Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Not Asking the Right Questions About Injury Control in the Workplace

Applied ErgonomicsVolume 40, Issue 2, March 2009, Pages 185-193
The influence of individual and contextual work factors on workers’ compliance with health and safety routines

Steffen Torpa, , and Jens B. Grøgaardb
aFaculty of Health Sciences, Centre for Health Promotion in Settings, Vestfold University College, P.O. Box 2243, N-3103 Tønsberg, Norway
bFaculty of Social Sciences, Vestfold University College, Tønsberg, Norway
This study investigated the relationships between workers’ compliance with health and safety (H&S) routines and instructions adopted in the company (dependent variable) and psychological demands, decision authority, social support, management support, unionization and H&S management system (independent variables). A cross-sectional questionnaire study was performed among 1051 workers and the managers of 102 small- and medium-sized motor vehicle repair garages. Multilevel modeling was performed to account for the hierarchical structure of the data. At the worker level, high compliance with H&S routines correlated significantly with both social support and H&S-related management support. At the garage level, mean management support and a well-developed H&S management system correlated significantly with high workers’ compliance. Changing both the individual and contextual factors in the work environment may thus increase workers’ participation in H&S activities.
BrooklynDodger(s) comment: Probably the Dodger(s) should have read the full text to figure out what the safety "routines" were before complaining, but, whatever... The cause of injuries is contact with excessive energy - with hazards. The goal of worker participation in safety programs is identifying hazards and proposing abatements. using high levels of controls such as better equipment, guarding, or eliminating activities. These are garages, so the Dodger(s) suspect(s) the safety routines were mostly PPE.

The predominant injuries in workplaces of this type are musculoskeletal disorders from overexertion and repetitive motion.

What's the hypothesis for management "support" being necessary for workers to follow management's rules?

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