Downsizing and Occupational Health

Since the recessions that hit most industrialised countries during the 1990s,
evidence has accumulated of health risks to the survivors of corporate
downsizing. A new Finish study shows that downsizing may lead to elevated
absence rates and increase cardiovascular mortality among people who remain

According to the study major downsizing was associated with an increase in
sickness absence in permanent employees but not in temporary employees. The
extent of downsizing was also associated with cardiovascular deaths but not
with deaths from other causes.

Cardiovascular mortality was two times higher after major downsizing than after
no downsizing. Splitting the follow up period into two halves showed a more
than five times increase in cardiovascular mortality for major downsizing
during the first four years after downsizing.

The study concludes that organisational downsizing may increase sickness
absence and the risk of death from cardiovascular disease in employees who keep
their jobs.

Further Informatio

AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work