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Are you certain? Uncertainty, health, and safety in contemporary work.
Am J Publ Health 1998 Jul; 88(7):1012-1013
Driven by international competition and the rapid pace of technological change, corporate mergers, acquisitions, and downsizing have become an important part of commerce in the last decade of the 20th century. In the United States, downsizing led to more than 10 million workers being displaced or losing their jobs between 1989 and 1992 and well over 500000 announced layoffs in both 1993 and 1994. According to an analysis of Labor Department data by the New York limes, 43 million jobs were eliminated between 1979 and 1995. These figures suggest that, for many American workers, this is indeed an age of uncertainty. Social scientists and epidemiologists have long had an interest in the adverse health impacts of what is perhaps the most individually salient of all forms of workplace uncertainty: uncertainty regarding future employment status. Beginning with the truly seminal work by Kasl and Cobb at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, researchers over the past 32 years have linked both the anticipation of job loss and the loss itself (entailing losses of identity, social roles, and self-esteem) to a variety of deleterious physical and psychological consequences. In a recent study and in a further analysis reported in this issue, Ferrie et al. have built upon this body of work by providing yet more rigorous evidence of a relationship between employment uncertainty and morbidity.
Health-hazards; Health-programs; Health-protection; Health-standards; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Safety-research; Work-environment; Work-practices; Workplace-studies
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Public Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division