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A prospective study of the psychological and physiological effects of machine paced work in the United States Postal Service. An exploratory study.
NIOSH 1985; :1-306
A study of stress among machine paced United States postal workers (SIC-4311) was conducted. The cohort consisted of 60 to 65 letter sorting machine (LSM) operator applicants of a midwestern post office. The comparisons consisted of 40 to 50 individuals who never worked with LSMs. Questionnaires designed to elicit information on job satisfaction and psychological and physical health status were administered. Blood and urine samples were assayed for standard biochemical parameters. Interviews and physical examinations that included hearing tests and tests of wrist flexion and grip strength were given. The tests were repeated yearly over a 6 year period. Job satisfaction and self esteem among LSM operators decreased while boredom and workload dissatisfaction increased. Somatic complaints tended to be more frequent among LSM operators; however, only the incidence of hand problems and nervousness was significantly elevated. There was no consistent pattern in the incidence of behavioral problems and biochemical data in the LSM operators. No significant hearing differences that could be attributed to LSM noise exposure were found. The author concludes that LSM work has a definite adverse effect on job attitudes. Except for neuromusculoskeletal injuries to the hands, no deterioration in physical health occurs.
NIOSH-Contract; Physiological-measurements; Industrial-psychology; Mental-health; Stress; Occupational-psychology; Physiology; Psychophysiology; Psychological-reactions; Job-stress; Contract-210-79-0072
Final Contract Report
NTIS Accession No.
Division of Biomedical and Behavioral Science, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division