Job Stress at NOHC

Dr. Joe Hurrell, Editor of the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, keynoted the final day of the Northwest Occupational Health Conference (NOHC) in Seaside, Oregon, on October 11 (pictured below). Dr. Hurrell’s talk, the topic of the day, was on Job Stress: Causes, Consequences and Interventions.  He reviewed the scientific surveys revealing that one third of all workers report high levels of job stress and that work is the primary source of stress among employed men (women were a little lower than this).

Key points from his presentation are listed below.

The primary costs of stress to organizations:

  • Disability
  • Grievance
  • Workers Compensation costs
  • Tardiness
  • Sabotage
  • Productivity

Key job stressors are:

  • Job demands
  • Organizational demands
  • Interpersonal relationships

Individual signs of stress:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Job dissatisfaction

Interventions to reduce stress do the following:

  • Reduce or eliminate stressors (increased control over work, participation in decisions)
  • Modify the person’s response to stress (coping mechanisms)

Job stress is one of the key areas of well-being being addressed by research in the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center (OHWC).

See CROETweb for ways to combat job stress.

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About the Author

W. Kent Anger, PhD, is a Senior Scientist and Associate Director for Applied Research at OHSU's Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology. Kent is also the Director of the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center, a NIOSH Center of Excellence in TWH.

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