Scand J Work Environ Health 1981;7 suppl 4:12-19    pdf

Job demands and worker health in machine-paced poultry inspection.

by Wilkes B, Stammerjohn L, Lalich N

A questionnaire survey was used to assess job stress, strain, and health complaints associated with machine-paced poultry inspection. Four groups of employees, with differing amounts of time on the inspection line, were compared: full-time inspectors, part-time inspectors, rotating relief inspectors, and a supervisory group. Results showed full-time inspectors to have generally the highest job stress and poorest work environment scores. Social support from supervisors was lowest for the full-time inspectors, while rotating relief inspectors had the least support from others at work. Measures of psychological and behavioral strain were highest for the full-time inspectors, usually followed by the rotating relief inspectors. Health complaints showing a difference by group involved the respiratory, skin, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, and visual systems. Full-time inspectors and the highest frequency rates for 17 symptoms, while rotating relief inspectors were highest for nine. Relative to workers in previously studied occupations, full-time inspectors were high on stresses and strains and low on social. Recommendations for improvements were made based on a model relating stresses to health effects.