Workplace Disruption following Psychological Trauma: Influence of Incident Severity Level on Organizations' Post-Incident Response Planning and Execution

GS DeFraia

Abstract


Background: Psychologically traumatic workplace events (known as critical incidents), which occur globally, are increasing in prevalence within the USA. Assisting employers in their response is a growing practice area for occupational medicine, occupational social work, industrial psychology and other occupational health professions. Traumatic workplace events vary greatly in their level of organizational disruption.

Objective: To explore whether extent of workplace disruption influences organizations' decisions for post-incident response planning and plan execution.

Methods: Administrative data mining was employed to examine practice data from a workplace trauma response unit in the USA. Bivariate analyses were conducted to test whether scores from an instrument measuring extent of workplace disruption associated with organizational decisions regarding post-incident response.

Results: The more severe and disruptive the incident, the more likely organizations planned for and followed through to deliver on-site interventions. Following more severe incidents, organizations were also more likely to deliver group sessions and to complete follow-up consultations to ensure ongoing worker recovery.

Conclusion: Increasing occupational health practitioners' knowledge of varying levels of organizational disruption and familiarity with a range of organizational response strategies improves incident assessment, consultation and planning, and ensures interventions delivered are consistent with the level of assistance needed on both worker and organizational levels.


Keywords


Workplace; Workplace violence; Occupational injuries; Psychology, industrial



doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2016.746


 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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