New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper
Charles D. Spielberger and Eric C. Reheiser In a recent publication of the World Health Organization (WHO), entitled ‘Global Strategy on Occupational Health for All’, it was noted that ‘occupational health and the well-being of working people are crucial prerequisites for productivity and are of utmost importance for overall socioeconomic and sustainable development’ (WHO, 2000, p. 2). The signiﬁcant impact of health hazards in the workplace has also clearly inﬂuenced other global agencies, such as the United Nations and the International Labour Organization. According to the WHO (ibid., p. 6), ‘every citizen of the world has a right to healthy and safe work and to a work environment that enables him or her to live a socially and economically productive life’. Hazards in the workplace have had negative eﬀects on the health and well-being of workers throughout human history. The phrase, ‘mad as a hatter’, came into the English language long before anyone knew that mercury in the materials used in making hats aﬀected the central nervous system (Kahn, 1981). In the 19th century, descriptions of the ‘black lung’ disease of coal miners recognized a causal link between the speciﬁc characteristics of a hazardous work environment and a particular physical disorder. While exposure to hazardous physical, chemical or biological substances continue to aﬀect health and working capacity negatively, the WHO estimates that ‘an equal number [30–50 per cent] of working people report psychological overload at work resulting in stress symptoms’ (WHO, 2000, p....
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