Use of spot the difference puzzles as a measure of occupational safety orientation
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Assessment of employee’s or job applicant’s occupational safety is typically limited to the use of self-report safety scales, and/or examining their accident history. The present study investigated whether a series of spot the difference puzzles could be used as a valid measure of an employee’s safety orientation. The validation of the spot the difference puzzle tool was conducted on a working sample from a construction company. The first task-required employees to complete a series of ten spot the difference puzzles containing five neutral and five safety differences. Measures of a number of safety constructs, and accident history ratings were then taken from both employees and their supervisors. Supervisors were to rate each of their employee’s on a series of the safety constructs and past accident frequencies, while employees completed these same measures using a self-report scale. Results from employee and supervisor safety measures were then correlated with scores from the spot the difference puzzles. The primary aim of the research was to validate the use of the spot the difference puzzles in measuring a job applicant’s safety orientation during recruitment. Forty employees, and four supervisors holding a range of construction based jobs participated in the study. Results confirmed that a subset of five of the puzzles produced significant relationships with measures of an employee’s safety knowledge, motivation and co-worker caring. In addition, results found that safety knowledge and motivation produced significant relationships with measures of employee accident history. With many current measures of safety being effected by biases, such as social desirability, memory recall and impression management, this subset of puzzles may provide organisations with an objective and unbiased tool to measure safety orientation during recruitment.