Thursday, March 11, 1999
4:45 pm - 6:00 pm
Ergonomic Interventions Within the U.S. Telecommunications Industry
David LeGrande, M.A.
For nearly thirty years, the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO , CLC, a labor organization representing more than 600,000 workers within the telecommunications, printing and publishing, media and broadcasting, as well as public and health care sectors, has been focusing upon the issues of workplace ergonomics and related member safety and health concerns. A primary concern and activity has been targeted towards the ergonomics of visual display terminal or computer office work environments. Inclusive of visual display terminal workstation, workplace, and work organization ergonomics factors, the Union’s efforts have identified catastrophic numbers and occurrences of member visual display terminal workplace health symptoms and disorders.
Since the early 1980's, CWA’s Occupational Safety and Health Department has identified an increasing rate of member repetitive motion or cumulative trauma musculoskeletal health symptoms and disorders within represented telecommunications work environments. In order that the Union might more accurately identify the occurrence of member health problems, CWA has conducted and sponsored many scientific investigations focused upon the relationship between the use of visual display terminals and the occurrence of cumulative trauma musculoskeletal health symptoms and disorders. In addition, the Union has worked cooperatively with represented employers to identify and resolve member cumulative trauma musculoskeletal health problems as well as poorly-designed visual display terminal work environments. This paper will address a sampling of CWA’s efforts within the U.S. telecommunications industry, an industry in which the Union represents some 450,000 workers.
During the mid-1980's, CWA developed a survey approach to identify member visual display terminal workplace cumulative trauma musculoskeletal health symptoms and disorders. The survey approach was intended to be used within the collective bargaining process between CWA and represented telecommunications employers to better identify member visual display terminal workplace cumulative trauma musculoskeletal health symptoms and disorders as well as represented employers provision of ergonomic visual display terminal working conditions. CWA believed this approach was necessary as a result of previously-identified high rates of member cumulative trauma musculoskeletal health problems and lack of adherence by represented telecommunications employers to visual display terminal work environment ergonomic factors. In 1989, this survey method was first used to conduct the Union’s National Visual Display Terminal Repetitive Motion Illness Survey. Due to continued member reports of cumulative trauma musculoskeletal health problems and lack of adherence by represented employers to ergonomic factors, these survey efforts were replicated in 1992, 1995, and 1998. Data from the 1989, 1992, and 1995 survey investigations demonstrated a decrease in the occurrence of member cumulative trauma musculoskeletal health symptoms and disorders as well as increased adherence by represented employers to physical ergonomic factors. However, data from the 1998 survey investigation found significantly increased rates of member cumulative trauma musculoskeletal health problems. Primary reasons for these increased rates appeared to be the result of represented employers lack of provision of well-designed mouse equipment and/or ergonomic work surfaces for keyboard and mouse equipment.
Previous to the Union’s conducting its 1998 National Repetitive Motion Illness Survey, CWA and several represented telecommunications employers have made significant progress towards the employers provision or ergonomic visual display terminal work places. In cases where both physical and work organization ergonomic factors have been addressed, this activity has led to a decrease in the number and severity of member cumulative trauma musculoskeletal health symptoms and disorders. Specific examples will be presented of this successful activity.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: David LeGrande, M.A., Director, Occupational Safety and Health Communications Workers of America, 501 3rd Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001-2727
Work Organization Interventions, Stress and Health in Office/Computer Work
Marla C. Haims*, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Pascale Carayon, Ph.D., Ecole des Mines de Nancy, Hyun-Suk Suh, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Naomi Swanson, Ph.D., NIOSH
The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of work organization interventions in dealing with stress, WRMD’s and quality-of-working-life in office and computer work. According to our research model, the interventions should improve stress and health by creating a better psychosocial work environment. There is increasing evidence that psychosocial factors play a role in the development of job stress and WRMD’s (e.g., Bongers et. al, 1993; Smith and Carayon, 1996, Hagberg et. al, 1995; NIOSH, 1997).
Three work groups within a Midwest organization participated in the study. A longitudinal study design with three rounds of data collection (baseline, at 10 months, at 16 months) allowed for examination of changes in the psychosocial work environment, stress and health problems over time. Multiple methods were used to collect data, but only questionnaire data will be presented here.
Both the content and the process of the interventions had characteristics of participatory ergonomics (Noro and Imada, 1991). Project Teams consisting of management, union representatives, line employees and researchers were formed in each of the work groups to develop and implement a participatory intervention based upon data feedback.
GLM repeated measures was used to examine changes in psychosocial factors, stress and discomfort variables over time for each of the three groups. Five of the seven psychosocial work factors and both of the stress measures had significant GROUP*TIME interaction effects. There was not a significant interaction effect for musculoskeletal discomfort, but there were significant TIME and GROUP effects. Musculoskeletal discomfort was higher at Round 3 than at Round 1 (p<.05), and Group 1 reported higher levels of discomfort than Groups 2 and 3 (p<.05).
Results show some improvements in Group 1 over time, including increases in job control (R3>R1, p<.05) and decreases in role ambiguity (R3<.05). Work demands and stress decreased between Rounds 1 and 2, but then increased between Rounds 2 and 3. For Group 2, there were improvements in participation and job control between Rounds 2 and 3 (p<.05). Unlike Group 1, there was no significant change in work demands over time, nor in either of the stress measures. In Group 3, there was a worsening of all psychosocial factors over time (p<.01), and daily life stress increased from Rounds 2 to 3 (p<.05).
Results do not clearly support the research model, and study findings are mixed: there is some improvement in psychosocial work factors for Groups 1 and 2, but a worsening for Group 3. For all groups together, the stress measures follow the same pattern as workload and work pressure, improving at Round 2, but then worsening at Round 3. There is also an overall worsening of discomfort between Rounds 2 and 3. The relatively negative outcomes of this study may be due to changes at the organizational level that had negative effects on study participants. Overall, findings demonstrate the difficulty of assessing the impact of work organization interventions in the midst of production level and organizational changes.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Marla C. Haims, Ph.D., Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1513 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706
The Influence of a Low-Cost Ergonomics Intervention on Stress and Physical Symptoms
Kurt M. Joseph, M.S.*, Richard C. Thompson, Ph.D., Larry L. Bailey, Ph.D., Jody Worley, M.A., Clara Williams, and David J. Schroeder, Ph.D., FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute
In 1997, the GAO reported that private sector employers spent as much as $20 billion annually for employee injuries and illnesses due to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). While the etiologic mechanisms are poorly understood, there is increasing evidence that psychosocial factors related to the job and work environment play a role in the development of work-related MSDs. The present research explored the influence of psychosocial risk factors and a low-cost ergonomics intervention on employee ratings of physical discomfort and stress. The research was conducted within a federal agency organization where employee exposure to VDT work is expected to increase with the introduction of an electronic document management system.
Two treatment groups were created based on type of intervention: a "seminar" group received a one-day seminar as an intervention, and a "seminar + checkup" group received the one-day seminar and a workstation checkup. The interventions occurred during the six months between the first (Time 1) and second (Time 2) administration of a longitudinal survey. Employees used Likert-type ratings to rate items in a physical symptom questionnaire, a stress scale, and scales that measured six different psychosocial factors. Mean scores were calculated for all ratings, and difference scores were derived by subtracting Time 2 scores from those of Time 1. Two analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) were used to examine the influence of the interventions and six psychosocial factors on physical discomfort and stress difference scores, respectively.
The ANCOVA for physical discomfort scores revealed no significant difference between the two interventions. Of the psychosocial factors, subjective workload approached significance as a covariate. The ANCOVA for stress difference scores yielded a significant difference between the two interventions. Perceived stress decreased for employees who received the seminar + checkup intervention, whereas it increased for those who received the seminar only. None of the psychosocial factors was a significant covariate. The result indicate that the seminar + checkup intervention reduced employee stress, but did not reduce physical discomfort. With regard to employee stress, the immediate effects of the seminar + checkup intervention mimicked those provided by most placebos. However, it is not known if these effects will be transient in nature as are most placebos. Physical discomfort scores diverged across time, although not significantly. Future measures resulting from this longitudinal research will provide trend data and more reliable estimates of the effects of the interventions and psychosocial factors on stress and physical discomfort scores.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Kurt M. Joseph, FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute, PO Box 25082, AAM-510, Oklahoma City, OK, 73125, USA
Flexible Work: Policies And Practices In Europe: Symposium
Chair: Anneke Goudswaard, NIA TNO; Presenters: Pascal Paoli, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions; Kea Tijdens, University of Amsterdam; Mary Creagh, Cranfield University; Rob Kars, Start Holding; Margarita Defingou, Ergoplan
Flexible working arrangements show a substantial increase in most countries of the European Union. In this symposium two forms of flexible working arrangements will be discussed: flexible work contracts and flexible working hours. The first two presentations will give data on the relationship between flexibility, working conditions and health on a European level.
Mr. Paoli will present the results from an European Survey on "precarious employment and health", based on the Second European Survey on Working Conditions conducted in 1996 by the European Foundation. Precarious employment is more widespread in the least skilled occupational groups, in economic sectors in which work is very seasonal and in small enterprises. The working conditions of precarious workers is worse than those of permanent workers.
Ms. Tijdens will discuss part-time work in the European Union. In many European countries, the share of part-time jobs has increased substantial, in particular among married women. Therefore, part-time work is said to cause a segmentation in the female labour force. She will compare women's full-time and part-time jobs in detail.
The other presentations will raise the question how to prevent negative effects of flexibility on working conditions and health, by giving more insight in company policies , and national developments in legislation and labour relations. Cases are presented from Italy, Sweden, UK, The Netherlands and Greece.
Ms. Creagh will discuss the introduction of flexibility in organizations in Italy, Sweden and the UK. She will go into the issue of company policy and debates and the role of the union with the introduction of flexibility.
Mr. Kars will discuss the developments in temporary working contracts in the Dutch 'poldermodel'. The Dutch government has prepared a new Law, concerning temporary contracts and work for job agencies. The Dutch job agencies are developing a broader scope, in relation to this new law.
From Greece Ms. Defingou will present new developments which take place in Greece on the subject of flexible work, with an emphasis on part-time work.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Anneke Goudswaard, NIA TNO, PO Box 718, 2130 AS Hoofddorp, The Netherlands
Precarious Employment, Health and Working Conditions in the European Union
Pascal Paoli, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions
This abstract is based on an analysis of the findings of the Second European Survey on Working Conditions conducted in 1996 by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The sub-population included in the analysis (Employees, excluding apprentices) was 12 099.
Precarious paid employment (fixed-term contracts and temporary work) accounts for 15% of paid employment in the EU. The proportions of non-permanent jobs differ within the structure of the European labour market. Precarious employment is more widespread in the least skilled occupational groups (agricultural employees, labourers, etc.), economic sectors in which work is very seasonal (primary sector, hotels and restaurants, etc.), and in small enterprises.
The working conditions of precarious workers are worse than those of permanent workers: 57% of temporary workers work in painful or tiring positions (in comparison with 42% of permanent workers); 38% are exposed to intense noise (29%); 66% perform repetitive movements (55%); 46% perform short repetitive tasks (36%). Levels of absenteeism are highest among workers on permanent contracts.
From the point of view of work organization and the content of tasks, precarious workers: perform work that is more monotonous and repetitive; have less opportunity to acquire new skills from their work and receive less training; although less exposed than permanent workers to high speed work, have much less autonomy over the management of their work and time; are not consulted to the same extent and play less of a part in decision-making.
These working conditions are reflected by self reported health problems: more musculo-skeletal problems (brought about in particular by repetitive work) and fatigue. In contrast, however, less stress and mental health problems are reported (as a result of lower levels of exposure to work at high speed).
While poorer working conditions are largely explained by the profile of the jobs concerned precarious status undoubtedly worsens the work situation. (in other words, in identical jobs, precarious status entails poorer working conditions for precarious workers than for other workers).
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Pascal Paoli, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Wyattvile Road, Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Are Secondary Part-Time Jobs Marginalised Jobs?
Kea G. Tijdens, University of Amsterdam
This paper aims at explaining to what extent secondary part-time jobs are marginalised jobs. Four clusters of job characteristics have been examined: wage-related characteristics and job security, hours of work, working conditions, and workplace characteristics. Focus is on women’s employment in the European Union, in particular on jobs where women work less than twenty hours per week, here called secondary jobs.
Statistical analyses were carried out, using the 1996 Second European Survey on Working Conditions which contains data on workers in 15 EU member states. The questionnaire covers all aspects of working conditions: physical environment, workplace design, working hours, work organization and social relationships at the workplace. In each country about a thousand persons with paid work were included in the sample. The analyses were restricted to the 6,802 female workers in the data.
Examining the nature of the secondary jobs as far as wages and job security is concerned, the analyses show that indeed these jobs are clustered: the workers in secondary jobs are found to be more often receiving no basic fixed income, to be more often temporary employed, to have lower tenure, and to be more often receiving less training. Findings were not significant considering piece rate or productivity payments, extra payments for additional hours of work or extra payments compensating for special working hours. Hardly any support was found for a clustering of secondary workers in jobs with poor conditions concerning hours of work. The secondary workers do not work more often at unsocial hours or in jobs that have rigid time schedules. There is one exception: secondary workers more often work shifts.
Substantial support was found for previous reported findings that working conditions are better for workers in secondary jobs than for workers working twenty hours or more. Moreover, workers in secondary jobs significantly more often report that to their opinion their health is not at risk because of their work.
Finally, substantial support was found for the thesis that workers in secondary jobs are clustered into female-dominated areas of work: they are far more often working in female-dominated occupations and businesses, and they are far more likely to have a female boss.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Dr. Kea G. Tijdens, University of Amsterdam, Roetersstraat 11, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Drive to Be Flexible: How Companies Use Flexibility
Mary Creagh, Cranfield School of Management
The aim of this paper is to examine the stimuli which led 4 European companies to introduce flexible working practices and to see what their effect was on staff, management and trade unions and their relationships. We begin by presenting an in-depth view of the operating environments of the four companies:
Italy - the Electrolux Zanussi fridge manufacturing factory at Susegana, outside Venice.
Sweden - the changes introduced into the public railway system - SJ - through the implementation of flexible working across the organization.
UK - two examples from the financial services sector, Legal and General, an insurance company, and the Woolwich, a former building society which has recently converted to a bank, and the flexible working used by these companies’ call centers.
We compare the flexibility used in these companies with other uses of flexibility in the national sector in which these companies operate. We find that very different sorts of flexibility are used but that they are united in that they are a strategic response to constant and evolutionary change within the marketplace.
The new roles of management, trade unions and employees in the reshaped environment is then discussed as are the relationships among and between these groups. The benefits and disadvantages of the new forms of working for employees are then presented.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Mary Creagh, Cranfield University, School of Management, Cranfield, Bedford, England MK43 OAL
The Dutch Poldermodel and the Role of Temporary Employment Agencies
Rob Kars, Start Holding, The Netherlands
In this presentation the Dutch polder model will be discussed. This model refers to the consensus achieved in 1982 between employers and employee organizations to moderate wage costs in favour of increasing employment opportunities and labour market flexibility. In various joint advisory and administrative bodies decisions have been made and shall continue to be made that must be reconciled with the following basic policy premises:
moderated wage development;
the greatest possible labour participation with attention to disadvantaged groups;
equal legal protection for all employees;
the best possible flexibility for entrepreneurs;
an acceptable social safety net.
The battle of the temporary employees was also fought in this particular playing field. As a result of this first of all a CAO (collective labour agreement) was established to guarantee the employment conditions of all temporary employees. In addition, in the field of tension between the optimal labour market flexibility desired by employers on the one hand and the optimal work security demanded by the labour unions on the other, new legislation had to be established. This law has now been effected and indeed entails a compromise between the above mentioned extremes. However the temporary employment agencies - certainly those which already had considerable experience in taking on risks in the form of hiring 'flex-workers' on a permanent basis - had already anticipated this law for some time.
Another aspect regarding the legislation 'flexibility and security' is the safety net of social security referred to above. In this aspect the Netherlands tends toward an increasing degree of privatization of the implementation of that social security, as well as toward an increasing degree of individual influence on insurable risks with regard to illness and unemployment. Amongst the parties on this market of insurable employment conditions the need exists for risks to be managed, or in any case for their burden in terms of loss to be controlled. Temporary employment agencies play along with this by using their options for placement on the employment market for the reintegration of sick, partially disabled, or unemployed employees. This will be explored further in this presentation.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Rob Kars, Start Holding, manager Business Development, PO Box 478, 2800 AL Gouda, The Netherlands
Flexpool Multimedia Networker: A Greek Case
Margarita Defingou, Ergoplan, Greece
Ergoplan S.A. is participating in the ‘Flexpool Multimedia Networker’ project within the framework of Leonardo da Vinci EU initiative. In this paper the characteristics of the Greek pilot will be presented and put in perspective of the Greek environment.
The flexpool could:
take over and carry out many and different tasks (multi-specialization), have the possibility and intention to offer services in different working hours, and in different geographical areas.
urge and teach their members to undertake different roles within the framework of a company, have an internal effective procedure of training their members, which have the possibility to adapt easily to different environments.
The flexible worker in the pool has the following characteristics:
he/she could carry out many and different jobs (multi-specilization)
he/she has the possibility and intention to work in different working hours (he/she is not attached to the standard working hours)
he/she can work in different geographical areas (easily movable)
he/she has the possibility to take over different parts within the framework of a work-group. he/she is constantly and continuously in a procedure of training and learning
he/she has the ability to adapt easily in different environments
We could say, that the characteristics of a Greek worker match a great deal with the above mentioned characteristics, in general terms the Greeks are flexible workers, while the flexibility help them to try and work things out in many and different working conditions. Part-time work, particularly the last years, has grown enormously in our Greece. Independently from the legal framework, that rules the part-time work in our country, we give emphasis in the fact that it has been developed:
mainly because of the crisis and the need of enterprises to defend themselves.
due to the fact, that the last years a series of new enterprises were developed, (mainly in the field of rendering of services), which usually try to employ part - time workers.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Margarita Defingou, Ergoplan, 123 V Sofias Avenue, 11521 Athens, Greece
Measuring Stressors and Strains
Joseph J. Hurrell Jr., Ph.D., National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; Debra L. Nelson and Bret Simmons, Oklahoma State University
This presentation reviews assessment approaches used by job-stress researchers to characterize aspects of work and the working environment and worker’s psychological and biological reactions to these working conditions. Select self-report instruments, observational approaches, and physiological indicators are described and evaluated. Problematic areas (e.g., the use of overlapping stressor and strain measures), and contemporary issues affecting job stress assessment (e.g., negative affectivity and occupationally specific stressor measures) are discussed. Recommendations regarding instrument selection and measurement-related issues are offered. It is concluded that closer attention to measurement-related issues is critical to the advancement of knowledge in the field. Important needs include the identification and more frequent use of objective measures of both stressors and strains, the increased use of triangulation strategies, and a careful examination of the adequacy of existing constructs and measures for capturing the demands of contemporary work.
Patterns of Stress, Strain and Coping, and Associated Personality And Psychopathology: Profile Analysis of the OSI
Arnold R. Spokane, Vincent Lasorsa, and Erik Summons
The Occupational Stress Inventory is an integrated set of three scales for measuring occupational stress, strain, and coping. Accumulated evidence from more than 30 empirical studies suggests that the OSI has reasonable validity, reliability, and functional utility for the purposes for which it was designed. Although individual scales have been examined with respect to their nomological network, profile pattern analysis has not been attempted. A set of 200 middle level executives completed the OSI, the NEO-PIR, and the PAI. Frequently occurring clinical patterns were extracted and related to Big Five personality scales, and to psychopathology. Several patterns were Significantly correlated with either pathology or personality scores.
Measuring and Managing Organizational Stress – The Use of the Pressure Management Indicator
Dr Stephen Williams, Resource Systems, Harrogate, UK
This paper describes the development of the Pressure Management Indicator, (PMI) and provides details of the scale structure, and brief examples of the way it has been used in primary, secondary and tertiary interventions.
The PMI is a 120 item self report questionnaire developed from the Occupational Stress Indicator (OSI). The PMI is more reliable, more comprehensive and shorter than the OSI. It provides an integrated measure of the major dimensions of occupational stress. The outcome scales measure job satisfaction, organizational satisfaction, organizational security, organizational commitment, anxiety-depression, resilience, worry, physical symptoms and exhaustion. The stressor scales cover pressure from workload, relationships, career development, managerial responsibility, personal responsibility, home demands, and daily hassles. The moderator variables measure, drive, impatience, control, decision latitude, and the coping strategies of problem focus, life work balance, and social support.
The PMI has been used in a wide variety of organizations in the public and private sector and normative data are available on over 20,000 people from many occupational groups. The PMI has been translated into over 20 languages and is used to support primary, secondary and tertiary interventions with individuals and their organizations.
The paper gives a brief example of the use of the PMI in primary prevention and describes the use of the instrument in the analysis of staff turnover in a UK Call Center. The PMI identified specific issues predicting leaving behavior and prompted changes in the recruitment process, selection criteria, and the working environment.
The Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ): An Instrument for Internationally Comparative Assessments of Psychosocial Job Characteristics
Robert Karasek, PhD, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Lowell, MA
In Part I, the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) is discussed. It is designed to measure social and psychological characteristics of jobs with scales assessing psychological demands, decision latitude, social support, physical demands, and job insecurity.
In Part II, the reliability of the JCQ scales is assessed in a cross-national context using 10,288 male and 6,313 female subjects from six broadly representative studies: two random population studies (U.S., Quebec region); three full occupation distribution studies (34 Dutch companies, 16 large U.S. worksites, 2 Japanese companies); and white collar workers in 8 Quebec companies. Substantial similarity in means, standard deviations, and correlations among the scales, and in correlations between scales and demographic variables, is found for both men and women in all studies. Reliability is good for all scales except job insecurity.
The results suggest that psychological job characteristics in these modern industrial countries are significantly more similar across national boundaries than they are across occupations. The study shows that the meaning of the job scales (except psychological demands) is largely consistent across national boundaries.
Differences in Work Stress Related To Gender and Occupational Level
P.R. Vagg and C.D. Spielberger, Center for Research in Behavioral Medicine and Health Psychology, University of South Florida, Tampa
High levels of stress in the workplace reduce productivity, contribute to absenteeism and adverse health effects for individual workers, and cost business and industry billions of dollars in employee turnover, burnout and medical expenses. Guided by theoretical models developed to explain occupational stress and strain, researchers have investigated person-environment fit, job demands and control, and health-related outcomes, but differences in the effects of work stress as a function of gender and occupational level have received relatively little attention. Moreover, when gender and occupational level effects have been examined, relatively few differences have been observed. This study investigated sources of stress in the workplace for men and women employed in positions at higher and lower occupational levels. Work stress was measured by the Job Stress Survey (JSS), which assesses the perceived severity and frequency of occurrence of 30 specific sources of occupational stress. Analyses of employee responses to the individual JSS items have consistently identified two major factors, Job Pressure (JP) and Lack of Organizational Support (LS), which are essentially invariant for male and female employees working at different occupational levels in a wide variety of work settings. Stress Index, Severity and Frequency scores based on responses to all 30 JSS items are computed to evaluate the overall effects of occupational stress on individual workers or groups of employees. Severity, Frequency, and Index scores are also determined for the 10-item JSS JP and LS subscales, and for each JSS item. The JSS was administered to a heterogeneous sample of 1791 employees working in business, industry, and university settings. The sample included 983 managerial/professional employees (643 males, 340 females) and 808 clerical/skilled maintenance workers (217 males, 591 females). Business, industry, and university employees working at the higher occupational level included managers (executives, administrators, senior supervisors) and professionals (engineers, accountants, university faculty). Employees working at the lower occupational level consisted of clerical, technical, and maintenance personnel. No significant differences were found in Stress Index or Severity scores based on all 30 JSS items. However, managerial/professionals employees reported experiencing the 30 JSS stressor events significantly more frequently than the clerical/skilled-maintenance workers. For the JSS Lack of Support subscale, managerial/professional employees of both sexes had higher LS-Severity scores than clerical/skilled-maintenance workers, and males had somewhat higher LS-Index scores than females. On the Job Pressure subscale, the managerial/professional employees also had substantially higher JP-Index and Frequency scores than the clerical/skilled-maintenance workers, and females at both occupational levels had higher JP-Index, Severity, and Frequency scores than males. It is interesting to note that the male clerical/skilled-maintenance employees had much lower JP-Index scores than any other group, due primarily to their very low JP-Frequency scores. While no gender or occupational level differences were found for JSS Stress Index scores based on all 30 items, significant differences were found for 25 of the 30 individual Item Index scores. For example, managerial/professional employees rated "Making critical on the spot decisions" as much more stressful than clerical/skilled-maintenance workers, due primarily to the much higher frequency that they experienced this stressor event. Although no gender differences in making critical decisions were found, males reported that "Lack of participating in policy-making decisions" was much more stressful for them than did females. Significant differences that were found in the Item Index scores were due entirely to occupational level for 12 items, and due to gender for 5 items. For the remaining 8 items, both gender and occupational level contributed to the significant differences that were found. The results of this study emphasize the importance of examining the effects of gender and occupational level on specific sources of stress in the workplace, and of taking into account both the perceived severity and frequency of occurrence of specific job-related stressor-events. While neither gender nor occupational level in the present study were related to the Stress Index and Severity scores based on all 30 JSS items, significant differences due to occupational level, gender, or both were found for the Job Pressure and Lack of Organization Support subscales, and for the Item Index scores of 25 of the 30 JSS items. Thus it is important to look beyond the total score on measures of occupational stress, which may mask or obscure important differences in specific sources of stress in the workplace.