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Background: The nature of work as well as the working environment all plays important roles on both health
and production at work places and in organizations. Workers often times are exposed to poor and unfriendly
working environment, with resultant multiple work-related adverse health conditions, decreased motivation and low
productivity. In spite of these, the issue of psychosocial hazards appears to receive little attention by management
workplaces including the education and teaching sector, government and relevant regulatory bodies.
Aim: The main aim of this study was to assess the prevalence as well as the pattern of psychosocial hazards
among University of Port Harcourt Workers.


Title Page———i




Abstract ———vi

Table of Content——–vii

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction ——-1

1.1 Statement of Problem——4

1.2 Purpose of the Study——5

1.3 Significance of Study——8

1.4 Limitation——–9

1.5 Scope of Study——-11

Chapter Two

2.0 Review of Related Literature —-12

2.1 The Meaning of Drug Abuse—–13

2.2 The Problem of Drug Abuse—–13

2.3 Disadvantage of Drug Abuse—-14

2.4 Normal Ways of Drug use—–15

2.5 Common Ways of Drug Abuse—-17

2.6 Summary of Literature Review—- 19

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology and Procedure—22

3.1 Population ——–22

3.2 Sample and Sampling Technique—-22

3.3 Validation of the Instrument —-23

3.4 Reliability of the Instrument —–23

3.5 Data Analysis——-23

Chapter Four

4.0 Presentation and Discussion of Result—24

4.1 Analysis and Interpretation of Data—25

4.2 Discussion of Results——38

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation –40

5.1 Summary——–40

5.2 Conclusion——–41

5.3 Recommendation——42

References ———45

Appendix 1——–47

Appendix ———50


1. Introduction

There exist constant competitions among organizations to maximize profit and minimize costs [1] . In the course of these, there is increased demand on the employee for higher productivity and greater accountability in the public sector, including public educational institutions, and greater profitability in the private sector [2] – [7] . Nowadays, workplace environments in both sectors have been increasingly characterized by heightened pressure on employees to perform at consistently higher levels, sometimes with longer hours, reduced staff numbers, insecure employment patterns and employer empowerment, with unmatched reward system [2] – [7] .

All these factors have been identified to invariably contribute to creating a stressful and an unfriendly work environment and hence increase the risks of psychological problems [8] – [12] . Stress is now recognized in health and safety legislation as a workplace hazard, namely a “psychosocial hazard” [13] [14] . Psychosocial hazards are inherent in the total stress caused by work, work structure, design and regulation, and therefore are an integral part of an overall assessment of risks at work places.

Every kind of work is associated with its unique certain occupational risks [15] [16] [17] . The changing economic context has been associated with a shift in the types of risks encountered in the work environment, with new types of work place hazards emerging in addition to the traditional ones [18] [19] . Emerging workplace risks include psychosocial risks, as well as exposure to a number of new and emerging chemicals and processes of which the consequences for human health are still unknown [20] .

There is an evident delay in controlling these modern and emerging risks particularly in developing countries, since many still struggle extensively with the more well-known traditional occupational risks [21] . These are increasingly controlled in industrialized countries, a fact which explains the switch of attention to the modern hazards of working life [22] [23] [24] . Physical risks and hazards not only interact with one another in producing adverse effects, but may also do so with psychosocial risks and hazards as well as physical and psychosocial conditions [25] .

Broadly speaking, the term “psychosocial” refers to the interrelationships between individuals’ thoughts and behaviours, and their social environment. In most literatures outside the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) field, this term is often narrowly but diffusely viewed and refers to social environments such as family of origin, socioeconomic status and level of education [26] . Whilst it is important to take cognizance of individual and non-work psychosocial factors and environment, in the OHS context, psychosocial hazards have come to refer only to hazards created by work, work design, work structure and regulation and the entire work environment [26] .

Psychosocial hazards consistently show enormous impact on workers’ health, public health and business health [27] – [32] . Lost hours and absenteeism from work due to occupational injuries, ill health and work-related mental health problems are of growing concern globally. The health impact from psychosocial risks and work-related stress affects workers and their families, as well as businesses, since workers’ illness is related to outcomes that can have financial impact on businesses [27] [28] [29] [30] . These variables include sickness absences, the hidden cost of presenteeism when a sick worker is present at work and not fully productive, and also unemployment. Effects are also visible at national and even global economic levels. Indeed, the cost of the work-related health loss and associated productivity loss represents around 4% – 5% of the GDP of most countries [30] [31] [32] [33] .

Several factors have been identified to increase the risks of psychosocial hazards [34] [35] [36] [37] . Some of them include changes in the working population, job content, workload, workplace and forced pace of work, work schedule, shift work, long work hours and overtime, extent of control, environment and equipment, organizational culture and function, interpersonal relationships at work (Relationships with Superiors, Subordinates and Colleagues), violence, threat of violence and bullying at work, role in organization, career development and home-work interface [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] .

Recent studies indicate that contemporary and emerging psychosocial risks are changing and go beyond the traditional workplace-centered approach [34] . These include external factors such as globalization [42] , increased vulnerability of workers in the context of globalization [42] , precarious contracts, in the context of the unstable labor markets, new forms of employment contracts, and the feeling of job insecurity. Workers in developing countries often face combined risks of traditional and emerging risks, despite the fact that there is now widespread knowledge about these and effective preventive measures [43] [44] [45] . It seems, therefore, unfortunate that, in general, occupational health remains neglected in developing countries because of competing social, economic and political challenges [46] . The cycle of poverty clearly depicts the vicious cycle between poverty, ill-health and hazardous jobs in the absence of any kind of worker’s protection.

The most studied core contributing factors to psychosocial risks and work-related stress have been found to be embedded in the work content and work context. At organizational and workplace levels, work content includes the nature of tasks, the workload and the pace of work, the number of hours worked, as well as the level of participation and control over the workload and work processes [47] [48] . Organizational and workplace level, work/job content have been found to be very important psychosocial risk factor. These include monotonous, under stimulating, meaningless tasks; lack of variety and unpleasant tasks. Workload and work pace has to do with having too much or too little to do and working under time pressures. Working hours involve strict and inflexible working schedules; long and unsocial hours; unpredictable working hours; and badly designed shift systems [49] [50] .

On the other hand, work context refers to career development opportunities, status, the level of payment, the role in the organization and its level of clarity, interpersonal relationships (conflict, psychological harassment), the nature of the organizational culture, as well as the work-home interface in terms of support, conflicts and spill-over effects. Work context also covers career development, status and pay: job insecurity; lack of promotion prospects; under-promotion or over-promotion; work of ‘low social value’; piece rate payments schemes; unclear or unfair performance evaluation systems; being over-skilled or under-skilled for the job [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] .

Poor participation and control has equally been implicated as psychosocial stress [47] . Lack of participation in decision making and lack of control (for example, over work methods, pace, hours, environment) [35] . Role Designation in the organization is also important in the issue of work place psychosocial risk factors. Unclear role; conflicting roles within the same job; responsibility for people; continuously dealing with other people and their problems have all been found to be important psychosocial risk factors. Interpersonal relationships in terms of inadequate, inconsiderate or unsupportive supervision; poor relationships with co-workers; bullying, harassment and violence (including sexual harassment); isolated or solitary work; no agreed procedures for dealing with problems or complaints [52] . Psychosocial risks have previously been described as an integral element of the stress process, in terms of the interaction among job content, work organization and management, environmental and organizational conditions on the one hand, and the employees’ competencies and needs on the other; an interaction that can prove to be hazardous to employees’ health through their perceptions and experience [53] .

Specifically, psychosocial risks in the workplace have been demonstrated to have a possible detrimental impact on workers’ physical, mental and social health. In addition, a growing body of evidence indicates both a direct and indirect role of the psychosocial working environment on organisational health indices (such as absenteeism, sickness absence, productivity, job satisfaction and intention to quit)

It has been noted that 80% of the global workforce resides in the developing world, and is subjected mostly to unhealthy and unsafe working conditions. Published studies point to the fact that traditional risks are intrinsically related to psychosocial risks, since both have the potential for detrimentally affecting social and psychological health as well as physical health [57] [58] [59] [60] . Therefore, psychosocial risks should be considered as risks to both, psychological and physical health [60] .

There is currently lack of awareness and this makes most occurrences of work place bullying unnoticed or unattended to [61] [62] . The findings and knowledge from this study will help to create the awareness about psychosocial hazards among workers of the University, and equally afford them the ability to avoid them where and when necessary. The aim of this study therefore was to assess the prevalence and pattern of work place bullying among Workers at the University of Port Harcourt.



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