Work, Stress and Health 2003
New Challenges in a Changing Workplace

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. 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, convened the fifth interdisciplinary conference on occupational stress and health. The conference, Work, Stress and Health: New Challenges in a Changing Workplace, was held at the Sheraton Hotel, Toronto, Ont., on Mar. 20-22, 2003, with Continuing Education Workshops on Mar. 19, 2003. Approximately 800-1,000 participants attended the conference.

We invited researchers, medical and psychological health practitioners from all disciplines who are involved in research and/or practice in occupational health psychology to attend interactive poster presentations, papers, symposia, and workshops on new research findings, policy, and prevention/intervention programs, and policy that address 16 major themes.

Continuing Education Workshops: Continuing education workshops will be held in key areas of occupational health before the conference on Mar. 19, 2003.

APA has direct experience with convening special topic meetings as proposed herein. Gwendolyn Puryear Keita, PhD, Director of the Women's Programs Office and Associate Executive Director of the Public Interest Directorate, was project director for four previous Work, Stress and Health Conferences on occupational stress and workplace wellness. These conferences received widespread media attention and introduced the term "occupational stress" to large numbers of legislators, managers workers and administrators.

Conference Collaborators

  • American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, Inc.

  • Canadian Psychological Association

  • Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

  • HVBG Central Office for Safety and Health

  • International Society of Behavioral Medicine

  • International Stress Management Association-Brazil

  • International Stress Management Association-USA

  • Karolinska Institute

  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

  • National Research Council of Canada

  • National Swedish Institute for Psychosocial Factors and Health