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Technical and Scientific Research in Prevention, Safety and Health of High-Performance Activities

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2023) | Viewed by 11925

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Escuela Técnica Superior de Edificación, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: occupational risk assessment; management of occupational risks; accident analysis; accident prevention; safety engineering; collective protections; innovation; workplace interventions; construction engineering; fall prevention and protection
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Associated Laboratory for Energy, Transports and Aeronautics, (PROA-LAETA), Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
Interests: safety engineering; risk assessment; risk management; industrial ergonomics; industrial hygiene; occupational health; accident costs; human engineering; mining project
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Associated Laboratory for Energy, Transports and Aeronautics, (PROA-LAETA), Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
Interests: occupational hygiene; risk assessment; ergonomics and human factors
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the world of work, there are professions that, because of their nature, require personnel to perform work in the most demanding, hazardous conditions. Physical and mental fatigue linked to the extreme environment creates a physiological imbalance, which leads to acute health issues or even death. However, prevention can be achieved by approaches that can act in their own way or synergistically with others. For example, on one hand, adequate training and management and, on the other, the use of personal equipment or engineering solutions designed to meet the activity’s demands.

Within these professions are those linked to security and civil protection, such as the military, police, and firefighters; workers subjected to extreme temperatures, including those moving materials in cold rooms or hot environments such as metallurgical and mining workers; and occupations that require attention for long periods with reduced physical activity, such as air traffic controllers or long-distance drivers.

Other professions, such as divers, climbers, and hospital personnel, can also be included in this scope.

The prevention of these professions’ risks requires a multidisciplinary approach to the occupational conditions and environmental exposures that these workers are subjected to.

The prediction of the physiological response and/or its knowledge in real-time can safeguard health and save lives. Identifying the signs of physical fatigue or behavioral changes can prevent accidents and illnesses, both physical and mental. Bio-signal monitoring systems with remote communication potential can lead occupational safety and health to new frontiers, preventing irreversible limits from being exceeded.

In this Special Issue, contributions are welcome in biomechanics, ergonomics, medicine, psychology, physiology, rehabilitation, endocrinology, biochemistry, electronics, communications, engineering, or any other discipline that can contribute to identifying problems and pointing out solutions.

High-quality research papers, case studies, and review articles will be accepted using the PRISMA methodology. Experts in the field will review all contributions.

Among others, the following research topics are sought for this Special Issue:

  • Firefighters;
  • Military personnel;
  • Police force;
  • High performance;
  • Workers subjected to extreme temperatures;
  • Occupational physical activity;
  • Physical fitness;
  • Training and injury prevention;
  • Stress reactions;
  • Coping strategies;
  • Job loading;
  • Workplace;
  • Fatigue assessment and management;
  • Personal protective equipment uses and technical advances;
  • Technological systems and their effect on health.

Dr. María de las Nieves González García
Dr. João dos Santos Baptista
Dr. Joana Cristina Cardoso Guedes
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • human factors
  • cognitive performance
  • physical exertion
  • psychophysiological modeling
  • work performance
  • environmental stress
  • fatigue assessment/management
  • wearable sensors
  • physiological monitoring
  • occupational prevention
  • occupational hygiene
  • ergonomic risk assessment

Published Papers (5 papers)

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12 pages, 322 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Injuries Suffered by Mounted and Non-Mounted Police Officers
by Robin Orr, Elisa F. D. Canetti, Rodney Pope, Robert G. Lockie, J. Jay Dawes and Ben Schram
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1144; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021144 - 9 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1584
Abstract
Mounted police officers are subject to unique occupational tasks which may lead to unique injuries. This study’s aim was to describe policing injuries suffered by mounted police officers contextualized through comparison to non-mounted officers. Injury data from 01 July 2014 to 30 June [...] Read more.
Mounted police officers are subject to unique occupational tasks which may lead to unique injuries. This study’s aim was to describe policing injuries suffered by mounted police officers contextualized through comparison to non-mounted officers. Injury data from 01 July 2014 to 30 June 2020 were provided from a state policing agency’s incident reporting database. The data reported the numbers and rates of injuries and classified the injuries by gender, cause, mechanism, nature, and hours worked. Of the 35,406 reported injuries, 35,255 (99.6%) injuries were reported by non-mounted police officers. An annual incidence rate of 338–364 and 626–952 injuries per 1000 personnel were reported in non-mounted and mounted police, respectively. For mounted police, the leading causes of injuries were slips, trips, and falls (23.8%), followed by repetitive tasks and movements (9.9%). Physical assault was the leading cause of injury for non-mounted police officers (21.3%), followed by slips, trips, and falls (16.0%). In mounted police, falls from heights (15.9%) and repetitive tasks and movements (10.6%) comprised the most frequently specified mechanisms of injury, as compared to physical assault (21.0%) and physical exercise (5.2%) in non-mounted police. The most common activities being performed at the time of injury for mounted police were animal handling (64.9%) as opposed to arresting an offender (31.2%) for non-mounted police. Sprains and strains and bruises and swelling were the leading natures of injuries among both mounted (44.4% and 29.1%, respectively) and non-mounted (36.6% and 21.2%, respectively) officers. The leading body sites of injury in mounted officers were the lower back (13.9%) and neck and shoulders (7.3% each), and for non-mounted police, the knee (13.9%), lower back (10.0%), and hand (8.2%) were the most common. Mounted police officers sustained injuries through different activities, causes, and mechanisms and to different body sites at 2–3 times higher incidence rates. Mounted police officers warrant specifically tailored injury mitigation and return-to-work strategies. Full article
13 pages, 1396 KiB  
Article
Team Workload and Performance of Healthcare Workers with Musculoskeletal Symptoms
by Elamara Marama de Araújo Vieira, Jonhatan Magno Norte da Silva, Wilza Karla dos Santos Leite, Ruan Eduardo Carneiro Lucas and Luiz Bueno da Silva
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(1), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20010742 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1908
Abstract
In healthcare professionals, musculoskeletal complaints are the most frequent health disorders with the greatest potential for productivity losses. The teamwork developed by these professionals can be a coping strategy, but it can also be one more demand for the maintenance of performance. For [...] Read more.
In healthcare professionals, musculoskeletal complaints are the most frequent health disorders with the greatest potential for productivity losses. The teamwork developed by these professionals can be a coping strategy, but it can also be one more demand for the maintenance of performance. For this reason, this research aimed to investigate the relationship between team workload and performance in healthcare workers with different intensities of musculoskeletal symptoms. A survey was conducted with health professionals from 24 institutions of the Brazilian public health system, recruited by stratified probability sampling. Through non-hierarchical cluster analysis, the sample was allocated into three groups based on the intensity of musculoskeletal symptoms. We analyzed the approximation between the variables of “team workload” and “performance” of the groups formed in the previous phase through multiple correspondence analysis. In the group with higher musculoskeletal symptom scores, there was lower performance and a worse team workload. As the intensity of symptoms decreased, team workload and performance became closer variables in a two-dimensional space, indicating that the relationship between team workload and performance is improved in situations of low musculoskeletal symptom intensity. Full article
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8 pages, 358 KiB  
Article
Psychophysiological Stress Status of Soldiers Prior to an Operative Deployment
by Agustín Curiel-Regueros, Jesús Fernández-Lucas and Vicente Javier Clemente-Suárez
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(20), 13637; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192013637 - 20 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1406
Abstract
An anticipatory stress response develops before an internal or external stimulus, which initiates a homeostasis process through a chain of responses that enable human organisms to face different threats, thus allowing them to adapt to a continuous and eliciting environment. In the current [...] Read more.
An anticipatory stress response develops before an internal or external stimulus, which initiates a homeostasis process through a chain of responses that enable human organisms to face different threats, thus allowing them to adapt to a continuous and eliciting environment. In the current research, we analyzed the psychophysiological anticipatory anxiety response of professional soldiers prior to a real mission in an actual theater of operation. Autonomic modulation through the heart rate variability values, muscular strength manifestation, and psychological stress of 53 military personnel of Army Airmobile Forces (age: M = 35.4 years, SD = 5.88 years; height: M = 1.75 m, SD = 6.87 cm; body mass: M = 77.33 kg, SD = 11.95 kg; military duty = 14.44 years, SD = 6.43; military operation experience = 4 months, SD = 4.25 months) and a control group of 33 civil participants were analyzed. The military personnel presented significant differences in some HRV values related to the activation of sympathetic systems. We found that the military personnel presented an anticipatory anxiety response only at an autonomic level, showing an increased sympathetic modulation, but not at a psychological level, since their anxiety levels were not significantly different than those of the control civilians. In addition, this anticipatory anxiety response did not affect muscular strength manifestation, as it presented no significant differences between the military personnel and the control group. Full article
16 pages, 995 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Food Support during an Ultra-Endurance and Mindfulness Event: A Case Study in Spain
by Guadalupe Garrido-Pastor, Francisco Manuel San Cristóbal Díaz, Nieves Fernández-López, Amelia Ferro-Sánchez and Manuel Sillero-Quintana
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 12991; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182412991 - 9 Dec 2021
Viewed by 2308
Abstract
The present industrial food-production system is not suitably ecological for the environment. Mindful nutrition in sport is a relevant emergent sub-discipline that could help reduce environmental degradation. This case study describes a sustainable support diet during an ultra-endurance running (UR) event called the [...] Read more.
The present industrial food-production system is not suitably ecological for the environment. Mindful nutrition in sport is a relevant emergent sub-discipline that could help reduce environmental degradation. This case study describes a sustainable support diet during an ultra-endurance running (UR) event called the “Indoor Everest Challenge”. This UR challenge involved attaining the altitude of Mount Everest (8849 m) in a simulated way, in less than 24 h, without using ultra-processed food and without wasting plastics. During this challenge, a male athlete (34 years, weight: 78 kg, and height: 173 cm) wore a SenseWear Armband® (BodyMedia Inc., Pittsburg, PA, USA) accelerometer on his right arm to estimate energy expenditure. To supply his nutritional requirements, the athlete consumed only specially prepared homemade and organic food. All consumption was weighed and recorded in real-time; we determined nutrients using two databases: a food composition software, Dial Alce Ingenieria® (Madrid, Spain), to measure energy and macro- and micro-nutrients, and Phenol Explorer Database® (INRA Institut National de Recherche pour l’Alimentation, Paris, France) precisely to determine polyphenolic content. Most energy intake (up to 96%) came from plant foods. We found that subject consumed 15.8 g/kg−1/d−1 or 1242 g of carbohydrates (CHO), (2.4 g/kg−1/d−1) or 190 g of proteins (P), and 10,692 mL of fluid. The total energy intake (7580 kcal) showed a distribution of 65% CHO, 10% P, and 25% lipids (L). Furthermore, this sustainable diet lead to a high antioxidant intake, specifically vitamin C (1079 mg), vitamin E (57 mg), and total polyphenols (1910 mg). This sustainable approach was suitable for meeting energy, CHO, and P recommendations for UR. Physical and mental training (mindfulness) were integrated from the specific preliminary phase to the day of the challenge. The athlete completed this challenge in 18 h with a low environmental impact. This sports event had an educational component, as it awakened curiosity towards food sustainability. Full article
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16 pages, 2044 KiB  
Systematic Review
Sensing Technology Applications in the Mining Industry—A Systematic Review
by Joana Duarte, Fernanda Rodrigues and Jacqueline Castelo Branco
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2334; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042334 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3185
Abstract
Introduction Industry 4.0 has enhanced technological development in all fields. Currently, one can analyse, treat, and model completely different variables in real time; these include production, environmental, and occupational variables. Resultingly, there has been a significant improvement in the quality of life of [...] Read more.
Introduction Industry 4.0 has enhanced technological development in all fields. Currently, one can analyse, treat, and model completely different variables in real time; these include production, environmental, and occupational variables. Resultingly, there has been a significant improvement in the quality of life of workers, the environment, and in businesses in general, encouraging the implementation of continuous improvement measures. However, it is not entirely clear how the mining industry is evolving alongside this industrial evolution. With this in mind, this systematic review aimed to find sensing technology applications within this sector, in order to assist the mining industry in its goal to evolve digitally. Methodology: The research and reporting of this article were carried out by means of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Results and discussion: A total of 29 papers were included in the study, with sensors being applied in several fields, namely safety, management, and localisation. Three different implementation phases were identified regarding its execution: prototype, trial, and (already) implemented. The overall results highlighted that many mechanisms are in need of improvement in underground settings. This might be due to the fact that underground mining has particular safety challenges. Conclusions: Ventilation and mapping are primary issues to be solved in the underground setting. With regard to the surface setting, the focus is directed toward slope stability and ways of improving it regarding monitoring and prevention. The literature screening revealed a tendency in these systems to keep advancing in technologically, becoming increasingly more intelligent. In the near future, it is expected that a more technologically advanced mining industry will arise, and this will be created and sustained by the optimisation of processes, equipment, and work practices, in order to improve both the quality of life of people and the health of the environment. Full article
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