The main focus of this study is to see the picture of the relationships between work stress, work family conflict, and burnout and firefighter safety behavior outcomes. The most important things is, this study provides confirmation that burnout, as a stress-related process, does negatively impact safety performance in the fire service. The data was collected from 208 professional firefighters from a city fire and rescue department located in the southeastern United States. Work related stress, and particularly burnout, has been associated with a variety of diminished outcomes including health behaviors, medical errors, musculoskeletal disease and injury in a variety of work groups (Halbesleben et al., 2008; Honkonen et al. 2006; Moustou et al., 2010; Nahrgang et al., 2011; Shanafelt et al., 2010). Given this proof that burnout could diminish safety outcomes, at the side of health outcomes. It proven that burnout has been related to diminished performance and compliance within the context of structure deviance.
The overall purpose of the present research is to build and test a model that examines these associations. Further, they assess the direct effects of work stress and work-family conflict on burnout in the sample of firefighters. There are several models of the stress-burnout relationship have argued that burnout is a consequence or affective response of one’s exposure to chronic job stress (Halbesleben and Buckley, 2004; Shirom, 2011). So, the hypothesis is to show that work stress positively related with burnout in among sample. The work stress has an impact on work-family conflict within the sample of firefighters also expected in this study. For this study, they got the approval from Institutional Review Board. Also, additional approval was granted, following a review procedure, from the Department of Homeland Security Regulatory Compliance Office. For data collection, consent was obtained from all participants. Qualtrics survey tool used to collect the Cross-sectional data via online. There respondents were 95% male. Most of the participants identified their race as White (71%). Others identified their race as Black or African American (20%) Asian (1%), American Indian or Alaskan Native (< 1%) or Other (7.6%).
Six constructs were included within the hypothesized model and the analyses. Two antecedent factors to burnout were included in the model. These two factors included work stress and work-family conflict. Perceived work stress was assessed using a six item scale derived from the work of DeJoy and his colleagues while work-family conflict was assessed using a three item scale adapted from Carlson et al. (2000). Items were assessed on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Firefighter burnout, was assessed using Malach-Pines’ 10-item scale (Malach-Pines, 2005). These items were assessed on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from almost never to almost always. Three safety behavior measures were included in the model as outcomes. These included the following: use of personal protective equipment, safe work practices and reporting and communication that derived from suggested safety practices presented in NFPA 1500: Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program (National Fire Protection Association, 2013). The utilization of personal protective equipment was assessed using a six item scale, with each item assessed on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from almost never to almost always. Safe work practices was assessed using a five item scale, with each item assessed on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from almost never to almost always. Lastly, reporting and communication was assessed using a six item scale, with each item assessed on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from almost never to almost always that derived from measures related to reporting and communication (Burke et al., 2002) and items related to communication and safety voice (Tucker et al., 2008).
As the results, there were no significant relationships between the five control variables (age, race, marital status, education and rank) and the six constructs included in the model. They determined that both work stress and work-family conflict, were positively associated with firefighter burnout outcomes. In addition, they also determined that work stress was associated with work-family conflict Emotional exhaustion, cynicism and depersonalization, manifested as burnout, would be negatively associated with firefighter safety behaviors. Burnout negatively influenced all three safety behavior outcomes and was negatively associated with the performance of safe work practices personal protective equipment compliance, reporting and communication. There were no significant pathways between work stress and the behavior outcomes and no significant pathways between work-family conflict and the behavior outcomes, except between work-family conflict and reporting and communication. When firefighters are burnt out, they do not effectively communicate or voice their safety concerns, they are less likely to use personal protective equipment properly and are less likely to follow standard operating procedures or perform standard work practices in a safe manner, which could ultimately result in firefighter injuries during line-of-duty operations.
Although stress and work-family conflict were related to burnout, these factors failed to essentially predict safety behavior outcomes in the sample of firefighters. Stress and work-family conflict were antecedents to burnout, however burnout determined to be the foremost predictor of diminished safe work practices. The precise reasoning for this diminished safety performance related to burnout isn’t totally well-known at this juncture and would be an applicable aim of future analysis. Even the findings of this study are vital and have resulted in a crucial contribution to the literature; some limitations have to be compelled to be thought of once decoding the general conclusions related to the results of this study. Cross-sectional information was collected, that limits causative inferences created at intervals the study. Further, cross-sectional information were collected from one town department of local government within the southeastern U. S. Although the department and sample are clearly representative of the yanked fire place service, the utilization of a broader and bigger sample across the United Sates would be useful.