Background: The psychological impact of disasters has been well-documented; less attention has been paid to factors affecting the wellbeing of those exposed to disasters as occupational groups. Aims: To conduct a systematic literature review identifying social and occupational factors affecting the wellbeing of disaster-exposed employees; to use these factors to identify recommendations for potential interventions. Method: Four electronic literature databases were searched; reference lists of relevant papers were hand-searched. Results: A total of 18 005 papers were found, 571 full texts were read and 36 included in the review. The psychological impact of disasters on employees was associated with pre-disaster factors (experience/training; income; life events/health; job satisfaction), peri-disaster factors (exposure; peri-traumatic experiences; perceptions of safety; injury), social factors (organisational support; social support generally) and post-disaster factors (impact on life). Conclusions: It is important to build a resilient workforce outside of a crisis. Pre-disaster training in recognising signs of distress, understanding vulnerability factors such as those described above, which may put certain employees at greater risk of distress and how to support colleagues may be useful. Further research into the effectiveness of post-disaster interventions is needed.
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- mental health
- psychological impact
- risk factors