Concerns of the dry‐cleaning industry: A qualitative investigation of labor and management
Occupational scientists agree there are hazards associated with dry-cleaning, but do dry-cleaning owners and workers concur? Knowledge of owners' and workers' perceptions can help guide intervention efforts to reduce worker exposure. To better understand these issues, a qualitative study was conducted using focus group methodology and constant comparative analysis.Methods
Two owner and four worker focus groups were held.ResultsFindings suggest that overall, health and safety issues were not of great concern. Owners were primarily concerned with the economic impact of regulations. Workers did express some anxiety about solvent exposure and burns, but most felt that these hazards were “just part of the job.” Also, other than the installation of air-conditioning in the shops and the provision of health benefits, workers could not think of ways health and safety on the job could be improved.Conclusions
These findings will be used to develop comprehensive safety and health interventions (e.g., engineering plus education and training) in dry-cleaning shops. Am. J. Ind. Med. 35:112–123, 1999. Published 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Available from: Jeffrey Vaughn Johnson
- "The union also advocated for the use of focus groups as the data-collection method, in order to engage frontline staff in this safety issue. Focus groups are an accepted method for PAR (Morgan, 2006) and have been used in other exploratory occupational health studies (Goldenhar et al., 1999; Keith et al.).The university-based investigator secured funding for the project and collaborated with the union to develop a plan for recruiting visiting mental health case managers for the study. "
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this qualitative focus group study was to assess staff perceptions of the implementation and effectiveness of safety measures mandated for home visiting case managers. A participatory action research framework was used to conduct 5 focus groups of case managers employed by a state mental health system in the United States. The participants were employed by a program to provide case management for the severely and persistently mentally ill in the community. Safety measures instituted after the homicide of a visiting case manager were found to be effective in some agencies but not in others. There was variability between agencies in the strictness with which safety protocols, accountability procedures, accompanied visits for high-risk situations, and training were implemented. Contextual factors influenced perceptions of safety. Mandatory safety measures for home visiting health workers may be feasible but further research is necessary to explore risks and contextual factors.
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