Research

Fatigue-beating firies' rosters for shift work 
A new study has revealed the most effective shift roster to encourage quality sleep among firefighters and minimise their long-term fatigue.

The cross-sectional study used ActiGraph sleep and activity monitors to measure sleeping patterns of nearly 400 firefighters between October 2017 and April 2018. Participants were also given a sleep diary to record their bed time and sleep hours.

The firefighters were selected from 11 stations in South Korea, with some performing permanent day work and others undertaking shift work comprising of three, six, nine or 21-day schedules.

The researchers found that fast rotating shifts, like the six-day cycle consisting of two day shifts followed by two 12-hour night shifts and two rest days, were the most effective because participants experienced better sleep quality with lower tendency to wake during their sleeping hours. The found that the 21 day shift was the worst. However overall, they found that the sleep quality in night shift of the shift work group was poorer than the control group (of day workers)
Read more: Kyoung Sook Jeong, et al, Sleep assessment during shift work in Korean firefighters: a cross-sectional study. [Full article] Safety and Health at Work, published online May 2019, doi.org/10.1016/j.shaw.2019.05.003. Source: OHSAlert

Wrist movement and carpel tunnel syndrome
Danish and Swedish researchers have conducted a large cohort study to investigate the association between work-related wrist movements and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

They performed electro-goniometric measurements of wrist movements for 30 jobs, such as office work, child care, laundry work and slaughterhouse work. They measured wrist angular velocity, mean power frequency (MPF) and range of motion (ROM). The cohort of Danish citizens born 1940–1979 who held one of these jobs from age 18–80 years, was established using Danish national registers with annual employment information from 1992 to 2014. They updated the cohort by calendar year with job-specific and sex-specific means of measured exposures. Dates of a first diagnosis or operation because of CTS were retrieved from the Danish National Patient Register. The risk of CTS by quintiles of preceding exposure levels was assessed by adjusted incidence rate ratios (IRRadj) using Poisson regression models.

Not surprisingly, they found that high levels of wrist movement were associated with an increased risk of CTS. The researchers concluded that preventive strategies should be aimed at jobs with high levels of wrist movements such as cleaning, laundry work and slaughterhouse work.
Read more: Christina Bach Lund, et al, Movements of the wrist and the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome: a nationwide cohort study using objective exposure measurements [Open access article], Occupational & Environmental Medicine, BMJ

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