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Indicators of healthy work environments – a systematic review
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2091-6396
Uppsala University, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
2012 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Introduction

The interest in medical science has until now mainly focused on pathogenesis, how and why certain individuals become diseased. Despite legislation in the field of work environment, a century of labour inspections, and the efforts of thousands of occupational health consultants still 21% of the Swedish women and 15% of the Swedish men report to have had work-related disorders during the last twelve months. A different, and additional, way of approaching the problem of work related morbidity is to look at and learn from what constitutes healthy work environments and what might be key indicators of such sustainable work environments.

 

Aim

The purpose of this study was to systematically review the scientific literature and search for indicators of healthy work environments. Healthy work environments were defined as work environments that on both short and long term do not cause work-related morbidity.

 

Method

Eight major national and international databases for scientific publication were searched for research addressing indicators of healthy work environments using different combinations of keywords like healthy, good, work, workplace, work force, worksite, organization, work environment, business, indicator, and predictor. The search was limited to years 1990 – 2011, humans, and the languages English, Danish, German, Norwegian, and Swedish.

 

Results

Altogether 19 768 publications were found. After excluding duplicates, non-relevant publications, or publications that did not comply with the inclusion criteria 22 peer-reviewed publications remained. Only one study explicitly addressing indicators of healthy work environments was found, suggesting that the presence of stress management programs in an organization might serve as indicator of a ‘good place to work’. Such organizations were more likely also to offer programs that encouraged employee well-being, safety and skill development than those without stress management programs. The other 21, mostly explorative, studies either investigated employee´s views on what constitute a healthy workplace, or were guidelines for how to create such workplaces. The nine most pronounced factors considered as important for a healthy workplace emerging from these studies were:  collaboration/teamwork; growth and development; recognition; employee involvement; positive, accessible and fair leader; autonomy/empowerment; appropriate staffing; skilled communication; and safe physical work. 

 

Conclusions

This systematic review demonstrates a lack of consensus about the concept of a healthy work environment/workplace/work organization as well as a shortage of studies concerning healthy work places, especially longitudinal ones. The factors considered important for a healthy workplace needs further investigation in order to draw any confirmative conclusions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012.
Keyword [sv]
god arbetsmiljö, friska arbetsplatser, indikatorer
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-12686ISBN: ISSN 1650-3171 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-12686DiVA: diva2:547366
Conference
NES2012 - Nordic Ergonomics Society Conference, Saltsjöbaden, 19-22 augusti 2012
Available from: 2012-08-27 Created: 2012-08-27 Last updated: 2016-01-22Bibliographically approved

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http://av.se/Aktuellt/kunskapsoversikt/goda_arbetsmiljon/

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