Psychosocial workload factors survey

Indicators - Psychosocial workload factors survey

The survey is designed to examine workers’ views on psychosocial workload factors. It provides an overview of the psychosocial strain that workers are experiencing and any harmful psychosocial workload factors present in the workplace. The survey is designed to facilitate occupational safety and health enforcement, but employers can also use it.

The questionnaire focuses on the psychosocial workload factors that studies have shown to be the most harmful. It consists of 23 statements, of which seven relate to the way in which work is organised, nine to the content of the work and six to social interactions within the work community. At the end of the questionnaire, the respondents are asked about health-endangering work-related strain in general.

Use of the survey in occupational safety and health enforcement

The survey is designed to help occupational safety and health inspectors to evaluate employers’ compliance with psychosocial workload regulations. The workers’ answers give inspectors an idea about what kinds of harmful workload factors are present in the workplace.  The survey provides a systematic way to collect information from workers about their working conditions for enforcement purposes. The survey can be compared to inspectors’ interviewing workers in person during an inspection and asking them about any occupational safety and health issues that there might be at the workplace.

Workers are usually asked to answer the questionnaire before an occupational safety and health inspection. Based on the survey responses, enforcement measures can be focused on issues that are most often causing strain for the employees. The information provided by the survey allows the inspector to identify in advance any workload factors that need to be examined more closely during the inspection.

The survey is anonymous, and the answers are confidential. Individual workers’ answers are not shared with the employer. The results of the survey are presented to the employer on a group level, so that individual respondents cannot be identified.

Use of the survey by employers

The survey can also be used independently at workplaces. The Finnish Occupational Safety and Health Act obligates employers to identify and analyse the workload factors present in the workplace and in their employees’ work and to evaluate the consequences of those factors from the perspective of the employees’ health. For more information, see Identification and evaluation. This survey is one tool that can help employers to identify psychosocial workload factors in the workplace.

By repeating the survey at regular intervals, employers can also use it to monitor how effective the measures taken to reduce harmful psychosocial workload have been. Workers’ answers to subsequent surveys give the employer an idea of whether the situation has improved or whether further action is needed.

The methodology manual (in Finnish, later also in English) provides more information about how the survey can be used by employers.

Links:

Psychosocial workload factors survey (PDF)

Methodology manual for the psychosocial workload factors survey (PDF, in Finnish)

Questionnaire in Finnish (PDF)

Questionnaire in Swedish (PDF)