ILO Home
Go to the home page
Site map | Contact us Franšais | Espa˝ol

CISDOC database

Document ID (ISN)108423
CIS number 08-847
Year 2006
Convention or series no. HSE Research Report 501
Author(s) Ferguson E., Cassaday H.J., Ward J., Weyman A.
Health and Safety Executive
Title Triggers for non-specific symptoms in the workplace: Individual differences, stress and environmental (odour and sound) factors
Bibliographic information HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2006. 110p. Illus. Approx 120 ref.
Internet access [in English]
Abstract Non-specific symptoms are not related to any given disease and include fatigue, weakness, sleep difficulties, headache and muscle aches. They have a high reported incidence and result in high rates of sickness absenteeism. The objective of this study was to identify factors related to the work environment, characteristics of individual workers, external factors and physiological factors that contribute to reporting non-specific symptoms. It was carried out in the form of a survey of a cross-sectional sample of 711 volunteer participants, who answered questionnaires on their symptoms and work environment. A sub-group of volunteers furthermore submitted daily diary entries and saliva samples, which were analysed for cortisol and immunoglobulin-A secretion. Key findings are that non-specific symptoms are related to odour perceptions, the time of day, individual differences, particularly with respect to anxiety, perceived stress and job demand/control imbalance.
Descriptors (primary) noise; symptoms; psychology of work organization; odour pollution; stress factors; subject variability; conditions of work
Descriptors (secondary) subjective assessment; risk factors; determination in saliva; public OSH institutions; United Kingdom; report; sickness absenteeism; migraine; anxiety; fatigue; sleep disturbances; economic aspects; hormone secretion; questionnaire survey; cross-sectional study; corticoid excretion; immunoglobulins
Document type E - Books, reports, proceedings
Country / State or ProvinceUnited Kingdom
Subject(s) Occupational pathology
Broad subject area(s) Occupational medicine, epidemiology
Browse category(ies) Mental stress and burnout
Psychological factors
Environmental pollution
Air pollution
Psychology of work organization