Janitors’ mental workload, psychosocial factors, physical fitness, and injury: The SWEEP study

Adam Schwartz, Susan Goodwin Gerberich, Thomas Albin, Hyun Kim, Andrew D. Ryan, Timothy R. Church, Deirdre R. Green, Patricia M. McGovern, Arthur G. Erdman, Rony F. Arauz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Approximately 2.4 million janitors work in the United States. High physical workload may explain a lost-work days rate 2.7 times that of other occupations. Information is limited about non-physical workload factors for janitors and their relations to injuries. For this retrospective cross-sectional study, specially designed, pre-tested questionnaires were distributed to full-time janitor members of a union for two six-month sequential intervals. Questions addressed mental workload (modified NASA Task Load Index), job satisfaction (Andrews and Withey Job Satisfaction Scale), stress (Perceived Stress Scale-4 [PSS-4], and the Single Item Stress Scale [SISS]), physical fitness, and occupational injury experiences. Descriptive and multivariable analyses, with bias adjustment, were conducted. A decreased risk of injury was associated with increased job satisfaction (expressed as a risk ratio (RR): 0.91 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.83, 0.97]) and increased physical fitness (0.89, [0.83, 0.96]). A highly suggestive increased risk of injury was associated with increased mental workload (1.07, [1.00, 1.15]).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103132
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Volume83
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by the Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety (MCOHS) , Education and Research Center, Pilot Projects Research Training Program funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under grant OH008434 . The contents of this effort are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or other associated entities.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Ergonomics
  • Janitors
  • Mental workload
  • Occupational injuries
  • Physical fitness
  • Psychosocial factors

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