05/17/23: The Impact of Precarious Work and Psychosocial Stress on Physical and Mental Health of California Janitors

The Impact of Precarious Work and Psychosocial Stress on Physical and Mental Health of CA Janitors

About the webinar:

Janitors are essential workers, employed as caretakers of public spaces like business offices, airports, and shopping malls. Despite playing a critical role in the economy, janitors are some of the most vulnerable workers in the service industry. Often immigrants and non-English speakers, they make relatively low wages while performing physically demanding work, which is associated with the development of musculoskeletal disorders. This webinar presents a cross-sectional survey study of Californian janitors in 2022, which investigates the impact of precarious work conditions, such as working more than 40 hours per week; having a second job; exposure to job strain, decision latitude, and psychological demand on pain, injury, anxiety and depression.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this activity, the learner will be able to:

  • Discuss characteristics of the janitor population in California

  • Describe exposures related to precarious work and job strain of California janitors, and differences by sex, age, union membership, and years worked as a janitor

  • Identify associations of those exposures with pain, injury prevalence, anxiety, and depression

Speaker: Melissa Afterman, MS, CPE

Melissa Afterman is a Board Certified Professional Ergonomist with over 20 years of consulting practice in industrial, laboratory and office ergonomics. She is a consultant, researcher and instructor with the University of California Ergonomics Research Lab and Graduate Training Program and an instructor in the COEH Online Ergonomics Certificate Program. Melissa earned her Masters degree in Human Factors/Ergonomics Engineering at San Jose State University and her undergraduate degree in Agricultural Engineering from Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo.


The Center for Occupational and Environmental Health designates this activity for a maximum of 1.0 Contact Hour. Participants should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation.

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number 12983, for 1.0 contact hour.

Certificates of Completion

Certificates of Completion will be available to webinar participants who are present for the complete, live webinar, and logged in with their registered email address. Call-in attendees are not eligible for certificates at this time - Please download the Zoom app to log in via email on your smartphone whenever possible.

In order to receive your Certificate of Completion, qualified learners must complete the post-webinar evaluation within 7 days of the webinar. A link to the evaluation will be emailed to qualified learners 24 hours after the webinar via no-reply@zoom.us. Qualified learners who submit their evaluation will receive a Certificate of Completion via email, and can also print/save the certificate from their browser after submitting their evaluation.

If you're not able to attend the live presentation, no problem! We record most presentations and will host them on our website provided we have permission to do so. Presentation recordings are not eligible for Certificates of Completion.


If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) to fully participate in this event, please contact Michelle Meyer at (510) 642-8365 or mmeyer@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail) with as much advance notice as possible and at least 7-10 days in advance of the event.



The Northern Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) and its sister centers at Los Angeles and Irvine serve government, industry, schools, health professionals, and the general public through programs and partnerships designed to deepen understanding of occupational and environmental hazards and to prevent disease, fatalities, and injuries.