The architecture of employee attitudes to safety in the manufacturing sector

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Abstract:

This study examines the relationships between components of organisational safety climate, including: employee attitudes to organisational and individual safety issues; perceptions of the physical work environment and perceptions of workplace hazards; and relates these to self-reported levels of safety activity. It also attempts to replicate the explicative model derived by Cheyne et al. in a similar study within the manufacturing sector. Data were collected from a large manufacturing organisation using a questionnaire. A total of 708 valid questionnaires were returned and formed the basis for the subsequent analyses. These data showed that a common structure of attitudes to safety issues and perceptions of the work environment can be constructed in line with the previous model, with a few differences, providing some evidence of a sector-wide safety culture. The strength of employees' attitudes with regard to safety management and individual responsibility once again played central roles in the model and are consistent with earlier findings. Comparisons are made between the two organisations and mean scores on each of the model components show that there are differences between the two organisations in terms of individual responsibility and personal involvement, as well as levels of safety activity and perceived levels of workplace hazards. The results are discussed in terms of generating general models of attitudes to safety, which in turn may facilitate climate change.

Keywords: Employee Attitudes; Manufacturing Industry; Modelling; Safety

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00483480210445953

Publication date: October 9, 2002

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