252187 Work Organization and Occupational Health Disparities

Monday, October 31, 2011: 9:45 AM

Paul Landsbergis, PhD , School of Public Health, SUNY-Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
Joseph G. Grzywacz, PhD , Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Anthony D. LaMontagne, ScD, MA, MEd , Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
This paper is designed to synthesize what is known about the role work organization plays in creating, sustaining, or exacerbating occupational health disparities. Work organization is an umbrella concept referring to the way "work gets done"; it includes multiple focal points at different levels, including: the way individual jobs are designed and performed, management and human resource policies, and development and use of alternative production methods, and is influenced by the tension between welfare state and neo-liberal labor market policies. This paper focuses on job insecurity and related concepts as a core feature of work organization relevant to occupational health disparities borne by specific groups of workers. To accomplish this goal, the paper will: 1) present a conceptual model describing the two main mechanisms by which work organization contributes to occupational health disparities (i.e., greater exposure to work organization hazards in specific groups, and stronger associations between these exposures and health outcomes in specific groups); 2) review basic and intervention research to summarize what is known about job insecurity/instability and related concepts and their contribution to occupational health disparities by age, gender, socioeconomic position, race, ethnicity, and immigration status; and 3) delineate high priority areas of research needed to reduce job insecurity/instability and related work organization stressors as a means of eliminating occupational health disparities.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
1) Assess the evidence linking work organization stressors and job insecurity to occupational health disparities. 2) Evaluate evidence of the effectiveness of workplace programs and interventions designed to reduce occupational health disparities due to work organization.

Keywords: Underserved Populations, Workplace Stressors

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Landsbergis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. He holds a PhD in Epidemiology from Columbia University and an EdD in Labor Studies from Rutgers University. His research focuses on socioeconomic position, work organization, work stress, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, psychological disorders and musculoskeletal disorders. Dr. Landsbergis is a co-editor of "The Workplace and Cardiovascular Disease" (Hanley & Belfus, 2000), the first textbook on this subject, and "Unhealthy Work", to be published in 2008 by Baywood. He is also a co-author of comprehensive reviews of studies on job strain and cardiovascular disease, on new systems of work organization and worker health, and on interventions to reduce job stress and improve health. Dr. Landsbergis was a member of the National Research Councilís Committee on the Health and Safety Needs of Older Workers, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Intervention Effectiveness Research Team, and co-chair of the 4th International Conference on Work Environment and Cardiovascular Disease (in 2005). He is a contributing editor of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.