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Work, stress and health in the Netherlands?. Annet de Lange 28 Maart 2003 Mount Sinai Medical School New York. The Dutch situation. Facts and figures (also for Europe) Work stress model for explanation Dutch legal framework Preventive measures

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work stress and health in the netherlands

Work, stress and health in the Netherlands?

Annet de Lange

28 Maart 2003

Mount Sinai Medical School

New York

the dutch situation
The Dutch situation
  • Facts and figures (also for Europe)
  • Work stress model for explanation
  • Dutch legal framework
  • Preventive measures
  • Lessons to be learned for other countries?
  • Sources for finding trend information

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

some information about the dutch working population
Some information about the Dutch working population
  • Workforce: 6.8 Million.
  • 73% services, 23% industry, 4% agriculture
  • 17% male and 86% female are part-timers
  • 12% work incapacitated

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

facts and figures netherlands versus europe
Facts and Figures (Netherlands versus Europe)
  • Job content
  • Work related outcomes

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

job content netherlands
Job content (Netherlands)
  • High work pressure:

-1997: highest level compared to European countries (58%; Paoli, 1997), increase of 11% from 1991-1995

-2002: second position, Sweden nr. 1.

  • 20% of Dutch people work in jobs with high job demands and low job control (Percentage in Europe: 25.7%)

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

pace of work europe
Pace of work (Europe)

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

job control netherlands
Job control (Netherlands)

Workers having a choice over their

%

Source: Houtman et al. (2002)

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

job control europe
Job Control (Europe)

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

work related outcomes netherlands
Work related outcomes (Netherlands)?
  • Work incapacity or disability twice as high as other European countries
  • High Sickness absence:

25%-30% of long-term sick-leave (> 6 weeks) stress related

  • Work-related mental problems:

-30% -40% of work disability

-10% has been treated for burnout

  • Second diagnosis category: Musc. Skel. Disorders
  • Total costs: 25 billion US $

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

main diagnoses of work incapacitation across time netherlands
Main diagnoses of work incapacitationacross time (Netherlands)

35

30

25

Musc. skel.

%

20

Cardiovasc.

Respiratory

15

Mental

10

5

0

1967

1970

1975

1980

1986

1990

1995

1999

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

work related outcomes europe
Work related outcomes (Europe)

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

work related mental problems and stress are a problem
Work related mental problems and stress are a problem!

Not only in the Netherlands,

but also in Europe!!

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

work stress model for explanation stress complaints
Work stress model for explanation stress complaints

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

dutch legal framework the working conditions act
Dutch legal framework:The Working Conditions Act
  • Assess psychosocial risk-factors
  • Take preventive measures (at the source)
  • Design jobs properly (‘healthy jobs’)
  • Join an Occupational Health and Safety Service (OHSS)

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

working conditions act employer s obligations
Working Conditions Act [Employer’s obligations]

1. Active policy to enhance occupational health, safety, and well-being

2. Active policy to prevent sickness absence and to promote rehabilitation of sick employees

3. Risk identification and assessment via an organizational audit

4. Join an Occupational Health and Safety Service (OHSS)

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

healthy jobs
Healthy jobs?
  • Proper matching between job and employee
  • Sufficient job control
  • Possibilities for skill enhancement
  • Opportunity for social contacts with colleagues
  • Information and feedback about purpose and results of one’s work
  • Avoidance of repetitive, short-cycle work
  • No sexual harassment or discrimination

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

tasks of ohss s
Tasks of OHSS’s
  • Carry out risk assessments
  • Implement measures to increase employee’s health, safety, and well-being
  • Social-medical guidance and rehabilitation of sick employees
  • Carry out voluntairy individual medico-psychosocial examinations

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

occupational health and safety services professions
By law:

Occupational Physician

Safety Engineer

Work Hygienist

‘Work and Organization Expert’

Additional:

Human Factors Engineer

Work and Organizational Psychologist

Occupational health nurse

Occupational Health and Safety Services[Professions]

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

work organizational expert tasks
Work & Organizational Expert [tasks]
  • Organizational advice and recommendation of measures
  • Psychosocial risk assessment
  • Implementation of measures
  • Co-ordination and integration of measures

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

preventive measures types
Preventive measures[types]
  • Training of employees 9%
  • Team meetings 8%
  • Reduction of workload 7%
  • Training of supervisors 7%
  • Task rotation 5%
  • Task enrichment 5%

Source: Houtman et al., 1998

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

preventive measures critical success factors
Preventive measures[critical success factors]
  • Stepwise and systematic approach
  • Adequate diagnosis or risk analysis
  • Combination of measures
  • Participatory approach
  • Top management support

Source: Kompier & Cooper, 1999

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

what lessons may be learned 1
What lessons may be learned? [1]

1. An active governmental policy works

2. Working conditions legislation should and can include psychosocial work characteristics

3. A national infrastructure

(OHSS’s) is crucial

4. Special attention is needed for small and medium sized companies

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

what lessons may be learned 2
What lessons may be learned? [2]

5. Privatization of occupational health has negative side effects

6. More stress intervention projects need to be carried out and evaluated (best practices)

7. Research and practice mutually reinforce each other

8. A positive social climate stimulates applied research.

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

conclusions
Conclusions
  • Job stress is a problem in the Netherlands (& Europe)
  • Research examining the relationship between work and health is needed
  • Some lessons can be learned from the Dutch situation

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

want to know more
Want to know more?
  • Websites:

-www.europfound.ie

-www.ilo.org

-www.socsci.kun.nl/psy/aeno

-www.waop.nl (links)

  • Example Articles:

-Schaufeli, W. B. & Kompier, M. A. J. (2001).

InternationalJournal of Stress Management, 8, 15-34.

-Houtman, L. D., & Kompier, M. A. J. (1995).

In: SL Sauter & LR Murphy (Ed.), Organizational risk factors for job stress. Washington: APA, 209-225

Annet de lange, New York, 28 March 2003

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