Psychosocial factors at work and occupational injuries: A prospective study of the general working population in Norway

Am J Ind Med. 2015 May;58(5):561-7. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22431. Epub 2015 Mar 2.


Background: We examined the effects of psychosocial stressors at work on subsequent injuries, taking into account organizational and mechanical working conditions.

Methods: Randomly drawn from the general population, the cohort comprised respondents with an active employee relationship in 2006 and 2009 (n = 6,745).

Outcome measure: "Have you, over the past 12 months, afflicted injuries that were caused by an accident at work, and resulting in time off work after the day of the accident?".

Results: High job strain (Odds ratio [OR] 2.31; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.16-4.57), high role conflict (OR 3.01; 95% CI 1.70-5.31), and high emotional demands (OR 1.96; 95% CI 1.15-3.35) predicted injury at follow up (P < 0.01). The population risk attributable to each of these factors ranged from 11% to 14%.

Conclusions: Excess risk of occupational injuries was attributable to job strain, role conflict, and emotional demands. These factors are potentially amenable to preventive measures.

Keywords: job strain; occupational exposure; occupational injury; prospective study; psychosocial factors; work-related injury.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Emotions
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Occupational Diseases / complications
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Injuries / etiology
  • Occupational Injuries / psychology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Professional Role / psychology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Psychological* / complications
  • Stress, Psychological* / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult