11. OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY, OHP

 

Occupational Health Psychology, OHP

            Concerned with employee health, safety, and well-being

            Interdisciplinary field

                        I/O psychology

                        Clinical psychology

                        Ergonomics

                        Public health

            Is both a scientific and applied field

 

New emerging field of study

 

Development

American Psychological Association (APA)

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

(NIOSH)

            Founding of Journal of Occupational Health Psychology

            Awarding training grants to universities


PHYSICAL CONDITIONS

 

Infectious disease

AIDS

Hepatitis B

 

Loud noise

 

Physical assaults

Fatal

Cab drivers

Convenience store clerks

            Nonfatal

Direct care medical personnel

Nurses

           

Repetitive actions

 

Temperature extremes

 

Toxic substances


WORK SCHEDULES

 

Night shifts

Long breaks of several days helpful, Barton 1995

 

Long shifts

            Can cause fatigue and health problems

 

Long work weeks

48 hours per week magic number

Leads to heart disease if nonvoluntary

(Sparks & Cooper, 1997, Journal of Occupational and

Organizational Psychology)

European Council rule on hours

11 hours off every 24

48 total per week

 

Flexible schedules

Helps with absence


OCCUPATIONAL STRESS

 

Job stressors

Role ambiguity

Role conflict

Workload

Lack of control

Responsibility

Interpersonal conflict

Job specific

Patient death for nurses

Physical danger for firefighters

 

Job strains

Emotional—anxiety, anger

Behavioral—counterproductive, smoking

Physical—cortisol, heart disease

Psychological—emotional, job dissatisfaction

 

Demand/Control Model

            Control buffers negative effects of stressors

            Widely believed but research support inconclusive


ACCIDENTS

 

Leading cause of death in US for under 38 years old

1999 5.7 million workplace injuries in the U.S.

Estimated cost of work accidents: $131.2 billion in 2000, US

Relatively few fatalities at work compared to nonwork

Motor vehicle most common

Agriculture and mining most dangerous in US

Manufacturing safest in US, due to regulation by OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

 

Causes

Employee stress

Employee personality

Inadequate safety training

Poor safety climate

 

Prevention

Human factors approach: design of equipment

Goal setting (pizza deliverers, Ludwig & Geller, 1997,

Journal of Applied Psychology)

Incentive systems for safe behavior

Management support for safe behavior

Training in safe procedures

 

Copyright Paul E. Spector, All rights reserved, July 22, 2002.