The impact of role distance and role succession on the safety expectations and subsequent behaviours of health and safety managers.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
With the increasing demand to improve health and safety in today’s working world, the need to identify the behaviours that drive injury, illness and accident prevention, and improve safety performance becomes apparent. The current study did this by exploring the safety expectations of health and safety managers as drivers of their safety behaviours, classifying managers into two core groups to identify differences in their safety expectations and subsequent safety behaviours. Safety behaviours were classified as safety compliance behaviours (e.g. following mandatory rules and regulations) or participation behaviours (voluntary safety activities to improve safety performance). The groups were based on a classification of career trajectory: near group managers were defined as participants who began work in the operational area of their organisation and moved into health and safety management, and far group managers were defined as participants who became educated into their health and safety management role. Near group managers were predicted to have lower (and therefore realistic) safety expectations due to their direct industry experience, and subsequently engage in more participatory safety behaviours than far group managers. A series of within and between group analyses were conducted to compare the near and far groups on their safety expectations and safety behaviours. Few significant between group differences were found across safety expectations and behaviours, however the direction of the differences in safety expectations indicated that near group managers overall possessed lower (realistic) expectations of employee safety and engaged in participatory safety behaviours slightly more than far group managers. Both groups overall engaged more in compliance behaviours, suggesting that participatory behaviour based interventions may be required for more engagement with these types of behaviours.