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1.
Saf Health Work ; 13(2): 141-147, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815168

ABSTRACT

Background: On the basis of its role for the development of occupational health research, information, good practices, the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) launched the present survey to collect information on public health and prevention policies put in place by the governments of the countries in the world to contain the pandemic. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted through an online questionnaire focused on COVID-19 data, public health policies, prevention measures, support measures for economy, work, and education, personal protective equipment, intensive care units, contact tracing, return to work, and the role of ICOH against COVID-19. The questionnaire was administered to 113 ICOH National Secretaries and senior OSH experts. Collected data refer to the period ranging from the beginning of the pandemic in each country to June 30, 2020. Results: A total of 73 questionnaires from 73 countries around the world were considered valid, with a 64.6% response rate. Most of the respondents (71.2%) reported that the state of emergency was declared in their country, and 86.1% reported lockdown measures. Most of the respondents (66.7%) affirmed that the use of face masks was compulsory in their country. As for containment measures, 97.2% indicated that mass gatherings (meetings) were limited. Regarding workplace closing, the most affected sector was entertainment (90.1%). Conclusion: The results of this survey are useful to gain a global view on COVID-19 policy responses at country level.

2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(9)2022 04 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809903

ABSTRACT

Healthcare workers (HCWs) played an essential role in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. The Italian Workers' Compensation Authority (INAIL) and the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS) developed a retrospective study to analyze and understand trends and characteristics of infections among HCWs during the first wave of the pandemic. Between May and September 2020, Italian Regions retrospectively collected anonymous data regarding HCWs infected from the beginning of the pandemic until 30 April 2020 from their administrative sources through a questionnaire asking for socio-demographic and occupational information about the characteristics of contagion and disease outcome. Almost 16,000 valid questionnaires were received. Logistic regression was performed to ascertain the effect of age, gender, geographical macro area, profession, and pre-existing health conditions on the likelihood of HCWs developing more severe forms of COVID-19 (at least hospitalization with mild symptoms). All predictor variables were statistically significant. HCWs at higher risk of developing a more severe disease were males (OR: 1.90; 95% CI: 1.44-2.51), older than 60 years of age (OR: 6.00; 95% CI: 3.30-10.91), doctors (OR: 4.22; 95% CI: 2.22-9.02), working in Lombardy (OR: 55.24; 95% CI: 34.96-87.29) and with pre-existing health conditions (OR: 1.90; 95% CI: 1.43-2.51). This study analyses the main reasons for the overload put on the National Health Service by the first wave of the pandemic and the risk of infection for HCWs by age, gender, occupational profile and pre-existing health conditions. Improved knowledge, availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and a tight vaccination campaign for HCWs strongly changed the trend of infections among HCWs, with substantial elimination of serious and fatal cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(8)2022 04 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785696

ABSTRACT

In March 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized the COVID-19 pandemic as a global issue. To reduce the spread of this disease, health safety pathways were implemented worldwide. These extraordinary measures changed people's lifestyles, e.g., by being forced to isolate, and in many cases, to work remotely from home. Low back pain (LBP), the most common cause of disability worldwide, is often a symptom of COVID-19. Moreover, it is often associated with different lifestyle features (type of job, physical activity, body weight). Therefore, the purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to estimate the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown on LBP intensity and prevalence compared with LBP rates before the pandemic. A systematic search was performed on Scopus, PubMed, and Cochrane Central. Overall, eight studies with 2365 patients were included in the analysis. We used the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) critical appraisal tool to evaluate the risk of bias: six studies (75%) were at moderate risk of bias and two studies (25%) were at low risk of bias. These studies showed an increase in both the prevalence and intensity of LBP during the COVID-19 lockdown.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Low Back Pain , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Low Back Pain/epidemiology , Pandemics , Prevalence
4.
BMJ Open ; 12(4): e060710, 2022 04 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774972

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic triggered the sharpest economic downturn since the Great Recession. To prepare for future crises and to preserve public health, we conduct an overview of systematic reviews to examine the evidence on the effect of the Great Recession on population health. METHODS: We searched PubMed and Scopus for systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses focusing specifically on the impact of the Great Recession on population health (eg, mental health). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses guidelines were followed throughout this review and critical appraisal of included systematic reviews was performed using Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews. RESULTS: Twenty-one studies were identified and consistently showed that the Great Recession was most risky to health, the more a country's economy was affected and the longer strict austerity policies were in place. Consequently, a deterioration of health was highest in countries that had implemented strict austerity measures (eg, Greece), but not in countries that rejected austerity measures (eg, Germany). Moreover, the impact of the Great Recession fell disproportionately on the most vulnerable groups such as people in unemployment, at risk of unemployment and those living in poverty. CONCLUSIONS: The experiences of the last economic crisis show that it is possible to limit the consequences for health. Prioritising mental healthcare and prevention, foregoing austerity measures in the healthcare system and protecting vulnerable groups are the most important lessons learnt. Moreover, given the further aggravating social inequalities, a health in all policies approach, based on a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment, is advised.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Population Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Economic Recession , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Systematic Reviews as Topic
5.
Epidemiol Prev ; 45(6): 513-521, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538960

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: to evaluate the patterns of occupational COVID-19 cases, based on compensation claims applied to the Italian National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (Inail). DESIGN: descriptive analyses of daily time series of compensation claims applications, geographical distributions, and occupations involved. Multivariate analyses have been performed for identifying significant epidemiological pattern. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: compensation claims for COVID-19 injuries received by Inail from March 2020 to February 2021 have been analysed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: daily time series of compensation claims applications in the first year of pandemic and comparatively with population data, patterns of occupations majorly involved in time, territorial clusters. RESULTS: in the observed period, Inail has received 155,684 workers' compensation claims with a first peak (more than 1,000 daily compensation claims) in March 2020 and a second peak (more than 1,500) in November 2020. A time dependent geographical pattern was identified, with the Northern regions formerly affected in the first phase, followed by a diffusion in the Central and Southern regions during the summer period. Health technicians (32% and 42% in male and female, respectively) and physicians (15%and 6%) were the most involved workers. The timing of infection was found to depend by job, with physicians, nurses, and health technicians firstly involved with a spread of about 2 weeks with respect to other jobs. Trend in health workers' vaccination has been found in a clear inverse relationship with the decreasing number of compensation claims, remaining, since February 2021, under one hundred daily cases of occupational COVID-19 compensation claims. CONCLUSIONS: different intensities, timing, and characteristics were found among application claims, which address for different pandemic diffusion paths. Health workers are the firstly and most involved impacted by the pandemic. The use of application claims could be useful and effective in monitoring the occupational component of COVID-19 and his trend in time and space. There is a need to establish an epidemiological surveillance system that includes the assessment of work related risk, supporting the effectiveness of public insurance and welfare system, and to harmonize occupational data collection among countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Occupational Injuries , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Occupational Injuries/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Workers' Compensation
6.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(7)2021 03 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1378277

ABSTRACT

The development and enhancement of occupational health services (OHS) at the national level is central to ensuring the sustainable health, well-being and work engagement of the working population. However, due to differences in national health, social security and occupational safety and health systems, the content, capacity, coverage and provisions of OHS vary considerably across national contexts. Obtaining a better understanding in terms of such similarities and variations internationally is essential as such comparative information can help inform evidenced-based decision-making on OHS at both policy and practice levels. This paper therefore reviews and analyses the key policies, standards and approaches in OH systems and services, using both academic and grey literature, across 12 industrialised countries (Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom and the United States of America). It provides a detailed overview and categorization of OHS in these selected countries in terms of the legal and policy context, organisation and financing and coverage and staffing while specifically discussing variations aimed at psychosocial risk management and the promotion of mental health and well-being at work. It draws conclusions on key development needs of OHS internationally to ensure psychosocial risk management and mental health promotion are prioritised effectively in a preventive manner.


Subject(s)
Occupational Health Services , Occupational Health , Australia , Canada , Finland , France , Germany , Humans , Ireland , Italy , Japan , Mental Health , Netherlands , Poland , Risk Management , United Kingdom , United States
7.
Ind Health ; 59(5): 334-339, 2021 Oct 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1365512

ABSTRACT

The global spread of COVID-19 pandemic forced the scientific community to identify new ways of exchanging and transferring the scientific knowledge, also considering that the measures taken to combat the pandemic, such as travel restrictions, closed borders and gathering bans, led to cancellations of many conferences, meetings and workshops. The enhancement of the existing digital platforms and the development of new systems to share scientific knowledge has allowed the scientific community to "meet" again in new virtual environments (e.g., Zoom, Cisco WebEx, Live Stream, Demio, GoToWebinar Seminar, Google Hangouts, Skype, Microsoft Teams, etc.), providing an unprecedented opportunity to reform methods of organizing academic conferences in all disciplines.Starting from the review of the existing literature, this study aimed at investigating the impact of the spreading of virtual conferences on the field of research. The SWOT analysis was used to identify strengths and weaknesses of the scientific conferences organized in the new format, as well as opportunities and threats created by the socio-economic and political context in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Congresses as Topic/organization & administration , Telecommunications/organization & administration , Humans , Information Dissemination , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel
8.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4570, 2021 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328847

ABSTRACT

To counter the second COVID-19 wave in autumn 2020, the Italian government introduced a system of physical distancing measures organized in progressively restrictive tiers (coded as yellow, orange, and red) imposed on a regional basis according to real-time epidemiological risk assessments. We leverage the data from the Italian COVID-19 integrated surveillance system and publicly available mobility data to evaluate the impact of the three-tiered regional restriction system on human activities, SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility and hospitalization burden in Italy. The individuals' attendance to locations outside the residential settings was progressively reduced with tiers, but less than during the national lockdown against the first COVID-19 wave in the spring. The reproduction number R(t) decreased below the epidemic threshold in 85 out of 107 provinces after the introduction of the tier system, reaching average values of about 0.95-1.02 in the yellow tier, 0.80-0.93 in the orange tier and 0.74-0.83 in the red tier. We estimate that the reduced transmissibility resulted in averting about 36% of the hospitalizations between November 6 and November 25, 2020. These results are instrumental to inform public health efforts aimed at preventing future resurgence of cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
9.
Med Lav ; 112(3): 219-228, 2021 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278863

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is an impacting challenge for the occupational medicine and epidemiology. The identification of occupational groups most at risk of exposure is critical in contrasting and preventing the epidemic diffusion. OBJECTIVE: To analyse the compensation claim applications collected by the Italian Workers' Compensation Authority (INAIL) for identifying the occupational patterns and the temporal trend, in comparison with general population data. METHODS: Daily time series of compensation claim applications for COVID-19 injuries in the period March-October 2020, has been analysed, estimating the epidemiological parameters of interest and comparing findings with general population data. RESULTS: In the period March-October 2020, 65,804 compensation claim applications for COVID-19 have been collected by INAIL. The ratio between compensation claims applications and COVID-19 cases in the general population appears decreasing in the period, passing from 20% in the first pandemic period (March-April) to 3-4% in the September-October period. During the summer period, an increase in male and not Italian component and a decrease in mean age, Northern regions, and health care workers contributions to the occupational claims applications have been observed. DISCUSSION: The comparative analyses between occupational and general population data allowed to describe how the so called "second wave" of COVID-19 epidemic in Italy involved the occupational settings less than the other risk factors. There is a need to go towards an -occupational surveillance system for COVID-19 infection, with the aim of monitoring and preventing the occupational risk of infection, supporting insurance system effectiveness and managing vaccination policies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Workers' Compensation
10.
Med Lav ; 112(2): 141-152, 2021 Apr 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196172

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Starting from February 2020, in Italy most organizations have had a forced transition to flexible working practice - called "smart working in emergency" - due to the Covid-19 epidemic outbreak. This allowed to continue work activities and services and contributed to contain the risk of infection in different sectors, particularly in the public administration. OBJECTIVES: This follow up study focussed on a panel of 187 workers from the Italian Workers' Compensation Authority taking part to a pilot project "Smart Working in INAIL" from January 2019 to December 2019. The aim was to investigate the effects of work organization on work attitudes, work-life balance and health outcomes before and after the introduction of the smart working. METHODS: The data were collected at two time points through a web-based questionnaire. The first wave aimed to collect information up to one month before the implementation of the smart working. The second wave aimed to collect information about potential changes occurred after one year of smart working. RESULTS: This study showed that high demands, low control and low social support might lead to reduced well-being and less satisfaction with work, and have an effect on work engagement and work-life balance. Particularly, improving social support can moderate the negative impact of high strain on well-being, preventing work-life imbalance and risk of isolation. DISCUSSION: Findings and future perspectives are discussed to support stakeholders in defining policies and practices concerning health and wellbeing at work while preserving productivity, for a successful implementation of smart working in the public administration.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Italy , Pilot Projects , SARS-CoV-2
11.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0248874, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1143295

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread worldwide, with considerable public health and socio-economic impacts that are seriously affecting health and safety of workers, as well as their employment stability. Italy was the first of many other western countries to implement extended containment measures. Health workers and others employed in essential sectors have continued their activity, reporting high infection rate with many fatalities. The epidemiological trend highlighted the importance of work as a substantial factor to consider both when implementing strategies aimed at containing the pandemic and shaping the lockdown mitigation strategy required for sustained economic recovery. To support the decision-making process, we have developed a strategy to predict the risk of infection by SARS-CoV-2 in the workplace based on the analysis of the working process and proximity between employees; risk of infection connected to the type of activity; involvement of third parties in the working processes and risk of social aggregation. We applied this approach to outline a risk index for each economic activity sector, with different levels of detail, also considering the impact on mobility of the working population. This method was implemented into the national epidemiological surveillance model in order to estimate the impact of re-activation of specific activities on the reproduction number. It has also been adopted by the national scientific committee set up by the Italian Government for action-oriented policy advice on the COVID-19 emergency in the post lockdown phase. This approach may play a key role for public health if associated with measures for risk mitigation in enterprises through strategies of business process re-engineering. Furthermore, it will make a contribution to reconsidering the organization of work, including also innovation and fostering the integration with the national occupational safety and health (OSH) system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Workplace , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Decision Making , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Italy , Public Health , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
12.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(4)2021 01 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1061479

ABSTRACT

After the national lockdown imposed on March 11, 2020, the Italian government has gradually resumed the suspended economic and social activities since May 4, while maintaining the closure of schools until September 14. We use a model of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission to estimate the health impact of different exit strategies. The strategy adopted in Italy kept the reproduction number Rt at values close to one until the end of September, with marginal regional differences. Based on the estimated postlockdown transmissibility, reopening of workplaces in selected industrial activities might have had a minor impact on the transmissibility. Reopening educational levels in May up to secondary schools might have influenced SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility only marginally; however, including high schools might have resulted in a marked increase of the disease burden. Earlier reopening would have resulted in disproportionately higher hospitalization incidence. Given community contacts in September, we project a large second wave associated with school reopening in the fall.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Quarantine/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Schools
13.
Lancet Glob Health ; 8(11): e1368, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-795436
14.
Occup Environ Med ; 77(12): 818-821, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-792815

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is an impacting challenge for occupational health. Epidemiological surveillance of COVID-19 includes systematic tracking and reporting of the total cases and deaths, but suitable experiences of surveillance systems for identifying the occupational risk factors involved in the COVID-19 pandemic are still missing, despite the interest for occupational safety and health. METHODS: A methodological approach has been implemented in Italy to estimate the occupational risk of infection, classifying each economic sector as at low, medium-low, medium-high and high risk, based on three parameters: exposure probability, proximity index and aggregation factor. Furthermore, during the epidemic emergency, the Italian Workers' Compensation Authority introduced the notation of COVID-19 work-related infection as an occupational injury and collected compensation claims of workers from the entire national territory. RESULTS: According to compensation claims applications, COVID-19 infection in Italy has been acquired at the workplace in a substantial portion of the total cases (19.4%). The distribution of the economic sectors involved is coherent with the activities classified at risk in the lockdown period. The economic sectors mostly involved were human health and social work activities, but occupational compensation claims also include cases in meat and poultry processing plants workers, store clerks, postal workers, pharmacists and cleaning workers. CONCLUSIONS: There is a need to go towards an occupational surveillance system for COVID-19 cases, including an individual anamnestic analysis of the circumstances in which the infection is acquired, for the prevention of occupational infectious risk, supporting insurance system effectiveness and managing vaccination policies.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Occupational Exposure , Occupational Health , Occupations , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Workers' Compensation , Workplace , Adult , COVID-19 , Commerce , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Food Industry , Health Personnel , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Occupational Injuries , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Population Surveillance , Postal Service , Risk Factors , Social Workers
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