Psychosocial Safety Climate of Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Iran: A Policy Analysis

Hamed Seddighi*, Maureen F. Dollard, Ibrahim Salmani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Iran is among the top fifteen countries in the world in terms of COVID-19 infection rates. The numbers of infections and deaths are still increasing in September 2020. This study aims to investigate the impact of the policies on terminating the quarantine period on the perception of psychosocial safety by employees and workers in Iran. Methods: The study collected policy announcements and regulations, media reports and the results from two previously published population surveys which collected employees' views of the government approach to quarantine. The information thus collected was then analyzed using the "what is Problem Represented (WPR)" approach for data analysis introduced by Carol Bacchi, and focusses on the question "what effects are produced by the representation of the problem?" Results: The Iranian Government decided to quarantine people and close most sectors during the New Year holidays in Iran in March 2020. The duration of quarantine was only two weeks, and the government then ordered government organizations and industrial companies to reopen. The advantage of a short quarantine period is assumed to be reinstatement of productivity while the disadvantage is the likely risk of further transmission of the virus. Conclusion : The government approach to and communication about the quarantine period has neglected to consider the psychosocial safety climate of employees, who have to go to their workplaces using buses, subways or other vehicles, and who are under pressure mentally because of fear of infection, dismissal for non-attendance, and the consequent economic problems. The government approach necessarily impacts on the perceived psychosocial safety climate of employees, and hence influences the causes of work stress. If the psychosocial safety climate is not considered and improved, it may reduce the quality of services and products, and increase accidents.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12-Oct-2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Human Resources Management
  • Iran
  • Mental Health
  • Occupational Health
  • Policy Analysis
  • Psychosocial Safety Climate

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