Psychosocial Factor Evaluation in Metal-Mechanic Workers With Particular Reference to Mental Load: A Case in Ensenada, Baja California

Psychosocial Factor Evaluation in Metal-Mechanic Workers With Particular Reference to Mental Load: A Case in Ensenada, Baja California

Julio Cesar Cano Gutierrez (Autonomous University of Baja California, Mexico), Jesús Everardo Olguín Tiznado (Autonomous University of Baja California, Mexico), Claudia Camargo Wilson (Autonomous University of Baja California, Mexico) and Juan Andrés López Barreras (Autonomous University of Baja California, Mexico)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1052-0.ch007
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The International Labour Organization (ILO) considers mental workload one of the most important psychosocial risk factors associated with the characteristics of the task and paramount in the metalworking industry. The objective was to analyze the levels of risk of the psychosocial factors that workers present, considering their physical, social, and mental environment, to respond to the Mexican Official Norm NOM-035-STPS and the ILO guidelines. The methodology consisted of applying to 125 workers a questionnaire of 74 items with 10 factors. The answers were assigned a score of 0 to 4 to later determine the risk level of each factor. The results revealed that the factors with the highest risk are working hours (93%), workload (71%), and lack of control over work (34%). It is concluded that the higher risk factors affect the mental workload of workers in the metalworking industry and associated with the characteristics of the tasks they perform.
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Ergonomics is a scientific discipline of a multidisciplinary nature, which studies the relationships between man, the activity he performs and the elements of the system in which he is immersed, in order to reduce the physical, mental and psychological burdens of the individual and to adapt the products, systems, jobs and environments to the characteristics, limitations and needs of its users; seeking to optimize its efficiency, safety, comfort and overall system performance (IEA, 2000), So the fields of knowledge of engineering, sociology, physiology, psychology, economics and legislation, among others, participate in it (Mondelo, Cremades Oliver, & Montoya Taborda, 2015).

In addition, González y Gutiérrez (2007) y Vedder (2013) the factors associated with the scope of Ergonomics can be classified into: 1. The physical load; 2. Mental workload; 3. Environmental conditions; 4. Work organization. (González-Muñoz & Gutiérrez-Martínez, 2007; Vedder & Laurig, 2013).

Psychosociology is the discipline that applies and discovers information about the psychological mechanisms underlying the individual-workplace-organization interaction, and the negative consequences, which have repercussions on occupational health, for the application of the knowledge and techniques developed with the intervention, prevention and promotion of Occupational Health Labor (Steven L., M. Lawrence & Levi, 2001).

In this sense, a large part of the well-being of the worker lies in the quality of the physical and mental working conditions, from which comes the relevance of identifying, analyzing and evaluating psychosocial factors. The evaluation of psychosocial factors, as well as the evaluation of risks, is a complex process that is still under development, particularly in workplaces (Mélan & Cascino, 2014; Osorio-Escobar, 2011) due to the difficulty that exists to evaluate them, the lack of improvement in the adoption of techniques in the multiple organizational contexts, the confusion in the concepts of some variables and even the difficulty that is presented when trying to establish a direct causal relation between a risk factor and a health condition, since the loss of health due to an inadequate psychosocial situation cannot be explained by a direct cause-effect relationship, but has a multicausal origin (Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo (INSHT), 2003).

It is proposed that psychosocial factors at work consist of interactions between work, its environment, job satisfaction and organizational conditions, on the one hand, and on the other, the worker's capabilities, needs, culture and personal situation outside of work, all of which, through perceptions and experiences, can influence health, performance and job satisfaction (Comité Mixto OIT-OMS, 1984; Mélan & Cascino, 2014; Rodríguez, Sánchez-Gómez, Dorado, & Ramírez, 2015)

Psychosocial factors are perceived characteristics of the work environment that have an emotional connotation for workers and managers (Carayon, Smith, & Haims, 2007). They are also considered as aspects of work, organization and labor management, and their social and organizational contexts (Cox & Griffiths A, 1996). They are also defined as those conditions that are present in a labor situation and that are directly related to the organization, the content of the work and the performance of the task, as well as having the capacity to affect both the well-being or health (physical, psychic or social) of the worker and consequently his performance at work (Pérez Bilbao & Nogareda Cuixart, 2012).

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