2015-10-01 12:00 - Messages

Social identity in the construction industry

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.

Effects of Psychological and Social Factors in Shiftwork on Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression in Nurses

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.

Advancing Worker Well-being Across the Working Life

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.

Source: http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2015/10/15/ncpaw/

Systematic review of qualitative literature on occupational health and safety legislation and regulatory enforcement planning and implementation

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.

Sécurité et défense : des professions plus souvent victimes d’agressions physiques ou verbales

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.

Source: http://www.interieur.gouv.fr/content/download/88730/689137

Violence interne : derrière les conflits, l'organisation du travail en question

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.

Source: http://www.hst.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/IntranetObject-accesParReference/HST_DC%2010/$File/DC10.pdf

The impact of co-morbid mental and physical disorders on presenteeism

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.

Burnout does not help predict depression among French school teachers

Objectives: Burnout has been viewed as a phase in the development of depression. However, supportive research is scarce. We examined whether burnout predicted depression among French school teachers.
Methods: We conducted a 2-wave, 21-month study involving 627 teachers (73% female) working in French primary and secondary schools. Burnout was assessed with the Maslach Burnout Inventory and depression with the 9-item depression module of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). The PHQ-9 grades depressive symptom severity and provides a provisional diagnosis of major depression. Depression was treated both as a continuous and categorical variable using linear and logistic regression analyses. We controlled for gender, age, and length of employment.
Results: Controlling for baseline depressive symptoms, linear regression analysis showed that burnout symptoms at time 1 (T1) did not predict depressive symptoms at time 2 (T2). Baseline depressive symptoms accounted for about 88% of the association between T1 burnout and T2 depressive symptoms. Only baseline depressive symptoms predicted depressive symptoms at follow-up. Similarly, logistic regression analysis revealed that burnout symptoms at T1 did not predict incident cases of major depression at T2 when depressive symptoms at T1 were included in the predictive model. Only baseline depressive symptoms predicted cases of major depression at follow-up.
Conclusions: This study does not support the view that burnout is a phase in the development of depression. Assessing burnout symptoms in addition to “classical” depressive symptoms may not always improve our ability to predict future depression.

Source: Bianchi R, Schonfeld IS, Laurent E. Scand J Work Environ Health, 2015.

Changes in working conditions and physical health functioning among midlife and ageing employees

Objectives: The aim this study was to examine the effect of changes in physical and psychosocial working conditions on physical health functioning among ageing municipal employees.
Methods: Follow-up survey data were collected from midlife employees of the City of Helsinki, Finland, at three time points: wave 1 (2000–2002), wave 2 (2007), and wave 3 (2012). Changes in physical and psychosocial working conditions were assessed between waves 1 and 2. Physical health functioning was measured by the physical component summary (PCS) of the Short-Form 36 questionnaire at each of the three waves. In total, 2784 respondents (83% women) who remained employed over the follow-up were available for the analyses. Linear mixed-effect models were used to assess the associations and adjust for key covariates (age, gender, obesity, chronic diseases, and health behaviors).
Results: Repeated and increased exposure to adverse physical working conditions was associated with greater decline in physical health functioning over time. In contrast, decrease in exposures reduced the decline. Of the psychosocial working conditions, changes in job demands had no effects on physical health functioning. However, decreased job control was associated with greater decline and repeated high or increased job control reduced the decline in physical health functioning over time.
Conclusions: Adverse changes in physical working conditions and job control were associated with greater decline in physical health functioning over time, whereas favorable changes in these exposures reduced the decline. Preventing deterioration and promoting improvement of working conditions are likely to help maintain better physical health functioning among ageing employees.

Source: Mänty M, Kouvonen A, Lallukka T, Lahti J, Lahelma E, Rahkonen O. Scand J Work Environ Health, 2015. 

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