Occupational Stressors and Worker’s Health

The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia (2002-2006)

Principal Investigator: Milica Gomzi

Due to changing of work patterns and work organisation the requirements of the job do not match the worker’s capabilities. Workers in jobs with high psychological demands combined with low work control most frequently show symptoms of stress. The objectives of this investigation are to determine 1. job characteristics known to produce stress reactions; 2. the frequency of early health disorders, psychological strain and behavioural changes; 3. the interacting factors, including psychological status, job task related features and ergonomic conditions; 4. potential relationship between long-term exposure to occupational stresses and the occurrence of some chronic medical conditions. Multidisciplinary approach and epidemiological methodology are applied: standardised questionnaires and diagnostic tests, medical examinations, ergonomic analysis of equipment, job tasks analysis, standardised interview, psychiatric examination and personality tests, descriptive and multivariate statistical analysis. The relationship of job stressors, life style, health, behavioural and personality characteristics are examined. Prospectively, the change of the level of perceived stress and of the characteristics of occupational stressors will be assessed two-years after introduction of intervention measures. The presence of comorbid conditions including diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia as potential consequences of harmful work will be determined. Attention will be devoted to an analysis of the nature and significance of employees’ mental models of coping with stress. The present investigation attempts to identify those hazards which pose a threat to examined employees and to propose measures for medical surveillance, ergonomic recommendations and intervention strategy that mitigate adverse occupational stressors and outcomes.

Keywords: occupational health; occupational health psychology; stress at work; work conditions; workplace assessment; ergonomics; health effects; work-related diseases;  lifestyle; smoking; occupational safety