How's Your Workload?

Researchers are showing a renewed interest in studying workload factors and looking for efficient ways to evaluate it.

An exploratory study of workload factors that affect occupational health and safety found that inherent factors in the work of insurance agency customer service representatives can make their jobs exhausting and frustrating, although managers believe the constraints are a business necessity.

Five researchers at IRSST, the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauve en sante et en securite du travail, completed the 69-page study, which is titled "Exploratory Study to Identify Workload Factors that have an Impact on Health and Safety -- A Case Study in the Service Sector."

They found that the customer service representatives had a hard time finding information or making it consistent; they received varied and complex requests and work tasks; expectations were inconsistent; multi-tasking was common; and they received minimal daily feedback about their work.

These factors didn't necessarily produce work overload or underload, they concluded. "Rather it would appear, depending on the situations encountered and their cumulative effect over time, that the workers found themselves in inefficient situations that became a source of exhaustion and frustration for them," they noted in the study's abstract.

Researchers are showing a renewed interest in studying workload factors and looking for efficient ways to evaluate it, the researchers wrote. This single case study is useful because it "fits into a broader process aimed at conceptualizing the workload phenomenon holistically and in all its complexity. Many more case studies will be required to achieve that end," the authors added.

To read it, visit http://www.irsst.qc.ca/media/documents/PubIRSST/R-701.pdf.

This article originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

About the Author

Jerry Laws is Editor of Occupational Health & Safety magazine, which is owned by 1105 Media Inc.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • Easy to Use Safety Inspection App

    Conduct inspections on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Complete safety audits at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Analyze Incident Data and Maintain OSHA Compliance

    Collect relevant incident data, analyze trends, and generate accurate regulatory reports, including OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 logs, through IndustrySafe’s extensive incident reporting and investigation module.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus