A recent report from the International Labour Organisation for the Latin-American region (ILO, 2012) concluded that despite the apparent economic growth and a reduction in unemployment, there are still important decent work shortcomings as result of precarious employment, including income insecurity, a decline in social protection, and high labour turnover. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO 2007), both globalisation and recent changes in the nature of work are probably worsening work related stress issues in LA. When this WHO document was published in 2007, very few studies on the topic had been carried out and no mandatory rules or risk standards had been implemented to promote good practices at the workplace against psychosocial risk exposure. However, occupational health and safety priorities in the region have changed during the last decade pointing to the need to monitor psychosocial hazards and to address work-related stress, violence, harassment, unhealthy behaviours, and other workplace hazards (Kortume & Stavroula, 2014).
In Latin-American region some important advances have been made in terms of job psychosocial practice, training and research. For example, mandatory regulations have emerged as well as national surveillance and preventive programs, including population based surveys in Colombia, México and Chile. Likewise, postgraduate courses and networks of psychosocial researchers has been created, impelling the development of the field. In research, important advances have been developed, including cross-cultural validations of psychosocial risks models and questionnaires used in developed countries, such as demand/control model or effort/reward imbalance model, however we need to consider cultural differences and create opportunities to increase the quantity and quality of research in order to develop in-depth knowledge about the impact of work stress on the worker’s health and to make more promising comparisons between the data pertaining to this region and that of other regions. In this presentation, some most important achievements and future challenges of the advances on psychosocial factors at work topic will be discussed.
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