The demanding nature of firefighting exposes firefighters to unprecedented work stress and work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). Even though relationships among work demand, work stress and WMSDs have been examined, the mediating role of work stress in the relationship between work demand and WMSDs requires more attention, particularly among emergency workers. The purpose of this paper is to therefore assess the mediation role of firefighters’ work stress in the pathway of work demand and WMSDs.Design/methodology/approachA quantitative research design was used. Convenient sampling was employed to select 320 firefighters from the Greater Accra region of Ghana. Data were analyzed using descriptive, correlation and regression.FindingsThe findings revealed that work demand and stress significantly affect WMSDs. Also, work demand has a significant positive effect on work stress. It was further found that work stress partially mediates the relationship between work demand and WMSDs.Research limitations/implicationsThe usage of cross-sectional data limits the strength of causality and observation of changes within units of observation over time, hence the need to use longitudinal data in future studies.Originality/valueThe novelty of this study lies in the revelation of the influence of stress in the pathway of work demand and WMSDs among emergency professionals, using an African lens.
International Journal of Workplace Health Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 27, 2019
Keywords: Stress; Firefighters; Work demand; Work-related musculoskeletal disorders