Special Issue "Emerging Psychosocial Issues in Occupational Disease and Occupational Health"

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 January 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Silvia Pignata
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
STEM Unit, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
Interests: work stress; academic stress; university interventions; psychosocial safety; workplace digitalization; digital communication; organizational stress and well-being interventions; aviation psychology; human factors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Across the globe in 2020, the significant public health and economic impacts of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been associated with increasing levels of stress and reduced physical and mental well-being. Within this challenging context and the growing realization of the importance of people’s well-being both at work and at home, it is timely to investigate new and emerging psychosocial risks within organizations to offset their adverse effects on workers’ health and on organizational performance (Leiter et al., 2014). Within recent years, a growing body of longitudinal, multi-level and meta-analytic research has highlighted the need for comprehensive and evaluative studies examining the risks to psychosocial health and safety at the organizational and sector levels. This Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) invites research papers, reviews, case reports, commentaries and conference papers to help understand the following issues: challenges of globalization and increased competition; impact of Industry 4.0 and technological change; gig economy and temporary online work platforms; increase in workplace digitalization; growth of remote work; role of surveillance; growth of digital communication; intensification of work; increase of service work and associated emotional demands (bullying, violence); intrusion of work into non-work time; conflict between family and work; impact of worker burnout, recovery or engagement; role of organizational culture or cross-cultural impacts; importance of psychosocial safety climate; and the need to design health and well-being promotion policies to address the wide-ranging and diverse occupational changes that are likely to increase in the coming years. Papers addressing these and related topics are invited for this Special Issue, especially those with an applied focus on providing optimal organizational solutions.

Dr. Silvia Pignata
Guest Editor

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 semimonthly 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 2300 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

  • stress
  • well-being
  • psychosocial risks
  • globalization
  • workplace digitalization
  • remote work
  • surveillance
  • digital communication
  • intensification of work
  • non-work time
  • psychosocial safety
  • occupational changes

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Family-to-Work Interface and Workplace Injuries: The Mediating Roles of Burnout, Work Engagement, and Safety Violations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 11760; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182211760 - 09 Nov 2021
Viewed by 397
Abstract
Past research has primarily investigated the role of the negative side (family-to-work conflict; FWC) of the family-to-work interface in workplace safety outcomes and neglected the positive side (family-to-work enrichment; FWE). Moreover, the mechanism underlying the relation between the family-to-work interface and workplace safety [...] Read more.
Past research has primarily investigated the role of the negative side (family-to-work conflict; FWC) of the family-to-work interface in workplace safety outcomes and neglected the positive side (family-to-work enrichment; FWE). Moreover, the mechanism underlying the relation between the family-to-work interface and workplace safety has not been well studied. From the perspectives of the job demands-resources model as well as conservation of resources theory, this study endeavors to extend the current literature on workplace safety by evaluating the mediating roles of burnout, work engagement, and safety violations in the associations of FWC and FWE with workplace injuries. Two-wave longitudinal survey data were obtained from 233 Chinese employees in two high-risk industries (nursing and railways). The hypothesized longitudinal mediation model was analyzed with the structural equation modeling technique. It was revealed that the association of FWE with workplace injuries was mediated by work engagement and then safety violations. Burnout was found to mediate the association of FWC with workplace injuries. Safety violations were also found to mediate the association of FWC with workplace injuries. The present findings offer insights into the underlying mechanisms by which the family-to-work interface influences workplace injuries. Full article
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Article
The Power of Family Support: The Long-Term Effect of Pre-COVID-19 Family Support on Mid-COVID-19 Work Outcomes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10524; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910524 - 07 Oct 2021
Viewed by 502
Abstract
While COVID-19 has triggered a vast amount of research on the effect of the pandemic on employee outcomes, little information is known about how the family-to-work interface affects long-term work outcomes during the pandemic. Drawing on the work–home resources model, this study proposes [...] Read more.
While COVID-19 has triggered a vast amount of research on the effect of the pandemic on employee outcomes, little information is known about how the family-to-work interface affects long-term work outcomes during the pandemic. Drawing on the work–home resources model, this study proposes that family support provided before the onset of COVID-19 has a positive indirect effect on job performance and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) after the onset, by decreasing emotional exhaustion. To test this proposition, we collected two-wave data from 211 South Korean employees over a 17-month period. As predicted, after controlling for employees’ pre-COVID-19 emotional exhaustion, job performance, and OCB, pre-COVID-19 family support was found to exert a significant indirect effect on mid-COVID-19 job performance (b = 0.024, 95% CI = [0.003, 0.071], abcs = 0.027) and OCB (b = 0.031, 95% CI = [0.001, 0.084], abcs = 0.033), through mid-COVID-19 emotional exhaustion. This finding suggests that family support has a positive longitudinal effect on work outcomes for employees during the pandemic. Full article
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Article
Do Gender and Gender Role Orientation Make a Difference in the Link between Role Demands and Family Interference with Work for Taiwanese Workers?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9807; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189807 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 609
Abstract
Based on the gender role orientation perspective, this study extends the resource depletion mechanism that links role demands to family interference with work by testing the moderating effects of gender and gender role orientation (egalitarian vs. traditional) on the relationships. Analysis of the [...] Read more.
Based on the gender role orientation perspective, this study extends the resource depletion mechanism that links role demands to family interference with work by testing the moderating effects of gender and gender role orientation (egalitarian vs. traditional) on the relationships. Analysis of the data from 251 employees in Taiwan revealed two significant three-way interactive effects. Specifically, for men, the positive relationship between work demands and family-to-work conflict (FWC) was stronger for egalitarian than traditional individuals. For women, the positive relationship between family demands and FWC was stronger for egalitarian than traditional individuals. We also found a significant two-way interactive effect; that is, within the egalitarian group, the positive relationship between work demands and FWC was stronger for women than men. Our findings, thus, suggest both within-gender and between-gender variations in the links between work-to-family demands and conflict, jointly affected by the individual’s gender and gender role orientation. Contextualized within the cultural traditions of a Chinese society, we highlight the precarious position that egalitarian men and women (especially women) find for themselves in fulfilling work duties and family roles. The theoretical and managerial implications are also discussed. Full article
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Article
Impact of Safety Culture on Safety Performance; Mediating Role of Psychosocial Hazard: An Integrated Modelling Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8568; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168568 - 13 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 937
Abstract
We conceptualize that safety culture (SC) has a positive impact on employee’s safety performance by reducing their psychosocial hazards. A higher level of safety culture environment reduces psychosocial hazards by improving employee’s performance toward safety concerns. The purpose of this study was to [...] Read more.
We conceptualize that safety culture (SC) has a positive impact on employee’s safety performance by reducing their psychosocial hazards. A higher level of safety culture environment reduces psychosocial hazards by improving employee’s performance toward safety concerns. The purpose of this study was to evaluate how psychosocial hazard mediates the relationship between safety culture and safety performance. Data were collected from 380 production employees in three states of Malaysia from the upstream oil and gas sector. Structural equation modeling was implemented to test the suggested hypotheses. The proposed model was evaluated using structural equation modeling. A stratified sampling with a Likert 5-point scale was used to distribute the questionnaires. Furthermore, the proposed model was tested using the simulation of the structural equation and partial. According to our findings, all hypotheses were significant. A review of prior studies was used to select the items of the dimension for the data collection. Safety culture was assessed with psychosocial hazard to determine its direct and indirect impact on safety performance. Results suggest that to enhance safety performance (leading and lagging), psychosocial concerns in the workplace environments should be taken into consideration by employees. In addition, the findings showed that the psychosocial hazard fully mediates the relationship between safety culture and safety performance. Full article
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Article
The Demand–Control Model as a Predictor of Depressive Symptoms—Interaction and Differential Subscale Effects: Prospective Analyses of 2212 German Employees
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8328; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168328 - 06 Aug 2021
Viewed by 699
Abstract
Testing assumptions of the widely used demand–control (DC) model in occupational psychosocial epidemiology, we investigated (a) interaction, i.e., whether the combined effect of low job control and high psychological demands on depressive symptoms was stronger than the sum of their single effects (i.e., [...] Read more.
Testing assumptions of the widely used demand–control (DC) model in occupational psychosocial epidemiology, we investigated (a) interaction, i.e., whether the combined effect of low job control and high psychological demands on depressive symptoms was stronger than the sum of their single effects (i.e., superadditivity) and (b) whether subscales of psychological demands and job control had similar associations with depressive symptoms. Logistic longitudinal regression analyses of the 5-year cohort of the German Study of Mental Health at Work (S-MGA) 2011/12–2017 of 2212 employees were conducted. The observed combined effect of low job control and high psychological demands on depressive symptoms did not indicate interaction (RERI = −0.26, 95% CI = −0.91; 0.40). When dichotomizing subscales at the median, differential effects of subscales were not found. When dividing subscales into categories based on value ranges, differential effects for job control subscales (namely, decision authority and skill discretion) were found (p = 0.04). This study does not support all assumptions of the DC model: (1) it corroborates previous studies not finding an interaction of psychological demands and job control; and (2) signs of differential subscale effects were found regarding job control. Too few prospective studies have been carried out regarding differential subscale effects. Full article
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Article
Post-Pandemic Patient Safety Culture: A Case from a Large Metropolitan Hospital Group in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4537; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094537 - 24 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1144
Abstract
Patient safety is the core goal of medical institutions. The present study focuses on the patient safety culture and staff well-being admit the COVID-19 pandemic. In a large metropolitan hospital group, 337 employees who had participated in the quality improvement interventions completed an [...] Read more.
Patient safety is the core goal of medical institutions. The present study focuses on the patient safety culture and staff well-being admit the COVID-19 pandemic. In a large metropolitan hospital group, 337 employees who had participated in the quality improvement interventions completed an anonymous questionnaire of patient safety culture and personal well-being. The multiple regression analyses indicated that managerial role, seniority, female gender and direct contact with a patient were significantly related to the positive attitude on overall or certain dimensions of safety culture. Multivariate analysis also found that dimensions of teamwork climate, safety climate, job satisfaction and stress recognition as patient safety culture predicted staff exhaustion. Finally, comparing with the available institutional historic data in 2018, the COVID group scored higher on the working condition dimension of patient safety culture, but lower on the stress recognition dimension. The COVID group also scored higher on exhaustion. In the post-pandemic era, there seems to be an improvement on certain aspect of the patient safety culture among hospital staff, and the improvement is more prevalent for managers. However, exhaustion is also a poignant problem for all employees. These findings can inform hospital decision-makers in planning and implementing future improvements of patient safety culture and promoting employee well-being and resilience. Our findings also reveal directions for future research. Full article
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Article
Are Job Demands Necessary in the Influence of a Transformational Leader? The Moderating Effect of Role Conflict
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3630; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073630 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 731
Abstract
(1) Background: The objective of this manuscript is to propose the necessity of job demands to ensure the positive influence of policies in stimulating employees’ engagement and performance. If the policies related to the intellectual stimulation of employees implemented by team leaders are [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The objective of this manuscript is to propose the necessity of job demands to ensure the positive influence of policies in stimulating employees’ engagement and performance. If the policies related to the intellectual stimulation of employees implemented by team leaders are to have positive effects on employee performance, they must induce emotional engagement in the employees. Furthermore, to achieve this positive influence on emotions, the organization must offer an environment that challenges the employees in the organization. Here, we analyze a moderate mediation model to examine the moderating, positive effect of role conflict on the intellectual engagement and performance of employees. (2) Methods: This study involved 705 employees of a multinational private company based in Spain. (3) Results: We confirm the positive moderating effect of role conflict between the intellectual stimulation of employees and intellectual engagement, and the mediating effect of intellectual engagement between leadership behavior and employee performance. (4) Conclusions: Organizational leader stimulation practices necessitate an environment of moderate job demands in order to improve the intellectual engagement of employees, thereby increasing their performance. The implications of the findings in terms of theory, research and practice are discussed. Full article
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Article
Telecommuting, Off-Time Work, and Intrusive Leadership in Workers’ Well-Being
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3330; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073330 - 24 Mar 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2407
Abstract
Telecommuting is a flexible form of work that has progressively spread over the last 40 years and which has been strongly encouraged by the measures to limit the COVID-19 pandemic. There is still limited evidence on the effects it has on workers’ health. [...] Read more.
Telecommuting is a flexible form of work that has progressively spread over the last 40 years and which has been strongly encouraged by the measures to limit the COVID-19 pandemic. There is still limited evidence on the effects it has on workers’ health. In this survey we invited 905 workers of companies that made a limited use of telecommuting to fill out a questionnaire to evaluate intrusive leadership of managers (IL), the request for work outside traditional hours (OFF-TAJD), workaholism (Bergen Work Addiction Scale (BWAS)), effort/reward imbalance (ERI), happiness, and common mental issues (CMIs), anxiety and depression, assessed by the Goldberg scale (GADS). The interaction between these variables has been studied by structural equation modeling (SEM). Intrusive leadership and working after hours were significantly associated with occupational stress. Workaholism is a relevant moderator of this interaction: intrusive leadership significantly increased the stress of workaholic workers. Intrusive leadership and overtime work were associated with reduced happiness, anxiety, and depression. These results indicate the need to guarantee the right to disconnect to limit the effect of the OFF-TAJD. In addition to this, companies should implement policies to prevent intrusive leadership and workaholism. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Exploration of the Socioecological Determinants of Work–Life Balance: A Grounded Theory Model
Authors: Ka Po Wong
Affiliation: Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore the viewpoints of workers regarding work–life balance (WLB) and its determinants and consequences. Individual face-to-face interviews were conducted to explore the attitudes and experiences of workers towards WLB, in which 50 workers were interviewed. All data of interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded into five levels of the socioecological framework (i.e. intrapersonal level, interpersonal level, organisational level, community and government policy). Numerous determinants were identified, such as physical and mental wellbeing, work performance and personal time use. The process of achieving work–life balance for workers fluctuated due to the sudden encounter of various facilitators and barriers, which affected the wellbeing of workers—the major causal factor in determining the level of balance. The findings of this study offer important research insights into the importance of WLB and the dynamic features for workers to sustain balance.

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