Workplace Stressors with Highest Impact on Health

New research from the Behavioral Science & Policy Association analyzed 228 studies on the link between workplace stress and health. The research pinpointed workplace stressors that have a significant effect on employee health, including:

  • Unemployment and low job control
  • Lack of perceived fairness in the organization
  • Low social support

The study found that these stressors have significant associations with poor health, defined here in terms of a diagnosed medical condition, self-perception of having poor mental and physical health, and death. The findings also show that the affect workplace stressors have on health is about the same as exposure to second-hand smoke.

The study highlights the fact that health and wellness are not just about diet and exercise. In order to promote employee health, one must also look to reduce or eliminate stress in the workplace.

Read more about the research.

Healthy Communities Can Lead to Healthy Workplaces

A study by the Vitality Institute indicates that workplaces whose employees are unhealthy are more likely to be located in counties whose overall population suffers from poor health.

The study, “Beyond the Four Walls: Why Community Is Critical to Workforce Health,” looked at health data (frequency of smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, diabetes, and death due to cardiovascular disease) from more than 3,100 U.S. counties. Researchers also conducted interviews with representatives from 33 employers across various industries.

The study provides recommendations on how businesses can invest in community health and also includes best practices from businesses and community-health initiatives.

Read the full study.

Employees on Federal Contracts to Receive Paid Sick Leave

On Labor Day 2015, President Barack Obama signed an executive order granting employers in federal contracts up to seven days of paid sick leave.

The executive order covers around 300,000 workers, who can now use the paid sick leave to care for themselves or a family member.

The order is expected to help improve employee health and performance, and protect the health of federal contract employees, their customers, and clients.

President Obama’s order is part of his effort to expand access to paid leave. He has asked Congress to draft bills that would grant federal employees six additional weeks of paid parental leave. Last January, he issued a memorandum granting up to six weeks of paid sick leave to federal employees when they need to attend the birth or adoption of their child.

Today, about 44 million workers in the private sector do not have access to paid leave.

Read the White House Fact Sheet or view the full executive order.

75% of Nurses Suffer from Workplace Violence; ANA Issues Position Statement

In an article published in the Huffington Post, the President of the American Nurses Association (ANA) has alerted the public to the growing problem of workplace violence affecting healthcare workers.

As many as 75 percent of nurses have experienced violence at work and 30 percent admit to being physically abused by their patients.

ANA President Pamela Cipriano described some of the cases of workplace violence and stressed that these incidents are not part of the job. She reiterated that hospitals and other healthcare facilities must be bastions of safety. It can cause healthcare workers to focus less on the health of patients and impede the giving of proper care.

To help address the problem and raise awareness, the ANA gathered a panel of experts that offered ways to help prevent and reduce workplace violence, bullying and incivility. The panel issued a position statement that articulates the ANA position on how nurses and their employers are individually and collectively responsible for promoting a culture of respect and a safe work environment.

Read ANA President Cipriano’s article or the ANA position statement.

Discover a New Kind of Safety Meeting

Attend an Operations Manager training workshop.

Show managers how to integrate safety management into their overall management program with Managing Safety: Systems That Work for Operations Managers. Attend this two-day workshop in San Antonio on November 17th and 18th and discover the DuPont system for managing safety throughout an organization and the role that managers should play in motivating and leading their organization to improved safety awareness and performance. Register today!

One specific area to be covered during this workshop is the Safety Action meeting.

Safety Action meetings are structured somewhat differently from the traditional safety meeting. In this alternative type of safety meeting, the manager or supervisor leads the group in discussion and action on safety issues. Meetings vary slightly in format to suit the type of topic under discussion (e.g., the communication of an incident investigation report, a problem to be solved, an issue to be analyzed, or the implementation of a new procedure).

Generally, to plan a Safety Action meeting, the leader:

  • Decides on and writes out the purpose of the meeting.
  • Outlines the facts to be presented.
  • Writes out the question for discussion.

Once the leader has given the group the question for discussion, the next stages of the meeting are for the group to:

  • Brainstorm ideas, together with their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Select actions to take.
  • Decide who will do what and when.

The goal in every work situation is to have people focused on safety, aware of their own safety and concerned about the safety of others, so they will do something about unsafe conditions and inform their co-workers about unsafe acts, not just leave it all up to the supervisor.

Safety Action meetings encourage this awareness and concern. They enable people to take this responsibility.

Register today for Managing Safety: Systems That Work for Operations Managers and learn more about using a safety organization, safety observations, integrating safety into existing management systems, incident investigations, demonstrating commitment, fostering involvement, safety principles and action planning.

For FREE online previews visit To speak with an account representative, simply call 888-489-9776 or email Please be sure to give your name, facility name, address and phone number.

Please note: Safety Currents Express is a complimentary bimonthly newsletter updating you on the latest trends, news and information. All issues may be forwarded in their entirety via e-mail. Materials in this issue may only be reprinted with permission.

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