In 2013 the Canadian Mental Health Association estimated a staggering $51 billion cost to the economy per year associated with mental illness. Costs directly related to psychological issues in the workplace are estimated at $6 billion per year or approximately 30% of work-related disability claims. Indeed, over many decades several models have been proposed to address psychological issues in the workplace and the topic of workplace psychological health has garnered a robust body of evidence. Despite this, safeguarding psychological health in the workplace remains a growing concern and the financial burden attributable to workplace psychological hazards increases. This presentation will briefly review the established evidence that clearly demonstrates the link between certain work situations and deleterious health outcomes for workers. Additionally, several models that have been proposed to ameliorate psychological hazards will be reviewed. In particular we will review the model of a ‘healthy workplace’ - a concept which Jaffe (1995) defined in terms of the physical, social, and psychological working environment. This concept focuses on the development of a healthy workplace that values and respects the individual. Much of the literature has also been incorporated into more recent guidelines – Canadian Standard for Psychological Healthy Workplaces – providing a framework for the systematic development of a healthy workplace. Nevertheless, psychological harm in the workplace continue to be an issue. To conclude, we will critique a pertinent body of literature omitted from the guidelines that may explain why the prevention of psychological harm at work remains an elusive problem to contain.
Gabrielle McHugh, Webster University, Thailand
Stream: Industrial Organization and Organization Theory
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