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Sources of stress among machine-paced letter-sorting-machine operators.
Hurrell-JJ Jr.; Smith-MJ
Machine Pacing and Occupational Stress, Proceedings of the International Conference, Purdue University, 1981 Mar; :253-259
A study of stress and its effects among machine paced letter sorting machine (MPLSM) operators was conducted. The cohort consisted of 6589 MPLSM operators at 50 postal facilities in the United States. An approximately equal number of postal workers not using MPLSMs served as the comparisons. The subjects completed questionnaires designed to analyze perceived job stressors and describe health status. The responses of the MPLSM operators were analyzed. A total of 3205 completed questionnaires were returned by the MPLSM operators. The mean age of the respondents was 34 years. Fifty three percent were male. High work related self esteem and content free job satisfaction were significantly associated with task satisfaction, organizational satisfaction, and reduced work pressure. Low work related self esteem and content free job satisfaction and high work pressure were significantly associated with anxiety and depression. Younger operators tended to report more depression. Content free job satisfaction, sex, and work pressure accounted for most of the self reported gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal complaints. Age, cognitive demands, and work related self esteem were significant predictors of physician diagnosed high blood pressure. Content free job satisfaction, education, and work pressure were significantly associated with physician designed gastritis. The authors conclude that job satisfaction appears to have the greatest impact on MPLSM operators. Job satisfaction may pose a special problem for machine paced workers because of its boring nature and lack of challenge.
Job-stress; Postal-employees; Epidemiology; Automation; Health-survey; Psychophysiology; Mental-processes; Task-performance; Repetitive-work
Machine Pacing and Occupational Stress, Proceedings of the International Conference, Purdue University, March 1981
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division