Research

WHO classifies burn-out as a work-related condition 
Burn-out has been formally recognised as a work-related health condition by a UN body. A meeting of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) World Health Assembly in May declared burn-out to be an "occupational phenomenon", a step that allows its inclusion in WHO's next edition of its International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Codenamed 'QD85', burn-out is listed in a parent section on "problems associated with employment or unemployment".  According to WHO, burn-out "specifically refers to phenomena related to the professional context and should not be used to describe experiences in other areas of life." The updated International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) will come into force on 1 January 2022. A WHO spokesperson said listing it under "occupational phenomena" but not as a "disease" will mean "that burn-out is not conceptualised as a medical condition, but as an occupational phenomenon." Responding to the WHO listings move, unions in the Philippines called immediately on their government's labour authorities to take action to address workplace burn-out risks. 
Read more: ETUI news report. WHO news release and QD85: Burn out, WHO International Classification of Diseases. Source: Risks 900

Asthma risk from cleaning products
Researchers analysing 20 years of UK health surveillance data to 2017 have found that although the overall rate of occupational respiratory disease is in decline, the number of cases caused by exposure to cleaning agents is increasing.

The researchers from the University of Manchester's Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health found almost 800 of approximately 13,000 cases of work-related respiratory disease reported to the system could be attributed to exposure to cleaning products. Fifty-eight per cent of these cases were asthma, 27 per cent involved inhalation incidents, and the other 15 per cent were respiratory diseases like rhinitis, bronchitis, emphysema, allergic alveolitis.  

Workers use many different cleaning products which  contain common chemical agents including alkalis like bleach and ammonia; acids like acetic acid; and aldehydes like glutaraldehyde and formaldehyde. According to the researchers adverse effects can result from individual or joint application of these chemicals. They say that while certain occupations like healthcare work and cleaning are associated with a higher risk of exposure and adverse health outcomes, their ubiquitous use of such products suggests occupational exposure occurs across a much wider range of occupations and industries.

In the study, they found cleaning product-related respiratory disease was most prevalent in health and social care and manufacturing industries. They found it was frequently reported among workers with occupations in laundering and dry cleaning, nursing, medical technology, cleaning, sports training and officiating, food drink and tobacco processing and elementary process plants.

A recent study suggested a similar exposure mechanism could also be linked to asthma in other groups of workers like cleaners and healthcare workers, and these results were in line with previous studies that found cleaning agents contributed to about nine to 12 per cent of occupational asthma cases. 
Read more: Melanie Carder, et al Occupational and work-related respiratory disease attributed to cleaning products [Abstract]  Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Source: OHSAlert

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