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Psychosocial risk assessment at the workplace and implications for interventions: The development of the instrument OrgFit

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Objectives The presentation introduces results of the development of the instrument OrgFit for psychosocial risk management and the implementation into the work of work and organizational psychologists. Risk assessment at the workplace is a legal obligation for organizations and nowadays the focus has strongly changed to the psychosocial risk management. The assessment of mental workload is therefore an important issue. The concept for mental workload at the workplace (s. ISO 10075-1) defines several areas which have to be assessed. It is also crucial that the results of these assessments can be used for practical interventions. Method The instrument OrgFit was developed especially according to the requirements of the ISO 10075 and work and organizational concepts (especially the action regulation theory). Two big studies 2013 (N=514) and 2015 (N=1200) in Austria and additional field studies (together N=7210, of a broad range of industrial sectors) have been carried out. The first two studies have been done with Austrian workers invited by an online panel organization. These samples were representative with respect to gender, age and regional distribution. Results The two big studies show good results of the psychometric properties (Cronbach Alpha for the dimension “Work Activities and Tasks” is .8, for “Organizational climate” .93, for “Work Environment” .89, for “Work Flow and Work Organization” .84). The validity results regarding effects on psychosocial outcomes are consistent and support the intended goals to assess psychosocial risks that can lead to impaired effects for psychological health. The structure and the main results of these two and the additional field studies are presented. Conclusion A very important step in the process of psychosocial risk management is the final evaluation or “weighing” of the quantitative results and the prioritization of the critical fields from the viewpoint of psychological models and concepts. An approach for this integration of the results should be done in a participative way but should also include a rationale for the derivation of interventions. A model for the application in practice which is based on different theoretical concepts will also be presented and discussed.
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The evaluation of psychosocial risks
at the workplace and implications
for interventions:
Results of studies for the
development of the instrument
OrgFit
Paul Jiménez 1. Michaela Höfer 2. Cornelia Schmon 2. Anita Dunkl 1
1 Department of Psychology. University of Graz
2 research-team GmBH. Austria
ECP Amsterdam. July 12th 2017
2
Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Introduction
Healthy workplaces
Healthy workplaces can be created by a detailed assessment of psychological
risks at the workplace through psychosocial risk management (PRIMA, see
prima-ef.org; Leka, Jain, Cox & Kortum, 2011)
The Instrument OrgFit was developed to assess different dimensions of
workload and to especially fullfil the legal requirements in Austria and
Germany (assessing mental stress in the definition of ISO 10075-1) for a
comprehenisve risk assessment (Jiménez & Dunkl, 2017)
3
Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Objective workload and subjective strain
Environment
Task requirements Physical conditions Societal factors Soc. & org. factors
e.g. sustained
attention, information
processing,
responsibility, task
content, etc.
e.g. lighting, climatic
conditions, noise,
weather, odours, etc.
e.g. type of
organization, group
factors, leadership,
conflicts, social
contacts, etc.
e.g. social demands,
cultural standing,
economic situation
Individual characteristics (internal to person): modifying stress-strain relationship, e.g.:
Level of aspiration, confidence in one‘s own capabilities, motivation, attitudes, coping styles,
abilities, skills, knowledge, experience, general condition, health, physical consitution, age, etc.
Mental Strain
Environmental constituents of mental stress (external to person)
Cause
Effect
Facilitating concequences (short/long term) Imparing concequences (short/long terrm)
Short term: Warming-up, activation, learning
Long term: Practice, compentence dev.
Short term: Mental fatigue, fatigue-like states, reduced
vigilance, monotony, mental satiation, stress response
long term: Burnout;
Environment
pre Version March 2016 ISO/FDIS 10075-1:2016(E)
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Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Process PRIMA
Psychosocial Risk Management Concept
Development/Adaptation
Considerung the current status of
science and practice,
s. ASCHG, § 2 (8), § 7; ISO 10075-2
Information
Employees are informed about
the planned assessment and
analysis in good time
Assessment and
Analysis in total
All employees are involved
s. ASCHG, § 4 (1); ; ISO 10075-2, -3
Assessment
in depth
Special areas, groups of
employees etc.
s. ASCHG, § 6 (1); ISO 10075-2, 4.1
Interpretation
Summary and feedback of the
results with all stakeholders.
s. ASCHG, § 4 (3);
Decision of
intervention
Interventions are chosen
regarding levels of risks -
collective interventions on top.
s. ASCHG, § 4 (3);
Documentation
Sources of risks, concepts,
derivation of interventions have
to be documented
s. ASCHG, § 5;
Evaluation
All interventions have to be
evaluated regarding the
outcomes and effectiveness
s. ASCHG, § 4 (4)
Recommended process of the psychosocial risk analysis
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Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Studies - Background, goals
Investigating the psychometric quality of the instrument OrgFit.
Testing the relationship between the different dimensions of workload in the
OrgFit and the employees‘ outcomes in the sense of strain and resources
Dimensions assessed in the OrgFit:
Work activities and tasks
Organizational climate
Work environment
Work flow and organization
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Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Method
Procedure
Study I
Online-Panel Study, N=514 first study with the developed items
Study II
Online-Panel Study, N=1200 norm-building study, representative for Austria
Study III:
Additional field studies in various industrial sectors, N=7210
practice studies with a heterogeneous group of smaller organizations
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Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Method - Samples
Study I
Study II
Study III
N
N=514
N=1200
N=7210
Numer
of studies
1
1
53
Gender
female
: 50%
male: 50%
female
: 52%
male: 48%
female
: 55%
male: 45%
Age
until
30 yrs: 19%
31
to 50 yrs: 62%
more
than 50 yrs: 19%
until
29 yrs: 20%
30
to 49 yrs: 58%
more
than 49 yrs: 22%
until
24 yrs: 10%
25
to 54 yrs: 79%
more
than 54 yrs: 11%
Education
University:
18%
University:
26%
University:
24%
Employment
part
-time: 26%
full
-time: 46%
more
than full-time: 28%
part
-time: 23%
full
-time: 52%
more
than full-time: 25%
part
-time: 36%
full
-time or more: 64%
Industrial
sector
various
various
various
8
Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Method Questionnaires
Assessment of workload/mental stress at work - OrgFit
(Jiménez & Dunkl. 2017)
Work activities and tasks
Organizational climate
Work environment
Work flow and organization
54 Items
0 …never
6 …always
EXAMPLE ITEMS:
How many times have you experienced the following aspects
in the last 4 weeks?
My work required high levels of attention.
(work activities and tasks)
At work. I had conflicts with my direct superior.
(organizational climate)
New tasks were explained to me badly.
(organizational climate)
I had to work with hazardous equipment.
(work environment)
I was lacking space for the performance of my tasks.
(work environment)
I had frequently changing working hours.
(work flow and organization)
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Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Method Q.: Validation instrument
Recovery-Stress* Questionnaire for Work (RESTQ-Work-27)
(Jiménez & Kallus. 2016)
Social emotional stress*
Performance(-related) stress*
Loss of meaning/burnout
Overall recovery
Leisure/breaks
Psychosocial recovery
Work-related recovery
Strain(stress*)
(α =.91-.93)
Resources
(α = .84-.90)
55 Items
0 …never
6 …always
EXAMPLE ITEMS:
In the past (7) days/nights…
… I felt frustrated through my work.
(Loss of meaning/burnout)
… I had
the chance to make suggestions at work. (Work-related resources)
* The questionnaire RESTQ-Work uses the word „stress“; in the ISO 10075 def. It measures the outcome i.e. strain
Jiménez. P.. & Kallus. W. K. (2016). EBF-Work (27) [RESTQ-Work (27)]. Frankfurt: Pearson Assessment.
10
Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
OrgFit. Internal Consistencies 1/2
Study I & Study II
dimension
study I
α study II
α
subtests
study I
α study II
α
Work
activities
and
tasks .79 .80
Mental
tasks .84 .83
Emotional
tasks - general .66 .68
Emotional
tasks - customer oriented .66 .70
Organizational
climate
.93 .93
Qualification
and competencies .61 .55
Cooperation
with colleagues .84 .87
Cooperation
with leaders .61 .43
Feedback
and recognition .88 .83
Information
processes .87 .81
Latitude
and participation .92 .88
Fairness
.68 .76
Study I: N=514
Study II: N=1200
Jiménez. P., & Dunkl. A. (2017). Assessment of psychosocial risks and mental stress at work. The development of the
instrument OrgFit. Journal of Ergonomics, 7(1), 1-6. doi: 10.4182/2165-7556.1000188
11
Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
OrgFit. Internal Consistencies 2/2
Study I & Study II
dimension
study I
α study II
α
subtests
study I
α study II
α
Work
environment
.88 .89
Physical
tasks .70 .69
Climatic
conditions .77 .76
Acoustic
conditions .72 .76
Visual
conditions .59 .58
Work
space .73 .79
Work
equipment .78 .75
Workplace
hazards .76 .78
Breaks
.67 .61
Work flow and
work
organization
.85 .84
Internal
interfaces .51 .59
Working
processes .69 .66
Objectives
and responsibilities .63 .56
Disturbances
and interruptions .81 .79
Working hours
.65 .61
Quantity
of work .90 .85
Study I: N=514
Study II: N=1200
Jiménez. P., & Dunkl. A. (2017). Assessment of psychosocial risks and mental stress at work. The development of the
instrument OrgFit. Journal of Ergonomics, 7(1), 1-6. doi: 10.4182/2165-7556.1000188
12
Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Correlations Workload - outcomes
Study I & Study II
Correlations (mental workload x strain / resources)
mental
workload
OrgFit
strain RESTQ
-W
work
activities
and tasks
organizational
climate work
environment
work flow and
work
organization
study
I II I II I II I II
strain
Social
emotional strain .31 .39 .47 .51 .34 .44 .43 .47
Performance
-related strain .33 .42 .43 .47 .41 .49 .43 .55
Loss
of meaning / burnout .35 .43 .58 .61 .48 .55 .54 .59
recovery
Recovery
-.19 -.14 -.54 -.56 -.33 -.35 -.31 -.34
Leisure
/ Breaks -.41 -.35 -.35 -.51 -.43 -.51 -.46 -.57
Psychosocial
Resources -.07 -.04 -.51 -.58 -.17 -.25 -.28 -.27
Work
-related resources -.04 -.01 -.71 -.72 -.25 -.32 -.25 -.28
Study I: N=514
Study II: N=1200
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Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Internal consistencies industrial sectors
Study III
Sample
size
No
. of
comp
-
anies
Work
activities
and
tasks
Organizational
climate
Work
environment
Work
flow
and
organization
Agriculture
and forestry
N=73
1
.80 .89 .86 .82
Mining
N=73
1
.73 .93 .92 .84
Manufacturing
N=222
1
.67 .89 .91 .73
Energy
supply
N=118
1
.80 .92 .71 .82
Building
and construction
N=239
2
.78 .92 .89 .80
Commerce
N=590
1
.73 .91 .80 .77
Traffic
N=54
1
.58 .85 .81 .57
Accommodation
and food
N=54
1
.76 .88 .86 .82
IT
N=657
2
.69 .90 .85 .80
Finance
and insurance
N=485
3
.78 .91 .75 .79
Public
sector
N=854
10
.77 .92 .86 .82
Education
N=68
1
.71 .92 .76 .73
Health
and social care
N=2081
13
.77 .92 .87 .80
Other
services
N=235
3
.72 .92 .84 .83
Not
specified
N=1407
12
.77 .90 .85 .82
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Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Factorial structure* - Study III
subtests
factor
1
factor
2
factor
3
factor
4
factor
1
factor
2
factor
3
factor
4
Mental
tasks -
.17
.20
.07
.33
-
.06
.14
.43
.15
Emotional
tasks - general
.24
-
.06
-
.16
.82
.03
-
.15
.85
-
.02
Emotional
tasks - customer oriented
.14
.09
-
.15
.66
.17
-
.15
.65
.04
Qualification
and competencies
.60
.01
-
.23
-
.09
.16
-
.60
-
.05
.04
Cooperation
with colleagues
.57
-
.05
-
.10
.00
.03
-
.58
.02
-
.06
Cooperation
with leaders
.80
.06
.09
.11
.03
-
.74
.05
.04
Feedback and recognition
.82
-
.02
.10
.12
-
.01
-
.79
.09
-
.06
Information
processes
.60
.20
-
.19
-
.07
.06
-
.67
-
.04
.29
Latitude
and participation
.70
-
.16
-
.14
.02
.05
-
.75
.06
-
.14
Fairness
.90
.10
.09
.06
-
.04
-
.85
.05
.12
Physical
tasks -
.01
-
.14
-
.66
.15
.52
-
.06
.25
-
.08
Climatic conditions
.06
.02
-
.55
.05
.54
-
.02
.09
-
.02
Acoustic conditions
-
.06
.12
-
.53
.03
.50
.02
.03
.14
Visual conditions
.03
-
.01
-
.53
-
.09
.54
-
.04
-
.09
-
.06
Work space
.00
.15
-
.57
-
.01
.70
.00
-
.09
.06
Work equipment
.01
.09
-
.69
-
.02
.78
.04
-
.02
.06
Workplace hazards
-
.01
-
.08
-
.64
.04
.67
.06
.05
.03
Breaks
.17
.39
-
.26
.10
.15
-
.18
.07
.42
Internal
interfaces -
.17
.33
.01
.05
.04
.26
.08
.36
Working processes
.16
.46
-
.28
-
.01
.16
-
.16
.07
.49
Objectives and responsibilities
.46
.26
-
.13
-
.18
.02
-
.49
-
.16
.27
Disturbances and interruptions
.16
.65
-
.09
.12
.07
-
.08
.12
.66
Working hours
.14
.54
-
.01
.05
.09
-
.06
.06
.46
Quantity of work
.26
.47
-
.13
.07
.09
-
.34
.05
.42
Eigenvalues
7.97 2.33 1.72 1.29 7.55 2.83 1.51 1.33
Explained variance in %
33.21%
9.73% 7.15% 5.38% 31.46%
11.80%
6.29% 5.56%
Public sector Health and social care
*Principal axis analysis with oblimin rotation
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Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Profile (example)
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Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Overview Assessment Process
Questionnaire-Survey (online/paper-pencil)
deviations found
final documentation
production areas: comparison with reference values in preparation
final evaluation work psy., determination
measurements in work group
stress does not result in
strain
comparison: actual value at the workplace (survey) with reference values
(at least 5 people)
final documentation
consulting available information sources (employees responsible
for health/safety, workerscouncil)
judgment of experts from work psychology about further steps
interviews and workshops
no deviations found
feedback to work groups and consulting
the leaders about stress and concrete
measurements
final documentation
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Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Criteria for evaluation
When is „detected“ stress judged as strain / risk?
Deviation from mean (higher! than)
Is there only one stress factor, that deviates, or are there more
factors/scales?
Information from internal experts
Information from documents in the organization
Other parameters (overtime, absenteeism/sickness rate,
turnover decisions)
Expertise from work- and organizational psychologists
Interviews and workshops with leaders and employees in a
participating way
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Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Evaluation workshops
Procedure
1. (OrgFit with analysis)
2. Short presentation about results
3. Finding the stress factors by the
employees as detailed as possible
4. Check: Does this stress lead to strain?
5. Priority of mental stress
6. Participative derivation
of interventions
7. Ressources
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Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Evaluation workshops - basics
Planning is the success…
>Workshops adapted to work groups and shifts
>Workshops without leaders
>Workshops before or after a shift, for employees without
shift work in their regular work time
>Length: about 2.5 hours
20
Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Evaluation workshops the ugly
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Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Evaluation workshops the nice
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Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Documentation of the process
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Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
Conclusion
ALL critical dimensions of workload (e.g., ISO 10075-1) have to be
investigated to obtain a comprehensive understanding of workload at the
workplace and the employees’ experience of stress and resources
These dimensions are key points for reducing mental workload at work
The OrgFit can be used to measure such dimensions of workload during
risk assessment and can serve as a base for developing specific
interventions on an organizational level
A very important step in the process of psychosocial risk management is
the final evaluation or “weighing” of the quantitative results and the
prioritization of the critical fields from the viewpoint of psychological
models and concepts.
An approach for this integration of the results should be done in a
participative way but should also include a rationale for the
derivation of interventions.
24
Jiménez, Höfer, Schmon & Dunkl
References
ISO (2000) ISO 10075-1: Ergonomic principles related to mental workload -
General terms and definitions. Switzerland, Geneva.
Jiménez. P., & Dunkl. A. (2017). Assessment of psychosocial risks and
mental stress at work. The development of the instrument OrgFit. Journal
of Ergonomics, 7(1), 1-6. doi: 10.4182/2165-7556.1000188
Jiménez. P., & Kallus. K. W. (2016). EBF-Work (55) [RESTQ-Work (55)].
Frankfurt. Pearson Assessment.
Leka. S.. Jain. A.. Cox. T., & Kortum. E. (2011). The Development of the
European Framework for Psychosocial Risk Management: PRIMA-EF.
Journal of Occupational Health, 53, 137-143. doi: 10.1539/joh.O10010
Contact
Paul Jiménez 1
paul.jimenez@uni-graz.at
1 Department of Psychology . University of Graz
2 research-team GmBH. Austria
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Article
Full-text available
To reach the goal of healthy workplaces, psychosocial risks at the workplace (also called “mental stress”) must be assessed and managed for every workplace. Psychosocial risks have to be assessed as widely as possible to support deriving tailored interventions for organizations. The OrgFit was constructed to capture all relevant areas of stress according to international requirements (e.g., according to the ISO 10075-1 or the Framework Directive 89/391/ EEC). In this paper, the psychometric properties of the OrgFit were investigated in two studies. The first study aimed at testing the factorial structure of the OrgFit with an exploratory factor analysis. In the second study, an additional factor analysis was conducted and construct validity between the dimensions of the OrgFit and work-related strain (convergent validity) and recovery/resources (discriminant validity) was tested. In both studies, Austrian workers were invited to participate in an online study by sending out e-mails. With this procedure, representative samples of 514 workers (study I) and 1200 workers (study II) were obtained to conduct the analyses. Factor structure as well as reliability and validity coefficients show satisfactory results. The internal consistencies show values between 0.79 and 0.93, which meets the requirement for analyses on an organizational level. The validity analyses indicate that the dimensions in the OrgFit are capable of assessing stress that might lead to negative strain outcomes. The OrgFit can be used in the process of risk assessment for a comprehensive assessment of mental stress and can serve as a base for developing specific process-and structure-oriented interventions.
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents the development process of the European framework for psychosocial risk management (PRIMA-EF). It also summarises and discusses key findings of research conducted through this policy-orientated research programme. This paper presents an overview of the development process of PRIMA-EF. The background, methods and outcomes are described and discussed. The paper summarises the key findings of PRIMA-EF and concludes by a discussion of the merit of PRIMA-EF in the area of psychosocial risk management and its intended use. PRIMA-EF has been built on a review, critical assessment, reconciliation and harmonisation of existing European approaches for the management of psychosocial risks and the promotion of mental health at the workplace. The framework has been built from a theoretical analysis of the risk management process, identifying its key elements in logic and philosophy, strategy and procedures, areas and types of measurement, and from a subsequent analysis of European risk management approaches. It is meant to accommodate all existing psychosocial risk management approaches across Europe. It also provides a model and key indicators that relate to the psychosocial risk management process both at the enterprise and macro levels. Experts, researchers, social partners, key European and international organisations and networks were involved throughout the development of PRIMA-EF. A number of methods were applied including literature, case study and policy reviews, interviews, surveys, focus groups and workshops. The scientific findings have been used to develop user-friendly tools for use at the enterprise and policy levels such as guidelines, indicators, guidance sheets, inventories and web-based tools. PRIMA-EF is intended as a framework for harmonizing practice and current methods in the area of psychosocial risk management. It can also be used as a guidance tool for the development of further methods both in Europe and internationally as it can provide a benchmark for validation of new methods. A number of priorities have been identified on the basis of PRIMA-EF for the future of psychosocial risk management and the promotion of mental health at workplace in Europe.