Project: The effectiveness of occupational health management – findings of a VBG practice-based project

Peer reviewed and published

This project was submitted on 05/06/2015 and peer reviewed by Ivan Williams

It is becoming more important for companies to avoid the continual overworking of their staff and to actively invest in improving their employees’ health awareness. VBG supports its member companies with an occupational health management advisory service.
The evaluation of a project to introduce occupational health management in a company from the insurance sector is presented. Data was collected by means of an online survey (N = 629) conducted prior to and after measures were implemented. The survey comprises a number of different constructs relating to the fields of ‘stressors’ (e.g. excessive demands, stressful social climate), ‘resources’ (e.g. social support) and ‘well-beeing’ (e.g. psychosomatic problems). Specific change hypotheses were put forward and examined on the basis of the measures implemented.
Overall, the results indicate an improvement in the stress situation within the company. Excessive demands, in particular, were reduced. The hypotheses put forward in relation to the individual measures were, to a large extent, corroborated, and prove that the occupational health management project was a success.

Occupational health & wellbeing, Stress and mental health, Working Conditions
Finance, Other

Purpose As the working world becomes more oriented towards service and competition, it is increasingly causing new forms of work-related stress and demands to be placed on employees. Studies have shown an increase in psychological stress at work. It is becoming more important for companies to avoid the continual overworking of their staff and to actively invest in improving their employees’ health awareness. VBG supports its member companies with an occupational health management advisory service. The findings presented demonstrate the benefits of occupational health management in practice. Design/Methodology The evaluation of a project to introduce occupational health management in a company from the insurance sector is presented. Longitudinal data was collected by means of an online survey (N = 586) conducted prior to and three years after measures were implemented. The survey comprises a number of different established scales relating to the fields of ‘psychosocial stressors’ (e.g. time pressure, quantitative overload and stressful social climate), ‘physical working conditions’ (e.g. lighting, office furniture, temperature), ‘resources’ (e.g. staff oriented supervisor behaviour and opportunities for participation) and ‘well-beeing’ (e.g. inability to recover and job satisfaction). Specific change hypotheses were put forward and examined on the basis of the measures implemented. Results Overall, the results indicate an improvement in the stress situation within the company. Excessive demands, in particular, were reduced and physical working conditions as well as overall job satisfaction improved. The hypotheses put forward in relation to the individual measures were, to a large extent, corroborated. The results indicate the success of the occupational health management project. Conclusion In addition to the quantitative findings, results point out the necessary prerequisites for successfully implementing occupational health management. Namely, top level management support, employee participation, transparency and good communication critically supported a successful implementation of interventions.

Organisation: German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the Administrative Sector (VBG)

Institution
Deelbögenkamp 4,
Hamburg,
22297,
Germany
www.vbg.de

Principal Investigator: Dr Susanne Roscher

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Institution of Occupational Safety and Health
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