Psychology 2060 Lecture Notes - Occupational Health Psychology, Occupational Stress, Role Theory

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Published on 20 Apr 2013
Chapter 12- Occupational Health Psychology
Improvement of work life the protection and safety of workers and promotion of healthy work
Occupational health psychology (OHP): uses of psychology at work to improve work life to
ensure the protection and safety of workers and to promote healthy work
o how workplace practices and policies supervision and leadership affect employees
physical and psychological well being
o promoting and protecting the psychological and physical health of workers themselves,
through preventions and job design
Occupational health and safety (OHS): identifying , evaluating and controlling both the
physical and psychological hazards in work environment
Health and Safety Legislation in Canada
statutes legal foundation which employers must comply
regulations employer must do in order to comply with law
Who is responsible for employee health and safety ?
1. employers, owners and contractors
2. supervisors
3. workers
4. joing health and safety committees
employers must take precautions to ensure safety of employees , some jurisdiction
not in effect because other compensation legislation surpasses it
Employers, Owners and Contractors
administrative structure of health and safety
enforcement, education and compensation
supervision, education, training, written instruction
Employer health and safety responsibilities for Ontario
ensure necessary equipment provided and maintained
supervisor is competent
information including confidental in emergency
advise of work hazards
post occupational health and safety act
prepare and maintain policy and review annually
Supervisors : any person in charge of workplace and authority over worker
ensure workers under supervision comply with OH&S Act
ensure workers use safety equipment devices clothing
advise workers possible hazards
provides written instructions to workers
take every reasonable precaution to sure protection
comply with OH&S act
properly use safety equip and clothes
report hazards to supervisors
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ensure don’t use any hazardous equip in unsafe conditions or make safety
device ineffective
act in safe manner and avoid engaging in rough/boisterous behaviour
report any contraventions of act
Join Health and Safety Committees
required by law for certain workplace in 9 provices
other 4 provinces minister responsible
provide non adversial atmosphere which labour and management can work
together to create safer healthier workplace
must train at least one management and one worker on topics: law, general
safety, hygiene, indoor air quality, chemical safety, certified workers right, joint
involved in inspections, work refusals, investigation
Job Stress
external pressures, personal reactions and outcomes
process which we have affective reaction to job demands
occupational stress leading cause of workplace death “epidemic” 12 billion annually
Job Stress Models: Common Themes
identify stimuli damage some way
stimulus potential trigger set of psychological responses impact well being
moderators or buffers moderate relationship between stimuli and stress
perception cognition play important role how appraise stimuli
Classify stress responses: physiological, psychological, behavioural outcomes:
Physiological outcomes: cardiovascular, biochemical measures , gastrotenstinal
Psychological outcomes: job dissatisfaction, depression, anxiety, frustration,
Behavioural outcomes: degradation, disruption of work role itself in terms of job
performance, accidents, alcohol or drug use at work, absenteeism, turnover
6 stress models:
1. transactional stress model: applied to work context, emphasizes
importance of individual perception in stress process
2. conservation of resources model: stress results from losing valued
3. person-job fit model: misfit between individual and job can create stress
4. job demand job control model: job stress results when workers
experience high demands and low degress of control
5. effort reward imbalance model: imbalance between efforts workers put
into job and rewards earned may create individual strain
6. job demands resources model: demands faced by employees and resources
have impact on employees
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Transactional Stress model: prominent general stress models, if you appraise
external stimuli (stressors) as potentially threatening you may perceive them as
stressful (perceived stress) if you then appraise your coping resources as
inadequate you may experience strain (negative psychological behavioural and
physical outcomes)
Stressors: stimuli in environment (events, situations) potentially
Primary appraisal: process which perceive stressor demand to be negative
(stressful), positive (challenge) or benign (no effect)
Perceived stress: perception about extent which you perceive a demand or
stressor to be stressful
Secondary appraisal: process which you appraise your coping resources (
social support)
Strain outcomes: occur in form of psychological strain (depression, anxiety)
physiological strain (increased blood pressure) or behavioural (smoking)
The Conservation of Resources Theory ( COR): individuals strive to obtain and
maintain resources they value
Resources: objects, personal characteristics, conditions, or energies that
valued by individuals or serve as means for attainment
high self esteem, good job
negative outcomes (stain) can occur when lose their resources and
unable to restore them
negative health outcomes not only occur when loss in resources but
when perceive threates to resources
employees perception of work environment are important to
Person- Environment Fit Theory : identifies how negative outcomes may develop
if there is incongruity between employees and their work environment in terms of
mismatch between job requirements and employees abilities or between the needs
of employee and what organization provide them
to ensure fit, must hire right type of people, proper training and development
of opportunities
Job Demands-Job Control Model: high mental strain and job dissatisfaction will
result if employees face high job demands yet have little control over work
Effort Reward Imbalance Model: psychological distress occur if amount of effort
expended at work exceeds amount of reward received in relation to this effort
variant of PE fit model lack of reciprocity between effort and rewards results
in increase levels of stress
Job-Demands Resouces Model (JD-R): employees are exposed to physical,
psychological, social and organization aspects of working environment that can be
categorized either as demands(health impairment) or as resources ( increased
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