Incorporating work organisation into occupational health research: an invitation for dialogue.
MacDonald LA; Härenstam A; Warren ND; Punnett L
Occup Environ Med 2008 Jan; 65(1):1-3
The last decade has seen a lively debate emerge about the proper scope of public health research and the value of examining broad social and environmental factors as interacting determinants of morbidity and mortality. In occupational health and safety, the broader socio-ecological system of most obvious interest is that of the organisations in which workers are employed. However, occupational health researchers have been slow to incorporate broader workplace features into their exposure assessment protocols and epidemiological study designs. The dominant exposure paradigm remains largely confined to the characterisation of risk factors at the job level. While application of this paradigm has contributed much to our understanding of the association between work and worker health and safety, failure to consider the organisational factors and conditions that are antecedents to job-level hazards could limit our ability to design and implement effective and sustainable hazard controls.
Public-health; Occupational-health; Epidemiology; Work-areas; Work-environment; Work-practices; Worker-health; Workplace-studies
Dr L MacDonald, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226
Disease and Injury: Musculoskeletal Disorders of the Upper Extremities
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington