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WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation is an interdisciplinary, international journal which publishes high quality peer-reviewed manuscripts covering the entire scope of the occupation of work. The journal's subtitle has been deliberately laid out: The first goal is the prevention of illness, injury, and disability. When this goal is not achievable, the attention focuses on assessment to design client-centered intervention, rehabilitation, treatment, or controls that use scientific evidence to support best practice.
WORK occasionally publishes thematic issues, but in general, issues cover a wide range of topics such as ergonomic considerations with children, youth and students, the challenges facing an aging workforce, workplace violence, injury management, performing artists, ergonomic product evaluations, and the awareness of the political, cultural, and environmental determinants of health related to work.
Dr. Karen Jacobs, the founding editor, and her editorial board especially encourage the publication of research studies, clinical practice, case study reports, as well as personal narratives and critical reflections of lived work experiences (autoethnographic/autobiographic scholarship),
Sounding Board commentaries and
Speaking of Research articles which provide the foundation for better understanding research to facilitate knowledge dissemination.
Narrative Reflections on Occupational Transitions, a new column, is for persons who have successfully transitioned into, between, or out of occupations to tell their stories in a narrative form. With an internationally renowned editorial board,
WORK maintains high standards in the evaluation and publication of manuscripts. All manuscripts are reviewed expeditiously and published in a timely manner.
WORK prides itself on being an author-friendly journal.
WORK celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015.
*WORK is affiliated with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)* *WORK is endorsed by the International Ergonomics Association (IEA)* *WORK gives out the yearly Cheryl Bennett Best Paper Award*
Abstract: Metropolitan bus drivers daily face work in a stressful and draining work environment, exposing them to the serious risk of driver fatigue. However, there has been a dearth of information exploring the unique antecedents and effects of such fatigue. To date, much of the research into metropolitan bus drivers has been under the umbrella of large heavy vehicle driving studies, which include a disproportionally large population of long-haul drivers, who are likely to face a significantly…different set of fatigue factors . The present study aimed to investigate which work and environmental factors may cause fatigue in metropolitan bus drivers by seeking drivers' own perspectives on the issues. To this end, focus groups were held at five bus depots in Sydney and Newcastle, with an effort made to include a stratified sample of drivers at each. Each of the groups were invited to nominate what factors they felt were most salient, with a number of common factors emerging across the depots. Key themes identified were: support from management; ticketing and related issues; interaction with passengers; cabin ergonomics; tight route schedules; turn-around and shift irregularity; extended shift cycles; interactions with other road users; and extended commute times.
Keywords: Bus drivers, fatigue, stress, scheduling, commute times
Abstract: This paper details an exploratory investigation of psychological factors that may influence the adoption/rejection of postural training devices from the perspectives of two potential user groups (clients and practitioners). The aim was to elicit perceived advantages and disadvantages from potential users and to apply psychological principles to examine, and potentially counter perceived barriers to use. A small sample (50) of general public members, physiotherapists and occupational therapists were surveyed using open-ended questions…designed to elicit information about current practices and attitudinal beliefs about postural training. Results suggested that members of the public fall into two categories according to whether they would use the device for prevention or treatment. This group identified issues such as lack of need, time consuming, and motivations to comply. Practitioners highlighted that lack of research, lack of ability to trial a product, and issues of cost and non-compliance by consumers and were seen as prohibitory to use. A number of theoretical principles of behaviour change were then related to the findings including: the stages of change model, behavioural learning, message framing, persuasion, attitude-behaviour relationships, motivations and impression management. Client cost objections to treatments and the need to integrate research findings into practice are also discussed.
Abstract: Successful management of stress at the workplace has become a topic of great interest over the last decade. Motivated by escalating costs, associated workplace injuries and the increasing demands placed on workers in the work context, the need to effectively manage stress within acceptable timeframes and at minimal cost is paramount. According to contemporary models of rehabilitation, the maintenance of a strong and trusting 'bond' between the injured worker and the employer is essential in promoting…an efficacious outcome for both parties. In an attempt to provide a greater understanding of the importance of this bond, and to highlight the factors that can impact on the experience of stress at work, a process model is discussed. This model enables the trajectory of stress injuries to be tracked and its implications explored more fully by employers.
Keywords: Work injury, stress, disability management, vocational rehabilitation
Abstract: The main aim of this research was to investigate the impact of stressors and supports present in both work and non-work domains on occupational health. Using a multi-dimensional survey (SWS-Survey of Occupational Health), the relationships between personal and environmental stress and support was determined for a sample of stress injury claimants (n = 60) and non-claimants (n = 570). A series of regression analyses found significant differences between claimants and non-claimants for…both stressors and supports. Poor mental health was best predicted by stress scales for claimants and non-claimants. However, for non-claimants, work support was found to be a significant determinant of outcome. Good mental health was best predicted by support scales for non-claimants, but only by personal support for claimants. Overall, these findings highlighted the influential role of work and personal supports in mitigating the negative impact of stress as well as promoting well-being in the workplace. Specifically, employers must recognise the impact of worker's subjective appraisal of their circumstances and focus on facilitating occupational well-being among their employees.
Keywords: Stress, presenteeism, psychological injury, social support
Abstract: In recent years researchers have tried to identify important factors that can explain re-integration to work for workers on long-term sick leave. The results indicate that multiple factors can explain whether or not people return to work. The aim of the study was to investigate long-term sick workers' experience of professional support for re-integration to work. Participants were drawn from the database of The National Social Insurance Board in Norway. A random sample was selected of…persons with mental illness or musculoskeletal disorders (either p- or l-diagnosis/symptoms related to International Classification in Primary Care), who were in receipt of Rehabilitation allowance. The questionnaire was sent to 1 493 persons of whom 740 responded. The most significant finding is that work training/mastering actions were identified by the majority of the rehabilitation benefit recipients as being of slight or moderate use. This highlights the importance of work training/mastering actions being relevant in proportion to the specific situation the individual is presently within. Delays in waiting for treatment attributed to approximately half of the rehabilitation benefit recipient's problems returning to work. This study also highlights that rehabilitation benefit recipients experience loss of co-ordinated measures from those who are supposed to contribute to simplifying their return to work.
Keywords: Long-term sickness, rehabilitation allowance, musculoskeletal disorders, mental sickness, back to work, professional support, survey, Norway
Abstract: The main purpose of this study is to develop and test a generic model for workplace health management in organizations. Four private and four public organizations in northern Sweden were selected for the study. A model for health control was developed on the basis of a literature review and dialogues with the stakeholders in the workplaces. The model was then implemented at the workplaces during a two-year period. Interviews with leaders and co-workers were conducted on…two occasions and were analyzed using content analysis and the constant comparison method. By using a grounded theory approach, three main categories were found: health closure and other health and working environment indicators, monetary accounting of health related indicators and changes in leadership behaviour and organizational practices. An important result was that the model influenced leadership values more than leadership and organizational methodologies. From the results a model for workplace health management is proposed, incorporating the planning, control, and improvement structures. The purpose of the model is to take health aspects into consideration when deciding organizational structure (work demands, control and social support). The model controls health by using health-related indicators with high frequency measuring whereas workplace health promotion is done in a structured way with a reflective model.
Keywords: Health, health closures, workplace health management, workplace health promotion, sickness absence, human resource accounting, quality control, organizational change, learning organization
Abstract: Workers who experience fire in the workplace are faced with disruption to their work routine, as well as the emotional strain of the fire. In the broader occupational stress literature, researchers have suggested that social support will be most effective at reducing the negative effects of stressors on strain when the type of support matches the type of stressor being experienced (either instrumental or emotional). This study was a preliminary investigation into employee responses to less…routine stressors, such as workplace fires, and the role of different sources of social support in predicting coping effectiveness. This study also was a first attempt at considering the influence of the social context (in terms of group identification) on the effectiveness of social support as a predictor of coping effectiveness. Specifically, it was predicted that social support would be more effective when it came from multiple sources within the organization, that it would be especially effective when provided from a group that workers identified more strongly with, and that simply feeling part of a group would improve adjustment. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected from 33 employees who had recently experienced a significant fire in their workplace. Results suggested that the type of stressors experienced and the type of support were mismatched, but despite this, coping effectiveness was generally moderate to high. There was mixed support for predictions about the effects of social support–no moderating effect of group identification on coping effectiveness was observed for measures of workplace support, although it did moderate the effects of family support on this adjustment indicator.
Abstract: Aim: The aim of this study is to explore the implementation of an organisational level intervention, focussing on Supportive Leadership (SL), in an Australian police organisation from the perspective of supervisors and managers. Design: The impact of the intervention was explored using a qualitative methodology using semi-structured telephone interviews with 44 participants who had attended the Supportive Leadership Workshop, designed to improve awareness of good management practices. Data was subjected to thematic…analysis using a social constructivist theoretical orientation. Findings: Findings showed that SL as a concept was generally accepted by a majority of participants and that they had integrated a number of SL strategies into their work practices. The participants also identified the importance of senior personnel role-modelling SL and the negative impact of non-role modelling. Research limitations and implications: The major limitation of the study was the non-random sample of voluntary participants. However, the nature of conducting applied studies in police organisations is inherently difficult due to confidentiality and their paramilitary nature. This study highlights the need for future studies in police leadership and occupational stress that directly explore issues from the perspective of the supervisors and managers. Practical implications: Interventions such as SL need support and role modelling from senior management to enhance their credibility. Original value: This paper reports on an applied intervention that received major support and funding within a police organisation. It is of value to other organizations considering similar interventions because it highlights issues that could be addressed to further enhance the program.
Abstract: Few studies have examined the impact of safety climate upon occupational safety behavior or intentions, focusing instead on the event of incidents and injuries. Similarly, while safety climate has been studied in numerous industrial settings, limited attention has been given to the motor vehicle fleet context. This study conceptualized safety climate and work-related driver safety within a model informed by Bandura's Reciprocal Determinism and the Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior. The relative impact of…safety climate upon four self-reported measures of work-related driver safety was investigated including: 1) current work-related driver behavior, 2) future work-related driving intentions, and 3) past crash involvement while driving for work. There was a moderate relationship between safety climate perceptions and the safety of current driver behavior at work (r = 0.40). The relationship with the safety of future driving intentions was also moderate (r = 0.29). Multiple regression analyses revealed that safety climate was a significant predictor of current driver behavior (β = 0.30) and future driving intentions (β = 0.18) at work. However, attitude was the stronger predictor of future driving intentions (β = 0.28). Logistic regression analyses showed that neither fleet safety climate, nor the other factors included, predicted work-related crash involvement or traffic offences. Possible explanations for these results are outlined. Implications of the findings for occupational safety management, particularly in the fleet setting, are also discussed.
Keywords: Safety climate, safety culture, work-related driving, fleet safety, theory of planned behavior, organizational factors