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Special Issue "Using Total Worker Health to Advance Worker Health and Safety"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Occupational Safety and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Diane Rohlman

Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, 145 N. Riverside Drive, 100 CPHB, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: neurotoxic effects and neurological disorders in humans exposed to chemical and other agents; impaired populations exposed to workplace hazards; adverse effects of pesticide exposure on neurobehavioral performance
Guest Editor
Dr. Kevin M. Kelly

Associate Research Scientist, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health; Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology; University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biological and biomedical anthropology; craniofacial morphology; bone biology; population health; mixed methods; data analysis; contemporary US

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is now recognized that aspects of the workplace (scheduling, shift work, physically-demanding work, chemical exposures), not only increase the risk of injury and illness, but also impact health behaviours (smoking, physical activity) and health outcomes (sleep disorders and fatigue, obesity, musculoskeletal disorders). In turn, ill health and chronic conditions can affect performance at work, increasing risk for injury, absenteeism, and reduced productivity. In the past few decades, programs that expand the traditional focus of occupational safety and health to consider non-traditional work-related sources of health and well-being have been shown to be more effective than programs that address these issues separately. This Total Worker Health approach has been recognized by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health as a method for protecting the safety and health of workers, while also advancing the overall well-being of these workers by addressing the conditions of work. This Special Issue is devoted to research “Advancing Worker Health and Safety” in the sense of Total Worker Health®. We welcome the submission of manuscripts presenting original basic and/or applied research relevant to program, policies or practices advancing holistic approaches to worker well-being. Themes may include, but are not limited to, the organization and design of the healthy physical and social work environments, innovative strategies for improving worker well-being, novel methods for exposing underlying occupational causes of chronic disease. The keywords listed below, as well as the issues identified in the text above, suggest some of the many relevant topics.

Dr. Diane Rohlman
Dr. Kevin M. Kelly
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Work design
  • Workforce demographics
  • Work organization
  • Work stress
  • Globalization
  • Safety and stress
  • Precarious work
  • Work-life continuum
  • Human factors

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle From Research-to-Practice: An Adaptation and Dissemination of the COMPASS Program for Home Care Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2777; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122777
Received: 18 October 2018 / Revised: 22 November 2018 / Accepted: 24 November 2018 / Published: 7 December 2018
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Abstract
The COMmunity of Practice And Safety Support (COMPASS) program was developed to prevent injuries and advance the health and well-being of home care workers. The program integrates elements of peer-led social support groups with scripted team-based programs to help workers learn together, solve
[...] Read more.
The COMmunity of Practice And Safety Support (COMPASS) program was developed to prevent injuries and advance the health and well-being of home care workers. The program integrates elements of peer-led social support groups with scripted team-based programs to help workers learn together, solve problems, set goals, make changes, and enrich their supportive professional network. After a successful pilot study and randomized controlled trial, COMPASS was adapted for the Oregon Home Care Commission’s training system for statewide dissemination. The adapted program included fewer total meetings (7 versus 13), an accelerated meeting schedule (every two weeks versus monthly), and a range of other adjustments. The revised approach was piloted with five groups of workers (total n = 42) and evaluated with pre- and post-program outcome measures. After further adjustments and planning, the statewide rollout is now in progress. In the adaptation pilot several psychosocial, safety, and health outcomes changed by a similar magnitude relative to the prior randomized controlled trial. Preliminary training evaluation data (n = 265) show high mean ratings indicating that workers like the program, find the content useful, and intend to make changes after meetings. Facilitating factors and lessons learned from the project may inform future similar efforts to translate research into practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Total Worker Health to Advance Worker Health and Safety)
Open AccessArticle Larger Workplaces, People-Oriented Culture, and Specific Industry Sectors Are Associated with Co-Occurring Health Protection and Wellness Activities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2739; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122739
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 22 November 2018 / Accepted: 28 November 2018 / Published: 4 December 2018
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Abstract
Employers are increasingly interested in offering workplace wellness programs in addition to occupational health and safety (OHS) activities to promote worker health, wellbeing, and productivity. Yet, there is a dearth of research on workplace factors that enable the implementation of OHS and wellness
[...] Read more.
Employers are increasingly interested in offering workplace wellness programs in addition to occupational health and safety (OHS) activities to promote worker health, wellbeing, and productivity. Yet, there is a dearth of research on workplace factors that enable the implementation of OHS and wellness to inform the future integration of these activities in Canadian workplaces. This study explored workplace demographic factors associated with the co-implementation of OHS and wellness activities in a heterogenous sample of Canadian workplaces. Using a cross-sectional survey of 1285 workplaces from 2011 to 2014, latent profiles of co-occurrent OHS and wellness activities were identified, and multinomial logistic regression was used to assess associations between workplace demographic factors and the profiles. Most workplaces (84%) demonstrated little co-occurrence of OHS and wellness activities. Highest co-occurrence was associated with large workplaces (odds ratio (OR) = 3.22, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.15–5.89), in the electrical and utilities sector (OR = 5.57, 95% CI = 2.24–8.35), and a high people-oriented culture (OR = 4.70, 95% CI = 1.59–5.26). Promoting integrated OHS and wellness approaches in medium to large workplaces, in select industries, and emphasizing a people-oriented culture were found to be important factors for implementing OHS and wellness in Canadian organizations. Informed by these findings, future studies should understand the mechanisms to facilitate the integration of OHS and wellness in workplaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Total Worker Health to Advance Worker Health and Safety)
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Open AccessArticle New Burnout Evaluation Model Based on the Brief Burnout Questionnaire: Psychometric Properties for Nursing
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2718; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122718
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 28 November 2018 / Accepted: 30 November 2018 / Published: 2 December 2018
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Abstract
Health care personnel are considered one of the worker sectors most exposed to heavier workloads and work stress. One of the consequences associated with the exposure to chronic stress is the development of burnout syndrome. Given that evaluating this syndrome requires addressing the
[...] Read more.
Health care personnel are considered one of the worker sectors most exposed to heavier workloads and work stress. One of the consequences associated with the exposure to chronic stress is the development of burnout syndrome. Given that evaluating this syndrome requires addressing the context in which they are to be used, the purpose of this work was to analyze the psychometric properties and structure of the Burnout Brief Questionnaire (CBB), and to propose a more suitable version for its application to health professionals, and more specifically nurses. The final study sample was made up of 1236 working nursing professionals. An exploratory factorial analysis was carried out and a new model was proposed through a confirmatory factorial analysis. Thus, validation of the CBB questionnaire for nursing health care personnel showed an adequate discrimination of the items and a high internal consistency of the scale. With respect to the factorial analysis, four factors were extracted from the revised model. Specifically, these new factors, called job dissatisfaction, social climate, personal impact, and motivational abandonment, showed an adequate index of adjustment. Thus, the Brief Burnout Questionnaire Revised for nursing staff has favorable psychometric properties, and this model can be applied to all health care professionals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Total Worker Health to Advance Worker Health and Safety)
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Open AccessArticle Moral or Dirty Leadership: A Qualitative Study on How Juniors Are Managed in Dutch Consultancies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2506; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112506
Received: 4 October 2018 / Revised: 2 November 2018 / Accepted: 7 November 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
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Abstract
Professional service firms in Western Europe have a reputation for putting huge pressures on their junior employees, resulting in very long work hours, and as a consequence health risks. This study explores moral leadership as a possible response to the stigma of such
[...] Read more.
Professional service firms in Western Europe have a reputation for putting huge pressures on their junior employees, resulting in very long work hours, and as a consequence health risks. This study explores moral leadership as a possible response to the stigma of such dirty leadership. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 12 consultant managers and with each one of their juniors, and found that managers put several pressures on their juniors; these pressures bring high levels of stress, lowered wellbeing and burnout. Society considers such a pressuring leadership style morally dirty. To counteract the experience of being seen as morally dirty, we found that consultant managers were normalizing such criticisms as commonly assumed in dirty work literature. However, they also employed several moral leadership tactics to counteract the negative consequences criticized in society. However, in addition to the well-known individual-level tactics, consultant managers and their juniors also reported moral leadership support at the organizational level, like institutionalized performance talks after every project, trainings, specific criteria for hiring juniors, and policies to recognize and compliment high performance. Still, we cannot conclude these moral leadership approaches are moral by definition. They can be used in an instrumental way as well, to further push performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Total Worker Health to Advance Worker Health and Safety)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of a Job Demand-Control-Social Support Model on Accounting Professionals’ Health Perception
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2437; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112437
Received: 23 September 2018 / Revised: 23 October 2018 / Accepted: 27 October 2018 / Published: 1 November 2018
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Abstract
The Job Demand-Control and Job Demand-Control-Support (JDCS) models constitute the theoretical approaches used to analyze the relationship between the characteristics of labor and occupational health. Few studies have investigated the main effects and multiplicative model in relation to the perceived occupational health of
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The Job Demand-Control and Job Demand-Control-Support (JDCS) models constitute the theoretical approaches used to analyze the relationship between the characteristics of labor and occupational health. Few studies have investigated the main effects and multiplicative model in relation to the perceived occupational health of professional accountants. Accountants are subject to various types of pressure in performing their work; this pressure influences their health and, ultimately, their ability to perform a job well. The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of job demands on the occupational health of 739 accountants, as well as the role of the moderator that internal resources (locus of control) and external resources (social support) have in occupational health. The proposed hypotheses are tested by applying different models of neural networks using the algorithm of the Extreme Learning Machine. The results confirm the relationship between certain stress factors that affect the health of the accountants, as well as the direct effect that the recognition of superiors in occupational health has. Additionally, the results highlight the moderating effect of professional development and the support of superiors on the job’s demands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Total Worker Health to Advance Worker Health and Safety)
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Open AccessArticle Total Worker Health: A Small Business Leader Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2416; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112416
Received: 28 September 2018 / Revised: 21 October 2018 / Accepted: 28 October 2018 / Published: 31 October 2018
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Abstract
Total Worker Health® (TWH) frameworks call for attention to organizational leadership in the implementation and effectiveness of TWH approaches. It is especially important to study this within in the small business environment where employees face significant health, safety, and well-being concerns and
[...] Read more.
Total Worker Health® (TWH) frameworks call for attention to organizational leadership in the implementation and effectiveness of TWH approaches. It is especially important to study this within in the small business environment where employees face significant health, safety, and well-being concerns and employers face barriers to addressing these concerns. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of how small business leaders perceive employee health, safety, and well-being in the context of their own actions. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 18 small business senior leaders and used a qualitative coding approach to analyze the transcripts to determine the frequency with which leaders discussed each code. When we asked leaders about their leadership practices for health, safety, and well-being, leaders reflected upon their business (65%), themselves (28%), and their employees (7%). Leaders rarely discussed the ways in which they integrate health, safety, and well-being. The interviews demonstrate that small business leaders care about the health of their employees, but because of the perceived value to their business, not to employees or themselves. Thus, they may lack the knowledge and skills to be successful TWH leaders. The present study supports a need for continued small business TWH leadership research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Total Worker Health to Advance Worker Health and Safety)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial of a Total Worker Health® Intervention on Commercial Construction Sites
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2354; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112354
Received: 7 October 2018 / Revised: 20 October 2018 / Accepted: 23 October 2018 / Published: 25 October 2018
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Abstract
This study evaluated the efficacy of an integrated Total Worker Health® program, “All the Right Moves”, designed to target the conditions of work and workers’ health behaviors through an ergonomics program combined with a worksite-based health promotion Health Week intervention. A matched-pair
[...] Read more.
This study evaluated the efficacy of an integrated Total Worker Health® program, “All the Right Moves”, designed to target the conditions of work and workers’ health behaviors through an ergonomics program combined with a worksite-based health promotion Health Week intervention. A matched-pair cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted on ten worksites (five intervention (n = 324); five control sites (n = 283)). Worker surveys were collected at all sites pre- and post- exposure at one- and six-months. Linear and logistic regression models evaluated the effect of the intervention on pain and injury, dietary and physical activity behaviors, smoking, ergonomic practices, and work limitations. Worker focus groups and manager interviews supplemented the evaluation. After controlling for matched intervention and control pairs as well as covariates, at one-month following the ergonomics program we observed a significant improvement in ergonomic practices (B = 0.20, p = 0.002), and a reduction in incidences of pain and injury (OR = 0.58, p = 0.012) in the intervention group. At six months, we observed differences in favor of the intervention group for a reduction in physically demanding work (B = −0.25, p = 0.008), increased recreational physical activity (B = 35.2, p = 0.026) and higher consumption of fruits and vegetables (B = 0.87, p = 0.008). Process evaluation revealed barriers to intervention implementation fidelity and uptake, including a fissured multiemployer worksite, the itinerant nature of workers, competing production pressures, management support, and inclement weather. The All the Right Moves program had a positive impact at the individual level on the worksites with the program. For the longer term, the multi-organizational structure in the construction work environment needs to be considered to facilitate more upstream, long-term changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Total Worker Health to Advance Worker Health and Safety)
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Open AccessArticle It Doesn’t End There: Workplace Bullying, Work-to-Family Conflict, and Employee Well-Being in Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1548; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071548
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 5 July 2018 / Accepted: 20 July 2018 / Published: 22 July 2018
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Abstract
Workplace bullying entails negative consequences on workers’ life. Yet, there is lack of research on workplace bullying in an Asian context. Moreover, less is known about the potential mechanisms linking workplace bullying and employee well-being. This study examined the associations between workplace bullying
[...] Read more.
Workplace bullying entails negative consequences on workers’ life. Yet, there is lack of research on workplace bullying in an Asian context. Moreover, less is known about the potential mechanisms linking workplace bullying and employee well-being. This study examined the associations between workplace bullying and Korean employees’ well-being (quality of life, occupational health) and whether the associations were mediated by work-to-family conflict. Cross-sectional data came from 307 workers in South Korea who were employed in healthcare, education, and banking industries. Analyses adjusted for industry, age, gender, education, marital status, and work hours. Employees who had more exposure to workplace bullying reported lower levels of quality of life and occupational health. These associations were mediated by work-to-family conflict, such that more exposure to workplace bullying was associated with greater work-to-family conflict, which, in turn, was associated with lower levels of quality of life and occupational health. These mediating pathways were consistent across the three industries. Korean employees who experience more workplace bullying may bring unfinished work stress to the home (thus greater work-to-family conflict), which impairs their well-being. Future research may need to consider the role of work-to-family conflict when targeting to reduce the negative consequences of workplace bullying. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Total Worker Health to Advance Worker Health and Safety)
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