Centre expertise lies in occupational health and occupational psychology
specialising in the promotion of organizational health and development. Find out more by exploring our key research themes and checking out our staff pages.
Developing healthy and sustainable workplaces
Our work aims at developing healthy and sustainable workplaces. Developing a healthy psychosocial work environment and promoting well-being at work are key themes in our research. We regularly develop guidance and tools on the work environment working with key stakeholders. See also our WHO programme of work.
- ZWETSLOOT, G., LEKA, S. and KINES, P., 2017. Vision Zero: From accident prevention to the promotion of health safety and wellbeing at work Policy and Practice in Health and Safety. 15(1), 1-13.
- Houdmont, J, Madgwick, P., & Randall, R. (2016). Sun safety in construction: A UK intervention study. Occupational Medicine, 66, 20-26.
Jachens, L., Houdmont, J., & Thomas, R. (2016). Effort-reward imbalance and heavy alcohol consumption among humanitarian aid workers. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 77, 904-913.
- Clemes, S., Houdmont, J., Munir, F., Wilson, K., Kerr, R., & Addley, K. (2016). Descriptive epidemiology of domain-specific sitting in working adults: The Stormont Study. Journal of Public Health, 38, 53-60.
Work organisation, design and management
Our work in this area focuses on a number of employment sectors and the impact of specific psychosocial factors on health, safety and work-related outcomes. Our work aims to facilitate good work organisation, design and management in sectors like policing, education, healthcare, oil and gas and mining industry.
Video: Dr Jonathan Houdmont’s presentation at the 2016 annual conference of the Police Federation of England and Wales.
- BERGH, L.I.V., RINGSTAD, A.J., LEKA, S. and ZWETSLOOT, G.I.J.M., 2014. Psychosocial risks and hydrocarbon leaks: An exploration of their relationship in the Norwegian oil and gas industry Journal of Cleaner Production. 84, 824-830
- Den Besten, H., Richter, J., Bakhuys Roozeboom, M., Kwantes, J.H., Eeckelaert, L., De Meyer, S., Johnson, P., Butler, C., Gervais, R., López Nunes, I., Farin, K., Pecillo, M., Młodzka-Stybel, A., Jachowicz, M., Kudász, F., Hassard, J., Cox, T., Papale, A., Williams, A., Wilhelm, H., Laamanen, I. And Elsler, D. (2011). Innovative solutions to safety and health risks in the construction, healthcare and HORECA sectors. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.
Houdmont, J., & Randall, R. (2016). Working hours and common mental disorders in English police officers. Occupational Medicine, 66, 713-718.
- Jachens, L., Houdmont, J., & Thomas, R. (2019). Effort-reward imbalance and burnout among humanitarian aid workers. Disasters, 43.
SANTOS, A. and TIN, J.J., 2016. The nature, extent and impact of educator targeted bullying on school teachers in West Malaysia British Journal of Guidance and Counselling. 1-14
SANTOS, A., RAMOS, H., RAMASAMY, G. and FERNANDES, C., 2014. Prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in a sample of migrant workers in the manufacturing industry in Malaysia Public Health. 128(8), 759-761
- THOMSON, L., SCHNEIDER, J. and HARE DUKE, L., 2017. Unregistered health care staff’s perceptions of 12 hour shifts: an interview study. Journal of Nursing Management, 25 (7), 531-538.
Organisational culture and performance
Our work in this area examines various aspects of organisational culture including leadership, psychological and social capital, and human resource practices, and their relationship with organisational performance in terms of positive work behaviour, innovation, and quality of work. We have examined these relationships both in large and small organisations in various countries and occupational sectors.
- DEDIU, V., LEKA, S. and JAIN, A., 2018. Job demands, job resources and innovative work behaviour: A European Union Study. European Journal of Work & Organizational Psychology.
- LIN, PING-YI, MACLENNAN, SARA, HUNT, NIGEL and COX, TOM, 2015. The influences of nursing transformational leadership style on the quality of nurses' working lives in Taiwan: a cross-sectional quantitative study BMC NURSING. 14,
- MADRID, H.P., DIAZ, M., LEKA, S., LEIVA, P.I. and BARROS, E.A, 2017. A finer-grained approach to psychological capital and positive work behaviour Journal of Business and Psychology.
- Mustafa, M. J., Caspersz, D., Ramos, H. M. L., & Siew, C. M. M. (2018). The satisfaction of non-family employees with High Involvement HR practices: evidence from family SMEs. Human Resource Development International, 1-23.
Business ethics and sustainability
Our work in the area of business ethics and sustainability focuses on the identification and evaluation of responsible business practices contributing to the 2030 global agenda on Sustainable Development.
This includes examining the role of softer forms of policy, such as voluntary standards, social dialogue and responsible business practices, in the area of managing working conditions and promoting equality, diversity, health and well-being, particularly in developing countries where legislative frameworks may be weak or non-existent.
- JAIN, A., LEKA, S. and ZWETSLOOT, G., 2018. Managing Health, Safety and Well-being: Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability. The Netherlands: Springer.
- Jain, A.; Leka, S.; Zwetsloot, G. (2011), Corporate social responsibility and psychosocial risk management in Europe, Journal of Business Ethics, 101 (4), pp. 619-633.
- Torres, L. & Jain, A. (2017). Employer civil liability for work-related accidents: A comparison of non-economic loss in Chile and England. Safety Science, 94, 197–207
Policy-level work environment interventions
Several of our research programmes are policy-oriented. We work with international organisations such as WHO, ILO and institutions such as the European Commission and its agencies, trade unions and employer associations to develop guidance and standards on the work environment. We also provide policy recommendations and evaluate policy and practice in the UK, Europe and internationally.
- Drivers and barriers for psychosocial risk management (EU-OSHA)
- European Survey of Enterprises on New & Emerging Risks (EU-OSHA)
- POTTER, R.E., O’KEEFFE, V., BAILEY, T., DOLLARD, M.F. and LEKA, S., 2017. Assessing a national work health and safety policy intervention using the psychosocial safety climate framework. Safety Science. 100(1), 91-102.
- LEKA, S. and JAIN, A., 2017. Mental health in the workplace in the European Union: Consensus paper.
- LEKA, S., JAIN, A., ZWETSLOOT, G., ANDREOU, N. and HOLLIS, D., 2016. Future challenges of occupational health and safety policy making in the UK. Policy and Practice in Health and Safety. 1-17.
- LEKA, S., JAIN, A., IAVICOLI, S. and DI TECCO, C., 2015. An evaluation of the policy context on psychosocial risks and mental health in the workplace in the European Union: Achievements, challenges and the future. Biomed Research International. 213089.
Extended working lives
Our work in this area focuses on promoting a lifespan perspective and supporting healthy working lives. Key themes include chronic illness, return to work and the effectiveness of organisational and health service interventions to support the timely return-to-work of people with absence due to a range of health conditions.
- COOLE, C., NOURI, F., POTGIETER, I., WATSON, P. J., THOMSON, L., HAMPTON, R. and DRUMMOND, A., 2015. Recommendations to facilitate the ideal fit note: Are they achievable in practice? BMC FAMILY PRACTICE. 16,
- Cox, T., MacLennan, S.J., Hunt, N., & Hassard, J. (2017). Dealing with the Stress of Cancer. In C. Cooper and J. Quick (Eds.): Wiley Handbook of Stress and Health: A Guide to Research and Practice. Chichester: Wiley & Sons.
- THOMSON, L. and HAMPTON, R. 2012. Fit for Work? Changing Fit Note Practice among GPs. British Journal of General Practice, 62 (595), e147-e150(4)
Our work in this area examines the implications of a diverse workforce and specifically addresses issues such as gender, ageing, and migration. Key themes in our research are stereotyping, discrimination, and the development of appropriate workplace policies and management practices for a diverse workforce.
- Flaspöler, E., Hauke, A., Koppisch, D., Reinert, D., Koukoulaki, T., Vilkevicius, G., Žemės, L., Águila Martínez-Casariego, M., Baquero Martínez, M., González Lozar, L., Vega Martínez, S., López Riera, S., Carter, L., Leah, C., Gervais, R. & Hassard, J. (2013). New risks and trends in the safety and health of women at work. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.
- Griffiths, A., MacLennan, S., & Hassard, J. (2013). Menopause and work: An electronic survey of employees’ attitudes in the UK. Maturitas, 76(2), 155-159.
- SANTOS, A. and EGER, A., 2014. Gender Differences and Predictors of Workplace Deviance Behaviour: The Role of Job Stress, Job Satisfaction and Personality on Interpersonal and Organisational Deviance. International Journal of Management Practice. 7(1), 9-38
Learning and development
Our stream of work in this area examines the development needs and effectiveness of training interventions for the health and social care workforce. This includes a national evaluation of the Care Certificate training for unregistered care workers. The second stream of research in this area focuses on career development needs and opportunities for adolescents and young adults, with an emphasis on the assessment and development of career decision making tools and interventions.
- ARGYLE, E., THOMSON, L., ARTHUR, A., MABEN, J., SCHNEIDER, J. and WHARRAD, H. 2017. Introducing the Care Certificate Evaluation: innovative practice. Dementia: the international journal of social research and practice.
- LAM, M., & SANTOS, A. 2017. The Impact of a College Career Intervention Program on Career Decision Self-Efficacy, Career Indecision, and Decision-Making Difficulties. Journal of Career Assessment. 1-20.
Emotions and trauma
Our research in this area focuses on three streams of inquiry. The first focuses on emotional labour and the strategies workers employ in dealing with emotionally demanding work involving frequent employee-customer/client interactions. The second stream derives from a positive psychology perspective on emotion regulation, and in particular, the role of emotional intelligence in combating the negative consequences of challenging work. The third stream focuses on work and non-work trauma and our research has looked at both antecedents and coping of victims of traumatic experiences like war and major disasters, and the use of narrative approaches to dealing with traumatic stress.
- MUSTAFA, M, SANTOS, A and GWI T.C, 2016. Exploring the Protective effects of Trait-Emotional Intelligence in the Emotional Labour – Burnout Relationship International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion. 7(2), 143-164
- ALGHAMDI, M, HUNT, N and THOMAS, S, 2016. Prevalence rate of PTSD, depression and anxiety symptoms among Saudi firefighters Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders and Treatment. 6(1), 1-6
- AL-HADETHE, A., HUNT, N., AL-QAYSI, A. and THOMAS, S., 2015. Randomised controlled study comparing two psychological therapies for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Vs Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders and Treatment. 4(4),
The psychosocial impact of appearance problems
This body of work focuses on the relationship between social identity, psychological factors and appearance. Much of this work has focused on alopecia. We are exploring the relationship between appearance and psychological problems (e.g. anxiety, depression, PTSD), as well as its link with wider interpersonal, social and workplace issues.
- BARKER, A.B., LINCOLN, N.B., DAS NAIR, R. and HUNT, N., 2017. Social identity in people with MS: An examination of family identity and mood. International Journal of MS Care.
- RAFIQUE, R. and HUNT, N., 2015. Experiences and coping behaviours of adolescents in Pakistan with alopecia areata: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well -Being. 10, 26039.
- BARKER, A, LINCOLN, N., NAIR, R. and HUNT, N., 2014. Social Identity in people with Multiple Sclerosis: A Meta-synthesis of Qualitative Research. Social Care and Neurodisability. 5(4), 256-267.
WHO programme of work
COHD supports WHO in the implementation of the Global Plan of Action for Workers’ Health across WHO regions.
Our current work plan for WHO focuses on the priority of developing healthy workplaces. We are leading on four main projects:
- guidance on developing healthy workplaces, including tools for large and small organisations
- continued work on our PRIMA-EF project including guidance and online training in this area
- review in the area of responsible business practices, especially in small enterprises and the informal sector
- review and analysis of policies on psychosocial risks and mental health in the workplace with a view to identify gaps across regions and good practice examples in order to provide recommendations to strengthen health systems, governance, capacities and service delivery in this area
For the above projects we are collaborating with a number of institutions including, among others, the University of South Australia, the German Federal Institution for Occupational Safety & Health (BAuA), the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, the Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority (INAIL), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (USA).
WHO guidance and reviews produced by our Centre
- Work Organization & Stress
- Guidance on the European Framework for Psychosocial Risk Management (PRIMA-EF)
- Healthy Workplaces: a WHO Global model for action
- Health Impact of Psychosocial Hazards at Work
- Work and Worklessness: Final report of the Task group on employment and working conditions, including occupation, unemployment and migrant workers