Psychosocial factors at work and perceived health among agricultural meat industry workers in France

Publié le 1 Juillet 2009
Mis à jour le 10 Septembre 2019

Objective The objective of this study was to describe the perceived health status of the meat industry employees- i.e., working in the slaughtering, cutting, and boning of large animals and poultry-and its relation to their organisational and psychosocial constraints at work. Methods This postal survey included all 3,000 employees of the meat industry (beef, pork and poultry) in four districts in Brittany, France, whose companies were aYliated with the agricultural branch of the national health insurance fund. The questionnaire asked for social and demographic data and information describing their job and the organisation of their work. The psychosocial factors at work were described according to Karasek's questionnaire (demand, latitude and social support at work). Perceived health was measured with the Nottingham Health ProWle perceived health indicator. Results This study shows the high prevalence of poor health reported by the workers in this industry. This poor perceived health was worse in women and increased regularly with age. Among the psychosocial factors studied, high quantitative and qualitative demand at work, inadequate resources for good work and to a lesser extent, inadequate prospects for promotion appear especially associated with poor perceived health. Other factors often associated with poor perceived health included young age at the Wrst job and work hours that disrupt sleep rhythms (especially for women). Conclusion Our results show that this population of workers is especially vulnerable from the point of view of perceived physical and psychological health and is exposed to strong physical, organisational and psychosocial constraints at work. They also demonstrate that poor perceived health is associated with some psychosocial (such as high psychological demand and insuYcient resources) and organisational factors at work. These results, in conjunction with those from other disciplines involved in studying this industry, may help the companies to develop preventive activities. (R.A.)

Auteur : Cohidon C, Morisseau P, Derriennic F, Goldberg M, Imbernon E
International archives of occupational and environmental health, 2009, vol. 82, n°. 7, p. 807-18