Journal of Health and Medical Sciences
Published: 28 May 2020
Combined Effects of Occupational Hazards: The Impact of Combined Stressors on Health and Work Performance
Rachel McNamara, Ben Wellens, Andrew P. Smith
Cardiff University, UK
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Keywords: Psychology, Occupational medicine, Epidemiology, Stressors, Combined effects
There exists a significant body of evidence regarding the effects of occupational hazards. These effects are often considered in isolation, yet a significant proportion of the workforce is exposed to several hazards at a time. The purpose of this study was to investigate the combined impact of workplace factors on mood, cognitive performance and physiology. Participants completed a battery of objective measures before and after work, as previous research (e.g. Broadbent et al. 1989) has shown the difference between before and after work measures to be a good indicator of workload demands during the day. The test battery was performed on the first and last days of the working week. Subjective information regarding chronic and acute (i.e. daily) exposure to hazards was also collected. Mean composite 'total negative factors' scores were created for exposure to chronic and acute stressors (e.g. noise, exposure to hazardous substances, job demand): median splits of these variables were then entered into a series of ANOVAs where mood, simple reaction time and physiology served as dependent measures. Findings indicate that chronic exposure to negative factors results in increased susceptibility to fatigue, over the course of the testing session, working day and working week.
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