Today's workplace is being shaped by an integrated and global economy. The organization of work and the composition of the labor force are changing rapidly. These changes have an impact on workers in every segment of the economy. Forms of work organization, such as lean production, continuous improvement, process reengineering, and downsizing have taken the world by storm, but with little understanding of their impact on worker health and well-being.
The workforce of the future will be markedly older, more racially diverse and will include larger numbers of women, according to the groups sponsoring the conference. In addition, the workforce is being reshaped by new forms of contingent work, contract labor and employment practices. Yet, little research attention has been paid to these developments. What do these changes in the organization of work mean for the health and safety of workers? What can be done to protect worker health and safety in today's changing workplace? How can our research instruments and methods be improved to address these fundamental changes in the work experience?
To address these and other emerging workplace issues, the American Psychological Association (APA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the School of Business, Queen's University, will convene the fifth interdisciplinary conference on occupational stress and health. The conference, "Work, Stress, and Health: New Challenges in a Changing Workplace," will be held at the Sheraton Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, on March 20-22, 2003, with continuing education workshops on March 19, 2003.
Researchers, medical and psychological health practitioners from all disciplines who are involved in research and/or practice in occupational health psychology to submit proposals for interactive poster presentations, papers, symposia and workshops on new research findings, policy and prevention/intervention programs, and policy that address 16 major themes. The themes and special emphasis areas are:
- 1. New Work Contracts - contingent work, temporary work, part-time work and underemployment.
- 2. Organizational Policies and Work Redesign - lean production, downsizing, continuous improvement, business process reengineering, new technologies and telecommuting.
- 3. Hours of Work - work overload, overtime, shift work, flexible work hours, compressed work schedules and underload.
- 4. Psychosocial Factors and Health - psychosocial risk factors, high-risk occupations, health outcomes (musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, psychological disorders, substance abuse), and social and economic costs of job stress.
- 5. Work, Family, and Community - child/elder care, multiple jobs, work-family conflict, work at home, EAPs and managed care.
- 6. Physical Safety at Work - workplace violence, occupational safety, and repetitive strain injury.
- 7. Flexible Work Processes - lean production and just-in-time production.
- 8. Advances in Research Methodologies - measurement issues, research designs, cross-national comparisons, participatory action research and longitudinal research.
- 9. Bridging from Research to Practice - applications of research findings, communicating research findings and collaboration between researchers and knowledge users.
- 10. Best Practices: Celebrating Successful Preventive Strategies - healthy work organizations, labor-management initiatives and innovative work-family programs.
- 11. Special Populations in the Workforce - young workers, older workers, issues of ethnicity and disability.
- 12. Prevention and Intervention - injury prevention, enhancing well-being, psychosocial predictors and organizational interventions, and program evaluation.
- 13. Disability and Disability Management - return to work, barriers to return to work and risk management.
- 14. Mass Disaster and Terrorism - health consequences, post traumatic stress disorder, critical incident stress debriefing and job performance and productivity consequences.
- 15. Legal Issues - workers' compensation, ADA, repetitive strain injury, temporary employment, disability and disability management and telecommuting.
- 16. Training in Occupational Health Psychology - innovative graduate courses, and web-based programs.
Deadline for workshop topics is April 30, and the deadline for symposia, papers and interactive posters is May 31.
For more information, and to request the Call for Papers, contact Wesley B. Baker, conference coordinator, American Psychological
Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002-4242; telephone: (202) 336-6124; fax: (202) 336-6117; e-mail: [email protected]
edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])