The role of health and well-being in safety performance

Fogarty, Gerard J. (2010) The role of health and well-being in safety performance. In: 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology, 11-16 July 2010, Melbourne, Australia.

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Abstract

Descriptive models of how accidents occur are now commonplace in the aviation industry. These models are useful for guiding accident investigation teams and for helping to decide what changes need to be introduced to reduce the possibility of further accidents. However, from a psychological point of view, what has been lacking in the field is an empirical model that links organizational constructs such as safety climate with individual variables such as psychological health and then shows how both of these combine to influence important performance outcomes such as workplace violations and errors. The aim of this research program was to develop and test such a model. The context for this research program was the field of aviation maintenance, where errors and violations represent an extremely serious threat to safety. A multivariate approach was used wherein data collected from safety climate surveys were used to test structural models linking climate, health, and erformance. The first study focused on the link between safety climate, health, and maintenance errors. The results suggested that safety climate does not have a direct effect on errors but has a strong indirect effect via the psychological health experienced by individual workers. A second study replicated this finding. A third study extended the model to include workplace violations and demonstrated that the link between violations and errors is not as strong as some might think. This third study also reinforced the causal chain running from safety climate, through psychological health, to errors. At the same time, it showed a strong direct link between safety climate and violations. Health and well-being are often explored in the context of positive work outcomes such as commitment and tenure, where they have been shown to contribute useful variance. This series of studies shows that they are just as useful when exploring negative outcomes, such as errors in high risk industries. The paper concludes with recommendations as to how these empirical findings can be used to support ongoing initiatives in safety training.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Only abstracts published in conference proceedings, as supplied here.
Depositing User: Mrs Melissa Jarick
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2010 02:03
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2011 02:04
Uncontrolled Keywords: aviation maintenance, accidents, safety, workplace violations, safety
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/8600

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