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Takahashi M.,Japanese National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Journal of Physiological Anthropology | Year: 2012

Good sleep is advantageous to the quality of life. Sleep-related benefits are particularly helpful for the working class, since poor or inadequate amounts of sleep degrade work productivity and overall health. This review paper explores the essential role of sleep in healthy work schedules and primarily focuses on the timing of sleep in relation to the work period (that is, before, during and after work). Data from laboratory, field and modeling studies indicate that consistent amounts of sleep prior to work are fundamental to improved performance and alertness in the workplace. In addition, planned naps taken during work maintain appropriate levels of waking function for both daytime and night-time work. Clearly, sufficient sleep after work is vital in promoting recovery from fatigue. Recent data also suggest that the time interval between shifts should be adjusted according to the biological timing of sleep. Although sleep is more likely to be replaced by job and other activities in the real life, research shows that it is worthwhile to revise the work schedules in order to optimize sleep before, sometime during and after the work period. Therefore, we suggest establishing work-sleep balance, similar to work-life balance, as a principle for designing and improving work schedules. © 2012 Takahashi. Source


Kubo T.,Japanese National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Sangyō eiseigaku zasshi = Journal of occupational health | Year: 2013

The period of leisure is an appropriate time to recover from work-induced fatigue, though some recovery takes place during rest breaks at work. Recently, much attention has been paid to the critical role of leisure activity in recovery. However, the findings relevant to shiftwork nurses who cannot take a day-off regularly are limited. This study explored how leisure activity during days off and shift work schedule are associated with recovery from fatigue in nurses working rotating shifts. A total of 426 nurses working rotating shifts at a university hospital returned a questionnaire regarding leisure activity and fatigue (response rate: 81.5%). Nurses were eligible for this study if they were female, worked 2 or 3 shifts, and had no missing data. A total of 390 respondents satisfied the inclusion criteria. A factor analysis classified their responses on how to spend an assumed period of two consecutive days off into three activity types: outdoor-, sleep-, and indoor-oriented. Fatigue (recovery from fatigue, accumulated fatigue, burnout), work conditions (working time, overtime, nightshift napping), sleep (sleep duration before day shift or day off, sleepiness) were measured. These data were analyzed using a two-way mixed model analysis of covariance (type [outdoor, sleep, indoor], shift schedule [two or three-shift system]). Covariates included age, length of career, partner, children, and hospital ward. Multiple regression analyses were performed to examine the factors determining the level of fatigue. Outdoor-oriented nurses showed significantly faster fatigue recovery, lower accumulated fatigue and less burnout symptoms than others, regardless of the shiftwork schedule. In contrast, sleep-oriented nurses showed significantly slower recovery from fatigue. Besides, their level of fatigue deteriorated more when they worked under a 3-shift system (counter-clockwise) compared with under 2-shift system (with mainly 16-hour nightshift). Multiple regression analysis indicated that sleep-oriented type of leisure activity, workload perception of working time, work-induced insomnia and length of nightshift naps were significantly related to fatigue-related outcomes. The primary finding of this study suggests that the level of fatigue is associated with the type of leisure activity, especially sleep-oriented activity, during shiftwork nurses' days off. Also, ensuring sufficient nightshift nap time may be one of the most important nightshift-related factors for recovery from fatigue. The present findings may have implications for appropriate activities during days off as factors facilitating recovery from work, though further investigations are needed to examine the causal links. Source


Shimada Y.,Japanese National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Journal of Chemical Engineering of Japan | Year: 2012

The safety of a chemical process plant can be achieved through plant-lifecycle engineering (Plant-LCE), which is performed from research and development to plant safety design, construction, and manufacturing (production and maintenance) stages, as well as at each engineering stage. To expressly provide a framework that can perform coherent decision making through the plant-lifecycle and at each stage, it is effective to develop a business process model that systematizes the activities related to engineering, production, etc. and represents the ideal and consistent business flow for each company. The safety division of the Society of Chemical Engineers Japan (SCEJ) has advanced the development of a business process model of Plant-LCE which consists of the business process models for process safety design, production management, plant maintenance, and process safety management (PSM). The original business flow for each company can be developed by referring to these business process models as reference models. This business flow can clarify what kind of activities should be performed at each stage, what kind of information on an activity should be collected, how it should be conveyed to other engineering activities, etc. In this paper, we review the challenges in developing business process models to realize a PSM environment logically. © 2012 The Society of Chemical Engineers, Japan. Source


Takahashi M.,Japanese National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Sleep and Biological Rhythms | Year: 2014

Shift work poses a significant threat to multiple aspects of working life. The present review addresses the health, safety/performance, and psychosocial issues associated with shift work. Recent studies have revealed that health disorders due to working in shifts are closely related to dysfunction of sleep and the circadian timing system. Safety and performance problems such as occupational injuries and poor work performance that occur during abnormal working hours can be explained by impaired neurobehavioral function. An increased level of understanding regarding shift work problems as well as sleep and circadian biology should be translated into evidence-based strategies to assist shift workers. Although some promising countermeasures including sleep and circadian approaches have been proposed, many questions regarding better shift schedules and fatigue risk management remain unsolved. In particular, shift work has been defined differently in previous studies, leading to confusion and errors when estimating the associations between shift work and outcomes. Additionally, there are no validated, reliable indicators to represent the adaptability of shift work. Such indicators, if available, could be used for health evaluations of current shift workers and the early detection and treatment of poor adaptation to a given shift schedule. Clearly, modern society exists with individuals who work in shifts. Therefore, effective countermeasures must be developed to reduce the risks arising from shift work. Sleep and circadian biology are expected to direct these processes. © 2014 Japanese Society of Sleep Research. Source


Takaya M.,Japanese National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Sangyō eiseigaku zasshi = Journal of occupational health | Year: 2010

In order to assess the exposure risks of multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) for packing workers, we carried out real-time monitoring in the two types of packing facilities of MWCNT, and exposure measurements for the packing workers. In the real-time monitoring, a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) and an optical particle counter (OPC) were used to measure nanoscale particles and sub-micron/micron scale particles, respectively. A personal sampler with PM 4.0 was used to measure the personal exposures in the packing facilities. One of the packing facilities is manually operated and the other is automated. The concentrations of airborne dust in both facilities were almost the same as each other at 0.24 mg/m(3) (total dust). However, the results of personal exposure measurements were quite different between the two facilities. The exposure concentrations of workers in the manually and automated operations were 2.39/0.39 (total/respirable) mg/m(3) and 0.29/0.08 (total/respirable) mg/m(3), respectively. From the time series study, submicron scale particles were released into the workplace air when the CNT products were put into temporary container bags from a hopper and manually packed into shipping bags. However, the task-related nanoscale particle release was not observed. The manual packing operation is one of the "hot spots" in MWCNT production facilities, and automation brings much improvement to reduce MWCNT exposure. Source

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