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Improving workers’ health in project-based work: job security considerations

Improving workers’ health in project-based work: job security considerations Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of health promotion interventions in Queensland, Australia. During the research period, the workers’ employing organization, a large contracting organization, was engaged in a competitive tender to renew their service contract. The research therefore provided an opportunity to examine the impact of health promotion interventions in project-based work environments under conditions of job insecurity. Design/methodology/approach– The sample comprised of workers contracted to provide facility maintenance and management services for a power station. Data were collected using a longitudinal survey of workers’ health, weekly logs recording health behaviour, and a post-intervention evaluation workshop. Health interventions implemented sought to encourage workers to eat more fruit and participate in a physical exercise programme. Findings– Findings revealed that workers’ health was generally lower than the Queensland male population when measured using a standardized norm-based tool. The log data revealed that health behaviour fluctuated over time but did not show significant or sustained improvement with the introduction of the health interventions. The evaluation workshop revealed that workers’ concerns about their job security during the research period impacted their health behaviours. Originality/value– The need to address the structural and organizational factors that influence the health of project-based workers is highlighted. In particular, concerns about continuity of work may otherwise reduce the beneficial effect of health promotion programmes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Managing Projects in Business Emerald Publishing

Improving workers’ health in project-based work: job security considerations

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1753-8378
DOI
10.1108/IJMPB-08-2015-0070
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of health promotion interventions in Queensland, Australia. During the research period, the workers’ employing organization, a large contracting organization, was engaged in a competitive tender to renew their service contract. The research therefore provided an opportunity to examine the impact of health promotion interventions in project-based work environments under conditions of job insecurity. Design/methodology/approach– The sample comprised of workers contracted to provide facility maintenance and management services for a power station. Data were collected using a longitudinal survey of workers’ health, weekly logs recording health behaviour, and a post-intervention evaluation workshop. Health interventions implemented sought to encourage workers to eat more fruit and participate in a physical exercise programme. Findings– Findings revealed that workers’ health was generally lower than the Queensland male population when measured using a standardized norm-based tool. The log data revealed that health behaviour fluctuated over time but did not show significant or sustained improvement with the introduction of the health interventions. The evaluation workshop revealed that workers’ concerns about their job security during the research period impacted their health behaviours. Originality/value– The need to address the structural and organizational factors that influence the health of project-based workers is highlighted. In particular, concerns about continuity of work may otherwise reduce the beneficial effect of health promotion programmes.

Journal

International Journal of Managing Projects in BusinessEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 6, 2016

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