COVID-19 risk management at the workplace, fear of infection and fear of transmission of infection among frontline employees

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OBJECTIVES: We compared COVID-19 risk management, fear of infection and fear of transmission of infection among frontline employees working within eldercare, hospital/rehabilitation, psychiatry, childcare and ambulance service and explored if group differences in fear of infection and transmission could be explained by differences in risk management. We also investigated the association of risk management with fear of infection and fear of transmission of infection among eldercare personnel.

METHODS: We used cross-sectional questionnaire data collected by the Danish labour union, FOA . Data were collected 5½ weeks after the first case of COVID-19 was registered in Denmark. Data for the first aim included 2623 participants. Data for the second aim included 1680 participants. All independent variables were mutually adjusted and also adjusted for sex, age, job title and region.

RESULTS: Fear of infection (49%) and fear of transmitting infection from work to the private sphere (68%) was most frequent in ambulance service. Fear of transmitting infection during work was most frequent in the eldercare (55%). Not all differences in fear of infection and transmission between the five areas of work were explained by differences in risk management. Among eldercare personnel, self-reported exposure to infection and lack of access to test was most consistently associated with fear of infection and fear of transmission, whereas lack of access to personal protective equipment was solely associated with fear of transmission.

CONCLUSION: We have illustrated differences and similarities in COVID-19 risk management within five areas of work and provide new insights into factors associated with eldercare workers' fear of infection and fear of transmission of infection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
ISSN1351-0711
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Oct 2020

ID: 250378604