Exploring perceptions of the effect of psychosocial hazards on workers' mental health


  • Z. Kerekes
  • M. Lariviere
  • C. Dignard
  • B. Nowrouzi-Kia


Background: Previous literature has demonstrated that mining present significant hazards to workers (ILO, 2010, Gyekye, 2003, Amponsah-Tawiah et al, 2013) both mentally and physically. This presentation will consider some of the more controllable psychosocial hazards, defined by Leka and Cox (2010), in a population of mining workers with the additional objectives; 1) better understanding the relationship between the various hazardous factors, and 2) suggesting what could be targeted to improve workers’ mental health and safety from a mental health promotion point of view. Methods: Using qualitative methodologies (focus groups and individual interviews), a heterogeneous sample of participants (n=31) were recruited. These participants were chosen using random sampling strategy from a mining company in Ontario, Canada. A thematic analysis was used to explore perceptions of the effect of psychosocial hazard on workers' mental health. Findings: Work schedule, rotation, and shiftwork were listed among priorities highlighted by the workers to improve their mental health and well-being. Shiftwork was identified as a major occupational risk as well as a significant influence on work-family balance. Discussion: Some degree of control and autonomy over work schedules may prevent or mitigate deleterious occupational health outcomes and positively influence family and community life. The presentation will offer commentary on the usefulness of qualitative methodologies in occupational health research to improve health promotion strategies.





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