Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 27
Filter
1.
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews ; 2021(9), 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2026917

ABSTRACT

Objectives This is a protocol for a Cochrane Review (intervention). The objectives are as follows: To assess the benefits and harms of interventions in non‐healthcare‐related workplaces to reduce the risk of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection relative to other interventions or no intervention.

2.
Scand J Work Environ Health ; 2022 Aug 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1988303

ABSTRACT

We read with great interest the paper by Reuter et al (1) on the differences in risk of SARS-CoV2 infection by occupation during the first pandemic wave in Germany. Occupation has been linked with differential risks of infection (2, 3) as well as severe disease and death (4, 5). Hence, this is a potentially very important paper, advancing the evidence in relation to occupational risk factors for infection. This study makes use of an existing cohort (the German National Cohort - NAKO), with data from over 100 000 workers who were employed or self-employed and completed a COVID-19 questionnaire. SARS-CoV2 infection was assessed through a self-reported positive PCR test carried out in a doctor's practice, test centre or in a hospital. The main analyses used a Poisson regression model to obtain incidence rates of infection by occupation, both crude and analyses adjusted for potential confounding factors (sociodemographic and employment related factors) were carried out. Based on the results of the analyses, the authors conclude that (i) there were relatively high infection rates in healthcare and personal services but also in business management and business services, (ii) there were relatively low infection rates in manufacturing and production related occupations, and (iii) there was an inverse social gradient between occupational position and risk of infection, with higher risk in occupations with advanced tertiary degrees/managers. Like other studies, these analyses found relatively high infection rates in essential occupations. However, important differences with other studies included the inverse social gradient and the relatively high infection rates in occupations with management responsibility and requiring higher degrees. The authors postulated a possible explanation for this finding, stating that managers in Germany may be at higher risk due to recreational ski trips. Although this may well be a partial explanation, we argue that there is a more likely explanation for the high rates in higher educated people and those working in the healthcare sector. These groups are more likely to have been tested, particularly during the early stage of the pandemic, compared to other occupations such as those working in manufacturing and production-related occupations. This could be due to differential access to testing due to employer requirements or financial restraints (especially at times when tests were not free for all in Germany, https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/germany-offer-free-covid-19-tests-saturday-2021-11-12/) or different motivations for testing (due to lack of sick pay or self-employment). The authors estimate the infection rates using these positive tests as the numerator and the total cohort population (many of whom have never been tested) as the denominator. Therefore, if there is a differential likelihood of testing between different occupations, this would lead to bias in the results. It is relatively simple to address this problem by using a test-negative design (6, 7), which is a type of case-control approach where those with a positive test are compared to those who have tested negative (ie, excluding those who have never been tested). This has been widely used as the gold standard method for studying vaccine effectiveness (8) and is increasingly being used to study risk factors for COVID-19 infection. We would encourage the authors to carry out such analyses and present the results in their response to this letter. If, as we expect, the high relative risks in those with higher education and/or managers are reduced in these analyses, this would strongly indicate that the reported findings are primarily due to selection bias. References 1. Reuter M, Rigó M, Formazin M, Liebers F, Latza U, Castell S et al. Occupation and SARS-CoV-2 infection risk in 108 960 workers during the first pandemic wave in Germany. Scand J Work Environ Health - online first. https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.4037 2. Rhodes S, Wilkinson J, Pearce N, Mueller W, Cherrie M, Stocking K, et al. Occupational differences in SARS-CoV-2 infection: Analysis of the UK ONS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey. medRxiv. 2022 https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.04.28.22273177 3. Beale S, Patel P, Rodger A, Braithwaite I, Byrne T, Fong WLE, et al. Occupation, work-related contact and SARS-CoV-2 anti-nucleocapsid serological status: findings from the Virus Watch prospective cohort study. Occup Environ Med. 2022. https://doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2021-107920  4. Nafilyan V, Pawelek P, Ayoubkhani D, Rhodes S, Pembrey L, Matz M, et al. Occupation and COVID-19 mortality in England: a national linked data study of 14.3 million adults. Occup Environ Med. 2022;79(7):433-41. https://doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2021-107818 5. Mutambudzi M, Niedzwiedz C, Macdonald EB, Leyland A, Mair F, Anderson J, et al. Occupation and risk of severe COVID-19: prospective cohort study of 120 075 UK Biobank participants. Occup Environ Med. 2021;78(5):307-14. https://doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2020-106731  6. Vandenbroucke JP, Brickley EB, Pearce N, Vandenbroucke-Grauls CMJE. The Evolving Usefulness of the Test-negative Design in Studying Risk Factors for COVID-19. Epidemiology. 2022;33(2):e7-e8. https://doi.org/10.1097/EDE.0000000000001438 7. Vandenbroucke JP, Brickley EB, Vandenbroucke-Grauls CMJE, Pearce N. A Test-Negative Design with Additional Population Controls Can Be Used to Rapidly Study Causes of the SARS-CoV-2 Epidemic. Epidemiology. 2020;31(6):836-43. https://doi.org/10.1097/EDE.0000000000001251 8. Cerqueira-Silva T, Katikireddi SV, de Araujo Oliveira V, Flores-Ortiz R, Júnior JB, Paixão ES, et al. Vaccine effectiveness of heterologous CoronaVac plus BNT162b2 in Brazil. Nature Med. 2022;28(4):838-43. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-022-01701-w.

3.
Ann Work Expo Health ; 2022 Jul 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931795

ABSTRACT

Harmonized tools and approaches for data collection can help to detect similarities and differences within and between countries and support the development, implementation, and assessment of effective and consistent preventive strategies. We developed open source occupational questionnaires on COVID-19 within COVID-19 working groups in the OMEGA-NET COST action (Network on the Coordination and Harmonisation of European Occupational Cohorts, omeganetcohorts.eu), and the EU funded EPHOR project (Exposome project for health and occupational research, ephor-project.eu). We defined domains to be included in order to cover key working life aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Where possible, we selected questionnaire items and instruments from existing questionnaire resources. Both a general occupational COVID-19 questionnaire and a specific occupational COVID-19 questionnaire are available. The general occupational COVID-19 questionnaire covers key working life aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the domains: COVID-19 diagnosis and prevention, Health and demographics, Use of personal protective equipment and face covering, Health effects, Work-related effects (e.g. change in work schedule and work-life balance), Financial effects, Work-based risk factors (e.g. physical distancing, contact with COVID-19-infected persons), Psychosocial risk factors, Lifestyle risk factors, and Personal evaluation of the impact of COVID-19. For each domain, additional questions are available. The specific occupational COVID-19 questionnaire focusses on occupational risk factors and mitigating factors for SARS-CoV2 infection and COVID-19 disease and includes questions about the type of job, amount of home working, social distancing, human contact (colleagues, patients, and members of the public), commuting, and use of personal protective equipment and face coverings. The strength of this initiative is the broad working life approach to various important issues related to SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19 disease, and potentially future pandemics. It requires further work to validate the questionnaires, and we welcome collaboration with researchers willing to do this. A limitation is the moderate number of questions for each of the domains in the general questionnaire. Only few questions on general core information like ethnicity, demographics, lifestyle factors, and general health status are included, but the OMEGA-NET questionnaires can be integrated in existing questionnaires about sociodemographic and health-related aspects. The questionnaires are freely accessible from the OMEGA-NET and the EPHOR homepages.

4.
Scand J Work Environ Health ; 2022 Jun 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911974

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to understand whether the proportionate mortality of COVID-19 for various occupational groups has varied over the pandemic. METHODS: We used the Office for National Statistics (ONS) mortality data for England and Wales. The deaths (20-64 years) were classified as either COVID-19-related using ICD-10 codes (U07.1, U07.2), or from other causes. Occupational data recorded at the time of death was coded using the SOC10 coding system into 13 groups. Three time periods (TP) were used: (i) January 2020 to September 2020; (ii) October 2020-May 2021; and (iii) June 2021-October 2021. We analyzed the data with logistic regression and compared odds of death by COVID-19 to other causes, adjusting for age, sex, deprivation, region, urban/rural and population density. RESULTS: Healthcare professionals and associates had a higher proportionate odds of COVID-19 death in TP1 compared to non-essential workers but were not observed to have increased odds thereafter. Medical support staff had increased odds of death from COVID-19 during both TP1 and TP2, but this had reduced by TP3. This latter pattern was also seen for social care, food retail and distribution, and bus and coach drivers. Taxi and cab drivers were the only group that had higher odds of death from COVID-19 compared to other causes throughout the whole period under study [TP1: odds ratio (OR) 2.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.99-2.93; TP2: OR 3.15, 95% CI 2.63-3.78; TP3: OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.26-2.29]. CONCLUSION: Differences in the odds of death from COVID-19 between occupational groups has declined over the course of the pandemic, although some occupations have remained relatively high throughout.

5.
Front Public Health ; 10: 864506, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1903214

ABSTRACT

Background: The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 triggered a chain of public health responses that radically changed our way of living and working. Non-healthcare sectors, such as the logistics sector, play a key role in such responses. This research aims to qualitatively evaluate the non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) implemented in the UK logistics sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We conducted nine semi-structured interviews in July-August 2020 and May-June 2021. In total 11 interviewees represented six companies occupying a range of positions in the UK's logistics sector, including takeaway food delivery, large and small goods delivery and home appliance installation, and logistics technology providers. Thematic analysis was completed using NVivo12. Codes relevant to NPIs were grouped into themes and mapped deductively onto an adapted Hierarchy of Control (HoC) framework, focusing on delivery workers. Codes relevant to the implementation process of NPIs were grouped into themes/subthemes to identify key characteristics of rapid responses, and barriers and facilitators. Results: HoC analysis suggests the sector has implemented a wide range of risk mitigation measures, with each company developing their own portfolio of measures. Contact-free delivery was the most commonly implemented measure and perceived effective. The other implemented measures included social distancing, internal contact tracing, communication and collaboration with other key stakeholders of the sector. Process evaluation identified facilitators of rapid responses including capacity to develop interventions internally, localized government support, strong external mandates, effective communication, leadership support and financial support for self-isolation, while barriers included unclear government guidance, shortage of testing capacity and supply, high costs and diversified language and cultural backgrounds. Main sustainability issues included compliance fatigue, and the possible mental health impacts of a prolonged rapid response. Conclusions: This research identified drivers and obstacles of rapid implementation of NPIs in response to a respiratory infection pandemic. Existing implementation process models do not consider speed to respond and the absence or lack of guidance in emergency situations such as the COVID-19. We recommend the development of a rapid response model to inform the design of effective and sustainable infection prevention and control policies and to focus future research priorities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pharmaceutical Preparations , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom
6.
Ann Work Expo Health ; 2022 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890869

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Food processing facilities represent critical infrastructure that have stayed open during much of the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding the burden of COVID-19 in this sector is thus important to help reduce the potential for workplace infection in future outbreaks. METHODS: We undertook a workplace survey in the UK food and drink processing sector and collected information on workplace size, characteristics (e.g. temperature, ventilation), and experience with COVID-19 (e.g. numbers of positive cases). For each site, we calculated COVID-19 case rates per month per 1000 workers. We performed an ecological analysis using negative binomial regression to assess the association between COVID-19 rates and workplace and local risk factors. RESULTS: Respondents from 33 companies including 66 individual sites completed the survey. COVID-19 cases were reported from the start of the pandemic up to June 2021. Respondents represented a range of industry subgroups, including grain milling/storage (n = 16), manufacture of malt (n = 14), manufacture of prepared meals (n = 12), manufacture of beverages (n = 8), distilling (n = 5), manufacture of baked goods (n = 5), and other (n = 6), with a total of 15 563 workers across all sites. Average monthly case rates per 1000 workers ranged from 0.9 in distilling to 6.1 in grain milling/storage. Incidence rate ratios were partially attenuated after adjusting for several local and workplace factors, though risks for one subgroup (grain milling/storage) remained elevated. Certain local and workplace characteristics were related to higher infection rates, such as higher deprivation (5 km only), a lower proportion of remote workers, lower proportion of workers in close proximity, and higher numbers of workers overall. CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis suggests some heterogeneity in the rates of COVID-19 across sectors of the UK food and drink processing industry. Infection rates were associated with deprivation, the proportions of remote workers and workers in close proximity, and the number of workers.

7.
Acad Psychiatry ; 2022 Jun 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1878008

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The authors examined associations between stressors and burnout in trainee doctors during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: An anonymous online questionnaire including 42 questions on general and pandemic-specific stressors, and the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Health Services Survey (MBI-HSS), was sent to 1000 randomly selected trainee doctors in North-West England. Main outcomes were burnout scores that were stratified into Emotional Exhaustion (EE), Depersonalisation (DP), and reduced Personal Accomplishment (PA) and associations between stressors and burnout using stepwise regression analysis. RESULTS: A total of 362 complete responses were received giving a response rate of 37%. Mean scores for EE, DP, and PA derived from the MBI-HSS were 27.7, 9.8, and 34.3 respectively. Twenty-three stressors were found to be associated with burnout dimensions. "Increase in workload and hours due to COVID-19," "Poor leadership and management in the National Health Service," and "Not feeling valued" were found to have strong associations with burnout dimensions. Only "Not confident in own abilities" was found to be associated with all burnout dimensions. CONCLUSIONS: Associations with burnout were found to be identified in a range of work, pandemic, and non-work-related stressors, supporting the need for multi-level interventions to mitigate burnout.

8.
Ann Work Expo Health ; 2022 May 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852937

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: A COVID-19 Job Exposure Matrix (COVID-19-JEM) has been developed, consisting of four dimensions on transmission, two on mitigation measures, and two on precarious work. This study aims to validate the COVID-19-JEM by (i) comparing risk scores assigned by the COVID-19-JEM with self-reported data, and (ii) estimating the associations between the COVID-19-JEM risk scores and self-reported COVID-19. METHODS: Data from measurements 2 (July 2020, n = 7690) and 4 (March 2021, n = 6794) of the Netherlands Working Conditions Survey-COVID-19 (NWCS-COVID-19) cohort study were used. Responses to questions related to the transmission risks and mitigation measures of Measurement 2 were used to calculate self-reported risk scores. These scores were compared with the COVID-19-JEM attributed risk scores, by assessing the percentage agreement and weighted kappa (κ). Based on Measurement 4, logistic regression analyses were conducted to estimate the associations between all COVID-19-JEM risk scores and self-reported COVID-19 (infection in general and infected at work). RESULTS: The agreement between the COVID-19-JEM and questionnaire-based risk scores was good (κ ≥ 0.70) for most dimensions, except work location (κ = 0.56), and face covering (κ = 0.41). Apart from the precarious work dimensions, higher COVID-19-JEM assigned risk scores had higher odds ratios (ORs; ranging between 1.28 and 1.80) on having had COVID-19. Associations were stronger when the infection were thought to have happened at work (ORs between 2.33 and 11.62). CONCLUSIONS: Generally, the COVID-19-JEM showed a good agreement with self-reported infection risks and infection rates at work. The next step is to validate the COVID-19-JEM with objective data in the Netherlands and beyond.

9.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-335231

ABSTRACT

Background Considerable concern remains about how occupational SARS-CoV-2 risk has evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic. We aimed to ascertain which occupations had the greatest risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and explore how relative differences varied over the pandemic. Methods Analysis of cohort data from the UK Office of National Statistics Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey from April 2020 to November 2021. This survey is designed to be representative of the UK population and uses regular PCR testing. Cox and multilevel logistic regression to compare SARS-CoV-2 infection between occupational/sector groups, overall and by four time periods with interactions, adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, deprivation, region, household size, urban/rural neighbourhood and current health conditions. Results Based on 3,910,311 observations from 312,304 working age adults, elevated risks of infection can be seen overall for social care (HR 1.14;95% CI 1.04 to 1.24), education (HR 1.31;95% CI 1.23 to 1.39), bus and coach drivers (1.43;95% CI 1.03 to 1.97) and police and protective services (HR 1.45;95% CI 1.29 to 1.62) when compared to non-essential workers. By time period, relative differences were more pronounced early in the pandemic. For healthcare elevated odds in the early waves switched to a reduction in the later stages. Education saw raises after the initial lockdown and this has persisted. Adjustment for covariates made very little difference to effect estimates. Conclusions Elevated risks among healthcare workers have diminished over time but education workers have had persistently higher risks. Long-term mitigation measures in certain workplaces may be warranted. What is already known on this topic Some occupational groups have observed increased rates of disease and mortality relating to COVID-19. What this study adds Relative differences between occupational groups have varied during different stages of the COVID-19 pandemic with risks for healthcare workers diminishing over time and workers in the education sector seeing persistent elevated risks. How this study might affect research, practice or policy Increased long term mitigation such as ventilation should be considered in sectors with a persistent elevated risk. It is important for workplace policy to be responsive to evolving pandemic risks.

10.
J Transp Health ; 26: 101356, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814858

ABSTRACT

Background: During a pandemic, public transport is strategically important for keeping the country going and getting people where they need to be. The essential nature of public transport puts into focus the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in this sector; rapid and diverse work has been done to attempt to understand how transmission happens in this context and what factors influence risk. Objectives: This review aimed to provide a narrative overview of the literature assessing transmission, or potential for transmission, of SARS-CoV-2 on ground-based public transport, as well as studies assessing the effectiveness of control measures on public transport during the early part of the pandemic (up to May 2021). Methods: An electronic search was conducted using Web of Science, Ovid, the Cochrane Library, ProQuest, Pubmed, and the WHO global COVID database. Searches were run between December 2020 and May 2021. Results: The search strategy identified 734 papers, of which 28 papers met the inclusion criteria for the review; 10 papers assessed transmission of SARS-CoV-2, 11 assessed control measures, and seven assessed levels of contamination. Eleven papers were based on modelling approaches; 17 studies were original studies reporting empirical COVID-19 data. Conclusions: The literature is heterogeneous, and there are challenges for measurement of transmission in this setting. There is evidence for transmission in certain cases, and mixed evidence for the presence of viral RNA in transport settings; there is also evidence for some reduction of risk through mitigation. However, the routes of transmission and key factors contributing to transmission of SARS-CoV-2 on public transport were not clear during the early stage of the pandemic. Gaps in understanding are discussed and six key questions for future research have been posed. Further exploration of transmission factors and effectiveness of mitigation strategies is required in order to support decision making.

11.
J Epidemiol Community Health ; 76(7): 660-666, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1807486

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Exposure to SARS-CoV-2, subsequent development of COVID-19 and death from COVID-19 may vary by occupation, and the risks may be higher for those categorised as 'essential workers'. METHODS: We estimated excess mortality by occupational group and sex separately for each month in 2020 and for the entire 12 months overall. RESULTS: Mortality for all adults of working age was similar to the annual average over the previous 5 years. Monthly excess mortality peaked in April, when the number of deaths was 54.2% higher than expected and was lowest in December when deaths were 30.0% lower than expected.Essential workers had consistently higher excess mortality than other groups throughout 2020. There were also large differences in excess mortality between the categories of essential workers, with healthcare workers having the highest excess mortality and social care and education workers having the lowest. Excess mortality also varied widely between men and women, even within the same occupational group. Generally, excess mortality was higher in men. CONCLUSIONS: In summary, excess mortality was consistently higher for essential workers throughout 2020, particularly for healthcare workers. Further research is needed to examine excess mortality by occupational group, while controlling for important confounders such as ethnicity and socioeconomic status. For non-essential workers, the lockdowns, encouragement to work from home and to maintain social distancing are likely to have prevented a number of deaths from COVID-19 and from other causes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Mortality , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Wales/epidemiology
12.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 16: 100352, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1799798

ABSTRACT

Background: Workplaces are an important potential source of SARS-CoV-2 exposure; however, investigation into workplace contact patterns is lacking. This study aimed to investigate how workplace attendance and features of contact varied between occupations across the COVID-19 pandemic in England. Methods: Data were obtained from electronic contact diaries (November 2020-November 2021) submitted by employed/self-employed prospective cohort study participants (n=4,616). We used mixed models to investigate the effects of occupation and time for: workplace attendance, number of people sharing workspace, time spent sharing workspace, number of close contacts, and usage of face coverings. Findings: Workplace attendance and contact patterns varied across occupations and time. The predicted probability of intense space sharing during the day was highest for healthcare (78% [95% CI: 75-81%]) and education workers (64% [59%-69%]), who also had the highest probabilities for larger numbers of close contacts (36% [32%-40%] and 38% [33%-43%] respectively). Education workers also demonstrated relatively low predicted probability (51% [44%-57%]) of wearing a face covering during close contact. Across all occupational groups, workspace sharing and close contact increased and usage of face coverings decreased during phases of less stringent restrictions. Interpretation: Major variations in workplace contact patterns and mask use likely contribute to differential COVID-19 risk. Patterns of variation by occupation and restriction phase may inform interventions for future waves of COVID-19 or other respiratory epidemics. Across occupations, increasing workplace contact and reduced face covering usage is concerning given ongoing high levels of community transmission and emergence of variants. Funding: Medical Research Council; HM Government; Wellcome Trust.

13.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-331074

ABSTRACT

Objective We aimed to use mathematical models of SARS-COV-2 to assess the potential efficacy of non-pharmaceutical interventions on transmission in the parcel delivery and logistics sector. Methods We developed a network-based model of workplace contacts based on data and consultations from companies in the parcel delivery and logistics sectors. We used these in stochastic simulations of disease transmission to predict the probability of workplace outbreaks in this settings. Individuals in the model have different viral load trajectories based on SARS-CoV-2 in-host dynamics, which couple to their infectiousness and test positive probability over time, in order to determine the impact of testing and isolation measures. Results The baseline model (without any interventions) showed different workplace infection rates for staff in different job roles. Based on our assumptions of contact patterns in the parcel delivery work setting we found that when a delivery driver was the index case, on average they infect only 0.18 other employees, while for warehouse and office workers this went up to 0.93 and 2.58 respectively. In the large-item delivery setting this was predicted to be 0.83, 0.94, and 1.61 respectively. Nonetheless, the vast majority of simulations resulted in 0 secondary cases among customers (even without contact-free delivery). Our results showed that a combination of social distancing, office staff working from home, and fixed driver pairings (all interventions carried out by the companies we consulted) reduce the risk of workplace outbreaks by 3-4 times. Conclusion This work suggests that, without interventions, significant transmission could occur in these workplaces, but that these pose minimal risk to customers. We found that identifying and isolating regular close-contacts of infectious individuals (i.e. house-share, carpools, or delivery pairs) is an efficient measure for stopping workplace outbreaks. Regular testing can make these isolation measures even more effective but also increases the number of staff isolating at one time. It is therefore more efficient to combine these measures with social distancing and contact reduction interventions, as these reduce both transmission and the number of people needing to isolate. IMPORTANCE During the COVID-19 pandemic the home-delivery sector has been vital to maintaining people’s access to certain goods, and sustaining levels of economic activity for a variety of businesses. However, this important work necessarily involves contact with a large number of customers as well as colleagues. This means that questions have often been raised about whether enough is being done to keep customers and staff safe. Estimating the potential risk to customers and staff is complex, but here we tackle this problem by building a model of workplace and customer contacts, from which we simulate SARS-CoV-2 transmission. By involving industry representatives in the development of this model, we have simulated interventions that have either been applied or considered, and so the findings of this study are extremely relevant to decisions made in that sector moving forward. Furthermore, we can learn generic lessons from this specific case study which apply to many types of shared workplace as well as highlighting implications of the highly stochastic nature of disease transmission in small populations.

14.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327241

ABSTRACT

Background: The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 triggered a chain of public health responses that radically changed our way of living and working. Non-healthcare sectors, such as the logistics sector, play a key role in such responses. This research aims to qualitatively evaluate the non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) implemented in the UK logistics sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We conducted nine semi-structured interviews in July-August 2020 and May-June 2021. In total 11 interviewees represented six companies occupying a range of positions in the UK logistics sector, including takeaway food delivery, large and small goods delivery and home appliance installation, and logistics technology providers. Inductive thematic analysis was completed using NVivo12 to generate emerging themes and subthemes. Themes/subthemes relevant to interventions were mapped deductively onto an adapted Hierarchy of Control (HoC) framework, focusing on delivery workers. Themes/subthemes relevant to the process of implementation were analyzed to understand the barriers and facilitators of rapid responses. Results: HoC analysis suggests the sector has implemented a wide range of risk mitigation measures, with each company developing their own portfolio of measures. Contact-free delivery was the most commonly implemented measure and perceived effective. In addition, a broad range of measures were implemented, including social distancing, internal contact tracing, communication and collaboration with other key stakeholders of the sector. Process evaluation identified facilitators of rapid responses including capacity to develop interventions internally, localized government support, overwhelming external mandates, effective communication, leadership support and financial support for self-isolation, while barriers included unclear government guidance, shortage of testing capacity and supply, high costs and diversified language and cultural backgrounds. Main sustainability issues included compliance fatigue, and the possible mental health impacts of a prolonged rapid response. Conclusions: This research identified drivers and obstacles of rapid implementation of NPIs in response to a respiratory infection pandemic. Existing implementation process models do not consider speed to respond and the absence or lack of guidance in emergency situations such as the COVID-19. We recommend the development of a rapid response model to inform the design of effective and sustainable infection prevention and control policies and to focus future research priorities.

15.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318861

ABSTRACT

There are important differences in the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and death depending on occupation. Infections in healthcare workers have received the most attention, and there are clearly increased risks for intensive care unit workers who are caring for COVID-19 patients. However, a number of other occupations may also be at an increased risk, particularly those which involve social care or contact with the public. A large number of data sets are available with the potential to assess occupational risks of COVID-19 incidence, severity, or mortality. We are reviewing these data sets as part of the Partnership for Research in Occupational, Transport, Environmental COVID Transmission (PROTECT) initiative, which is part of the National COVID-19 Core Studies. In this report, we review the data sets available (including the key variables on occupation and potential confounders) for examining occupational differences in SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 incidence, severity and mortality. We also discuss the possible types of analyses of these data sets and the definitions of (occupational) exposure and outcomes. We conclude that none of these data sets are ideal, and all have various strengths and weaknesses. For example, mortality data suffer from problems of coding of COVID-19 deaths, and the deaths (in England and Wales) that have been referred to the coroner are unavailable. On the other hand, testing data is heavily biased in some periods (particularly the first wave) because some occupations (e.g. healthcare workers) were tested more often than the general population. Random population surveys are, in principle, ideal for estimating population prevalence and incidence, but are also affected by non-response. Thus, any analysis of the risks in a particular occupation or sector (e.g. transport), will require a careful analysis and triangulation of findings across the various available data sets.

16.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308292

ABSTRACT

Preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission and protecting people from COVID-19 is the most significant public health challenge faced in recent years. COVID-19 outbreaks are occurring in workplaces and evidence is needed to support effective strategies to prevent and control these outbreaks. Investigations into these outbreaks are routinely undertaken by public health bodies and regulators in the United Kingdom (UK);however, such investigations are typically disparate in nature with a lack of consistency across all investigations, preventing meaningful analysis of the data collected. The COVID-OUT (COVID-19 Outbreak investigation to Understand Transmission) study aims to collect a consistent set of data in a systematic way from workplaces that are experiencing outbreaks, to understand SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk factors, transmission routes, and the role they play in the COVID-19 outbreaks. Suitable outbreak sites are identified from public health bodies. Following employer consent to participate, the study will recruit workers from workplaces where there are active outbreaks. The study will utilise data already collected as part of routine public health outbreak investigations and collect additional data through a comprehensive questionnaire, viral and serologic testing of workers, surface sampling, viral genome sequencing, and an environmental assessment of building plans, ventilation and current control measures. At each site, a detailed investigation will be carried out to evaluate transmission routes. A case-control approach will be used to compare workers who have and have not had SARS-CoV-2 infections during the outbreak period to assess transmission risk factors. Data from different outbreaks will be combined for pooled analyses to identify common risk factors, as well as factors that differ between outbreaks. The COVID-OUT study can contribute to a better understanding of why COVID-19 outbreaks associated with workplaces occur and how to prevent these outbreaks from happening in the future.

17.
J Occup Health ; 64(1): e12311, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1620088

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study aims to develop a comprehensive list of stressors relevant to junior doctors and will also report findings exploring the associations between burnout and stressors, which include work and non-work-related stressors as well as pandemic-related stressors. METHODS: An anonymous online questionnaire was sent to 1000 randomly selected junior doctors in the North-West of England. The questionnaire included 37 questions on general and pandemic-specific stressors, and the Maslach Burnout Inventory Health Services Survey. The main outcomes of interest were junior doctor ratings of stressors and scores for burnout (emotional exhaustion [EE], depersonalisation [DP], and personal accomplishment [PA]). Stepwise regression analysis was undertaken to assess associations between stressors and burnout. RESULTS: In total, 326 responses were collected (response rate = 33%). Of the top 10 stressors rated by junior doctors, 60% were related to the pandemic. Multiple stressors were found to be associated with the burnout dimensions. Fatigue (ß = .43), pandemic-related workload increase (ß = .33), and feeling isolated (ß = .24) had the strongest associations with EE, whereas fatigue (ß = .21), uncertainty around COVID-19 information (ß = .22) and doing unproductive tasks (ß = .17) had the strongest associations with DP. Working beyond normal scope due to COVID-19 (ß = -.26), not confident in own ability (ß = -.24) and not feeling valued (ß = -.20) were found to have the strongest associations with PA. CONCLUSIONS: Junior doctors experience a combination of general stressors and additional stressors emerging from the pandemic which significantly impact burnout. Monitoring these stressors and targeting them as part of interventions could help mitigating burnout in junior doctors.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom/epidemiology
18.
Occup Environ Med ; 79(7): 433-441, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596312

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To estimate occupational differences in COVID-19 mortality and test whether these are confounded by factors such as regional differences, ethnicity and education or due to non-workplace factors, such as deprivation or prepandemic health. METHODS: Using a cohort study of over 14 million people aged 40-64 years living in England, we analysed occupational differences in death involving COVID-19, assessed between 24 January 2020 and 28 December 2020.We estimated age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs) per 100 000 person-years at risk stratified by sex and occupation. We estimated the effect of occupation on COVID-19 mortality using Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for confounding factors. We further adjusted for non-workplace factors and interpreted the residual effects of occupation as being due to workplace exposures to SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: In men, the ASMRs were highest among those working as taxi and cab drivers or chauffeurs at 119.7 deaths per 100 000 (95% CI 98.0 to 141.4), followed by other elementary occupations at 106.5 (84.5 to 132.4) and care workers and home carers at 99.2 (74.5 to 129.4). Adjusting for confounding factors strongly attenuated the HRs for many occupations, but many remained at elevated risk. Adjusting for living conditions reduced further the HRs, and many occupations were no longer at excess risk. For most occupations, confounding factors and mediators other than workplace exposure to SARS-CoV-2 explained 70%-80% of the excess age-adjusted occupational differences. CONCLUSIONS: Working conditions play a role in COVID-19 mortality, particularly in occupations involving contact with patients or the public. However, there is also a substantial contribution from non-workplace factors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Cohort Studies , Humans , Male , Occupations , SARS-CoV-2 , Semantic Web
19.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294557

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Background Workplace transmission is a significant contributor to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreaks. Previous studies have found that infectious illness presenteeism could contribute to outbreaks in occupational settings and identified multiple occupational and organisational risk factors. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative to investigate presenteeism particularly in relation to respiratory infectious disease (RID). Hence, this rapid review aims to determine the prevalence of RID-related presenteeism, including COVID-19, and examines the reported reasons and associated risk factors. Methods The review followed a Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) search approach and focused on studies published in English and Chinese. Database searches included MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, China Knowledge Resource Integrated Database (CNKI) and preprint databases MedRxiv and BioRxiv. Results The search yielded 54 studies, of which four investigated COVID-19-related presenteeism. Prevalence of work presenteeism ranged from 14.1% to 55% for confirmed RID, and 6.6% to 100% for those working with suspected or subclinical RID. The included studies demonstrated that RID-related presenteeism is associated with occupation, sick pay policy, age, gender, health behaviour and perception, vaccination, peer pressure and organisational factors such as presenteeism culture. Conclusions This review demonstrates that presenteeism or non-adherence to isolation guidance is a real concern and can contribute to workplace transmissions and outbreaks. Policies which would support workers financially and improve productivity, should include a range of effective non-pharmaceutical inventions such as workplace testing, promoting occupational health services, reviewing pay and bonus schemes and clear messaging to encourage workers to stay at home when ill. Future research should focus on the more vulnerable and precarious occupational groups, and their inter-relationships, to develop comprehensive intervention programs to reduce RID-related presenteeism.

20.
Scand J Work Environ Health ; 48(1): 61-70, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524380

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to construct a job exposure matrix (JEM) for risk of becoming infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in an occupational setting. METHODS: Experts in occupational epidemiology from three European countries (Denmark, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom) defined the relevant exposure and workplace characteristics with regard to possible exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In an iterative process, experts rated the different dimensions of the COVID-19-JEM for each job title within the International Standard Classification of Occupations system 2008 (ISCO-08). Agreement scores, weighted kappas, and variances were estimated. RESULTS: The COVID-19-JEM contains four determinants of transmission risk [number of people, nature of contacts, contaminated workspaces and location (indoors or outdoors)], two mitigation measures (social distancing and face covering), and two factors for precarious work (income insecurity and proportion of migrants). Agreement scores ranged from 0.27 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.25-0.29] for 'migrants' to 0.76 (95% CI 0.74-0.78) for 'nature of contacts'. Weighted kappas indicated moderate-to-good agreement for all dimensions [ranging from 0.60 (95% CI 0.60-0.60) for 'face covering' to 0.80 (95% CI 0.80-0.80) for 'contaminated workspaces'], except for 'migrants' (0.14 (95% CI -0.07-0.36). As country differences remained after several consensus exercises, the COVID-19-JEM also has a country-axis. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19-JEM assesses the risk at population level using eight dimensions related to SARS-COV-2 infections at work and will improve our ability to investigate work-related risk factors in epidemiological studies. The dimensions of the COVID-19-JEM could also be valuable for other future communicable diseases in the workplace.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Occupational Exposure , Humans , Occupations , SARS-CoV-2 , Workplace
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL