Research and Consultancy Activity

Workplace Bullying and Stress

HWG research activity includes several empirical studies concerned with workplace stress and bullying in New Zealand organisations. This work builds on the HWG’s initial study into workplace bullying prevalence, funded by the Department of Labour and Health Research Council of New Zealand and conducted in collaboration with the universities of Auckland, Waikato and Birbeck, University of London. The project was focused around identifying the incidence and nature of bullying and stress across four industry sectors: health, education, travel and hospitality, and in identifying potential interventions to better manage psychosocial hazards. Current projects include an analysis of organisational practices for the management of workplace bullying.

  Bentley et al. 2009 report on workplace bullying survey (978 KB)

Workplace Violence

The HWG have recently undertaken a study looking at workplace violence as perceived by occupational health and safety practitioners and human resource managers working in New Zealand organisations. The recently completed 2011 New Zealand Workplace Violence survey has identified the extent and nature of violence in some 96 organisations, covering nearly 5% of the New Zealand working population and a wide range of industry sectors. Additional work in this area has analysed violence control/management options for different industry sectors as a risk management tool.

  Report on the 2011 New Zealand Workplace Violence Survey (435 KB)

Organisational Safety Culture

HWG research and consultancy has also focused on organisational safety culture, including development of a qualitative safety culture measurement tool, and a survey of 100 occupational health and safety professionals in New Zealand concerning their perceptions in relation to the value and use of safety culture as a concept.

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD)

In 2014 the HWG completed an ACC funded research project identifying measures used by residential builders to reduce MSD risk.  A second stage of research will implement and evaluate higher priority measures (those most feasible to implement and which reduce the most risk). This research adopts a similar approach to government funded work conducted in the NZ meat processing industry in 2004-2007, and NZ timber processing in 2006-2010, where MSD risk reduction measures were identified and provided to stakeholders throughout the industries. The nature of MSD, with both physical and psychosocial risk factors, means that they need to be considered from both a social sustainability and an occupational health perspective to achieve viable management and prevention.  However, continued high prevalence rates and costs, along with an ageing workforce and the changing nature of work, all present unique challenges for organisations in preventing and managing MSD risks.

Other Research

Other research interests and current research within the group covers a range of topics, including: work-related falls prevention, psychosocial and organisational issues in health and safety, and adventure tourism safety research. Indicative publications related to this work can be found in the publications section. HWG members have also presented their research to many industry and academic conferences in New Zealand and overseas.

PhD Study

There are currently opportunities to study with the Healthy Work Group and we invite proposals or enquiries about undertaking a PhD under our supervision. Please note that all approvals to study must still go through Massey University’s formal PhD enrolment process.

For further information about the Healthy Work Group, please contact Dr Bevan Catley (B.E.Catley@massey.ac.nz).

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