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Última actualización [15/10/2006]


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Características organizacionales, estrés y consumo de alcohol en trabajadores de una empresa textil mexicana




Silvia Carreño García*, Ma. Elena Medina-Mora**, Nora Martínez Vélez*, Francisco Juárez García*, Lucía Vázquez Pérez*

MEXICO
En el ambiente laboral hay diversos factores que pueden propiciar bienestar o malestar en los obreros. La percepción del clima organizacional y la valoración que las personas hagan, tiene efectos negativos y positivos que producen consecuencias tanto a nivel individual como en el desempeño laboral. El estrés laboral es otro factor que tiene repercusiones significativas en la salud de las personas y en la calidad del trabajo y se ha relacionado con el consumo excesivo de alcohol, el uso de sustancias psicoactivas y el incremento de múltiples problemas sociales y laborales.

Con base en lo anterior, el objetivo de este trabajo es determinar qué factores organizacionales como estrés laboral, clima organizacional y satisfacción en el trabajo se relacionan con el consumo de alcohol, la presentación de problemas laborales y los accidentes, en los trabajadores mexicanos de una empresa textil.

Método
El estudio se hizo en una empresa textil. La muestra fue de 277 trabajadores, todos hombres, de 16 a 65 años de edad, 85% con estudios de secundaria y 82.7% casados o en unión libre. Se utilizó un cuestionario auto aplicado y anónimo; con la prueba AUDIT de alcohol, escalas de estrés laboral, clima organizacional, satisfacción laboral y preguntas generales.

Resultados
En cuanto al clima organizacional, la mayoría (92%) percibe buena comunicación con su grupo de trabajo, 87.2% mencionó tener ayuda de su jefe, 78% indicó contar con apoyo suficiente para resolver problemas. Hay diferencias en los trabajadores de mayor grado escolar, quienes perciben un clima laboral más adverso, en comparación con los de menor escolaridad. También hay diferencia entre los turnos (matutino, vespertino y mixto); son los del turno vespertino quienes perciben un clima laboral desfavorable.

Con satisfacción laboral, la mayoría de los trabajadores considera útil el trabajo que hace (95%), les gusta (93%) y mencionan que su familia está satisfecha (88.3%). Hay diferencias significativas en el nivel de satisfacción y la escolaridad, y son los de primaria los más satisfechos.

Las fuentes de estrés más referidas fueron el tener que luchar para salir adelante (87.6%) tener demasiado trabajo que hacer (60.5%), que ocurran accidentes si no se tiene cuidado (51.6%). Del total de obreros 14.2% presentan niveles altos de estrés en el trabajo.

Poco más de la mitad de ellos (61.7%) consumió alcohol en el último año. Una cuarta parte (25.8%) se clasificó como “caso” con problemas por el alcohol, según la prueba completa AUDIT. Con base en la prueba rápida del AUDIT, un poco más de la mitad de los trabajadores (64.2%) no bebe o tiene un consumo de bajo riesgo, mientras que 26.5% bebe alcohol en riesgo y sólo 5.3% se ubica en un consumo peligroso por la frecuencia y cantidad de alcohol que ingiere.

Respecto a los problemas laborales, una cuarta parte (24.1%) mencionó que ha invertido más tiempo de lo normal en alguna actividad laboral, a 21% le han llamado la atención por errores en su desempeño, 18% sintieron que no alcanzaban a entregar un trabajo de calidad. Los accidentes que se mencionaron son: haber tenido heridas en las manos (17.5%), heridas en los dedos (15.7%), haber estado a punto de tener un accidente (13.5%) y 10% ha sufrido daños o lesiones al desempeñar su trabajo.

Con un modelo de ecuaciones estructurales se observó que el clima, la satisfacción y el estrés laboral, son predictores significativos de problemas laborales y accidentes. De las variables incluidas en este análisis, el estrés laboral resultó ser la que mejor predice el consumo de alcohol en el trabajo. Se observó la relación del clima laboral con el nivel de consumo de alcohol y su influencia en la presencia de problemas y accidentes en el trabajo, así como con el consumo antes, dentro y después del trabajo.

Discusión
Estos resultados muestran la necesidad de promover y fortalecer la formación de equipos de trabajo que permitan optimizar las competencias laborales, las condiciones en el trabajo y mejorar el clima, disminuir el estrés y aumentar la satisfacción. Asimismo, es necesario considerar la prevención dentro de los lugares de trabajo, de forma integral, e introduciendo elementos educativos prácticos que permitan disminuir el consumo excesivo de alcohol y reducir las consecuencias en el lugar de trabajo.

Summary
There are different factors within work environment that could create both wellbeing and distress in workers. The climate perception employees have, as well as the evaluation of some, could have positive and negative consequences at personal and organizational levels. Work stress is another element that has meaningful repercussions on the health of people and on the quality of their performance; it has been related to alcohol and psychoactive substances abuse, besides of an increase in different social and work problems.

The main objective of this paper is to determine the relationship between organizational factors (such as work stress, organization climate, and work satisfaction) and alcohol use, and the occurrence of industrial problems and accidents in Mexican workers in a textile organization.

Method
In order to interfere as less as possible with the production process, this study was carried out at the facilities of the organization, during work hours and during weekends. Thus, only employees who attended to work these days were interviewed.

The sample included 277 workers who basically performed as operative staff. No more organization characteristics are described on behalf of an agreement, and of the anonymity of the answers given by the subjects.

All the interviewees were men, their ages fluctuated between 16 and 65 years, 85% of them had attained junior high school, and 72% were married or living with a partner.

A self rated questionnaire was used, along with the AUDIT (alcohol use disorder identification test) alcohol test, a work stress scale, another scale for organization climate, one more for work satisfaction, and some general questions. All the scales had good internal consistency.

The procedure consisted in gathering 20 workers in a well-ventilated and illuminated room. The interviewer, who was previously trained, read the instructions aloud, emphasizing anonymity and confidentiality of any information the workers give, and stating that no one from the company would have access to the data.

Analyses were performed with statistical software SPSS 11.5. EQS 6.0 was used to test the structural equation model with the relationship between organizational factors, alcohol use and negative consequences at work.

Results
Organizational climate: Most of the workers (92%) perceived a good level of communication with the work group, 87.2% mentioned to receive help from the boss when they have to do an activity they are not familiar with, 78% said they have enough support to solve the problems related to work. There were differences between the workers according to education level; the ones with the higher level perceived a more adverse climate. There were differences also between shifts (morning, evening, and mixed); the workers from the first one perceived a less favorable climate.

Work satisfaction: Most of the workers think of their job as something useful (95%), 93% said they liked it, and 88.3% mentioned their families are satisfied. There are statistical differences between satisfaction and education levels; subjects who had only basic education were more satisfied than those with a higher level.

The stress sources are related to the effort implied in the struggle to move forward (87.6%), to have too much work to do (60.5%), and to the possibility of an accident when subjects are careless (51.6%). The total scale scores indicated that 14.2% of the workers had high levels of work stress.

Alcohol use: 61.7% of the workers consumed alcohol during the previous year. According to the AUDIT (using eight or more as a cut-off score) 25.8% were classified as cases for alcohol related problems; 26.5% of the subjects had risk consumption, and 5.3% were consuming in a dangerous way because of the frequency and the amount they drink.

Work problems: 24.1% of the subjects mentioned they have invested more time than usual in some activity related to work, 21% have been told off because of their performance, 18% felt they could not achieve quality outcomes. The incidents that workers mentioned were: hand injuries (17.5%), finger injuries (15.7%), being close to suffer an accident (13.5%), and suffering damage or injuries when working (10%).

A structural equation model allowed to observe that organizational factors, climate, satisfaction, and work stress are meaningful predictors of work accidents and problems. Of all the variables included in this analysis, work stress also was the one that best predicted alcohol use at the work place.

A direct effect of the individual level of alcohol use and of the use at the work place on problems and accidents, was observed. This effect was not initially considered in the model of individual consumption, neither were the frequency, the amount consumed, nor the excessive use; it was necessary to add this direct path to adjust the model so they were observed as important elements.

Discussion
Interviewees perceived communication as an important climate issue, mainly when established with the work group. Another element mentioned as important was perceived, that is support from the boss or supervisor to solve problems. Education level has a relevant role in the way workers live their work climate; those with a lower level experience it as more favorable. This could be the consequence of higher work expectations related to a higher education level. There are differences among shifts; workers from the first shift experienced a more favorable climate.

The model included climate as a meaningful element for the presence of consequences at work place; this had a direct effect over the existence of problems and the occurrence of accidents, it was opposite to the result observed in other studies were there was not a direct relationship.

Work satisfaction has to do with job usefulness, the joy for the task done, and family satisfaction with the position. The education at level affects perception of work climate. This evaluation of the worker climate has been identified as a significant factor for the reduction of negative effects at work.

It is necessary to mention that employees with a higher stress level are the married ones, which may be caused by the responsibilities implied in being a family supplier. This concurs with the result of a study on burnout, which found that being married is a risk factor to develop high stress.

Work stress was the most predictive component of accidents and problems at the work place, which had a direct relation (0.50). It also directly predicted alcohol use at the work place (0.22), and had a negative statistical difference with climate (-.29). Thus, it is important to consider that when workers perceive a better climate, stress level goes down, and it is necessary to consider this organizational factor to improve work conditions besides employees'' physical and mental health. According to the model tested in this study, alcohol use has a direct and meaningful effect on performance and on the frequency of problems and accidents, inside and outside the organization.

It is important to consider that prevention in work places must be done globally, taking into account organizational factors such as climate, stress, and worker satisfaction. It also should include educative and practical elements that allow reducing excessive alcohol use and its negative consequences (poor performance, bad interpersonal relationships, and bad outcome quality) at work, besides reducing also industrial accidents.

The most frequent work problems were as follows: to invest more time than necessary in an activity, to be told-off because of mistakes, and to have problems with the boss or supervisor. These events have an impact on productivity and represent money loss for the company.

The most frequent accidents were as follows: hand injuries, which are related to heavy machinery operation, basic in the production process of this industry. This reflects the need to consider the physical aspects of the place where activities are performed as well as the psychosocial factors affecting individuals, all of which will result in benefit of any organization.

*Investigadores. Dirección de Investigaciones Epidemiológicas y Psicosociales. Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente.
**Directora. Dirección de Investigaciones Epidemiológicas y Psicosociales del INPRF.
Correspondencia. Dra. Ma. Elena Medina Mora. Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente. Dirección de Investigaciones Epidemiológicas y Psicosociales. Calzada México Xochimilco No. 101, San Lorenzo Huipulco, Tlalpan, C.P. 14370, México, D.F. E-mail: medinam@imp.edu.mx
Recibido primera versión: 1 de junio de 2005. Segunda versión: 8 de diciembre de 2005. Aceptado: 6 de junio de 2006.

FUENTE: Revista Salud Mental, Volumen 29, Número 4, Julio-Agosto de 2006/Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Dr. Juan Ramón de la Fuente.
 






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