Next Page content Accommodating the needs of persons with disabilities is one of the most common human rights issues in the workplace. While the principles and concepts described above also apply here, this section highlights specific issues that employers may face when responding to requests for accommodation made by employees with disabilities.
The report was prepared under the auspices of the National Advisory Environmental Health Committee to provide direction to Federal programmes in occupational health. Technological change and the increasing psychological demands of the workplace were listed as contributing factors.
Thirty years later, this report has proven remarkably prophetic.
Job stress has become a leading source of worker disability in North America and Europe. These developments are understandable considering the demands of modern work. Similarly, a more recent study of the Dutch working population found that one-half of the sample reported a high work pace, three-fourths of the sample reported poor possibilities of promotion, and one-third reported a poor fit between their education and their jobs Houtman and Kompier On the American side, data on the prevalence of job stress risk factors in the workplace are less available.
The impact of this problem in terms of lost productivity, disease and reduced quality of life is undoubtedly formidable, although difficult to estimate reliably.
However, recent analyses of data from over 28, workers by the Saint Paul Fire and Marine Insurance company are of interest and relevance. This study found that time pressure and other emotional and personal problems at work were more strongly associated with reported health problems than any other personal life stressor; more so than even financial or family problems, or death of a loved one St.
Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company Looking to the future, rapid changes in the fabric of work and the workforce pose unknown, and possibly increased, risks of job stress.
For example, in many countries the workforce is rapidly ageing at a time when job security is decreasing. In the United States, corporate downsizing continues almost unabated into the last half of the decade at a rate of over 30, jobs lost per month Roy In the above-cited study by Galinsky, Bond and Friedman nearly one-fifth of the workers thought it likely they would lose their jobs in the forthcoming year.
The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of current knowledge on conditions which lead to stress at work and associated health and safety problems. These conditions, which are commonly referred to as psychosocial factors, include aspects of the job and work environment such as organizational climate or culture, work roles, interpersonal relationships at work, and the design and content of tasks e.
The concept of psychosocial factors extends also to the extra-organizational environment e. Frequently, the expressions work organization or organizational factors are used interchangeably with psychosocial factors in reference to working conditions which may lead to stress. This section of the Encyclopaedia begins with descriptions of several models of job stress which are of current scientific interest, including the job demands-job control model, the person- environment P-E fit model, and other theoretical approaches to stress at work.
Like all contemporary notions of job stress, these models have a common theme: According to this view, job stress and the potential for ill health develop when job demands are at variance with the needs, expectations or capacities of the worker. This core feature is implicit in figure In this model, work-related psychosocial factors termed stressors result in psychological, behavioural and physical reactions which may ultimately influence health.
However, as illustrated in figure But putting aside this conceptual similarity, there are also non-trivial theoretical differences among these models. For example, unlike the NIOSH and P-E fit models of job stress, which acknowledge a host of potential psychosocial risk factors in the workplace, the job demands-job control model focuses most intensely on a more limited range of psychosocial dimensions pertaining to psychological workload and opportunity for workers to exercise control termed decision latitude over aspects of their jobs.
Further, both the demand-control and the NIOSH models can be distinguished from the P-E fit models in terms of the focus placed on the individual. This focus on perceptions provides a bridge between P-E fit theory and another variant of stress theory attributed to Lazarusin which individual differences in appraisal of psychosocial stressors and in coping strategies become critically important in determining stress outcomes.
In contrast, while not denying the importance of individual differences, the NIOSH stress model gives primacy to environmental factors in determining stress outcomes as suggested by the geometry of the model illustrated in figure In essence, the model suggests that most stressors will be threatening to most of the people most of the time, regardless of circumstances.
A similar emphasis can be seen in other models of stress and job stress e. The NIOSH model, for example, argues for primary prevention of job stress via attention first to psychosocial stressors in the workplace and, in this regard, is consistent with a public health model of prevention.
Although a public health approach recognizes the importance of host factors or resistance in the aetiology of disease, the first line of defence in this approach is to eradicate or reduce exposure to environmental pathogens.
Following the discussions of job stress models are short articles containing summaries of current knowledge on workplace psychosocial stressors and on stress moderators. These subsections address conditions which have received wide attention in the literature as stressors and stress moderators, as well as topics of emerging interest such as organizational climate and career stage.
Prepared by leading authorities in the field, each summary provides a definition and brief overview of relevant literature on the topic.However the influence of environmental and sociological factors must be considered with relevance.
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