|Hierarchy of hazard controls|
A psychosocial hazard or work stressor is any occupational hazard related to the way work is designed, organized and managed, as well as the economic and social contexts of work. Unlike the other three categories of occupational hazard (chemical, biological, and physical), they do not arise from a physical substance or object.
Psychosocial hazards affect the psychological and physical well-being of workers, including their ability to participate in a work environment among other people. They cause not only psychiatric and psychological outcomes such as occupational burnout, anxiety disorders, and depression, but they can also cause physical injury or illness such as cardiovascular disease or musculoskeletal injury. Psychosocial risks are linked to the organization of work as well as workplace violence and are recognized internationally as major challenges to occupational safety and health as well as productivity.
- Job strain
- Effort-reward imbalance
- Lack of supervisor and co-worker support
- Long working hours
- Work intensification
- Lean production and outsourcing
- Emotional labor
- Work–life balance
- Job insecurity
- Precarious work
Exposure to psychosocial hazards in the workplace not only has the potential to produce psychological and physiological harm to individual employees, but can also produce further repercussions within society - reducing productivity in local/state economies, corroding familial/interpersonal relationships, and producing negative behavioral outcomes.
Occupational stress, anxiety, and depression can be directly correlated to psychosocial hazards in the workplace.
Supported by strong evidence from a plethora of meticulous cross-sectional and longitudinal studies, a link has been indicated between the psychosocial work environment and consequences on employees' physical health. Increasing evidence indicates that four main physiological systems are effected: hypertension and heart disease, wound-healing, musculoskeletal disorders, gastro-intestinal disorders, and impaired immuno-competence. Additional disorders generally recognized as stress-induced include: bronchitis, coronary heart disease, mental illness, thyroid disorders, skin diseases, certain types of rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, tuberculosis, headaches and migraine, peptic ulcers and ulcerative colitis, and diabetes.
Social and behavioral
Exposure to workplace psychosocial hazards has been strongly correlated with a wide spectrum of unhealthy behaviors such as physical inactivity, excessive alcohol and drug consumption, nutritional imbalance and sleep disturbances. In 2003, a cross-sectional survey of 12,110 employees from 26 different workplace environments was established to examine the relationship between subjective workplace stress and healthy activity. The survey quantified the measurement of stress mainly through evaluation of an individual's perceived locus of control in the workplace (although other variables were also examined). The results concluded that self-reported high levels of stress were associated with, across both sexes: diets with a higher concentration of fat, less exercise, cigarette smoking (and increasing use), and less self-efficacy to control smoking habits.
Across the European Union, work-related stress alone affects over 40 million individuals, costing an estimated €20 billion a year in lost productivity.
- Industrial and organizational psychology – Branch of psychology
- Occupational health psychology
- Organizational conflict
- Positive psychology in the workplace
- Toxic workplace – Workplace riddled with heavy drama and infighting
- Workplace aggression
- Workplace bullying – Persistent pattern of mistreatment of others in the workplace that causes either physical or emotional harm.
- Workplace harassment
- Workplace incivility
- Workplace revenge
- Workplace violence
- Incident stress
- Occupational burnout – Type of occupational stress
Personalities in the workplace
- Narcissism in the workplace – A serious issue that may have a major detrimental impact on an entire organization.
- Machiavellianism in the workplace
- Perceived organizational support
- Perceived psychological contract violation – Belief that one's employer has broken promises
- Psychological contract
- Psychopathy in the workplace – Psychopaths typically represent a relatively small percentage of workplace staff but can do enormous damage when in senior management roles.
- Work–family conflict – Type of conflict
- Work–life balance in the United States
- Work–life interface
- Concussions in sport
- Jury stress – Physical and mental tension affecting juries
- Shift work – Employment practice designed for 24 hours per day / 7 days per week
- Brun, Emmanuelle; Milczarek, Malgorzata (2007). "Expert forecast on emerging psychosocial risks related to occupational safety and health". European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
- Schaufeli, W.B., & Greenglass, E.R. (2001). Introduction to special issue on burnout and health. Psychology and Health, 16, 501-510.
- EU-OSHA (2007). Expert forecast on emerging psychosocial risks related to occupational safety and health. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
- Middeldorp, C.M., Cath, D.C., & Boomsma, D.I. (2006). A twin-family study of the association between employment, burnout and anxious depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 90, 163- 169.
- Tom Cox; Amanda Griffiths; Eusebio Rial-González (2000). Research on Work-related Stress. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publication of The European Communities. p. 167. ISBN 92-828-9255-7. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- Marmot, M., Bosma, H., Hemingway, H., Brunner, E., & Stansfeld, S. (1997). Contribution of job control and other risk factors to social variations in coronary heart disease incidence. The Lancet, 350, 235-239.
- Cox, T., Griffiths, A., & Rial-Gonzalez, E. (2000). Research on work related stress. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
- Ng, D.M., & Jeffery, R.W. (2003). Relationships between perceived stress and health behaviors in a sample of working adults. Health Psychology, 22(6), 638-642.
- EU-OSHA (2002). How to tackle psychosocial issues and reduce work-related stress. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
- Psychosocial issues on OSH-Wiki