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WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation is an interdisciplinary, international journal which publishes high quality peer-reviewed manuscripts covering the entire scope of the occupation of work. The journal's subtitle has been deliberately laid out: The first goal is the prevention of illness, injury, and disability. When this goal is not achievable, the attention focuses on assessment to design client-centered intervention, rehabilitation, treatment, or controls that use scientific evidence to support best practice.
WORK occasionally publishes thematic issues, but in general, issues cover a wide range of topics such as ergonomic considerations with children, youth and students, the challenges facing an aging workforce, workplace violence, injury management, performing artists, ergonomic product evaluations, and the awareness of the political, cultural, and environmental determinants of health related to work.
Dr. Karen Jacobs, the founding editor, and her editorial board especially encourage the publication of research studies, clinical practice, case study reports, as well as personal narratives and critical reflections of lived work experiences (autoethnographic/autobiographic scholarship),
Sounding Board commentaries and
Speaking of Research articles which provide the foundation for better understanding research to facilitate knowledge dissemination.
Narrative Reflections on Occupational Transitions, a new column, is for persons who have successfully transitioned into, between, or out of occupations to tell their stories in a narrative form. With an internationally renowned editorial board,
WORK maintains high standards in the evaluation and publication of manuscripts. All manuscripts are reviewed expeditiously and published in a timely manner.
WORK prides itself on being an author-friendly journal.
WORK celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015.
*WORK is affiliated with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)* *WORK is endorsed by the International Ergonomics Association (IEA)* *WORK gives out the yearly Cheryl Bennett Best Paper Award*
Abstract: Workplace violence threat assessment and management practices represent an interdisciplinary approach to the diversion of potentially dangerous employees and clients. This case study illustrates such an intervention in a complex situation involving a social service agency and its client. Following a curtailment of services and an arrest, the client developed an escalating homicidal anger toward the agency administrator. Once a Tarasoff warning was received, the agency contacted a security company who organized a…threat assessment and management plan involving interdisciplinary collaboration. Information developed in the course of the assessment was presented to prosecutors, who facilitated the client's arrest and involuntary psychiatric commitment until he was judged to be no longer dangerous. This case ultimately involved an integration of the services of security, law enforcement, mental health professionals, prosecutors, the courts and the state mental health system in leading to a successful diversion of the client from a path of intended violence.
Keywords: Prevention, TAM, postal, Tarasoff, workplace
Abstract: Objectives: Using a variety of sources, the author explores the complex reasons for aggression and violence in workplace settings, as well as suggesting means of prevention and intervention. Methods: Literature Review. Results: Studies indicate workplace violence affects more than half of U.S. organizations, yet nearly 70 percent have no programs or policies to deal with this problem. Research indicates that aggressive behavior of a psychological nature often precedes physical violence in the workforce, yet…employers regularly ignore warning signs even when reported by employees. Costs to U.S. employers are estimated in the millions due to employee absences, medical costs, theft, and costs related to litigation. Conclusions: Organizations with cultures which support fair working conditions and zero-tolerance for workplace aggression have been shown to help mitigate workplace violence.
Abstract: Objective: The emergency department (ED) is among the most at-risk settings for violence by patients and visitors against ED workers. A first response to potential or actual events of workplace violence is often contacting hospital security officers for assistance. The purpose of this study is to describe ED workers' views of security officers' effectiveness during actual events of verbal and/or physical violence. Participants: Healthcare workers (n=31) from an urban pediatric ED in the Midwest United…States. Methods: Participants were interviewed regarding their experiences with workplace violence. Verbatim transcripts were qualitatively analyzed. Results: Six themes were identified: (1) a need for security officers, (2) security officers' availability and response, (3) security officers' presence or involvement, (4) security officers' ability to handle violent situations, (5) security officers' role with restraints, and (6) security officers' role with access. Conclusions: It is important that early communication between security officers and ED workers takes place before violent events occur. A uniform understanding of the roles and responsibilities of security officers should be clearly communicated to ED workers. Future research needs to be conducted with hospital-based security officers to describe their perceptions about their role in the prevention and management of workplace violence.
Abstract: Objective: Low levels of safety climate and training have been associated with higher occurrence of occupational-related health outcomes; workplace violence and verbal abuse could be considered an early indicator of escalating psychological workplace violence. We examined whether low level of safety factors were associated with a higher prevalence of verbal abuse at the workplace. Methods: We used data from a cross-sectional survey administered among a stratified random sample of 1,000 employees from 10 of…the 29 public hospitals in Costa Rica. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were calculated using survey logistic regression models to estimate the association between safety factors and verbal abuse from the following sources: administrators, supervisors, patients, patients' relatives and coworkers. Results: There was a high prevalence of verbal abuse among the healthcare workforce from both external (i.e., patients and patients' relatives) and internal workplace sources (i.e., coworkers, supervisors and administrators). A low level of safety climate was associated with verbal abuse from all sources with associations ranging from verbal abuse from administrators (OR=6.07; 95%CI: 2.05–17.92) to verbal abuse from patients (OR=2.24; 95%CI: 1.23–4.09). Conclusion: These results highlight the need to address organizational characteristics of the workplace that may increase the risk of verbal abuse for the future development of prevention interventions in this setting.
Abstract: A case-control study design was used to investigate risks of work-related physical assault (PA) associated with a history of violent victimization among educators. A total of 6,469 state-licensed educators (Kindergarten – Grade 12) worked in the previous 12~months and were eligible to participate. Exposure data were collected from cases (reporting a PA event in previous 12 months, n=290) for the month before PA, and from controls (no work-related PA in previous 12 months; n=867) for a…randomly selected working month. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals identified increased risks for educators with any prior history of work-related (17.3, 11.4–26.3) or non-work-related PA (2.0, 1.2–3.5). In addition, PA risk in the previous twelve months increased with the number of previous victimizations, and risk also increased for educators with histories of non-physical violence (work- and non work-related). The results present a compelling case for targeted interventions and further research.
Abstract: Objective: To examine the association between violence prevention safety climate measures and self reported violence toward staff in state-run residential addiction treatment centers. Methods: In mid-2006, 409 staff from an Eastern United States state agency that oversees a system of thirteen residential addiction treatment centers (ATCs) completed a self-administered survey as part of a comprehensive risk assessment. The survey was undertaken to identify and measure facility-level risk factors for violence, including staff…perceptions of the quality of existing US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) program elements, and ultimately to guide violence prevention programming. Key informant interviews and staff focus groups provided researchers with qualitative data with which to understand safety climate and violence prevention efforts within these work settings. Results: The frequency with which staff reported experiencing violent behavior ranged from 37% for "clients raised their voices in a threatening way to you" to 1% for "clients pushed, hit, kicked, or struck you". Findings from the staff survey included the following significant predictors of violence: "client actively resisting program" (OR=2.34, 95% CI=1.35, 4.05), "working with clients for whom the history of violence is unknown" (OR=1.91, 95% CI=1.18, 3.09) and "management commitment to violence prevention" reported as "never/hardly ever" and "seldom or sometimes" (OR=4.30 and OR=2.31 respectively), while controlling for other covariates. Conclusions: We utilized a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods to begin to describe the risk and potential for violence prevention in this setting. The prevalence of staff physical violence within the agency's treatment facilities was lower than would be predicted. Possible explanations include the voluntary nature of treatment programs; strong policies and consequences for resident behavior and ongoing quality improvement efforts. Quantitative data identified low management commitment to violence prevention as a significant predictor of staff reported violence.
Abstract: Objective: To examine employee's perception of safety and related workplace safety and prevention issues, including their use of self-protection measures and victimization experience. Participants: The Workplace Risk Supplement (WRS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) was administered to 55,158 employed respondents who were 16 years or older. Methods: Trained U.S. Census Bureau interviewers administered the WRS in all households selected for the NCVS during the 6-month reference period from January through…June 2002. Responses from the 55,158 WRS respondents were weighted to obtain national estimates, resulting in 142,410,858 cases. Results: The demographic distribution of WRS respondents is very similar to that of the U.S. labor force. Seven percent of respondents reported that they worried about someone in their workplace attacking them, while nearly 4% experienced victimization. The majority indicated that they felt that their workplace, the neighborhood around their workplace, and places they traveled to as part of their job were either "Very Safe" or "Somewhat Safe" from crime. Six percent carried some type of self protection while at work although this varied by occupation. Conclusions: Employees largely feel safe from violence while working. Differences in victimization by occupation bolster efforts to focus workplace violence prevention in high-risk occupations.