843 Emerging psychosocial work hazards and evolving policy actions: experiences of taiwan and other east asian countries

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Abstract

Psychosocial work hazards including prolonged working hours, heavy workloads, irregular work shifts, workplace bullying and violence, precarious employment and income insecurity have been emerging occupational health concerns worldwide. These issues appear to be significant in the East Asian region, where long working hours are commonplace and extreme cases of stress-related events such as sudden deaths, cardiac attacks and severe mental disorders including depression and suicide have plagued the workplace. In the first part of the talk, I will briefly review the development of work stress as a major policy concern in this region, and summarize epidemiologic findings concerning the prevalence, social distribution and trends of major psychosocial work hazards as well as their safety and health consequences for workers. Some culture-specific coping behaviors to combat work-related fatigue such as the use of betel nuts, alcoholic energy drinks and substances will be addressed. In the second part, I will describe policy-level intervention strategies which have been adopted in response to work stress in Taiwan and compare that with policy actions adopted in other East Asian countries. Unique features in terms of the nature of psychosocial work environment and social attitudes and reactions toward work stress from an international perspective will be explored.

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