This article reviews the present indicators, trends, and recent solutions and strategies to tackle major global and country problems in safety and health at work. The article is based on the Yant Award Lecture of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) at its 2013 Congress. We reviewed employment figures, mortality rates, occupational burden of disease and injuries, reported accidents, surveys on self-reported occupational illnesses and injuries, attributable fractions, national economic cost estimates of work-related injuries and ill health, and the most recent information on the problems from published papers, documents, and electronic data sources of international and regional organizations, in particular the International Labor Organization (ILO), World Health Organization (WHO), and European Union (EU), institutions, agencies, and public websites. We identified and analyzed successful solutions, programs, and strategies to reduce the work-related negative outcomes at various levels. Work-related illnesses that have a long latency period and are linked to ageing are clearly on the increase, while the number of occupational injuries has gone down in industrialized countries thanks to both better prevention and structural changes. We have estimated that globally there are 2.3 million deaths annually for reasons attributed to work. The biggest component is linked to work-related diseases, 2.0 million, and 0.3 million linked to occupational injuries. However, the division of these two factors varies depending on the level of development. In industrialized countries the share of deaths caused by occupational injuries and work-related communicable diseases is very low while non-communicable diseases are the overwhelming causes in those countries. Economic costs of work-related injury and illness vary between 1.8 and 6.0% of GDP in country estimates, the average being 4% according to the ILO. Singapore's economic costs were estimated to be equivalent to 3.2% of GDP based on a preliminary study. If economic losses would take into account involuntary early retirement then costs may be considerably higher, for example, in Finland up to 15% of GDP, while this estimate covers various disorders where work and working conditions may be just one factor of many or where work may aggravate the disease, injury, or disorders, such as traffic injuries, mental disorders, alcoholism, and genetically induced problems. Workplace health promotion, services, and safety and health management, however, may have a major preventive impact on those as well. Leadership and management at all levels, and engagement of workers are key issues in changing the workplace culture. Vision Zero is a useful concept and philosophy in gradually eliminating any harm at work. Legal and enforcement measures that themselves support companies and organizations need to be supplemented with economic justification and convincing arguments to reduce corner-cutting in risk management, and to avoid short- and long-term disabilities, premature retirement, and corporate closures due to mismanagement and poor and unsustainable work life. We consider that a new paradigm is needed where good work is not just considered a daily activity. We need to foster stable conditions and circumstances and sustainable work life where the objective is to maintain your health and work ability beyond the legal retirement age. We need safe and healthy work, for life.
The combination of transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography (TMS-EEG) is emerging as a powerful tool for causally investigating cortical mechanisms and networks. However, various artefacts contaminate TMS-EEG recordings, particularly over regions such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). The aim of this study was to substantiate removal of artefacts from TMS-EEG recordings following stimulation of the DLPFC and motor cortex using independent component analysis (ICA).
A frontoparietal action-observation network (AON) has been proposed to support understanding others' actions and goals. We show that the AON "ticks together" in human subjects who are sharing a third person's feelings. During functional magnetic resonance imaging, 20 volunteers watched movies depicting boxing matches passively or while simulating a prespecified boxer's feelings. Instantaneous intersubject phase synchronization (ISPS) was computed to derive multisubject voxelwise similarity of hemodynamic activity and inter-area functional connectivity. During passive viewing, subjects' brain activity was synchronized in sensory projection and posterior temporal cortices. Simulation induced widespread increase of ISPS in the AON (premotor, posterior parietal, and superior temporal cortices), primary and secondary somatosensory cortices, and the dorsal attention circuits (frontal eye fields, intraparietal sulcus). Moreover, interconnectivity of these regions strengthened during simulation. We propose that sharing a third person's feelings synchronizes the observer's own brain mechanisms supporting sensations and motor planning, thereby likely promoting mutual understanding.
Multicomponent crystals and nanoparticle superlattices are a powerful approach to integrate different materials into ordered nanostructures. Well-developed, especially DNA-based, methods for their preparation exist, yet most techniques concentrate on molecular and synthetic nanoparticle systems in non-biocompatible environment. Here we describe the self-assembly and characterization of binary solids that consist of crystalline arrays of native biomacromolecules. We electrostatically assembled cowpea chlorotic mottle virus particles and avidin proteins into heterogeneous crystals, where the virus particles adopt a non-close-packed body-centred cubic arrangement held together by avidin. Importantly, the whole preparation process takes place at room temperature in a mild aqueous medium allowing the processing of delicate biological building blocks into ordered structures with lattice constants in the nanometre range. Furthermore, the use of avidin-biotin interaction allows highly selective pre- or post-functionalization of the protein crystals in a modular way with different types of functional units, such as fluorescent dyes, enzymes and plasmonic nanoparticles.
Healthy eating interventions that use behavior change techniques such as self-monitoring and feedback have been associated with stronger effects. Mobile apps can make dietary self-monitoring easy with photography and potentially reach huge populations.
For successful communication, we need to understand the external world consistently with others. This task requires sufficiently similar cognitive schemas or psychological perspectives that act as filters to guide the selection, interpretation and storage of sensory information, perceptual objects and events. Here we show that when individuals adopt a similar psychological perspective during natural viewing, their brain activity becomes synchronized in specific brain regions. We measured brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) from 33 healthy participants who viewed a 10-min movie twice, assuming once a 'social' (detective) and once a 'non-social' (interior decorator) perspective to the movie events. Pearson's correlation coefficient was used to derive multisubject voxelwise similarity measures (inter-subject correlations; ISCs) of functional MRI data. We used k-nearest-neighbor and support vector machine classifiers as well as a Mantel test on the ISC matrices to reveal brain areas wherein ISC predicted the participants' current perspective. ISC was stronger in several brain regions--most robustly in the parahippocampal gyrus, posterior parietal cortex and lateral occipital cortex--when the participants viewed the movie with similar rather than different perspectives. Synchronization was not explained by differences in visual sampling of the movies, as estimated by eye gaze. We propose that synchronous brain activity across individuals adopting similar psychological perspectives could be an important neural mechanism supporting shared understanding of the environment.