2018-09-01 12:00 - Messages

Digital Platforms, Gig Economy, Precarious Employment, and the Invisible Hand of Social Class

Digital platform capitalism, as exemplified by companies like Uber or Lyft has the potential to transform employment and working conditions for an increasing segment of the worforce. Most digital economy workers are exposed to the health damaging precarious employment conditions characteristic of the contemporary working class in high income countries. Just as with Guy Standing or Mike Savage's “precariat” it might appear that digital platform workers are a new social class or that they do not belong to any social class. Yet the class conflict interests (wages, benefits, employment and working conditions, collective action) of digital platform workers are similar to other members of the working class.

Source: Muntaner, C. (2018). International Journal of Health Services, 48(4), 597-600.

Extent of compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue and burnout in nursing

A meta-analysis
Aims: A meta-analysis was conducted of the prevalence rates of compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue and burnout to identify the factors influencing these rates.
Background: The extents of compassion fatigue and burnout adversely affect nursing efficiency. However, the reported prevalence rates vary considerably.
Methods: Data were acquired from electronic databases. Random effects meta-analyses were performed to obtain pooled estimates of the prevalence rates of compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue and burnout and their respective instrumental scores. Meta-regression analyses were performed to identify factors influencing these rates.
Results: Data from 21 studies were used for the meta-analysis. The prevalence rates of compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue and burnout were 47.55%, 52.55% and 51.98%, respectively. The possession of Bachelor's or Master's degrees by the nurses was significantly inversely associated with the percent prevalence of compassion fatigue (coefficient: −1.187) and burnout (coefficient: −0.810). The compassion fatigue score was also significantly inversely associated with nursing status as registered or licensed practical nurse (coefficient: −0.135).
Conclusion: In nursing, the prevalence rates of compassion fatigue and burnout are high. Better education and training may have a moderating effect on compassion fatigue and burnout and could improve the quality of life of nurses.

Source: Zhang, Y. Y., Han, W. L., Qin, W., Yin, H. X., Zhang, C. F., Kong, C. et Wang, Y. L. (2018). Journal of Nursing Management.

Burnout in the workplace: A review of data and policy responses in the EU

This report looks at the extent of burnout experienced by workers in the EU, based on national research. As a starting point, the report sets out to consider whether burnout is viewed as a medical or occupational disease. It then examines the work determinants associated with burnout and looks at the effects of burnout, including psychosocial and physical work factors, work intensity and work organisation. It also reviews national strategies and policies regarding this issue, the involvement of the social partners in the current debate, as well as preventive actions currently in place.

Source: https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/fr/publications/report/2018/burnout-in-the-workplace-a-review-of-data-and-policy-responses-in-the-eu

Guide de bonnes pratiques pour favoriser l’embauche, le maintien et le retour en emploi des travailleurs expérimentés

Ce guide propose des mesures et de bonnes pratiques pour favoriser l'embauche, le maintien et le retour en emploi des travailleurs expérimentés. Il s'adresse aux organisations qui désirent encourager ces travailleurs à poursuivre leur carrière et favoriser l'embauche et le retour en emploi des travailleurs expérimentés après une absence. Il vise à les appuyer dans la mise en place de milieux de travail accueillants et répondant à la réalité de ces travailleurs. Le guide propose aussi des mesures pour aider les organisations à profiter de la richesse de ce bassin de main-d'œuvre dans la planification de leurs effectifs. D'application volontaire, il s'applique aux organisations de toutes tailles et de tous secteurs.

Source: https://www.bnq.qc.ca/fr/normalisation/sante-au-travail/travailleurs-experimentes.html

Comparison of rest-break interventions during a mentally demanding task

Research is scarce on ways to enhance the effect of rest breaks during mentally demanding tasks. The present study investigated the effectiveness of two rest-break interventions on well-being during an academic lecture. Sixty-six students (53 females, mean age 22.5 years) enrolled in two different university classes of 4-hr duration participated in the study. Two measures of well-being (fatigue and vigor) were assessed immediately before, after, and 20 minutes after the break. A control condition without a break as well as an unstructured break was compared with breaks either encompassing physical activity or a relaxation exercise. Compared with the nonbreak condition, the unstructured rest break led to an increase in vigor, the exercise break as well as the relaxation break both to an increase in vigor and a decrease in fatigue at 20-min post break. Compared with the unstructured break, exercise led to an (additional) increase in vigor and relaxation to an (additional) decrease in fatigue at 20-min post break. Thus, the effects of rest breaks during mentally demanding tasks can be enhanced by engaging in physical activity or relaxation exercises, with effects lasting at least as long as 20 min into the continuation of the task.

Source: Blasche, G., Szabo, B., Wagner-Menghin, M., Ekmekcioglu, C. et Gollner, E. (2018). Stress and Health.

Impact of shift work on the diurnal cortisol rhythm

A one-year longitudinal study in junior physicians
Background: Cumulative epidemiological evidence suggests that shift work exerts harmful effects on human health. However, the physiological mechanisms are not well understood. This study aimed to examine the impact of shift work on the dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, i.e. diurnal cortisol rhythm.
Methods: Seventy physicians with a mean age 30 years participated in this one-year longitudinal study. Working schedules, either shift work or regular schedules with day shift, were assessed at baseline. Salivary cortisol samples were collected on two consecutive regular working days, four times a day (including waking, + 4 h, + 8 h, and + 16 h), at both baseline and the one-year follow-up. The diurnal cortisol decline (slope) and total cortisol concentration (area under the curve, AUC) were calculated.
Results: After adjusting for cortisol secretion at baseline and numerous covariates, shift work at baseline significantly predicted a steeper slope (p < 0.01) and a larger AUC (p < 0.05) of diurnal cortisol rhythm at follow-up in this sample of physicians. In particular, waking cortisol at follow-up was significantly higher among those engaged in shift work than day shift (p < 0.01).
Conclusions: Our findings support the notion that shift work changes the diurnal cortisol pattern, and is predictive of increased cortisol secretion consequently in junior physicians.

Source: Li, J., Bidlingmaier, M., Petru, R., Gil, F. P., Loerbroks, A. et Angerer, P. (2018). Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 13(1), 23.

Effects of office workstation type on physical activity and stress

Objective: Office environments have been causally linked to workplace-related illnesses and stress, yet little is known about how office workstation type is linked to objective metrics of physical activity and stress. We aimed to explore these associations among office workers in US federal office buildings.
Methods: We conducted a wearable, sensor-based, observational study of 231 workers in four office buildings. Outcome variables included workers' physiological stress response, physical activity and perceived stress. Relationships between office workstation type and these variables were assessed using structural equation modelling.
Results: Workers in open bench seating were more active at the office than those in private offices and cubicles (open bench seating vs private office=225.52 mG (31.83% higher on average) (95% CI 136.57 to 314.46); open bench seating vs cubicle=185.13 mG (20.16% higher on average) (95% CI 66.53 to 303.72)). Furthermore, workers in open bench seating experienced lower perceived stress at the office than those in cubicles (−0.27 (9.10% lower on average) (95% CI −0.54 to −0.02)). Finally, higher physical activity at the office was related to lower physiological stress (higher heart rate variability in the time domain) outside the office (−26.12 ms/mG (14.18% higher on average) (95% CI −40.48 to −4.16)).
Conclusions: Office workstation type was related to enhanced physical activity and reduced physiological and perceived stress. This research highlights how office design, driven by office workstation type, could be a health-promoting factor.

Source: Lindberg, C. M., Srinivasan, K., Gilligan, B., Razjouyan, J., Lee, H., Najafi, B., ... et Heerwagen, J. H. (2018). Occup Environ Med.

Job strain, long work hours, and suicidal ideation in US workers

A longitudinal study
Purpose: To investigate whether chronic psychosocial work stressors (low job control, high job demands, job strain, low supervisor and coworker support, job insecurity, and long work hours) are longitudinally associated with suicidal ideation in a working population.
Methods: Five-hundred seventy-eight workers (aged 34–69) were chosen for this analysis from those who participated in both project 1 (2004–2006 at baseline) and project 4 (2004–2009 at follow-up) of the Midlife Development in the United States II study. The median time interval between the two projects was 26 months (range 2–62 months).
Results: About 11% of the workers reported suicidal ideation at follow-up, while 3% of them reported moderate/severe suicidal ideation at follow-up. After controlling for age, marital status, race, family history of suicide, and suicidal ideation at baseline, low skill discretion and job strain (a combination of low job control and high job demands) were associated with total suicidal ideation. After excluding those with suicidal ideation at baseline from analysis and further controlling for other work stressors, job strain was strongly associated with moderate/severe suicidal ideation: ORs, 4.29 (1.30–14.15) for quartile-based job strain and 3.77 (1.21–11.70) for median-based job strain. Long work hours (> 40 h/week vs. ≤ 40 h/week) also increased the likelihood for moderate/severe suicidal ideation: OR 4.06 (1.08–15.19).
Conclusions: Job strain and long work hours were longitudinally associated with moderate/severe suicidal ideation. Increasing job control and ensuring optimal level of work demands, including 40 h or less of work per week may be an important strategy for the prevention of suicide in working populations.

Source: Choi, B. (2018). International archives of occupational and environmental health, 91(7), 865-875.

Gender differences in injuries attributed to workplace violence in Ontario 2002-2015

Objectives: The aim of the study is to compare trends in the incidence of injury resulting from workplace violence for men and women at the population level over the period 2002–2015 among working-age adults in Ontario, Canada.
Methods: Administrative records of injury resulting from workplace violence were obtained from two population-based data sources in Ontario: 21 228 lost-time workers' compensation claims (2002–2015) and 13 245 records of non-scheduled emergency department visits (2004–2014), where the main problem was attributed to a workplace violence event. Denominator counts were estimated from labour force surveys conducted by Statistics Canada, stratified by age and sex. Age-standardised rates were calculated using the direct method.
Results: Over the observation period, workplace violence incidence rates were in the range of 0.2–0.5 per 1000 full-time equivalent workers. Incidence rates of injury due to workplace violence among women increased over the observation period, with an average annual per cent change (APC) of 2.8% (95% CI 1.7% to 3.9%) in compensation claims and 2.7% (95% CI 1.0% to 4.4%) in emergency department visits. In contrast, there was no change in workplace violence injury rates among men in compensation claims (APC: −0.2% (95% CI −1.2% to 0.9%)) or in emergency department visits (APC: −0.5% (95% CI −1.6% to 0.6%)). A pronounced increase in workplace violence injury rates was observed in the education sector with an APC=7.0% (95% CI 5.6% to 8.5%) for women and an APC=4.1% (95% CI 0.9% to 7.4%) for men.
Conclusions: Differences in the risk of injury resulting from workplace violence for women relative to men in Ontario between 2002 and 2015 were verified by two data sources. The relative risk of violence for men and women also differed across industries.

Source: Chen, C., Smith, P. M. et Mustard, C. (2018). Occup Environ Med.

Has the Economic Crisis Worsened the Work-Related Stress and Mental Health of Temporary Workers in Spain?

This paper analyses the causal effects of temporary employment on work-related stress and mental health before (2006/07) and during the economic crisis (2011/12) and examines whether the economic recession worsened these two health outcomes. To control for selection bias, propensity scores (PS) are computed separately for men and women using microdata from two cross-sectional surveys, considering temporary (treatment group) versus permanent employment (control group). Next, we use difference-in-differences estimators stratifying by age, education level, and regional unemployment differences using PS as weights. Our results indicate that a male salaried worker with a temporary labour contract tends to have lower levels of work-related stress in the pre-crisis period, but not for women. The stratification analysis shows lower work-related stress levels among older male adults, workers with a high education level, and employees in regions with high unemployment rates. The economic crisis is responsible for increasing stress only among older temporary workers and male university graduates, without affecting women. We also see evidence of a positive link between temporary employment and poor mental health in both periods, although only for men. We neither find significant impacts for our sample of men or women, nor for most of our population subgroups with the exception of male workers with a university degree.

Source: https://www.iza.org/publications/dp/11701/has-the-economic-crisis-worsened-the-work-related-stress-and-mental-health-of-temporary-workers-in-spain

Determinants of Workplace Injuries and Violence Among Newly Licensed RNs

Workplace injuries, such as musculoskeletal injuries, needlestick injuries, and emotional and physical violence, remain an issue in U.S. hospitals. To develop meaningful safety programs, it is important to identify workplace factors that contribute to injuries. This study explored factors that affect injuries in a sample of newly licensed registered nurses (NLRNs) in Florida. Regressions were run on models in which the dependent variable was the degree to which the respondent had experienced needlesticks, work-related musculoskeletal injuries, cuts or lacerations, contusions, verbal violence, physical violence, and other occupational injuries. A higher probability of these injuries was associated with greater length of employment, working evening or night shifts, working overtime, and reporting job difficulties and pressures. A lower probability was associated with working in a teaching hospital and working more hours. Study findings suggest that work environment issues must be addressed for safety programs to be effective.

Source: Unruh, L. et Asi, Y. (2018). Workplace health & safety.

Do Working Hours Affect Health? Evidence from Statutory Workweek Regulations in Germany

This study estimates the causal effect of working hours on health. We deal with the endogeneity of working hours through instrumental variables techniques. In particular, we exploit exogenous variation in working hours from statutory workweek regulations in the German public sector as an instrumental variable. Using panel data, we run two-stage least squares regressions controlling for individual-specific unobserved heterogeneity. We find adverse consequences of increasing working hours on subjective and several objective health measures. The effects are mainly driven by women and parents of minor children who generally face heavier constraints in organizing their workweek.

Source: https://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.584191.de

Organizational Determinants of Workplace Violence Against Hospital Workers

Objective: To identify organizational factors contributing to workplace violence in hospitals.
Methods: A questionnaire survey was conducted in 2013 among employees in a Midwestern hospital system (n = 446 respondents). Questions concerned employees' experiences of violence at work in the previous year and perceptions of the organizational safety climate. Logistic regressions examined staff interaction and safety climate factors associated with verbal and physical violence, respectively.
Results: Interpersonal conflict was a risk factor for verbal violence (OR 1.49, 95% CI 1.04 to 2.12, P < 0.05) and low work efficiency was a risk factor for physical violence (OR .98, 0.97 to 0.99). A poor violence prevention climate was a risk factor for verbal (OR 0.48, 0.36 to 0.65, P < .001) and physical (OR 0.60, 0.45 to 0.82, P < .05) violence.
Conclusions: Interventions should aim at improving coworker relationships, work efficiency, and management promotion of the hospital violence prevention climate.

Source: Arnetz, J., Hamblin, L. E., Sudan, S. et Arnetz, B. (2018). Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 60(8), 693.

De-escalation techniques for managing non-psychosis induced aggression in adults

Background: Aggression occurs frequently within health and social care settings. It can result in injury to patients and staff and can adversely affect staff performance and well-being. De-escalation is a widely used and recommended intervention for managing aggression, but the efficacy of the intervention as a whole and the specific techniques that comprise it are unclear.
Objectives: To assess the effects of de-escalation techniques for managing non-psychosis-induced aggression in adults in care settings, in both staff and service users.

Source: Spencer, S., Johnson, P. et Smith, I. C. (2018). Cochrane database of systematic reviews, (7).

Association between demand–control model components and blood pressure in the ELSA-Brasil study

Exploring heterogeneity using quantile regression analyses
This study from Brazil provides new knowledge about the association between job strain and blood pressure (BP). The innovative analytical strategy, which combined independent assessment of the demand-control model components with gamma and quantile regression analyses, showed that BP associates differently with skill discretion and decision authority and that these associations are heterogeneous over the BP distribution and by use of antihypertensives.

Source: Juvanhol, L. L., Melo, E. C. P., Chor, D., Fonseca, M. J. M., Rotenberg, L., Bastos, L. S., ... et Griep, R. H. (2018). Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health.

Effectiveness of a digital platform-based implementation strategy to prevent work stress in a healthcare organization

A 12-month follow-up controlled trial
A digital platform-based implementation strategy showed potential for preventing stress among healthcare workers. The experimental group showed a slight decline in stress, and the control group showed an increase in stress during follow-up. No differences were found for determinants of work stress and level of implementation.

Source: Havermans, B. M., Boot, C. R., Brouwers, E. P., Houtman, I. L., Heerkens, Y. F., Zijlstra-Vlasveld, M. C., ... et van der Beek, A. J. (2018). Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health.

The workaholism Battery - WorkBat

Ce document appartient à une série publiée régulièrement dans la revue. Elle analyse les questionnaires utilisés dans les démarches de diagnostic et de prévention du stress et des risques psychosociaux au travail. L'article, par les mêmes auteurs, " Les questionnaires dans la démarche de prévention du stress au travail " (TC 134, Doc Méd Trav. 2011 ; 125 : 23-35), présente cette série et propose au préventeur une aide pour choisir l'outil d'évaluation le mieux adapté.

Source: Langevin, V., Boini, S. (2018). Références en santé au travail (154).

The emerging issues for management of occupational road risk in a changing economy

A survey of gig economy drivers, riders and their managers
The nature of work is changing with the growth of digital platforms accessible via smartphones giving rise to new independent ways of working. The gig or sharing economy describes this new trend in work. The gig economy involves people who do not get paid a salary but get paid per gig or a ‘piece rate' whereby service providers are linked to service users via an app. Drivers and riders who earn money in this way are often referred as lifestyle workers or flex couriers or workers because they can choose when they work to fit in with other commitments. These workers are currently regarded as self-employed and are not covered by employment law. They have very few rights at work which are limited to protection for health and safety purposes and some protection against discrimination. They are responsible for managing their work in a way that does not create health and safety risks for themselves or others.
Given that many of those in the gig economy are independent workers who provide transport based services - driving or riding- it seems critical to understand and address the many health and safety issues around such employment. The aim of this study is to explore the experience of risk and risk management amongst drivers and riders and their managers and to understand how safety is taken into account in driving or riding for work for those workers engaged in the gig economy.

Source: https://www.cege.ucl.ac.uk/news-events/Documents/a-survey-of-gig-economy-drivers-riders-and-their-managers.pdf

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