January 2009 Safety Training Newsletter

The New Year is here. Did you accomplish your safety goals for the year of 2008? Sometimes it may appear that all of the safety “stuff” is a waste of time. Below are two excerpts from studies that say it IS a valuable asset to your company. Every step you make to improve safety DOES have an impact.

OSHA Facts -- August 2008

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration aims to ensure employee safety and health in the United States by working with employers and employees to create better working environments. Since OSHA's inception in 1971, nonfatal occupational injury and illness rates have dropped 60 percent, while occupational fatality rates have fallen to the lowest annual preliminary total since 1992. At the same time, U.S. employment has doubled to nearly 115 million private sector employees at over 8 million worksites.

Management’s Role in Safety from Inder Science

Safety climate is a leading performance indicator that can provide insight into safety performance before accidents have occurred. Managerial variables have emerged as a primary determinant of safety climate in empirical research. In order to investigate the mechanisms of that influence a theoretical model was developed to test the relationship between management commitment and worker risk-taking. Workforce perceptions of safety climate (n=1026) were collected using the Health and Safety Executive climate survey tool and analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). The tested model revealed that the relationship between management commitment and supervisor involvement with risk-taking behaviors was mediated by knowledge and training. Additionally, a positive attitude towards risk taking (i.e. not engaging in risk taking behaviors) was related to enhanced feelings of workers' responsibility for safety and more positive appraisals of senior management commitment. Managers may find the model useful when attempting to improve safety climate.

(Basically, in research lingo, the excerpt above says that if the management takes safety seriously, the workers behave better on the job.)