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Towards Total Worker Health for Environmental Service Workers

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Towards Total Worker Health Among Environmental Service Workers

PI: Rachael Jones, PhD, CIH (UCLA) and Angela Fraser, PhD (Clemson University)

Project Years: 3-5

Project Description: Environmental service workers have been little studied with respect to their safety, health, and well-being. We know, however, that their workplaces include chemical, infectious and physical hazards, and a recent review of studies about how to improve cleaning performance by PIs Fraser and Jones revealed a wide array of other stressors relevant to TWH, including employment instability, poor supervisors, excessive workload, shift work, interruption, and negative perceptions by others, among others. Unequal power relationships in long-term care facilities result in strict division of labor and the exclusion of the voices of environmental service workers from work practices and organizational decision-making. Speaking to their marginalization, an environmental service worker said, “I would refer to us as the invisible staff." The aims of this study are to;1) assess need and interest for a TWH intervention among environmental service workers, and 2) pilot an intervention to advance TWH among environmental service workers. This study will engage environmental service workers in long-term care facilities, their supervisors, and facility directors.