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Mental workload - 161 entries found

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  • Mental workload

2011

CIS 12-0347 Liu X., Iwanaga K., Koda S.
Circulatory and central nervous system responses to different types of mental stress
The purpose of this study was to compare the physiological responses to different types of mental stress encountered in the workplace. Circulatory and central nervous system responses were examined in eight healthy males by exposing them to 20-min of white noise (80 dB(A)) and 20-min of computer-based mental arithmetic tasks as models of vascular and cardiac stress, respectively. The results indicated that both cardiac and vascular stresses increased blood pressure and showed a cumulative effect as exposure period was extended. Heart rate and prefrontal oxygenated hemoglobin levels increased in the face of cardiac stress but were not clearly altered by vascular stress and indicated that cardiac stress higher cardiac response and requires more oxygen supply to the brain. The circulatory and central nervous system responses to cardiac stress and to vascular stress may have different underlying mechanisms, and measuring physiological indices appears to be an effective method by which to evaluate the influence of mental stress.
Industrial Health, May 2011, Vol.49, No.3, p.265-273.Illus. 28 ref.
Circulatory_and_central_nervous_system_responses_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]

CIS 12-0289 Verma S.K., Lombardi D.A., Chang W.R., Courtney T.K., Huang Y.H., Brennan M.J., Mittleman M.A., Ware J.H., Perry M.J.
Rushing, distraction, walking on contaminated floors and risk of slipping in limited-service restaurants: A case-crossover study
This nested case-crossover study examined the association between rushing, distraction and walking on a contaminated floor and the rate of slipping, and whether the effects varied according to weekly hours worked, job tenure and use of slip-resistant shoes. At baseline, workers from 30 limited-service restaurants in the United States reported average work hours, average weekly duration of exposure to each transient risk factor and job tenure at the current location. Use of slip-resistant shoes was determined. During the following 12 weeks, participants reported weekly their slip experience and exposures to the three transient exposures at the time of slipping. Among 396 participants providing baseline information, 210 reported one or more slips with a total of 989 slips. Rate of slipping was 2.9 times higher when rushing as compared to working at a normal pace. Rate of slipping was also significantly increased by distraction (relative risk (RR) 1.7) and walking on a contaminated floor (RR 14.6). Use of slip-resistant shoes decreased the effects of rushing and walking on a contaminated floor. Rate ratios for all three transient factors decreased as job tenure increased.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2011, Vol.68, No.8, p.575-581. Illus. 31 ref.
Rushing_distraction_walking_on_contaminated_floors_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]

CIS 11-0761 Artazcoz L., Cortès I., Borrell C.
Work and family: "Double workload" overburdens women's health
Travail et famille: une trop lourde "double charge" pour la santé des femmes [in French]
This article discusses the gender aspects of occupational health, with emphasis on the consequences for women often burdened with the dual role of homemaker and breadwinner.
Hesamag, 1st half 2011, No.3, p.21-25. Illus. 14 ref.
Travail_et_famille.pdf [in French]

CIS 11-0526 Wang L.J., Chen C.K., Hsu S.C., Lee S.Y., Wang C.S., Yeh W.Y.
Active job, healthy job? Occupational stress and depression among hospital physicians in Taiwan
The objective of this study was to assess the levels and association of occupational stress and depression rate among physicians, and to compare physicians' occupational stress with that of Taiwanese employees in other occupations. The subjects were physicians employed at 14 participating regional hospitals. Self-administered questionnaires capturing data on demographics, occupational characteristics, occupational stress measured using Job Content Questionnaire and health status measured using Taiwanese Depression Questionnaire were sent to eligible physicians. Results revealed that the depression rate (13.3%) was higher than that found in the general population (3.7%) of Taiwan. The mean scores of the dimensions "work demands" and "job control" were both much higher than for most occupations in Taiwan. Higher depression scores were found in subjects with higher work demands, 8-10 days of being on duty per month and more frequent alcohol consumption, while lower depression scores were found in subjects working in the east Taiwan area, with higher job control and with greater workplace social support. Gender, smoking and working hour were not independently correlated with depression, but the interaction of gender and job control also had an independent effect on depression.
Industrial Health, 2011, Vol.49, p.173-184. Illus. 52 ref.
Active_job.pdf [in English]

CIS 11-0347 Nixon A.E., Mazzola J.J., Bauer J., Krueger J.R., Spector P.E.
Can work make you sick? A meta-analysis of the relationships between job stressors and physical symptoms
A meta-analysis of 79 studies reporting cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships between physical symptoms and various occupational stressors was conducted. Stressors were organizational constraints, interpersonal conflict, role conflict, role ambiguity, workload, work hours, and lack of control. The relationships between stressors and eight physical symptoms were quantitatively summarized and contrasted, for both individual symptoms and composite symptom scales. All of the occupational stressors were significantly related to physical symptoms in cross-sectional analyses, and the effect sizes of these relationships varied both by the stressor and the individual symptom examined. The longitudinal relationships were similar to the cross-sectional results, and provided some evidence of temporal consistency of the occupational stressor/physical symptom relationship. Organizational constraints and interpersonal conflict had the strongest relationships with symptoms in both the cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. Gastrointestinal problems and sleep disturbances were significantly related to more stressors than other symptoms examined. These findings show that it is important to examine physical symptoms, as they are related to a wide range of job stressors and these relationships prevail over time. Potential underlying mechanisms, including the immediacy of physiological reactions to stressors, participants' attributions concerning stressor/physical symptom relationships, and the possible multidimensional nature of symptoms, are proposed and discussed.
Work and Stress, 2011, Vol.25, No.1, p.1-22. 75 ref.

CIS 11-0434 DiDomenico A., Nussbaum M.A.
Effects of different physical workload parameters on mental workload and performance
The design and evaluation of an occupational task should include an assessment of mental workload, since excessive levels of mental workload can cause errors or delayed information processing. Physically demanding work that is performed concurrently with a cognitive task may impact mental workload by impairing mental processing or decreasing performance. The objective of this study was to determine whether there is a differential effect of various types of physical activity on both mental workload and cognitive performance. Objective and subjective assessment tools (heart rate variability and visual analogue scale) were used as indicators of mental workload, while correct responses during an arithmetic task reflected levels of performance. Thirty participants performed a combination of tasks involving both physical and mental workload. Changes in subjective ratings generally corresponded to changes in both performance on the arithmetic task and objective mental workload assessment. Some discrepancies occurred at the highest physical force exertion level as participants perceived an increase in effort to maintain the same level of performance.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 2011, Vol.41, p.255-260. Illus. 31 ref.

2010

CIS 11-0718 Kubota K., Shimazu A., Kawakami N., Takahashi M., Nakata A., Schaufeli W.B.
Association between workaholism and sleep problems among hospital nurses
The present study examined the association between workaholism, the tendency to work excessively hard in a compulsive fashion, and sleep problems among Japanese nurses. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 600 nurses from two university hospitals in Japan using a self-reported questionnaire on workaholism, sleep, job-related variables (job demands, job control and worksite support), and demographic variables. A total of 394 nurses returned the questionnaire (response rate 65.7%) and complete data from 312 female nurses were used for analyses (final coverage rate 52.0%). Workaholics, as measured using the Japanese version of the Dutch Workaholism Scale, were defined as those having high scores on both the "work excessively" and "work compulsively" subscales. Logistic regression analyses revealed that workaholics had higher risks for sleep problems in terms of subjective sleep insufficiency, excessive daytime sleepiness at work, difficulty awakening in the morning and feeling tired when waking up in the morning (odds ratios (OR) of 4.40, 3.18, 3.48 and 4.61, respectively). These remained significant even after adjusting for demographic and job-related variables (OR 3.41, 5.36, 2.56 and 2.77, respectively). However, no significant associations were found between workaholism and insomnia symptoms. These results suggest that workaholic nurses had higher risks for impaired awakening, insufficient sleep and workplace sleepiness.
Industrial Health, Nov. 2010, Vol.48, No.6, p.864-871. 39 ref.
Association.pdf [in English]

CIS 11-0448 Vega Martínez S.
Psychosocial intervention: INRS Guide for the enterprise OSH professional
Intervención psicosocial: Guía del INRS para agentes de prevención [in Spanish]
This information note summarizes a six-step approach to occupation stress prevention presented in a publication of the National French institute of research and safety (INRS).
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2010. 6p. 2 ref.
NTP_860.pdf [in Spanish]

CIS 11-0447 Martinez-Losa Tobías J.F., Bestratén Belloví M.
Developing competencies and psychosocial risks (II). Example of an application to teaching
Desarrollo de competencias y riesgos psicosociales (II). Ejemplo de aplicación en la docencia [in Spanish]
This information note sheet complements the NTP 856 (see ISN 111696) on a model of skills development to cope with psychosocial risks. It describes an application of the model in the field of education which has yielded positive results and shown to be successful.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2010. 6p. Illus. 18 ref.
NTP_857.pdf [in Spanish]

CIS 11-0446 Martinez-Losa Tobías J.F., Bestratén Belloví M.
Developing competencies and psychosocial risks (I)
Desarrollo de competencias y riesgos psicosociales (I) [in Spanish]
This information note discusses the usefulness of implementing a model of skills development within the company to help management and workers to cope with psychosocial risks.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2010. 8p. Illus. 18 ref.
NTP_856.pdf [in Spanish]

CIS 11-0292 Volkoff. S., Buisset C., Mardon C.
Does intense time pressure at work make older employees more vulnerable? A statistical analysis based on a French survey "SVP50"
Two general trends, the tightening of time constraints and the ageing of the working population, are likely to raise sensitive issues implying adjustment of both work and workers' characteristics. The statistical studies presented in this article, referring to a French inter-professional survey conducted on health and work after fifty (sample of 11,213 employees), aim at verifying this assumption. The analyses presented are divided in four sub-questions: have part of the employees over fifty been removed from time pressure situations? Is time pressure difficult to deal with for older workers (from their point of view)? Does intense time pressure imply increased prevalence of certain health disorders among senior employees? Does pressure increase the desire to end one's professional life early? The results show that intense time pressure raises serious problems for most of the employees in their fifties who are exposed to them. 80% consider this constraint to be "difficult". They systematically show more frequent rates for most types of physical or psychological health disorders. "Sheltering from the job", which implies being shifted from work "under pressure" to a job "without pressure", is not uncommon but only solves a minority of situations. Lastly, the option of earlier retirement is not particularly developed in the age group in its fifties working "under pressure".
Applied Ergonomics, Oct. 2010, Vol.41, No.6, p.754-762. Illus. 34 ref.

CIS 11-0068 Hakola T., Paukkonen M., Pohjonen T.
Less quick returns - Greater well-being
The aim of this study was to design ergonomically-improved shift schedules for nurses in primary health care shift work in order to enhance their health and well-being. The main change made was the reduction of quick returns (morning shifts immediately after an evening shift) in order to ensure more recovery time between work shifts. Six Finnish municipal hospital units and 75 nurses participated in the intervention. The aim was to maintain or improve the well-being and work ability of aged workers. Subjects were divided into three age groups: 20-40, 41-52 and 53-62 years. The introduction of more recovery time between evening and morning shifts significantly improved the subjects' sleep and alertness, well-being at work, perceived health and leisure-time activities independently of their age. The effect on social and family life was also positive. Other findings are discussed.
Industrial Health, July 2010, Vol.48, No.4, p.390-394. 10 ref.

CIS 11-0067 Paterson J.L., Dorrian J., Pincombe J., Grech C., Dawson D.
Mood change and perception of workload in Australian midwives
Twenty midwives in an Australian metropolitan hospital completed logbooks assessing daily fluctuations in subjective mood and workload. Participants also provided information about history of psychopathology and sleep quality. Workload factors significantly predicted mood at work. Specifically, when participants felt that their work was more demanding and frustrating and required more effort, or when they felt that they could not accomplish all that was expected, mood was negatively influenced. This supports the connection between workload and negative mood change in healthcare. Given the potential for mood to influence a multitude of functions relevant to safety, performance and psychosocial wellbeing it is important to understand the factors which influence mood, particularly in light of the current shortfall in the Australian healthcare workforce.
Industrial Health, July 2010, Vol.48, No.4, p.381-389. Illus. 39 ref.
Mood_change.pdf [in English]

CIS 10-0430 Malakis S., Kontogiannis T., Kirwan B.
Managing emergencies and abnormal situations in air traffic control: Taskwork strategies (Part I); Teamwork strategies (Part II)
A large body of research in air traffic control has focused on human errors in decision making while little attention has been paid to the cognitive strategies employed by controllers in managing abnormal situations. This study examines the cognitive strategies in taskwork and teamwork that enable controllers to become resilient decision-makers. Two field studies were carried out where novice and experienced controllers were observed in simulator training in emergency and unusual scenarios. A prototype model of taskwork and teamwork strategies in air traffic management was developed and its construct validity was tested in the context of the field studies, leading to the development of a generic model of Taskwork and Teamwork strategies in Emergencies in Air traffic Management (T(2)EAM). Difficulties experienced by novice controllers are discussed, together with strategies employed by experts to manage uncertainty and balance workload during emergencies.
Applied Ergonomics, July 2010, Vol.41, No.4, p.620-627. Illus 34 ref. (part I); 628-635. Illus. 36 ref. (part II).

CIS 10-0428 Caroly S., Coutarel F., Landry A., Mary-Cheray I.
Sustainable MSD prevention: Management for continuous improvement between prevention and production. Ergonomic intervention in two assembly line companies
To increase output and meet customers' needs, companies have turned to various production management systems whose aim is to accelerate decisions, react to environmental issues and to continuously improve production performance. At the same time, regulation and control systems focusing on work-related risks have obliged firms to implement safety and health management systems such as OHSAS 18001. The purpose of this type of system, also based on continuous improvement, is to reduce risks, facilitate work-related activities and identify solutions in terms of equipment and tools. However, the prevention actions introduced through safety and health systems often result in other unexpected and unwanted effects on production. Using the examples of two manufacturing environments, this article discusses how companies can benefit by implementing both types of management system.
Applied Ergonomics, July 2010, Vol.41, No.4, p.591-599. Illus. 34 ref.

CIS 10-0418 Pickup L., Wilson J., Lowe E.
The operational demand evaluation checklist (ODEC) of workload for railway signalling
This study addressed the issue of the interpretation and assessment of mental workload of railway signallers, and in particular assessment of the load imposed by the work system. It highlights a framework created to direct the development of workload assessment tools capable of assessing the dimensions most relevant to the population being studied. A tool to capture the operational demands on the rail signaller was required to evaluate the load from the system they operated. The study describes the development of an Operational Demand Evaluation Checklist (ODEC), using techniques such as the repertory grid. The practical experience of the development, evaluation, live use and validation of ODEC is discussed and it is concluded that the approach could be adopted to interpret the concept of workload in other work domains.
Applied Ergonomics, May 2010, Vol.41, No.4, p.393-402. Illus. 33 ref.

CIS 10-0417 Webb H.E., McMinn D.R., Garten R.S., Beckman J.L., Kamimori G.H., Acevedo E.O.
Cardiorespiratory responses of firefighters to a computerized fire strategies and tactics drill during physical activity
Firefighters are subjected to a combination of physical and mental challenges in the course of their occupational responsibilities. However, due to the ecological factors involved with firefighting, it makes it extremely difficult to examine physiological and psychological changes that occur as a result of these combined challenges. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of a computer-based Fire Strategies and Tactics Drill (FSTD) in eliciting psychological and physiological measures of stress in professional firefighters. The study involved 12 healthy firefighters from a metropolitan area of the United States. Participants responded to a medical history questionnaire and exercised under various conditions of oxygen consumption on a cycle ergometer. Findings are discussed. Results suggest that the FSTD provides an effective method for examining the physiological and psychological responses of firefighters in a research laboratory environment.
Applied Ergonomics, May 2010, Vol.41, No.4, p.376-381. Illus. 33 ref.

CIS 10-0300 Chouanière D., François M., Guillemy N., Langevin V., Pentecôte A., Ven de Weerdt C., Weibel L., Dornier G., Montagnez A.
Current knowledge concerning occupational stress
Le point des connaissances sur le stress au travail [in French]
Occupational stress is a problem faced by enterprises of all sizes. 22% of European workers claim to be suffering from health problems caused by occupational stress. This information sheet on occupational stress addresses the following topics: precise definition of occupational stress; factors that give rise to occupational stress; physiological mechanisms involved in the onset of stress; health effects; effects on the productivity of enterprises; how to organize work so as to avoid or limit stress; occupational stress research programmes undertaken by the INRS. Replaces CIS 03-1000.
Travail et sécurité, Mar. 2010, No.704, 4p. Insert. Illus. 7 ref.
http://www.inrs.fr/INRS-PUB/inrs01.nsf/inrs01_catalog_view_view/4A7C92097628CD0BC1256DC2002C8CF3/$FILE/ed5021.pdf [in French]

CIS 10-0162 Tei-Tominaga M., Miki A.
A longitudinal study of factors associated with intentions to leave among newly graduated nurses in eight advanced treatment hospitals in Japan
This study examined the factors associated with intentions to leave among newly graduated nurses (NGNs). Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to 567 NGNs in eight advanced treatment hospitals in Japan on two separate occasions approximately 6 months apart. The questionnaire items addressed individual attributes, employment and organizational characteristics and subjective health, and also included the 22-item Job Content Questionnaire, a scale of intentions to leave and a novel 21-item job readiness scale. Data from 301 NGNs who had participated in both questionnaire instances were used and subjected to hierarchical multiple regression analyses. Findings showed that while psychological distress was a more important predictor of intentions to leave during the first survey, cumulative fatigue was a more important predictor during the second survey. Other findings are discussed.
Industrial Health, May 2010, Vol.48, No.3, p.305-316. 46 ref.

CIS 10-0138 Freude G., Ullsperger P.
Work interruptions and multitasking in the modern world of work - Concepts, effects and implications for work design and research
Unterbrechungen bei der Arbeit und Multitasking in der moderner Arbeitswelt - Konzepte, Auswirkungen und Implikationen für Arbeitsgestaltung und Forschung [in German]
Frequent work interruptions and multitasking are important features in the modern accelerated world of work. This article reviews the state of current knowledge in these two closely-related phenomena. It discusses modern limited processing resources of the central nervous system in the light of modern resource concepts, together with implications for human performance capacities, state of health, work design and occupational medicine research.
Zentralblatt für Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Ergonomie, Apr. 2010, Vol.60, No.4, p.120-128. 59 ref.

2009

CIS 09-1414 Tei-Tominaga M., Akiyama T., Miyake Y., Sakai Y.
The relationship between temperament, job stress and overcommitment: A cross-sectional study using the TEMPS-A and a scale of ERI
This cross-sectional study examined the relationship between temperament, job stress, and overcommitment. Self-administered questionnaires were obtained from 730 employees of a Japanese IT services company. Data were subjected to a hierarchical regression analysis. Findings showed that depressive and anxious temperaments attenuated the influence of working hours on stress, and influenced the effects of effort and rewards independently.
Industrial Health, Sep. 2009, Vol.47, No.5, p.509-517. 34 ref.
http://www.jniosh.go.jp/en/indu_hel/pdf/IH_47_5_509.pdf [in English]

CIS 09-1094 Brookhuis K.A., van Driel C.J.G., Hof T., van Arem B., Hoedemaeker M.
Driving with a congestion assistant: Mental workload and acceptance
In dense traffic conditions, drivers may be helped by a congestion assistant (CA), a system that includes an acoustic warning and accelerator pedal counterforce, together with automatic acceleration and braking. The objective of this study was to evaluate the mental load and the acceptance of driving with CA systems in a driving simulator. Data were obtained by means of questionnaires and continuous heart rate measurements. It is concluded that driving with the CA in dense traffic potentially leads to decreased driver mental workload. Acceptance is generally high after experiencing the system, though not in all respects. Other findings are discussed.
Applied Ergonomics, Nov. 2009, Vol.40, No.6, p.1019-1025. Illus. 22 ref.

CIS 09-232 Collet C., Averty P., Dittmar A.
Autonomic nervous system and subjective ratings of strain in air-traffic control
The objective of this study was to evaluate the perceived mental strain among air-traffic controllers by means of self-evaluation and five physiological indicators from the autonomic nervous system, namely: skin potential, skin conductance, skin blood flow, skin temperature and heart rate. Each physiological variable was averaged to match the times spent monitoring a given number of aircraft. After the session, participants rated their stress using the NASA-TLX rating scale. Both subjective ratings and physiological values were closely correlated to the number of aircraft being monitored, which could evolve at random between one and ten. Results provide objective information to prevent air-traffic controllers from overloaded situations.
Applied Ergonomics, Jan. 2009, Vol.40, No.1, p.23-32. Illus. 33 ref.

2008

CIS 08-1490 Taris T.W., Geurts S.A.E., Schaufeli W.B., Blonk R.W.B., Lagerveld S.E.
All day and all of the night: The relative contribution of two dimensions of workaholism to well-being in self-employed workers
The objective of this study was to examine the associations between workaholism and perceived health (exhaustion, physical complaints, and feelings of professional efficacy). It involved a sample of 477 Dutch self-employed workers. Workaholism is characterized by long work hours coupled with the inability to detach from work. It was expected that both workaholism components would be related to ill health. Variance and regression analyses revealed that this reasoning was confirmed for one component (inability to detach from work), but not for the other (working long hours).
Work and Stress, Apr.-June 2008, Vol.22, No.2, p.153-165. 47 ref.

2007

CIS 08-995 Brun E., Milczarek M.
Expert forecast on emerging psychosocial risks related to occupational safety and health
Significant changes which are taking place in the world of work lead to emerging psychosocial risks. Such risks, which are linked to the way work is designed, organized and managed, as well as to the economic and social context of work, result in an increased level of stress and can lead to serious deterioration of mental and physical health. In 2005, more than 20% of workers from the EU believed that their health is at risk because of work-related stress. This report presents the findings of an expert group on emerging psychosocial risks, supplemented by an analysis of the scientific research on key topics identified by the experts. A summary of the report is also available as a factsheet (CIS 08-250).
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Gran Vía 33, 48009 Bilbao, Spain, 2007.127p. Illus. 277 ref.
http://osha.europa.eu/en/publications/reports/7807118 [in English]

2006

CIS 09-616 Blass K.
Initiative Neue Qualität der Arbeit (inqua.de)
Healthy health care practices in pensioners' homes
Gesund Pflegen in der Altenpflege [in German]
This report presents an analysis of work organization and workload among workers of two pensioners' homes. A survey of the workers subsequently enabled implementing measures aimed at reducing their workload.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin , Friedrich-Henkel Weg 1-25, 44149 Dortmund, Germany, 2nd ed., 2006. 96p. 55 ref. Price: EUR 5.00.
http://www.inqa.de/Inqa/Redaktion/TIKs/Gesund-Pflegen/PDF/inqa-bericht-16-iso,property=pdf,bereich=inqa,sprache=de,rwb=true.pdf [in German]

CIS 09-747 Metz A.M., Neuhaus K., Kunze D.
Initiative Neue Qualität der Arbeit (inqua.de)
Healthy health care practices in hospitals
Gesund Pflegen im Krankenhaus [in German]
This booklet presents the results of a project aimed at reducing the psychological load among health care workers in a German clinic. A questionnaire for evaluating the occupational mental workload and work constraints was submitted to workers of six departments of the clinic. Analysis of the data allowed identifying and implementing measures aimed at promoting workers' health in these departments. The intervention was subsequently broadened to the whole clinic.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin , Friedrich-Henkel Weg 1-25, 44149 Dortmund, Germany, 2nd ed., 2006. 84p. Illus. 14 ref. Price: EUR 5.00.
http://www.inqa.de/Inqa/Redaktion/Zentralredaktion/PDF/Publikationen/inqa-12-gesund-pflegen-im-krankenhaus,property=pdf,bereich=inqa,sprache=de,rwb=true.pdf [in German]

CIS 09-749 Dieckhoff K., Freigang-Bauer I., Hentrich J., Hoffmann T.
Initiative Neue Qualität der Arbeit (inqua.de)
Improving the quality of work - Avoiding psychological load within the enterprise
Qualität der Arbeit verbessern - Psychische Fehlbelastung im Betrieb vermeiden [in German]
This booklet on psychological load and its negative consequences is primarily aimed at heads of small and medium enterprises. It explains how to organize work and to identify and avoid psychological load among front-line workers. A second part presents practical tools (checklists) aimed at improving working conditions.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin , Friedrich-Henkel Weg 1-25, 44149 Dortmund, Germany, 2nd ed., 2006. 52p. Illus. 32 ref. Price: EUR 5.00.
http://www.inqa.de/Inqa/Redaktion/Zentralredaktion/PDF/Publikationen/inqa-11-qualitaet-der-arbeit-verbessern,property=pdf,bereich=inqa,sprache=de,rwb=true.pdf [in German]

CIS 09-748 Dieckhoff K., Hoffmann T.
Initiative Neue Qualität der Arbeit (inqua.de)
Good management of subordinates - Avoiding psychological loads
Gute Mitarbeiterführung - Psychische Fehlbelastung vermeiden [in German]
This booklet on psychological load and its negative consequences is primarily aimed at heads of small and medium enterprises. It explains how to organize work, and to identify and avoid psychological loads, both among front-line workers and among supervisors and managers.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin , Friedrich-Henkel Weg 1-25, 44149 Dortmund, Germany, 2nd ed., 2006. 36p. Illus. 27 ref. Price: EUR 5.00.
http://www.inqa.de/Inqa/Redaktion/Zentralredaktion/PDF/Publikationen/inqa-10-gute-mitarbeiterfuehrung,property=pdf,bereich=inqa,sprache=de,rwb=true.pdf [in German]

CIS 08-1102 Gebhardt H., Klußmann A., Maßbeck P., Topp S., Steinberg U.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin
Safety and health in emergency services
Sicherheit und gesundheit im Rettungsdienst [in German]
A survey was carried out during 2004 in the 22 emergency services of the German Red Cross to evaluate the physical workload and psychological stress among emergency services workers. A standardized questionnaire was addressed to 382 workers, among whom 202 responded (163 men and 39 women). In addition, a subgroup of 98 subjects was followed during 48 working days. Despite a high level of job satisfaction, a low average age (33 years for men and 25 years for women) and a good work capacity index, subjects reported neck and shoulder pain, as well as low back and knee pain. Cardiofrequency measurements during work showed more rapid increases during emergency interventions than during simple patient handling. Salivary cortisol levels also showed similar differences. However no significant differences were found as a function of gender and age. Other findings are discussed.
Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Postfach 10 11 10, 27511 Bremerhaven, Germany, 2006. 114p. Illus. 29 ref. Price: EUR 13.50.

CIS 08-1227 Rousseau T., Rouilleault H., Lamour A., Gallet A.M., Sarazin B., Loisil F., Poète B.
How to better assess workload
Mieux évaluer la charge de travail [in French]
Collection of articles on workload. Topics addressed: need to adapt workload to demands and constraints; opinions of an occupational physician, a psychologist, the manager of a trade association and a university professor; approaches adopted by a hospital laboratory, a household waste collection service and a pensioners' home; changes in the nature of work of secretaries; main points to consider with respect to workload; review of a book on workload; further reading.
Travail & changement, Mar.-Apr. 2006, No.307, p.1-15 (whole issue). Illus. Bibl.ref.
http://www.actal.aract.fr/RessourcesSite/TC/TC307.pdf [in French]

CIS 07-1169 Kaczmarska A., Łuczak A., Sobolewski A.
Low-frequency noise disturbance in mental work - Tests under laboratory conditions
Uciążliwość hałasu niskoczęstotliwościowego podczas wykonywania prac wymagających koncentracji uwagi - badania w warunkach laboratoryjnych [in Polish]
Low-frequency noise (including infrasound noise) is a harmful and annoying factor in working and living environments. There are currently no criteria concerning the annoyance of low-frequency and infrasound noise in the workplace. Effects are particularly noticeable during concentrated mental work. This article presents the results of an analysis of annoyance produced by low-frequency noise at workstations where high levels of attention or concentration are required. Laboratory tests were carried out at a model workstation. Over 50% of people tested had problems with concentration when exposed to low-frequency noise.
Bezpieczeństwo pracy, 2006, No.6, p.11-15. Illus. 10 ref.

CIS 07-1232 Job pressure in the construction industry
Pression du travail dans la construction [in French]
This article presents the summary of a study on job pressure and stress in the construction industry, according to which "sustainable work" depends on four factors: occupational stress, motivation, learning possibilities and work-life balance.
Prevent Focus, Dec. 2006. p.14-16. Illus. 1 ref.

CIS 07-982 Lusa S., Punakallio A., Luukkonen R., Louhevaara V.
Factors associated with changes in perceived strain at work among fire-fighters: A 3-year follow-up study
This study investigated individual and work-related psychosocial factors associated with perceived physical and mental strain among fire-fighters. It was carried out in the form of a 3-year follow-up questionnaire of 632 fire-fighters. The associations were investigated by logistic regression modelling. Accidents were associated with increased perceived physical as well as mental strain (odds ratio (OR) 1.4-2.6). Unfair distribution of work tasks was associated with increased perceived physical strain (OR 8.5). Frequent differences of opinion disturbing work (OR 2.7) and the lack of possibilities for career advancement (OR 4.6) were associated with perceived increased mental strain at work. These results suggest that a variety of measures are needed to reduce the perceived physical and mental strain of fire-fighters.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, May 2006, Vol.79, No.5, p.419-426. 30 ref.
http://www.springerlink.com/content/7707403614760111/fulltext.pdf [in English]

CIS 07-496 Leroux I., Brissson C., Montreuil S.
Job strain and neck-shoulder symptoms: A prevalence study of women and men white-collar workers
The objective of this cross sectional study of 1543 white-collar workers was to examine the association between psychosocial factors at work and the prevalence of neck and shoulder symptoms. Psychological demands and decision latitude at work were measured with Karasek's questionnaire. Workers exposed to high job strain had a higher prevalence of neck and shoulder symptoms (prevalence ratio (PR) 1.54). No effect of gender was observed in this association. The effect of job strain was stronger in workers with low social support (PR 1.84). These results suggest that primary prevention of neck and shoulder symptoms among white-collar workers should consider job strain, especially when workers have low social support at work.
Occupational Medicine, Mar. 2006, Vol.56, No.2, p.102-109. 37 ref.

CIS 07-484 Lin S., Wang Z., Wang M.
Work ability of workers in western China: Reference data
The Work Ability Index (WAI) is a widely used research tool. The objective of this study was to develop reference WAI data for Chinese workers by age, gender and work content. The WAI questionnaire was administered to a random sample of 10,218 workers (including manual, professional, clerical and semi skilled workers) aged 16-69 years in western China. Findings are discussed. This study provides gender, age and work content specific WAI reference values that will help enable comparison and intervention evaluation in future studies.
Occupational Medicine, Mar. 2006, Vol.56, No.2, p.89-93. 18 ref.

CIS 07-222 D'hertefelt H.
Limits on workload capacity
Les limites de la capacité de charge [in French]
This article examines statistics on occupational accidents and diseases in Belgium and argues that prolonged absenteeism is often the consequence of excessive physical or psychological workload. It recommends that preventive measures take greater account of workload aspects.
Prevent Focus, Apr. 2006, No.4, p.10-14. Illus.

2005

CIS 08-1233 Büssing A., Glaser J., Höge T
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin
Evaluation of the TAA workload - Ambulatory care: Manual and materials
Das Belastungsscreening TAA - Ambulante Pflege: Manual und Materialien [in German]
This manual presents two instruments in the form of questionnaires for analyzing and evaluating the physical workload and psychological stress of ambulatory health care workers, together with the prevention measures implemented: Belastungscreening TAA (screening for workload and stress) and its associated module AuG-Schutz (prevention). It then explains how to use these tools to carry out an evaluation and interpret the findings. Because of their user-friendliness, they can also be applied by persons who are not specialized in workload research (management of health services, safety and health or quality control specialists in health care services).
Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Postfach 10 11 10, 27511 Bremerhaven, Germany, 2005. 65p. Illus. 14 ref. Price: EUR 11.00.

CIS 08-1229 Büssing A., Glaser J., Höge T.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin
Workload screening in ambulatory care services
Belastungsscreening in der ambulanten Pflege [in German]
This research report describes the tasks and findings of a project aimed at quantifying the prevalence and severity of physical and mental workload among the personnel of ambulatory care services in Germany. A methodology was developed and validated on a sample of 721 employees of 97 ambulatory care services in Bavaria. Findings were compared to those obtained for stationary care services. They highlight important differences between the two types of care with respect to physical and mental workload. Guidelines for work organization in ambulatory care services were developed, aimed at reducing the physical and mental workload in this sector of activity.
Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Postfach 10 11 10, 27511 Bremerhaven, Germany, 2005. 114p. Illus. 88 ref. Price: EUR 13.50.

CIS 07-248 Bertin J., Fraix N., Paljkovic G., Sasso M.O.
Workload, absenteeism and occupational weariness
Charge, absentéisme et usure au travail [in French]
This information sheet presents examples of methods adopted by enterprises for addressing issues of absenteeism, excessive workload, stress, violence and burnout. Sectors covered include a call centre, a vocational training centre, health care institutions and a local government administration.
Agence Nationale pour l'Amélioration des Conditions de Travail, 4, quai des Etroits, 69321 Lyon Cedex 05, France, Mar. 2005. 6p. Illus. 17 ref.
http://www.aravis.asso.fr/upload/files/FILE20050407170548_Fiche17.pdf [in French]

2004

CIS 07-225 Workload and how to regulate it
La charge de travail et les moyens de la réguler [in French]
Uneven workloads affect both working conditions and enterprise performance. This information sheet explains in broad terms how to implement changes in work organization so as to improve workload distribution. The approach integrates health, competency and performance issues.
Agence Nationale pour l'Amélioration des Conditions de Travail, 4, quai des Etroits, 69321 Lyon Cedex 05, France, May 2004. 6p. Illus.
http://www.anact.fr/pls/portal/docs/1/13963.PDF [in French]

CIS 07-224 Strenuous work - Positions of employers' federations and trade unions
Pénibilité - Les positions des partenaires sociaux [in French]
The ageing of the population requires an in-depth revision of the conditions under which workers employed in various occupations can retire. In this context, a discussion is taking place on the definition of strenuous work. This documents presents the views on strenuous work expressed by three employers' federations and five trade unions in France.
Agence Nationale pour l'Amélioration des Conditions de Travail, 4, quai des Etroits, 69321 Lyon Cedex 05, France, Apr. 2004. 25p.
http://www.anact.fr/pls/portal/docs/1/17464.PDF [in French]

CIS 07-234 Metz A.M., Degener M., Pitack J.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin
Assessing mental constraints in relation to location and time
Erfassung psychischer Fehlbelastung unter den Aspekten Ort und Zeit [in German]
German legislation requires that workplace hazard evaluations also take into account an evaluation of occupational mental stress. This study examines whether one of the methods of screening for occupational mental stress risk factors, namely the SPA method, also enables the assessment of mental stress factors for jobs with variable working hours or workplace locations. Findings indicate that the SPA method allows the determination of occupational stress risk factors with sufficient precision and reliability. As far as flexible work is concerned, the outcome is that the risk of mental stress depends more on the content of work than on working hours or workplace location.
Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Postfach 10 11 10, 27511 Bremerhaven, Germany, 2004. 118p. 91 ref. Price: EUR 12.50.
http://www.baua.de/nn_28502/sid_AB32F0E9451CB62CB8EE4664D192E5E0/nsc_true/de/Publikationen/Forschungsberichte/2004/Fb1026,xv=vt.pdf [in German]

CIS 06-488 Macdonald W.
Workload, stress and psychosocial factors as hazards for musculoskeletal disorders
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) resulting from work-related cumulative trauma continue to constitute a substantial problem in many workplaces. It is argued that current countermeasures address only one part of the problem because they usually fail to take adequate account of the important role of psychosocial and psychological stress factors as MSD risk factors. The nature and role of these risk factors are described in terms of an ergonomics model of work-related MSD risk. Key elements of the model are job demands, psychosocial factors, mental workload and stress. The empirical basis for this model is outlined, and the findings of studies on physiological mechanisms by which stress can increase the risk of MSDs are discussed. Based on this model, more effective management strategies to control non-physical MSD risk factors are identified.
Journal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand, Feb. 2004, Vol.20, No.1, p.37-47. Illus. 53 ref.

CIS 06-246 Fujiwara K., Tsukishima E., Kasai S., Masuchi A., Tsutsumi A., Kawakami N., Miyake H., Kishi R.
Urinary catecholamines and salivary cortisol on workdays and days off in relation to job strain among female health care providers
This study examined the effects of psychosocial job strain on the excretion of neuroendocrine stress hormones (adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol) on workdays and days off. 16 Japanese female health care providers filled out Karasek's job content questionnaire and had their neuroendocrine excretions (ie, urinary catecholamines and salivary cortisol) measured on a day off and on two workdays (one day shift and one night shift). Noradrenaline excretion was significantly greater over time in the high-strain group than in the low-strain group, and that of the high-demand group was significantly greater over time than that of the low-demand group. Adrenaline excretion did not significantly differ as a function of strain or demand, but was significantly higher in the group with high supervisory support than the group with low supervisory support. The concentration of salivary cortisol on a dayshift was significantly lower in the high-strain group than in the low-strain group. The implications of these findings are discussed.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Apr. 2004, Vol.30, No.2, p.129-138. Illus. 45 ref.

CIS 06-245 Belkic K.L., Landsbergis P.A., Schnall P.L., Baker D.
Is job strain a major source of cardiovascular risk?
Empirical studies on job strain and cardiovascular disease (CVD), their internal validity, and the likely direction of biases were examined. The 17 longitudinal studies had the highest validity ratings. In all but two, biases towards the null dominated. Eight, including several of the largest, showed significant positive results; three had positive, nonsignificant findings. Six of nine case-control studies had significant positive findings; recall bias leading to overestimation appears to be fairly minimal. Four of eight cross-sectional studies had significant positive results. Men showed strong, consistent evidence of an association between exposure to job strain and CVD. The data for women were more sparse and less consistent, but, as for the men, most of the studies probably underestimated existing effects. Other elements of causal inference, particularly biological plausibility, corroborated that job strain is a major CVD risk factor.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Apr. 2004, Vol.30, No.2, p.85-128. 181 ref.

2003

CIS 03-1479 Gracia Camón D.Á.
Objective criteria for the evaluation of the workload resulting from psychosocial and organizational factors
Criterios objetivos para la evaluación de la carga de trabajo derivada de factores psicosociales y organizacionales [in Spanish]
The purpose of this research was to develop a computer-based tool for the objective evaluation of the mental workload resulting from psychosocial and organizational factors. The study focussed on two occupations, professors and telephone operators. This article describes the approach used for the detailed analysis of the jobs so as to highlight risk factors (psychological, organizational, social and relating to the layout of the premises). Two mental workload evaluation tools were developed as a result of this analysis, one for the university professors and the other for the telephone operators. They enable the evaluation of the hazards inherent to the job and to propose prevention measures.
Mapfre seguridad, 2nd Quarter 2003, Vol.23, No.90, p.29-37. Illus.

2002

CIS 03-1937 Ariëns G.A.M., Bongers P.M., Hoogendoorn W.E., van der Wal G., van Mechelen W.
High physical and psychosocial load at work and sickness absence due to neck pain
A prospective cohort study with a follow-up period of three years was performed among a working population in the Netherlands. At the beginning of the study, physical load at work was quantified by means of video recordings. Work-related psychosocial variables were measured by means of the Job Content Questionnaire. The frequency of sickness absence due to neck pain with a minimal duration of three days was assessed on the basis of company registrations during the follow-up period. Altogether 758 workers were included in the analyses. Possible confounding by individual characteristics, physical load, and psychosocial load was studied. Work-related neck flexion, neck rotation, low decision authority, and medium skill level are risk factors for sickness absence due to neck pain. There are indications that high job demands, low skill level, and low job security are also risk factors for sickness absence due to neck pain.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Aug. 2002, Vol.28, No.4, p.222-231. 35 ref.

CIS 03-1953 Laursen B., Jensen B.R., Garde A.H., Jørgensen A.H.
Effect of mental and physical demands on muscular activity during the use of a computer mouse and a keyboard
Twelve female subjects performed a computer task with four combinations of two types of input device (mouse and keyboard) and two levels of mental demand (with and without a Stroop colour word test). The time available for response was limited. Performance and electromyography (EMG) were recorded for the forearm, shoulder and neck muscles. All the muscles for which recordings were made showed increased muscular activity in the mentally demanding condition. The increase in the static muscular activity level varied from 0.3% of the maximum EMG for the right trapezius muscle to 2.6% for the extensor carpi ulnaris muscle. In conclusion, mental demands during computer work increased muscular activity in all of the recorded muscles. Increased muscular activity was found in the neck during the use of the mouse in comparison with the use of the keyboard. This phenomenon may be related to higher visual demands during the use of a mouse than with a keyboard. These findings may help explain the adverse effects of psychosocial work factors on the musculoskeletal system.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Aug. 2002, Vol.28, No.4, p.215-221. Illus. 26 ref.

CIS 03-1268 Moser K., Preising K., Göritz A.S., Paul K.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin
Increasing information load at the workplace: Strain-balanced coping with electronic media (e-mail, Internet)
Steigende Informationsflut am Arbeitsplatz: belastungsgünstiger Umgang mit elektronischen Medien (E-Mail, Internet) [in German]
Today, most office workers are equipped with personal computers connected to the Internet. The objective of this project was to examine how organizations and individuals perceive this new technology, the strain caused by information overload on employees and how they cope with this strain, as well as to evaluate supporting communication tools aimed at limiting this strain. Five studies on supporting communication tools, information organizational culture and psychological stress at the workplace due to the new media were conducted. On the basis of the findings, a training concept was developed for helping employees to cope with stress caused by this new technology.
Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Postfach 10 11 10, 27511 Bremerhaven, Germany, 2002. 225p. Illus. 92 ref. Price: EUR 18.50.

CIS 03-486 de Croon E.M., Blonk R.W.B., de Zwart B.C.H., Frings-Dresen M.H.W., Broersen J.P.J.
Job stress, fatigue, and job dissatisfaction in Dutch lorry drivers: Towards an occupation specific model of job demands and control
Based on Karasek's model, this study examined the effects of job control, quantitative workload and occupation-specific job demands on fatigue and job dissatisfaction in Dutch lorry drivers. Information on job control, quantitative workload, physical demands, supervisor demands, fatigue and job dissatisfaction was gathered through questionnaires from 1181 lorry (truck) drivers. Data were subjected to multiple regression analyses. Inclusion of physical and supervisor demands in the model explained a significant amount of variance in fatigue (3%) and job dissatisfaction (7%). Moreover, in accordance with Karasek's interaction hypothesis, job control dampened the positive relation between quantitative workload and job dissatisfaction. The inclusion of occupation-specific job control and job demand factors gives occupational stress researchers a better insight into the relation between the psychosocial work environment and well-being.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2002, Vol.59, No.6, p.356-361. Illus. 60 ref.

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