An I/O Psychology Perspective on Organizational Safety Tulsa Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers Bradley Brummel, PHd Assistant Professor University of Tulsa Wednesday, February 17th
Personal Background • PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008 • Research Interests • Personality in the Workplace • Job Attitudes • Training and Development • Teaching • Assessment of Individual Differences • Training and Development • Job Attitudes • Social Psychology • Survey of Industrial Psychology
Work History • Subway Sandwich Artist • Often single employees • Security camera rarely on • ODL Factory • Building sidelights • Exhaust fan optional? • Post Frame Construction • Agricultural construction • Drugs in the workplace • Lack of safety enforcement • New tasks/unexpected issues • Universities of Illinois and Tulsa • Not much serious to talk about • Disgruntled Students?
Occupational Health Psychology • “OHP concerns the application of psychology to improving the quality of work life, and to protecting and promoting the safety, health and well-being of workers”– NIOSH • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) under CDC • Interdisciplinary • Most fields of psychology. • Engineering, sociology, epidemiology, etc. • Physical Hazards • Ergonomics • Occupational safety
Ergonomics / Human Factors • “The application of scientific information concerning humans to the design of objects, systems and environments for human use.” – The Ergonomics Society • Focuses on preventing injury and improving performance through design: • Tools & equipment • Workstations, displays (Human Factors more than I/O) • Entire systems – e.g., how do we report accidents?
Occupational Safety • Preventing injuries and exposure to hazards. • How do we get people to behave safely? • Safety motivation • Safety performance
Safety Culture/Climate • Addressing unsafe behavior at the employee level only gets us so far. • “Blame game” • Organizational Factors • Safety culture (Wiegmann et al., 2003): • “the enduring value and priority placed on worker and public safety by everyone in every group at every level of an organization.” • Safety climate (Zohar, 1980) : • “a particular type of organizational climate, which reflects employees’ perceptions about the relative importance of safe conduct in their occupational behavior.” • Sometimes used interchangeably – difference in focus and measurement • Safety culture = enduring, looking at org as a whole. • Safety climate = more transitory, focused on employee perceptions.
Reason’s Swiss Cheese Model Organizational Influences Unsafe Supervision Preconditions for Unsafe Acts Unsafe Acts Latent Conditions Latent Conditions Accident Or Injury Adapted from Reason, 1990
Good Safety Climate • Organizational Commitment to Safety • Top-level policies prioritize safety. • Supervisory Involvement • Immediate supervisors care about & reward safety. • Formal Safety System • It is easy and safe to report accidents, hazards, near misses, etc.; action is taken when something is reported; safety personnel are taken seriously. • Informal Safety System • Safety is rewarded; unsafe behavior is not rewarded; employees are empowered; peer culture promotes safety. • Is that all is takes? • Probably, but this stuff is not easy.
Psychological Safety Issues • Attention and Alarm Systems • Dangers of complacency on rare events • Goal Systems • “263 days since our last serious accident” • Don’t screw it up • Individual Differences • Intelligence • Impulsivity • Conscientiousness
Questions/Conversation Thanks for Having Me!