An international conference on health issues affecting clerical and secretarial personnel is reviewed. The stresses associated with minority issues, and sexual harassment of secretarial and clerical personnel are discussed. Management's concern with the effects of clerical stress are presented. Safety, health, and collective bargaining issues, as well as the environmental health concerns of air quality and ventilation are explored. Video display terminals are discussed in terms of their ergonomic impact, effects on health, and relation to stress. Office automation, its future impact, and effect on productivity is assessed. The role of management and its responsibility for stress reduction and other human factors are considered. Field studies are reported for stressful effects of office work and office worker illnesses. Psychological aspects, mental health considerations, and job satisfaction among secretarial and clerical workers are discussed. The authors conclude that working under the proper conditions can facilitate employee health, while the absence of certain positive elements or the presence of stresses can create job dissatisfaction, and poor mental and physical health. Job participation, control over tasks and work pace, and personal respect are important to employees' well being.
NIOSH, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio