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Björklund, E., Nordlöf, H. & Djupsjöbacka, M. (2018). Discourses about electricians in vocational education. In: : . Paper presented at IAACS 2018 'Transnational Curriculum Inquiry: Challenges and Opportunities in a Changing World', 9-12 December, Victoria, Australia.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Discourses about electricians in vocational education
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Students in vocational education to become electricians have an increased risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) once in the workforce compared to most other blue collar professions (Toomingas et al., 2014). This increased risk comes from having to work in awkward body positions, with heavy and sometimes poorly adapted tools and with time constraints. Many end up with chronic disabilities, forcing them to change careers or to go on sickness pension. Besides the significant and damaging consequences for the individual concerned, losing electricians from the workforce is a significant loss for the building industry in which electricians these days are scarce, and for society that not only loses tax-incomes but also possibly need to pay sickness pension for these people during quite a few years. It is therefore important to find ways to prevent MSDs and to promote good ergonomics in the building industry in general and among electricians specifically. Electricians’ knowledge and habits regarding MSDs are first formed and shaped in school, during vocational education to become an electrician. Drawing on the ideas of bio-power and governmentality, as introduced and developed by Foucault (1988, 1990, 2003) and developed by Rose (1999; Rabinow and Rose, 2006), discourses govern how it is possible to think and act. From this standpoint, then, talk and discourses are not perceived as innocent or ‘mere’ talk (Hall, 2001) but as governing the production, regulation and representation of both bodies and subjects through the acquisition of specific dispositions, tastes and abilities (Foucault, 1988; Rose, 1999). Thus, discourses drawn on in school about electricians and the profession govern how it is possible to think and act about oneself and others in relation to both ergonomics and MSD and, by extension, have material effects on electricians’ health. This means that, to foster healthy ergonomics one needs to consider how electricians and the profession are conceived and thought about in school, i.e. how electricians and the profession are discursively conceived. The purpose of this paper is thus to explore discursive constructions of electricians and the profession as these are expressed in discussions about MSDs in the vocational education and school context. Methods used are four focus group interviews: two with students, one with teachers and one with school management at one senior high school program for electricians. In the focus group interviews the participants were asked to discuss ideas about causes and reasons to why electricians develop MSDs, consequences and effects of MSDs and ideas about what could be done to prevent MSDs. The interviews were then transcribed and discursively analyzed with questions in mind about how each group conceived of electricians and the profession.

Keywords
Vocational education, electrician, musculoskeletal disease, ergonomics, discourse
National Category
Pedagogy Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-27010 (URN)
Conference
IAACS 2018 'Transnational Curriculum Inquiry: Challenges and Opportunities in a Changing World', 9-12 December, Victoria, Australia
Available from: 2018-06-14 Created: 2018-06-14 Last updated: 2018-06-18Bibliographically approved
Björklund, E., Nordlöf, H. & Djupsjöbacka, M. (2018). Discursive constructions of electricians in discussions about musculoskeletal disorders among professionals in the field. In: : . Paper presented at Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Conference 2018 'Education Research Matters: Impact and Engagement', 2-6 december, 2018, Sydney, Australien.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Discursive constructions of electricians in discussions about musculoskeletal disorders among professionals in the field
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Electricians have an increased risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) compared to most other blue collar professions. Many end up with chronic disabilities, forcing them to change careers or to go on sickness pension. Besides negative consequences for the individuals concerned, MSDs also have a detrimental impact on the workforce (reduced number of professionals) and on society (financial costs). It is therefore important to find ways to prevent MSDs and to promote good ergonomic behavior. Electricians’ knowledge and habits regarding MSDs are first formed and shaped in school, during vocational education to become an electrician. In the course of this time the students have periods of internship during which they interact with professionals within the field. Drawing on the ideas of bio-power and governmentality, as introduced and developed by Foucault and developed further by Rose, discourses govern how it is possible to think and act. From this standpoint, then, talk and discourses are not perceived as innocent or ‘mere’ talk but as producing and regulating subjects through their acquisition of specific dispositions, tastes and abilities. Thus, discourses drawn on about electricians and the profession during the students’ internship will govern how it is possible for the students to think and act about themselves and others in relation to both ergonomic behavior and MSDs and, by extension, will have material effects on electricians’ health. This means that, to foster healthy ergonomic behavior one needs to consider how electricians are thought of within the field, i.e. how electricians and the profession are discursively conceived. The purpose of this paper is thus to explore discursive constructions of electricians and the profession as these were expressed in discussions about MSDs among professionals in the field.  Two semi-structured focus group interviews and one individual interview with professionals in the field were conducted. The participants were asked to discuss ideas about i) causes as to why electricians develop MSDs, ii) consequences and effects of MSDs, and iii) ideas about what could be done to prevent MSDs. The interviews were transcribed and the material is currently being discursively analyzed with questions in mind about how the participants conceived of electricians and the profession. Results will be presented at the conference, but preliminary analyses suggests that predominant discourses are concerned with the masculinity of electricians as well as with their time pressured work situation, both contributing to casualness towards ergonomic behavior.

Keywords
Vocational education, electrician, musculoskeletal disease, ergonomics, discourse
National Category
Pedagogy Work Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-27626 (URN)
Conference
Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Conference 2018 'Education Research Matters: Impact and Engagement', 2-6 december, 2018, Sydney, Australien
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2018-08-10 Created: 2018-08-10 Last updated: 2018-12-06Bibliographically approved
Djupsjöbacka, M., Björklund, E. & Nordlöf, H. (2018). Utveckling av arbetsmiljöutbildning på yrkesgymnasium för förebyggande av belastningsbesvär och främjandet av ett hållbart arbetsliv för installationselektriker: En förberedande fallstudie. In: Per Lindberg (Ed.), FALF KONFERENS 2018. Arbetet - problem eller potential för en hållbar livsmiljö? Gävle 10-12 juni 2018: Program och Abstracts. Paper presented at FALF KONFERENS 2018 Arbetet - problem eller potential för en hållbar livsmiljö?, 10-12 Juni 2018, Gävle (pp. 92). Gävle: Gävle University Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Utveckling av arbetsmiljöutbildning på yrkesgymnasium för förebyggande av belastningsbesvär och främjandet av ett hållbart arbetsliv för installationselektriker: En förberedande fallstudie
2018 (Swedish)In: FALF KONFERENS 2018. Arbetet - problem eller potential för en hållbar livsmiljö? Gävle 10-12 juni 2018: Program och Abstracts / [ed] Per Lindberg, Gävle: Gävle University Press , 2018, p. 92-Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [sv]

Bakgrund och syfte

Många yrkesprogram på gymnasiet utbildar för yrken där vi vet att anställda ofta drabbas av belastningsrelaterad ohälsa. Exempelvis visar data från Arbetsmiljöverket att 9–12% av alla installationselektriker och elmontörer rapporterar besvär orsakade av påfrestande arbetsställningar och att de rapporterar en ettårsprevalens på 6–10% för besvär i nacke, axlar, arm och rygg till följd av arbetet som varit så svåra att det påverkat arbetsförmågan. Forskning har även visat att elever på elteknikprogram löper särskilt hög risk att drabbas av arbetsskada relativt andra utbildningar. Redan under utbildningen bör åtgärder sättas in för att minska dessa risker.

En genomgång av litteraturen visar dock att det finns tydliga brister i hur yrkesprogram förbereder eleverna för ett kommande arbetsliv vad gäller arbetsmiljökunskap och att orsakerna till dessa brister troligen finns inom undervisningens innehåll och utformning, lärares kompetens och samverkan med yrkeslivet under utbildningen. Vidare kan elever-nas attityder till arbetsmiljöundervisning utgöra ett hinder. Sammantaget förefaller hin-dren för en bra arbetsmiljöutbildning på yrkesprogram inom gymnasiet vara komplexa och multifaktoriella.

Innan åtgärder sätts in för att utveckla undervisningen finns därför stort behov av att kartlägga de komplexa orsakssambanden bakom brister inom utbildningen och utifrån det utforma förbättringsåtgärder.

I vår studie avser vi att svara på forskningsfrågan: Hur anser olika intressenter att olika faktorer inom såväl utbildningen som framtida yrkeskontext interagerar och bidrar till uppkomsten av belastningsbesvär hos installationselektriker?

Metod och resultat

Studien har en fallstudiedesign där fokusgrupper och problemträdsanalys används. Pro-blemträdsanalys är en metod för att kartlägga komplexa orsakssamband och att klargöra grundläggande orsaker. Analysen kan därmed säkra att aktiviteter och insatser inte väljs och påbörjas utan att man först har kartlagt kärnproblemets ofta komplexa orsaker grundligt.

Som underlag till problemträdsanalysen kommer fokusgruppsintervjuer att genomföras där personer från samma kategori intressenter separat samtalar om kärnproblemet. Vi kommer genomföra intervjuer separat med elever, lärare, skolledning och representanter från arbetslivet. Problemträdsanalysen genomförs sedan vid ett tillfälle där 2–3 personer från varje intressent; elever, lärare, skolledningen, representanter från arbetslivet och forskare från projektgruppen deltar. Inför sessionen kommer vi att delge deltagarna underlag baserat på resultaten från fokusgruppintervjuerna och vår litteratursökning så att de kan ta del avSession D:2Individuella presentationer: Fysiskt arbetsliv93vad andra intressegrupper/källor identifierat som möjliga orsaksfaktorer. Efter framtagande av problemträd kommer tänkbara lösningar att formuleras i samverkan med alla intressenter för att skapa ett lösningsträd, vilket kommer att utgöra grund för kommande utvecklingsarbete inom utbildningen.

Datainsamling och analyser genomförs under våren 2018 och preliminära resultat kommer att presenteras på konferensen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Gävle: Gävle University Press, 2018
National Category
Work Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-27068 (URN)978-91-88145-28-4 (ISBN)
Conference
FALF KONFERENS 2018 Arbetet - problem eller potential för en hållbar livsmiljö?, 10-12 Juni 2018, Gävle
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2018-06-15 Created: 2018-06-15 Last updated: 2018-06-18Bibliographically approved
Nordlöf, H., Wiitavaara, B., Högberg, H. & Westerling, R. (2017). A cross-sectional study of factors influencing occupational health and safety management practices in companies. Safety Science, 95, 92-103
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A cross-sectional study of factors influencing occupational health and safety management practices in companies
2017 (English)In: Safety Science, ISSN 0925-7535, E-ISSN 1879-1042, Vol. 95, p. 92-103Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Companies need to ensure a functioning occupational health and safety management (OHSM) system to protect human health and safety during work, but generally there are differences in how successful they are in this endeavor. Earlier research has indicated that factors like company size, safety culture, and different measures of financial performance may be related to the quality of OHSM practices in companies. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether these factors are associated with OHSM practices in companies. A postal questionnaire was used to collect data from a sample of Swedish manufacturing companies, and complementary data regarding the companies were retrieved from a credit bureau database. The statistical analysis was performed with ordinal regression analysis using generalized estimating equations. Different predictor variables were modeled with OHSM practices as the outcome variable, in order to calculate p-values and to estimate odds ratios. Company size, safety culture, and creditworthiness were found to be associated with better, as well as worse, OHSM practices in companies (depending on directionality). Practical implications for industry and future research are discussed.

Keywords
Occupational health and safety (OHS), Safety culture, Manufacturing, Work environment, Financial performance, Generalized estimating equations (GEE)
National Category
Work Sciences Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-20416 (URN)10.1016/j.ssci.2017.02.008 (DOI)000399852500009 ()2-s2.0-85014176338 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2015-10-13 Created: 2015-10-13 Last updated: 2018-12-03Bibliographically approved
Lindberg, P., Karlsson, T., Nordlöf, H., Engström, V. & Vingård, E. (2017). Factors at work promoting mental health and wellbeing - a systematic litterature review. In: : . Paper presented at 12th International Conference on Occupational Stress and Health, "Work, Stress and Health 2017: Contemporary Challenges and Opportunities," 7-10 June, 2017, Minneapolis, USA.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Factors at work promoting mental health and wellbeing - a systematic litterature review
Show others...
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Introduction

There is strong evidence that work itself, despite its risks, reduces the risk of depression and improves mental health (Waddell & Burton, 2006; van der Noordt, IJzelenberg, Droomers, & Proper, 2014). Mental health, like mental illness, is a vaguely defined concept. Mental health is a non-contextual concept which can be defined as absence of mental illness and with the opportunity to develop and flourish with high levels of emotional, psychological and social well-being (Keyes, 2005). The concept of wellbeing at work is inclusive. It relates to the physical environment, work-related risks, organization of work and tasks, relationships with colleagues, personal health and work ability and even family-related stress (Suomaa Leo, Yrjänheikki Erkki, Savolainen Heikki, & Hannu, 2011). It can also be seen as an important determinant of productivity at the individual, corporate and community levels (Schulte & Vainio, 2010).

"Healthy factors" for mental health in the workplace are factors and circumstances at work that may have a preventive and/or promotional effect on mental health and wellbeing of the workers. These factors can serve as resources (buffers) against negative consequences of various risks at work, but they may also be factors that, by themselves, create positive health benefits for the individual and the workplace.

The large numbers of work-related mental unhealthy in the western world (not the least in Sweden), call for actions in improving working conditions, but which are the important determinants of positive mental health and wellbeing at work to be influenced?  A review of indicators for healthy workplaces has recently been performed (Lindberg & Vingård, 2012), but we have not found any comprehensive review explicitly concerning positive mental health at work. Hence, the aim of this study was to review current knowledge concerning determinants for mental health and wellbeing at work.

Method

Two comprehensive literature searches were conducted in nine scientific databases, EBSCO (includes Academic Search Elite, Cinahl, PsycINFO och PsycARTICLES), Emerald, PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science, for relevant articles written in English, German or the Scandinavian languages. The first search, covering 2000-2014, was done for a Swedish government report (Lindberg & Karlsson, 2015). The second search, covering 2014 - June 2016, updated the previous data for the purpose of a scientific publication. Exclusion of articles was made stepwise by title, abstract and full text. The quality of included articles was assessed by acknowledged guidelines (STROBE Statement) and done separately by two researchers. The combined results are being analysed and will be presented in Montreal.

Search terms were: work OR workplace OR "healthy workplace" OR "healthy work" OR "healthy work* environment" OR "good work* environment" AND "depressive disorder" OR depression OR "behavioral symptoms" OR "anxiety disorders" OR "stress, psychological" OR "common mental disorders" OR "mental health" OR "sustainable mental health” OR "mental wellbeing" OR "mental well-being" OR "job wellbeing" OR "job well-being" OR "positive mental health" OR "good mental health" OR "positive mental wellbeing" OR "positive mental well-being" AND prevention OR promotion.

Results

According to preliminary analyses 5378 unique publications were found, of these 30 review-, cohort-, cross sectional-, and qualitative studies are included.

In the included studies 25 individual or categories of related factors promoting positive mental health and wellbeing at work were identified. Below is a list of the twelve most frequently researched factors listed in order of descending frequency.

  • Style of  leadership
  • Empowerment; Autonomy; Control at work; Participation
  • Possibilities for own development
  • Positive work climate
  • Social  support from supervisor
  • Communication supervisor-employee
  • Clear goals
  • Appreciation from supervisors, colleagues, customers
  • Work time control; Enough time
  • Effort-reward balance
  • Intellectually stimulating
  • Job security

 As seen above the most frequently investigated factor was the impact of leadership on mental health. It was found that “good leadership”, i.e. fair, supportive and empowering, gave positive health changes and increased well-being, that increased quality of a staff-oriented leadership reduced sickness absence in the company and that transformational leadership increased psychological wellbeing and job satisfaction among workers.

Conclusion

Independent of study design leadership was the most scrutinized factor. Apart from possibly being a research trend (?), this may be interpreted as an understanding of both its explicit influence on the well-being of the employees, and its implicit influence by having the authority to facilitate communication, empowerment, control, support, respect, work content, feedback, etc.

Practical implications

Working conditions arise in the interaction between the individual and the organization, but creating working conditions that promote mental health cannot be put on the individual. It must be organized in the workplace for the employees in that special context, whereby the leadership seems to be paramount for the promotion of mental health and wellbeing at work.

National Category
Applied Psychology Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-24779 (URN)
Conference
12th International Conference on Occupational Stress and Health, "Work, Stress and Health 2017: Contemporary Challenges and Opportunities," 7-10 June, 2017, Minneapolis, USA
Projects
ArbPsykForterapport 2015: "Psykisk ohälsa, arbetsliv och sjukfrånvaro - en kunskapsöversikt
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Note

Acknowledgements

This study was commissioned by the Swedish government and funded by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, and the University of Gävle.

Available from: 2017-08-02 Created: 2017-08-02 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved
Lindberg, P., Karlsson, T., Nordlöf, H., Engström, V. & Vingård, E. (2017). Factors at work promoting mental health and wellbeing at work – a systematic literature review. In: : . Paper presented at 5th World Congress International Positive Psychology Association, 13-16 July 2017, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Factors at work promoting mental health and wellbeing at work – a systematic literature review
Show others...
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Introduction

There is strong evidence that work itself, despite its risks, reduces the risk of depression and improves mental health (Waddell & Burton, 2006; van der Noordt, IJzelenberg, Droomers, & Proper, 2014). Mental health, like mental illness, is a vaguely defined concept. Mental health is a non-contextual concept, which can be defined as absence of mental illness and with the opportunity to develop and flourish with high levels of emotional, psychological and social well-being (Keyes, 2005). The concept of wellbeing at work is inclusive. It relates to the physical environment, work-related risks, organization of work and tasks, relationships with colleagues, personal health and work ability and even family-related stress (Suomaa, Yrjänheikki, Savolainen, & Jokiluoma, 2011). It can also be seen as an important determinant of productivity at the individual, corporate and community levels (Schulte & Vainio, 2010).

"Healthy factors" for mental health in the workplace are factors and circumstances at work that may have a preventive and/or promotional effect on mental health and wellbeing of the workers. These factors can serve as resources (buffers) against negative consequences of various risks at work. They may also be factors that, by themselves, create positive health benefits for the individual and the workplace.

The large numbers of work-related mental unhealthy in the western world (not the least in Sweden), call for actions in improving working conditions, but which are the important determinants of positive mental health and wellbeing at work to be influenced?  A review of indicators for healthy workplaces has recently been performed (Lindberg & Vingård, 2012), but we have not found any comprehensive review explicitly concerning mental health at work. Hence, the aim of this study was to review current knowledge concerning determinants for mental health and wellbeing at work.

Method

Two comprehensive literature searches were conducted in nine scientific databases, EBSCO (includes Academic Search Elite, Cinahl, PsycINFO och PsycARTICLES), Emerald, PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science, for relevant articles written in English, German or the Scandinavian languages. The first search, covering 2000-2014, was done for a Swedish government report. The second search, covering 2014- June 2016, updated the previous data for the purpose of a scientific publication. Exclusion of articles was made stepwise by title, abstract and full text. The quality of included articles was assessed by acknowledged guidelines (STROBE Statement) and done separately by two researchers. The combined results are being analysed and will be presented in Montreal.

Search terms were: work OR workplace OR "healthy workplace" OR "healthy work" OR "healthy work* environment" OR "good work* environment" AND "depressive disorder" OR depression OR "behavioral symptoms" OR "anxiety disorders" OR "stress, psychological" OR "common mental disorders" OR "mental health" OR "sustainable mental health” OR "mental wellbeing" OR "mental well-being" OR "job wellbeing" OR "job well-being" OR "positive mental health" OR "good mental health" OR "positive mental wellbeing" OR "positive mental well-being" AND prevention OR promotion.

Results

5378 unique publications were found, of these 30 review-, cohort-, cross sectional-, and qualitative studies are included (preliminary data).

We found 25 individual or “group of related factors” promoting positive mental health and wellbeing at work. Below is a list of the twelve most frequently investigated factors arranged in order of descending frequency.

  • Style of leadership
  • Empowerment; Autonomy; Control at work;      Participation
  • Possibilities for own development
  • Positive work climate
  • Social support from supervisor
  • Communication supervisor-employee
  • Clear goals
  • Appreciation from supervisors, colleagues,      customers
  • Work time control; Enough time
  • Effort-reward balance
  • Intellectually stimulating
  • Job security

As seen above the most frequently investigated factor was the impact of leadership on mental health. It was found that “good leadership”, i.e. fair, supportive and empowering, gave positive health changes and increased well-being, that increased quality of a staff-oriented leadership reduced sickness absence in the company and that transformational leadership increased psychological wellbeing and job satisfaction among workers.

Conclusion

Independent of study design leadership was the most investigated factor. Apart from possibly being a research trend, this can be interpreted as an insight into both its explicit influence on the well-being of the employees, and its implicit influence by having the authority to facilitate communication, empowerment, control, support, respect, work content, feedback, etc.

Working conditions arise in the interaction between the individual and the organization, but creating working conditions that promote mental health cannot be put on the individual. It must be organized in the workplace for the employees in that special context, whereby the leadership seems to be paramount for the promotion of mental health and wellbeing at work.

Keywords
Work, mental health, wellbeing, review, leadership
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-24781 (URN)
Conference
5th World Congress International Positive Psychology Association, 13-16 July 2017, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Projects
ArbPsykForterapport 2015: Psykisk ohälsa, arbetsliv och sjuknärvaro - en kunskapsöversikt
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Note

Acknowledgements

This study was commissioned by the Swedish government and funded by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, and the University of Gävle.

Available from: 2017-08-02 Created: 2017-08-02 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved
Nordlöf, H. (2016). Förutsättningar och möjligheter för företag att prioritera och bedriva arbetsmiljö- och säkerhetsarbete. In: : . Paper presented at Inkluderande och hållbart arbetsliv (FALF), 13-15 juni 2016, Östersund, Sverige.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Förutsättningar och möjligheter för företag att prioritera och bedriva arbetsmiljö- och säkerhetsarbete
2016 (Swedish)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [sv]

Många företag saknar idag ett fungerande systematiskt arbetsmiljöarbete (SAM) som uppfyller lagens krav fullt ut. Istället tycks andra dagliga aktiviteter ha högre prioritet. Detta är en presentation av ett avhandlingsarbete, vars övergripande syfte var att undersöka förutsättningar och möjligheter för tillverkande företag att prioritera och arbeta med säkerheten och arbetsmiljön; med särskilt fokus på yrkesroller, företagsstorlek, säkerhetskultur och finansiella nyckeltal. Fyra delstudier (I–IV) ingår i denna avhandling, vilka är baserade på tre datainsamlingar. En enkät som mätte arbetsmiljöprioritering besvarades av 249 representanter vid 142 tillverkande företag (I & II). Fokusgruppintervjuer genomfördes med 66 arbetare på ett stort ståltillverkningsföretag, där deras erfarenheter och uppfattningar om säkerhet och risker i arbetet diskuterades (III). En enkät som mätte SAM, säkerhetskultur och arbetsmiljöprioritering besvarades av 280 representanter vid 197 tillverkande företag (IV). Information om företagens finansiella nyckeltal hämtades från ett kreditupplysningsföretag. De viktigaste resultaten från de fyra delstudierna kan bland annat sammanfattas med att lönsamheten uppfattades vara det mest prioriterade intresset vid företagen (I), och att avvägningar mellan produktivitet och säkerhet ansågs vara ett hinder för att kunna arbeta på ett säkert sätt (III). Chefer uppfattade generellt att arbetsmiljön prioriterades mer på företagen än vad skyddsombuden gjorde (I & IV). Uppfattningar om arbetsmiljöprioritering skiljde sig dock inte åt beroende på företagsstorlek (II & IV). Ansvaret för säkerheten på arbetet ansågs främst vila hos den enskilda individen, och risktagande betraktades komma ur en kombination av individuella faktorer och yttre omständigheter i arbetsmiljön (III). Att vara ett större företag, ha positiv säkerhetskultur och hög kreditvärdighet visade sig ha samband med att också ha ett bättre utvecklat SAM (IV). På motsvarande sätt, att vara ett mindre företag, ha negativ säkerhetskultur och låg kreditvärdighet befanns ha samband med att också ha ett sämre utvecklat SAM.

Keywords
Systematiskt arbetsmiljöarbete (SAM), Små och medelstora företag (SMF), Yrkesroller, Företagsstorlek, Säkerhetskultur, Finansiella nyckeltal
National Category
Work Sciences Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-22844 (URN)
Conference
Inkluderande och hållbart arbetsliv (FALF), 13-15 juni 2016, Östersund, Sverige
Available from: 2016-11-26 Created: 2016-11-26 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved
Nordlöf, H., Wiitavaara, B., Högberg, H. & Westerling, R. (2016). To measure OHS management practices in manufacturing companies. In: : . Paper presented at 3rd International Conference on Safety Management and Human Factors, jointly with 7th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE), July 27-31, 2016, Florida, USA.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>To measure OHS management practices in manufacturing companies
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Manufacturing companies are bound to manage many different processes in their day-to-day operations. A systematic management of occupational health and safety (OHS) factors is necessary in order to comply with OHS legislation. Work environmental risks should be assessed and controlled, and if not controlled immediately, an action plan should be established and followed up on later. A successful OHS management should reduce hazards in the workplace and protect worker health and safety. But how can we accurately measure how well companies actually comply with OHS legislation? Earlier measures exist, but they often assess the perceptions of the respondent rather than the circumstance of the company. The aim of this study was to develop and utilize a way to measure OHS management practices, by using a self-report-questionnaire distributed to companies.   

Methods: A questionnaire was developed in several steps. OHS legislation and earlier studies were read in order to identify different relevant indicators for OHS management compliance. These indicators were then compiled, sorted, and narrowed down in order to produce a manageable and relevant list of 13 indicators. A criterion for relevant indicators was that they together should provide appropriate information on whether a company has come far, or not so far, in arranging a systematic OHS management. A yes–no question was formulated for each of the indicators. Three examples of indicators were: whether the company has written routines stating how the OHS management should be carried out or not, whether written risk assessments have been conducted during the last 12 months or not, and whether the company has routines in place for reporting incidents that occur (near-misses and accidents) or not. The indicators and questions were chosen and formulated in order to measure as much of an objective circumstance at the companies as possible. The rationale is that, either the companies have an arrangement for these indicators, or they do not. Questionnaires were sent to a sample of manufacturing companies (n=238) in central Sweden, for one manager and one safety delegate per company to answer.

Results and discussion: Taken together, the 13 indicators formed an OHS management practices index. A yes-answer for each indicator was counted as 1 and no as 0, and the scores were summed together. Other measures were also collected for this study: companies’ safety culture, overall work environment priority, company profitability, and company size. The OHS management practices index will undergo psychometric testing for validity and reliability, such as test-retest and Cronbach’s alpha test statistic. The development process and usability of the OHS management practices measure will be presented in more detail at the conference. We believe that this novel measure of OHS management practices, as employed in this study, can be of interest for future research within the field of OHS. This approach provides a relatively straightforward way to measure companies’ OHS management practice using questionnaire items.

Keywords
Occupational health and safety (OHS), Ergonomics, Survey, Legislation. Compliance, Index
National Category
Work Sciences Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-22845 (URN)
Conference
3rd International Conference on Safety Management and Human Factors, jointly with 7th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE), July 27-31, 2016, Florida, USA
Available from: 2016-11-26 Created: 2016-11-26 Last updated: 2018-12-03Bibliographically approved
Nordlöf, H., Wijk, K. & Westergren, K.-E. (2015). Perceptions of work environment priorities: Are there any differences by company size? — An ecological study. Work: A journal of Prevention, Assesment and rehabilitation, 52(3), 697-706
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perceptions of work environment priorities: Are there any differences by company size? — An ecological study
2015 (English)In: Work: A journal of Prevention, Assesment and rehabilitation, ISSN 1051-9815, E-ISSN 1875-9270, Vol. 52, no 3, p. 697-706Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Earlier studies suggest that the quality of handling occupational health and safety (OHS) activities differs between companies of different sizes. Company size is a proxy variable for other variables affecting OHS performance.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate if there is an association between company size and perceptions of work environment prioritizations.

METHODS: Data from 106 small- and medium-sized Swedish manufacturing companies was collected. One manager and one safety delegate at each company rated different aspects of their companies' work environment prioritizations with a 43-item questionnaire. Ratings were aggregated to a summary statistic for each company before analysis.

RESULTS: No significant differences in perceptions of priority were found to be associated with company sizes. This is in contrast to earlier studies of objective differences. The respondents in small companies, however, showed significantly greater consensus in their ratings.

CONCLUSIONS: Company size does not appear to be associated with perceptions of work environment prioritizations. Company size is an important proxy variable to study in order to understand what factors enable and obstruct safe and healthy workplaces. The work presented here should be viewed as an initial exploration to serve as direction for future academic work.

Keywords
Company size, Occupational health and safety (OHS), Ergonomics, Perceptions, Consensus
National Category
Work Sciences Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-16277 (URN)10.3233/WOR-152123 (DOI)000366059600028 ()26409368 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-84948731955 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2014-02-06 Created: 2014-02-06 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved
Nordlöf, H. (2015). Prerequisites and Possibilities for Manufacturing Companies to Prioritize and Manage Occupational Health and Safety. (Doctoral dissertation). Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Prerequisites and Possibilities for Manufacturing Companies to Prioritize and Manage Occupational Health and Safety
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Legislation demands that health and safety of humans at work must be secured. Today, far from every company has a functioning systematic management of occupational health and safety (OHS) in place to fulfill its legal obligations. Instead, other day-to-day tasks appear to have greater priority.

The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate prerequisites and possibilities for manufacturing companies to prioritize and manage OHS, with focus on professional roles, company size, safety culture, and financial performance.

Four papers (I–IV) are included in this thesis, based on three data collections. A questionnaire measuring the priority accorded to work environment was completed by 249 representatives of 142 manufacturing companies (I & II). Focus group interviews were conducted with 66 workers at a large steel-manufacturing company, discussing their experiences and perceptions of safety and risks at work (III). A questionnaire measuring OHS management practices, safety culture, and priority given to work environment was completed by 280 representatives of 197 manufacturing companies (IV). Information regarding the companies’ financial performance was retrieved from a credit bureau database.

The main findings of the four papers demonstrated that profitability was considered as the most prioritized interest in the companies (I), and that trade-offs between productivity and safety is an obstacle to working safely (III). Managers generally perceived their companies to prioritize work environment factors more than the safety delegates did (I & IV). Perceptions of work environment priority did, however, not differ depending on company size (II & IV). Responsibility for safety was perceived to rest on the individual to the largest extent, and risk-taking was believed to originate from a combination of individual factors and external circumstances in the work environment (III). Larger company size, positive safety culture, and low risk in creditworthiness were found to be associated with better OHS management practices in companies (IV). Correspondingly, smaller company size, negative safety culture, and high risk in creditworthiness were found to be associated with worse OHS management practices.

In summary, structural, social, and financial aspects seem to be important in companies’ possibilities for prioritizing and managing OHS. Recommendations for industry and future research are discussed.

Abstract [sv]

Arbetsmiljölagen kräver att människors hälsa och säkerhet på arbetet ska tryggas genom att risker kontinuerligt ska bedömas och åtgärdas. Många företag saknar idag ett fungerande systematiskt arbetsmiljöarbete (SAM) som uppfyller lagens krav fullt ut. Istället tycks andra dagliga aktiviteter ha högre prioritet.

Det övergripande syftet med denna avhandling var att undersöka förutsättningar och möjligheter för tillverkande företag att prioritera och arbeta med säkerheten och arbetsmiljön; med särskilt fokus på yrkesroller, företagsstorlek, säkerhet och finansiella nyckeltal.

Fyra delstudier (I–IV) ingår i denna avhandling, vilka är baserade på tre datainsamlingar. En enkät som mätte arbetsmiljöprioritering besvarades av 249 representanter vid 142 tillverkande företag (I & II). Fokusgruppintervjuer genomfördes med 66 arbetare på ett stort ståltillverkningsföretag, där deras erfarenheter och uppfattningar om säkerhet och risker i arbetet diskuterades (III). En enkät som mätte SAM, säkerhetskultur och arbetsmiljöprioritering besvarades av 280 representanter vid 197 tillverkande företag (IV). Information om företagens finansiella nyckeltal hämtades från ett kreditupplysningsföretag.

De viktigaste resultaten från de fyra delstudierna kan bland annat sammanfattas med att lönsamheten uppfattades vara det mest prioriterade intresset vid företagen (I), och att avvägningar mellan produktivitet och säkerhet ansågs vara ett hinder för att kunna arbeta på ett säkert sätt (III). Chefer uppfattade generellt att arbetsmiljön prioriterades mer på företagen än vad skyddsombuden gjorde (I & IV). Uppfattningar om arbetsmiljöprioritering skiljde sig dock inte åt beroende på företagsstorlek (II & IV). Ansvaret för säkerheten på arbetet ansågs främst vila hos den enskilda individen, och risktagande betraktades komma ur en kombination av individuella faktorer och yttre omständigheter i arbetsmiljön (III). Att vara ett större företag, ha positiv säkerhetskultur och hög kreditvärdighet visade sig ha samband med att också ha ett bättre utvecklat SAM (IV). På motsvarande sätt, att vara ett mindre företag, ha negativ säkerhetskultur och låg kreditvärdighet befanns ha samband med att också ha ett sämre utvecklat SAM.

Sammanfattningsvis verkar därmed strukturella, sociala såväl som ekonomiska aspekter vara väsentliga för företags möjligheter att prioritera och arbeta med säkerheten och arbetsmiljön. Detta ger uppslag till rekommendationer för industrin samt vidare forskning.

Abstract [de]

Das Arbeitsschutzgesetz verlangt, dass die Sicherheit und Gesundheit (SG) von Menschen am Arbeitsplatz gewährleistet werden muss, indem Risiken kontinuierlich überprüft und behoben werden. Vielen Unternehmen fehlt heutzutage eine systematische Handhabung von SG, die den gesetzlichen Anforderungen vollständig entspricht. Stattdessen scheinen andere alltägliche Tätigkeiten eine höhere Priorität zu haben.

Das übergeordnete Ziel der vorliegenden Abhandlung war es zu untersuchen, welche Voraussetzungen und Möglichkeiten herstellende Unternehmen besitzen, SG am Arbeitsplatz zu priorisieren und handzuhaben – unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von Berufsrollen, Unternehmensgröße, Sicherheitskultur und Finanzleistungen.

Die vorliegende Abhandlung besteht aus vier Teilstudien (I–IV), die auf drei Datensammlungen basieren. Die Priorisierung von SG wurde mit einem Fragebogen untersucht, der von 249 Vertretern aus 142 herstellenden Unternehmen beantwortet wurde (I & II). Fokusgruppeninterviews wurden mit 66 Arbeitern eines großen Stahlherstellers durchgeführt, in welchen die Arbeiter ihre Erfahrungen und Wahrnehmungen von Sicherheit und Berufsrisiken diskutierten (III). Ein weiterer Fragebogen enthielt Fragen zur systematischen Handhabung von SG, Sicherheitskultur und Priorisierung von SG und wurde von 280 Vertretern aus 197 herstellenden Unternehmen beantwortet (IV). Angaben zu den Finanzleistungen der Unternehmen wurden einem öffentlichen Register entnommen.

Die wichtigsten Ergebnisse der vier Teilstudien können unter anderem damit zusammengefasst werden, dass die Rentabilität des Unternehmens als höchste Priorität wahrgenommen wurde (I) und dass Kompromisse zwischen Produktivität und Sicherheit als Hindernis für eine sichere Arbeitsweise beurteilt wurden (III). Manager waren im Allgemeinen häufiger als die Sicherheitsbeauftragten der Unternehmen der Auffassung, dass SG priorisiert werden (I & IV). Der Unterschied in der Wahrnehmung der Prioritätensetzung hing jedoch nicht von der Unternehmensgröße ab (II & IV). Sicherheit am Arbeitsplatz wurde in erster Linie als die Verantwortung des einzelnen Mitarbeiters angesehen und das Eingehen von Risiken als eine Kombination aus individuellen Faktoren und äußeren Umständen im Arbeitsumfeld beurteilt (III). Ein großes Unternehmen zu sein, eine positive Sicherheitskultur zu haben und niedriges Risiko in der Kreditwürdigkeit, erwies sich mit einer besser entwickelten systematischen Handhabung von SG in Zusammenhang zu stehen (IV). Dementsprechend erwies es sich, dass kleine Unternehmen, eine negative Sicherheitskultur und hohes Risiko in der Kreditwürdigkeit, mit einer schlechter entwickelten systematischen Handhabung von SG in Zusammenhang stehen.

Zusammenfassend scheinen also strukturelle, soziale und finanzielle Aspekte grundlegend dafür zu sein, ob ein Unternehmen die Möglichkeit hat, SG zu priorisieren und zu handhaben. Dies dient als Vorlage für Empfehlungen für die Industrie und zukünftige Forschung.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. p. 68
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1146
Keywords
Occupational health and safety (OHS), Small and medium-sized enterprizes (SMEs), Professional roles, Company size, Safety culture, Financial performance, Systematische Handhabung von Sicherheit und Gesundheit, Arbeitsschutzmanagementsystem (AMS), Kleine und mittlere Unternehmen (KMU), Berufsrollen, Unternehmensgröße, Sicherheitskultur, Finanzleistung, Systematiskt arbetsmiljöarbete (SAM), Små och medelstora företag (SMF), Yrkesroller, Företagsstorlek, Säkerhetskultur, Finansiella nyckeltal
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Occupational Health and Environmental Health Work Sciences Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Medical Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-20570 (URN)978-91-554-9372-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-12-03, Krusenstjernasalen (23:213), Kungsbäcksvägen 47, Gävle, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-11-10 Created: 2015-11-10 Last updated: 2018-06-28Bibliographically approved
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