Objectives: Eldercare workers in Denmark have a higher prevalence of poor psychological health than other occupational groups. We examined the association between working conditions assessed by trained observers and depressive symptoms assessed by self-report in a study of female Danish eldercare workers.
Methods: Working conditions were observed based on action regulation theory and defined as (1) regulation requirements, a workplace resource providing opportunity for decision-making and skill development and (2) barriers for task completion. We examined the associations of individual and work unit averaged working conditions with depressive symptoms in a sample of 95 individually observed eldercare workers. Further, we examined the association of work unit averaged working conditions with depressive symptoms in a sample of 205 care workers, including both observed and non-observed individuals. We used regression models that allowed for correlations within work units and care homes and adjusted these models for demographics, job characteristics and stressful life events.
Results: Higher levels of regulation requirements were associated with lower depressive symptoms at the individual level (p=0.04), but not at the workplace level. Barriers were not associated with depressive symptoms at the individual level. At the workplace level, a higher number of qualitatively different barriers (p=0.04) and a higher number of barriers for equipment use (p=0.03) were associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms in the age and cohabitation adjusted model, however statistical significance was lost in the fully adjusted model.
Conclusions: Low level of regulation requirements was associated with a high level of depressive symptoms. The study highlights the importance of examining both individual and workplace levels of working conditions.
Source: Louise M Jakobsen, Anette F B Jorgensen, Birthe L Thomsen, Birgit A Greiner, Reiner Rugulies. BMJ Open, 2015; 5 (11).
Objective: To examine the main and interactive effects of effort-reward imbalance (ERI) and selection, optimization, and compensation (SOC) strategy on depressive symptoms among the working population in the City of Kumning, China.
Methods: We assessed the separate and combined effects of low versus high ERI and good versus poor SOC strategy on depressive symptoms using multivariable logistic regression analyses in a population-based sample (N?=?2457).
Results: High ERI and poor SOC were significantly associated with depressive symptoms, respectively. In employees with both high ERI and poor SOC, the odds ratio was highly elevated as compared with the reference group (low ERI and good SOC).
Conclusions: If our findings are confirmed by prospective studies, health promotion programs in work settings might consider SOC as an integral part to mitigate the adverse mental health effects of ERI.
Source: Shang, Li; Riedel, Natalie; Loerbroks, Adrian; Müller, Andreas; Wege, Natalia; Angerer, Peter; Li, Jian. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: November 2015, Volume 57, Issue 11, p. 1222-1227.
Objective: Sustainability of prevention programs is a public health goal.
Methods: The effectiveness of Go Sun Smart, an occupational skin cancer prevention program, was evaluated 5 to 7 years out from the conclusion of a controlled randomized dissemination trial that compared an enhanced versus basic dissemination strategy at 53 ski areas enrolled in the trial.
Results: Employees (n?=?2940) at ski areas in the enhanced condition reported fewer sunburns but did not differ from employees in the basic condition on other sun-protection measures. Significant differences for all sun-protection practices were identified at ski areas that displayed nine or more Go Sun Smart materials or a combined total of nine or more Go Sun Smart and other sun safety messages.
Conclusions: Exposure to prevention messages is an important determinant of program effectiveness and potentially of program sustainability.
Source: Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: November 2015, Volume 57, Issue 11, p. 1207-1213.
The workers' perspective
BACKGROUND: Undocumented immigration to the United States has grown dramatically over the past 25 years. This study explores undocumented status as a social determinant of occupational health by examining its perceived consequences on workplace safety of Latino immigrants.
METHODS: Guided by the Theory of Work Adjustment, qualitative analysis was conducted on transcripts from focus groups and individual interviews conducted with a convenience sample of Latino immigrant workers.
RESULTS: Participants reported that unauthorized status negatively impacted their safety at work and resulted in a degree of alienation that exceeded the specific proscriptions of the law. Participants overwhelming used a strategy of disengagement to cope with the challenges they face as undocumented immigrants.
CONCLUSION: This study describes the complex web of consequences resulting from undocumented status and its impact on occupational health. This study presents a framework connecting the daily work experiences of immigrants, the coping strategy of disengagement, and efforts to minimize the impact of structural violence.
Source: Flynn MA, Eggerth DE, Jacobson CJ. Am. J. Ind. Med. 2015; 58 (11), p. 1127-1137.
Face aux problèmes récurrents de l'insertion et du maintien en emploi, la formation professionnelle en situation de travail suscite un regain d'intérêt auprès des partenaires sociaux et des pouvoirs publics. À la faveur d'une expérimentation initiée par le ministère du Travail, elle pourrait même devenir un format de référence dans les plans de formation. À condition que les entreprises adaptent leurs organisations du travail.
Source: Travail & changement, No 361, octobre-novembre-décembre 2015.
A Prospective Analysis
Objective: To investigate the links between group-level affective organizational commitment (AOC) and individual-level psychological well-being, self-reported sickness absence, and sleep disturbances.
Methods: A total of 5085 care workers from 301 workgroups in the Danish eldercare services participated in both waves of the study (T1  and T2 ). The three outcomes were analyzed using linear multilevel regression analysis, multilevel Poisson regression analysis, and multilevel logistic regression analysis, respectively.
Results: Group-level AOC (T1) significantly predicted individual-level psychological well-being, self-reported sickness absence, and sleep disturbances (T2). The association between group-level AOC (T1) and psychological well-being (T2) was fully mediated by individual-level AOC (T1), and the associations between group-level AOC (T1) and self-reported sickness absence and sleep disturbances (T2) were partially mediated by individual-level AOC (T1).
Conclusions: Group-level AOC is an important predictor of employee well-being in contemporary health care organizations.
Source: Clausen, Thomas; Christensen, Karl Bang; Nielsen, Karina. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: November 2015, Volume 57, Issue 11, p. 1141-1146.
The Critical Role of a Psychologically Healthy Workplace in Effective Stress Management
This article explains how key practices pertaining to the psychologically healthy workplace can be used to develop a comprehensive approach to stress management in contemporary organizations. Specifically, we demonstrate the ways in which employee involvement, recognition, work–life balance, health and safety, and growth and development practices can be used to assist in the reduction of work stress and the proactive management of strain. Although many organizations strive to establish a positive environment conducive to work and well-being, identifying where to begin can often seem like a daunting task. Currently, many stress management efforts emphasize individual-level interventions that are simply implemented alongside existing organizational practices. We propose that a broader perspective allows for a better understanding of the stress process, resulting in the ability to consider a wider range of changes to organizational processes. Combining knowledge regarding psychologically healthy workplace practices, stress management intervention levels and the personal resource allocation framework, we present a comprehensive framework for approaching workplace stress management, which can be tailored to the unique needs of various organizations, departments and employees. By adopting this broader perspective, we believe organizations can more strategically address employee stress, resulting in more effective stress management and a profound impact on stress-related outcomes.
Source: Grawitch MJ, Ballard DW, Erb KR. Stress Health, 2015; 31 (4), p. 264-273.
Études de cas à partir de la participation des acteurs syndicaux
Le lean management ou lean manufacturing est issu du modèle Toyota. Il a été transformé en idéal-type, par des chercheurs américains, à la fin des années 80 et a connu une première expansion, dans les entreprises du secteur manufacturier, dans les années 90. Depuis quelques années, au Québec, il connaît un déploiement dans des secteurs d'activité où il n'a jamais été présent. L'objectif principal de cette organisation du système de production est d'éliminer les gaspillages, par la réduction de la variabilité chez les fournisseurs, en interne et même dans une certaine mesure chez les clients. Les moyens, multiples, passent par l'amélioration continue et la participation des salariés.
Des questions sont apparues, tant au niveau des praticiens de la santé au travail que des chercheurs, concernant les effets de cette organisation du système de production sur la santé des salariés. À travers une recension des travaux existants (Bruère, 2014), nous avons pu observer que, si le lean était censé apporter des éléments positifs par rapport au taylorisme, concernant la santé au travail, la grande majorité des auteurs observent une dégradation de cette dernière. Les variations observées à cet égard pourraient être, en partie, expliquées par la très grande diversité d'implantation du lean, malgré un socle commun de principes.
Implications for safety perception and behaviour
The construction industry has one of the highest frequency levels and rates of work-related injuries, yet the evidence for successful attempts to reduce injuries is generally lacking. The motivational and (safety) behavioural implications of social identification and social categorization among construction labourer work crews were investigated to ascertain how their interactions are affected by the social structure and organization of work. Semi-structured group interviews and mini interviews during work were carried out with 13 concrete work crews (totalling 53 persons) at five large construction sites. The organization of work fosters social identification within a crew, resulting in distancing from and social categorization of site management. Social identification influences safety behaviour in the crews, where worksite safety rules may meet resistance. Future safety initiatives at large construction sites should take into account the dynamics of social identification and categorization in the implementation of safety measures, e.g. by creating an alternative organization of work, thus making it easier for a work crew to identify themselves with the site management. Site/crew managers should consider how safety can become a salient and valued group norm by altering the social structure at the sites and/or fostering dual social identity.
Source: Andersen LP, Karlson IL, Kines P, et al. Construction Management and Economics, 2015; 33 (8), p. 640-52.
A 1-Year Follow-Up
Objectives: The aim of the current study was to elucidate prospective effects of both shift schedules and work environment on mental distress.
Methods: A total of 2059 nurses participated at baseline (38.1%), and 1582 nurses completed wave 2 of the survey (76.8%). Psychosocial work factors were measured by the General Nordic Questionnaire for Psychological and Social factors at work and the Swedish Demand–Control–Support Questionnaire. Mental distress was measured by Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.
Results: Shiftwork was not associated with “caseness” anxiety or depression. Effects of shiftwork on mental distress were not moderated by psychosocial work factors. Mental distress predicted role clarity, role conflict, fair leadership, and social support. Job demands predicted symptoms of depression.
Conclusions: Whether psychosocial working conditions buffer mental health effects of shiftwork remains undecided. Prospective studies with multiple measurement points are needed to elucidate potential mutual relationships between work factors and mental distress.
Source: Journal of Occupational & Environmental Médicine, October 2015, Volume 57, Issue 10, p. 1127-1137.
NIOSH's New Center for Productive Aging & Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020, American workers 55 years or older will increase by almost 10 million, or at a rate of 33.5%. In addition, by 2020, most workplaces will have five generations working side by side. An aging workforce means having to think about how workers and organizations address the needs and challenges of older workers, as well as take advantage of the opportunities that aging and an age-diverse workforce can bring to the work environment. Recognizing the importance of aging in the context of work, NIOSH recently established the National Center for Productive Aging & Work (NCPAW), hosted by the Office of Total Worker Health®. The mission of the center is to: 1) promote age-related research; 2) develop and promote translational products, best practices, and interventions to facilitate an aging-friendly workplace; and 3) build and foster relationships with extramural researchers and partners.
Objective: The ability of occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation and regulatory enforcement to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses is contingent on political, economic, and organizational conditions. This systematic review of qualitative research articles considers how OHS legislation and regulatory enforcement are planned and implemented.
Methods: A comprehensive search of peer-reviewed, English language articles published between 1990 and 2013 yielded 11 947 articles. We identified 34 qualitative articles as relevant, and 18 passed our quality assessment and proceeded to meta-ethnographic synthesis.
Results: The synthesis yielded four main themes: OHS regulation formation, regulation challenges, inspector organization, and worker representation in OHS. It illuminates how OHS legislation can be based on normative suppositions about worker and employer behavior and shaped by economic and political resources of parties. It also shows how implementation of OHS legislation is affected by “general duty” law, agency coordination, resourcing of inspectorates, and ability of workers to participate in the system.
Conclusions: The review identifies methodological gaps and identifies promising areas for further research in “grey” zones of legislation implementation.
Source: MacEachen E, Kosny A, Ståhl C, O'Hagan F, Redgrift L, Sanford S, Carrasco C, Tompa E, Mahood Q. Scand J Work Environ Health, 2015.
Chargés d'assurer la sécurité et la défense, les policiers, les militaires et les professions assimilées, sont davantage victimes d'agressions physiques ou verbales que l'ensemble de la population occupant un emploi. Dans l'exercice de leur métier, les violences physiques et verbales subies par les policiers, les militaires et assimilés sont en proportion près de deux fois plus importantes que pour les autres groupes professionnels qui sont majoritairement en contact avec le public, tels que les professions intermédiaires de la santé, les professeurs des écoles, les professeurs et professions scientifiques, les professions libérales, les commerçants ou encore les employés de commerce. En revanche, les risques de vols avec ou sans violence sont plus faibles.
Les violences internes sont généralement le fait de dérives organisationnelles et relationnelles se déroulant au sein d'une même organisation de travail. Afin de guider l'action de prévention, l'INRS propose un modèle général d'analyse permettant d'identifier les processus délétères en cause et, ainsi, d'agir là où se concentrent les difficultés.
Objectives: This study sought to: (i) explore the impact of mood disorders (such as depression, bipolar disorder, mania, or dysthymia) and five age-related chronic physical conditions (arthritis, back pain, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension) on presenteeism (as indicated by self-reported activity limitations at work), and (ii) examine how mood disorders interact with each physical condition to affect this work outcome.
Methods: Using Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) data, we modeled the relationships between self-reported restrictions at work and each health condition. We then calculated synergy indices (SI) for the interaction between mood disorders and each of the five physical conditions.
Results: All six health conditions were associated with presenteeism. The strongest association was observed for back pain [prevalence ratio (PR) 2.70, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 2.57–2.83] and the weakest for hypertension (PR 1.18, 95% CI 1.11–1.25). The unadjusted SI indicated no interactions between mood disorders and any of the physical conditions, while the adjusted SI indicated statistically significant interactions between mood disorders and each of the five physical conditions. The statistically significant adjusted interactions were in a negative direction, such that having a mood disorder concurrent with a chronic physical condition was associated with a lower burden of presenteeism than expected. Post-hoc analyses revealed that this unexpected finding was attributable to adjustment for other co-morbid health conditions, particularly arthritis and back pain.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that targeting chronic physical conditions or mood disorders may be productive in reducing presenteeism. The combined effect on presenteeism when the two types of conditions occur simultaneously is similar to the additive effect of these conditions when each occurs in isolation.
Source: Bielecky A, Chen C, Ibrahim S, Beaton DE, Mustard CA, Smith PM. Scand J Work Environ Health, 2015.
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