• Job demands, resources and work-related well-being in UK firefighters

      Payne, N.; Kinman, Gail; (Oxford University Press, 2020-01-11)
      Background: There is evidence that firefighters are at risk of work-related stress and mental health problems, but little is known about the organizational hazards they experience. Insight is needed into the work-related factors that are most likely to threaten or protect their work-related well-being. Aims: To identify levels of job demands and resources (including demands relating to workload, work patterns and the working environment, relationship conflicts, control, support, role clarity and change management) among firefighters, and to use a job demands-resources framework to examine their impacts on work-related well-being. The role played by recovery strategies in predicting work-related well-being was also considered. Methods: Job demands and resources were assessed by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Management Standards Indicator Tool. Validated scales measured recovery strategies (detachment, affective rumination and problem-solving pondering) and work-related well-being (anxiety-contentment and depression-enthusiasm). The impact of job demands, resources and recovery strategies was tested by multiple linear regression. Results: The sample comprised 909 firefighters across seven Fire and Rescue Services in the UK (85% male). Levels of job demands and resources did not meet HSE benchmarks. The main risk factors for poor work-related well-being were relationship conflicts and affective rumination, but resources such as role clarity and job control and the use of problem-solving pondering and detachment were beneficial. Conclusions: Interventions that aim to reduce relationship conflicts at work and promote problem-solving rather than affective rumination, and detachment from work when off-duty, are likely to improve work-related well-being. Attention to enhancing job resources may also be beneficial.