Occupational Health July: news in brief

Hearing risk

Occupational noise, smoking and being overweight are major risk factors in developing hearing loss, a study by the University of Antwerp has concluded. The study, for the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, showed that people who smoked regularly for more than one year had worse hearing than those who did not, with the more cigarettes smoked equating to more severe hearing loss.

My unhealthy arse

Last month was Men’s Health Week (June 9-16), with the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health warning male workers not to follow in the footsteps of Britain’s unhealthiest man, Jim Royle from the BBC’s The Royle Family. Royle came top in an IoSH poll, beating off competition from Homer Simpson and James Bond.

And the alternative is…

Giving workers access to alternative or complementary therapies could help reduce absence, according to a survey by Employee Benefits magazine and health insurance firm HSA. The poll found almost a quarter of firms believed alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and massage, could help to reduce workplace ill-health, rising to one in three within the public sector.

Have a drink

A regular tipple of alcohol can cut the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis by up to 50%, according to research in the journal the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. The Scandinavian research of more than 2,750 people found drinking alcohol was associated with a significantly lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. And the more alcohol consumed, the lower the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

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