Track: Human Factors and Ergonomics
Firefighters can be considered one the most stressful occupations as they are often responding to emergencies in a time-constrained environment while frequently performing hazardous activities, and may even get complaints from
the public when they are not satisfied. Firefighters’ missions are very sensitive and critical as their work is related to saving people and the environment from fire hazards. The nature of firefighters’ operation, which includes saving
people, offering medical assistance, going through debris, etc. made “attention” to be an essential component in their work. If attention is lost while performing their decisions, this would lead to severe consequences for both people and
property. One of the reasons of attention loss is to be under occupational stress. This paper explores the key factors of occupational stress among firefighters in Kuwait. The work is based on a series of interviews, which are engaged from
the perspective of psychological contract, as a mean to explore the different areas that could be related to high stress levels among the firefighters in the region. The interviews use psychological contract as an exploratory tool that
partially guides the dialogue among a series of potential factors in their lifestyle and work environment, expectations, etc. The collected data is analyzed on a one by one basis, to categorize and identify which of the topics discussed is more relevant as an occupational stressor for the firefighters. The results show that witnessing and experiencing traumatic events during missions, and fear of injuries are the top stressors among the firefighters in the region, and that perception regarding the presence of stressors is inversely correlated with age.
Occupational Stress, Stressors, Cognitive Ergonomics, Psychological Contract.