Work, so fundamental to well-being, has its darker and more costly side. Work can adversely affect our health, well beyond the usual counts of injuries that we think of as 'occupational health'. The ways in which work is organized - its pace and intensity, degree of control over the work process, sense of justice, and employment security, among other things - can be as toxic to the health of workers as the chemicals in the air. These work characteristics can be detrimental not only to mental well-being but to physical health. Scientists refer to these features of work as 'hazards' of the 'psychosocial' work environment. One key pathway from the work environment to illness is through the mechanism of stress; thus we speak of 'stressors' in the work environment, or 'work stress'. This is in contrast to the popular psychological understandings of 'stress', which locate many of the problems with the individual rather than the environment. In this book we advance a social environmental understanding of the workplace and health. The book addresses this topic in three parts: the important changes taking place in the world of work in the context of the global economy (Part I); scientific findings on the effects of particular forms of work organization and work stressors on employees' health, 'unhealthy work' as a major public health problem, and estimates of costs to employers and society (Part II); and, case studies and various approaches to improve working conditions, prevent disease, and improve health (Part III).

chapter 1|15 pages

Introduction Beyond the Individual: Connecting Work Environment and Health

ByDeborah R. Gordon, Peter L. Schnall

part I|70 pages

The Changing Nature of Work

chapter 2|16 pages

Economic Globalization and Its Effects on Labor

ByChrisy Moutsatsos

chapter 5|8 pages

The Changing Nature of Work in the United States

ByEdward Yelin

part II|81 pages

The Health and Economic Costs of “Unhealthy” Work

chapter 6|23 pages

The Workplace and Cardiovascular Disease

ByPaul A. Landsbergis, Peter L. Schnall, Mamie Dobson

chapter 7|20 pages

From Stress to Distress: The Impact of Work on Mental Health

ByMamie Dobson, Peter L. Schnall

chapter 8|20 pages

Work, Ethnicity, and Health in California

ByHaiou Yang

chapter 9|15 pages

Work, Psychosocial Stressors, and the Bottom Line

ByMaritza Jauregui, Schnall Peter L.

part III|161 pages


chapter 10|20 pages

Stakeholder Perspectives on Work and Stress: Seeking Common Ground

ByDeborah R. Gordon, Maritza Jauregui, Peter L. Schnall

chapter 13|19 pages

The MUNI Health and Safety Project: A 26-Year Union-Management Research Collaboration *

ByRay Antonio, June Fisher, Ellen Rosskam

chapter 14|18 pages

Organizing and Collaborating to Reduce Hotel Workers’ Injuries

ByMike Casey, Ellen Rosskam

chapter 16|16 pages

Occupational and Environmental Medicine in the Twenty-First Century

ByDean Baker, Mamie Dobson, Peter L. Schnall

chapter 17|13 pages

Emotional Labor and the Pursuit of Happiness

ByStephen Lloyd Smith

chapter 19|20 pages

Conclusion: Curing Unhealthy Work

ByPeter L. Schnall, Mamie Dobson, Ellen Rosskam, Paul Landsbergis