Worker assessments of organizational practices and psychosocial work environment are associated with musculoskeletal injuries in hospital patient care workers

Am J Ind Med. 2014 Jul;57(7):810-8. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22319. Epub 2014 Apr 15.


Background: Hospital patient care (PC) workers have high rates of workplace injuries, particularly musculoskeletal injuries. Despite a wide spectrum of documented health hazards, little is known about the association between psychosocial factors at work and OSHA-recordable musculoskeletal injuries.

Methods: PC-workers (n = 1,572, 79%) completed surveys assessing a number of organizational, psychosocial and psychological variables. Associations between the survey responses and injury records were tested using bivariate and multivariate analyses.

Results: A 5% of the PC-workers had at least one OSHA-recordable musculoskeletal injury over the year, and the injuries were significantly associated with: organizational factors (lower people-oriented culture), psychosocial factors (lower supervisor support), and structural factors (job title: being a patient care assistant).

Conclusions: The results show support for a multifactorial understanding of musculoskeletal injuries in hospital PC-workers. An increased focus on the various dimensions associated with injury reports, particularly the organizational and psychosocial factors, could contribute to more efficient interventions and programs.

Keywords: OSHA recordable injuries; hospital patient care workers; multifactorial understanding; musculoskeletal injuries; organizational factors; psychosocial work environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Musculoskeletal System / injuries*
  • Occupational Injuries / etiology*
  • Organizational Culture
  • Personnel, Hospital* / psychology
  • Psychology, Industrial
  • Risk Factors