Emergency service workers: The role of policy and management in (re)shaping wellbeing for emergency service workers
Review of Public Personnel Administration
School of Business and Law
Tasmanian Emergency Services Department
This article examines the impact of psychosocial safety climate (PSC) levels and strength on the job stress and psychological distress of emergency services workers within street level bureaucracies (SLBs). The reason for the research is because the nature of their work and organizational context pre-disposes them to elevated level of psychological distress, and places them at a higher risk of subsequent debilitating physical and mental diseases, which is a cost borne by employees, their families, friends, SLBs, and taxpayers. Survey data was obtained from 274 emergency services workers (including police, and paramedics), nested within 43 workgroups, in Australia. Multilevel regression indicated that lower levels of PSC were associated with higher levels of job stress and psychological distress. Also, PSC strength had a partial moderating effect. The findings justify governments intervening legislatively to ensure SLBs’ take responsibility for ensuring a supportive PSC to mitigates the impact of exposure to workplace trauma.