteristics, reducing emotional exhaustion and somatic complaints.

Epidemiology of Musculoskeletal Symptoms Among Korean Hospital Nurses
We investigated the epidemiology of musculoskeletal symptoms (MSS) among a complete cross-section of 330 nurses from a large Korean hospital, by means of a questionnaire survey (response rate: 97.9%). The prevalence of MSS at any body site was 93.6%, with symptoms most commonly reported at the shoulder (74.5%), lower back (72.4%), neck (62.7%), lower legs (52.1%) and hand/wrist (46.7%). Logistic regression indicated that nurses who undertook manual handling of patients were 7.2 times as likely to report MSS (OR 7.2, 95%CI 1.2–42.3, P = .0275), while nurses suffering from periodic depression experienced a 3.3-fold MSS risk (OR 3.3,95%CI 1.3–8.3, P = .0104). Overall, our study suggests that Korean nurses incur a very high MSS burden when compared internationally. A greater commitment is needed to improve physical conditions, occupational tasks and psychosocial work issues among nurses in this country.

Differences in Dentist’s Working Postures When Adopting Proprioceptive Derivation vs. Conventional Concept
New technologies and changes in dental care, including the proprioceptive derivation (Pd) concept, aimed at providing dentists with greater comfort and better health, were introduced in Thailand. The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in dentists’ working postures when adopting different work concepts: Pd and the conventional concept. The results showed differences in dentists’ sitting posture, clock-related working positions, and Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) scores. This implied that Pd helped dentists to discover new ways of positioning themselves, and working comfortably and effectively, which made it possible for them to adopt better working posture and have lower RULA scores. In conclusion, the Pd concept had a positive effect on dentists’ working posture.

An Investigation of the Effectiveness of Police Cruiser Doors as Protection
The objective of this research was to investigate the degree to which automobile doors (especially police cruiser doors) may be used as protection by police officers when under handgun attack. This is a vital question, since the cruiser door is often the only defense a police officer has when encountering gunfire. Data were collected on door penetration capabilities of 3 calibers of handguns (selected based on FBI data on police officer assaults) at 2 different angles of fire. Results indicated that caliber has a significant effect, with the likelihood of penetration increasing with caliber. The oblique angle of fire (45o) was somewhat less likely to penetrate than an orthogonal angle, although the difference was not significant. Overall, 68% of the rounds penetrated the door regardless of angle of fire or caliber.

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