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An analysis of job stress in coal mining.

Althouse R; Hurrell JJ Jr.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 77-217, 1977 May; :1-143
A sample of 486 miners and mine foremen employed in 29 mines in 9 states was investigated via the NIOSH Occupational Environment Questionnaire to determine whether job stresses would be a real hazard to their psychological well-being. The hypotheses used in the research were that: mines exhibiting high rates of accidents adversely affected the experiences and attitudes of their employees; job stressors produced occupational stress and affected the psychological status of the miners; and greater psychological strain resulted in more reported illness among the miners. Interest in the effect of accident rates among miners stemmed from the likelihood that high rates would increase the difficulty of performing work tasks or affect interpersonal relations, and that there would be a predisposition toward health problems associated with an escalated accident rate in a mine. Evidence indicated that job stresses clustered together and had identifiable effects on responses among miners. When a comparison was drawn with an national occupational sample in which a cluster of stressors among low status jobs had been identified, miners reported no greater job stress, but indicated significantly more affective strains - anxiety, depression, irritation, somatic complaints - than workers in a number of other blue-collar jobs. Among miners, perceived stressors and work load features of jobs were reflected in the relationship between conflicting role demands and relations with supervisory personnel. Poor relations with foremen and conflicting role demands fed dissatisfaction and encouraged worker discontentment. Results also showed that underground coal miners reported a substantial amount of strain, and those who did were more likely to report problems with their health.
NIOSH-Author; Mining-industry; Safety-attitude; Psychological-factors; Psychological-stress; Accident-prevention; Accident-proneness; Emotional-stress; Morbidity; Emotional-disorders; Human-engineering; Industrial-psychology
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DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 77-217
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: January 28, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division