Current Research on Occupational Safety and Health

A special issue of Merits (ISSN 2673-8104).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 July 2024 | Viewed by 1681

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational & Environmental Health, University of Utah Health, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, USA
Interests: workplace meetings; organizational community engagement; occupational safety and health

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational & Environmental Health, University of Utah Health, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, USA
Interests: overlap between a person’s job and their health
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to submit manuscripts showing your current research on occupational safety and health. Occupational safety and health is a growing interdisciplinary field focused on protecting and maintaining the health and wellbeing of workers in the workplace through a variety of interventions (i.e., hazard prevention, education, behavior change, etc.) (World Health Organization, 2023). Disciplines involved in occupational safety and health include public health, psychology, healthcare, ergonomics, industrial hygiene, law, and technology, to name a few. The workplace has shifted substantially in the past few years with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, a shift to remote work, and then with the adjustment into the post-pandemic era. New concerns in the workplace have emerged such as changing polices, procedures, and practices, which have impacted most industries (Almohassen et al., 2023). Additionally, the discussion around mental health and wellbeing has never been more prevalent in the workplace (Santana et al., 2023; Alroomi & Mohamed, 2021). Further, as the workforce changes, we see a need for DEI-related occupational health and safety research (Uezato et al., 2023; Creary et al., 2021), as well as a look into how new technologies impact the health and wellbeing of the workforce (Namkoong et al., 2023; Antwi-Afari et al., 2019).

This Special Issue aims to enable academics, organizations, and decision makers to broaden their understanding of the latest trends and challenges in occupational safety and health. With the near-constant changes to organizations and industries, learning about the progress in occupational safety and health allows research to translate into practice and encourages the development of new ideas for further research.

This call for papers is open to researchers in any subject areas related to occupational safety and health; both original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Work-life balance;
  • Exposures in the workplace;
  • Industry-specific topics;
  • Mental wellbeing in the workplace;
  • Organizational climate;
  • Safety climate;
  • Human factors and design;
  • Technologies’ impact on health and wellbeing in the workplace;
  • Risky behaviors in the workplace;
  • Built workplace environment;
  • Injury prevention;
  • Interventions in the workplace;
  • Measurement tools.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Joseph A. Allen
Dr. Matthew S. Thiese
Guest Editors

References:

  • Almohassen, A. S., Alkhaldi, M. S., & Shaawat, M. E. (2023). The effects of COVID-19 on safety practices in construction projects. Ain Shams Engineering Journal, 14(1), 101834.
  • Alroomi, A. S., & Mohamed, S. (2021). Predictors of mental health and fatigue among isolated oil and gas workers. In Safety and Reliability Taylor & Francis. Vol. 40, No. 2, pp. 80-98.
  • Antwi-Afari, M. F., Li, H., Wong, J. K. W., Oladinrin, O. T., Ge, J. X., Seo, J., & Wong, A. Y. L. (2019). Sensing and warning-based technology applications to improve occupational health and safety in the construction industry: A literature review. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management.
  • Creary, S. J., Rothbard, N., & Scruggs, J. (2021). Improving workplace culture through evidence-based diversity, equity and inclusion practices.
  • Namkoong, K., Chen, J., Leach, J., Song, Y., Vincent, S., Byrd, A. P., & Mazur, J. (2023). Virtual reality for public health: a study on a VR intervention to enhance occupational injury prevention. Journal of Public Health, 45(1), 136-144.
  • Santana, G. L., Baptista, M. C., de Matos, G. A. G., Ogata, A. J. N., Malik, A. M., & Andrade, L. H. (2023). The Well-Being of Brazilian Industry Workers on Returning to the Physical Workplace during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 10-1097.
  • Uezato, A., Sakamoto, K., Miura, M., & Futami, A. (2023). Workplace culture and mental health of ethnic minority workers in Japan. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 65(1), e28-e29.
  • World Health Organization [WHO]. (2023). Occupational health. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/health-topics/occupational-health

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. Merits is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly 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 1000 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.

Published Papers (2 papers)

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13 pages, 385 KiB  
Article
Knowledge of Infection Prevention and Control and Practice Behaviors among Career and Volunteer Firefighters in Rural Communities
by Sanyang Edrisa, Adams Ashley, Taylor Ritchie, McDonalds Vernell, Macy Gretchen and Basham Jacqueline
Merits 2024, 4(2), 146-158; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits4020011 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 220
Abstract
Due to the emerging threat conditions in the work environment, firefighters are at a high risk of exposure to not only toxic substances but also biological agents in the dayroom and during emergency runs. The aim of this study is to evaluate firefighter [...] Read more.
Due to the emerging threat conditions in the work environment, firefighters are at a high risk of exposure to not only toxic substances but also biological agents in the dayroom and during emergency runs. The aim of this study is to evaluate firefighter (career and volunteer) knowledge and practice behaviors on infection control. This study surveyed 444 firefighters (210 career, 234 volunteer) in rural Northwestern Kentucky. The self-reported survey focused on individual characteristics, knowledge on exposure incident control, precautionary actions, and personal protections. We evaluated the descriptive characteristics of knowledge and practice scores stratified by firefighter groups (career and volunteers). The associations between infection control training received (yes/no) and firefighter knowledge and practice scores were also examined. Firefighters who were trained on infection control prevention had significantly higher knowledge scores (M = 63.7, SD = 13.4 vs. M = 59.7, SD = 15.9; p = 0.012). Volunteer firefighters exhibited better infection control practice behaviors than career firefighters (M = 70.6, SD = 13.0 vs. M = 67.4, SD = 11.1; p = 0.05). Firefighters who followed infection control guidelines (M = 69.5, SD = 11.9 vs. M = 58.1, SD = 9.9; p = 0.012) and expressed need for a comprehensive training on personal protective equipment (PPE) selection (β = 3.41, SE = 1.54, aOR = 30.22, 95% CI: 1.47–620.87; p = 0.028) had significantly higher practice scores compared to those who did not. The study results have policy implications for infection prevention and control (IPC) in rural fire departments, both career and volunteer. A review of infection control policies is needed, especially as it relates to training and practice behaviors during emergency calls and in the dayroom. Results also suggest the need to develop strategies to improve the culture of PPE use and training on the selection of PPEs appropriate to the emergency response type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research on Occupational Safety and Health)
18 pages, 666 KiB  
Article
Workloads of Emergency Call Types in Active-Duty Firefighters
by Rudi A. Marciniak, David J. Cornell, Barbara B. Meyer, Razia Azen, Michael D. Laiosa and Kyle T. Ebersole
Merits 2024, 4(1), 1-18; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits4010001 - 30 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1032
Abstract
Firefighting is an occupation with high injury risks, particularly when conducting fireground operations. The fire service generally quantifies the job demands of firefighting through tracking emergency call volume across 24 h shifts; however, volume alone does not account for the specific work completed [...] Read more.
Firefighting is an occupation with high injury risks, particularly when conducting fireground operations. The fire service generally quantifies the job demands of firefighting through tracking emergency call volume across 24 h shifts; however, volume alone does not account for the specific work completed in response to different call types. Utilization of external (i.e., objective work) and internal (i.e., intrinsic responses to work) training load measures have the potential to quantify the multifaceted workload demands of responses to medical and fire emergencies and inform injury prevention strategies. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to utilize training load measures to quantify the workloads across emergency call types. For medical emergencies and fire emergencies, the external load and the physiological, perceived, and cumulative internal loads were quantified. The results indicate that the magnitude of objective work required for fire emergency responses that include fire suppression and/or auto-extrication is approximately three times greater than that of medical and other fire emergency (i.e., no suppression or extrication) responses. Further, in response to the objective work for fire suppression and/or auto-extrication calls, the intrinsic workloads are six times more physiologically and perceptually demanding than—as well as double, cumulatively—those of medical and other fire emergency responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research on Occupational Safety and Health)
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