Why do workers work safely? Development of safety motivation questionnaire scales

Tidsskriftartikel - 2011


[Open access]Background: Motivation is one of the most important factors for safety behaviour and for implementing change in general. However, theoretical and psychometric studies of safety performance traditionally treat safety motivation, safety compliance, and safety participation unidimensionally. Questionnaire items tap into occupational safety motivation in asking whether or not respondents are motivated, and whether they feel that safety is important or worthwhile, rather than what motivates workers to comply with safety regulations and participate in safety activities. The aim of this article is to introduce and validate new theory-based occupational safety motivation questionnaire scales. Method: Seven occupational safety motivation questionnaire items are developed on the basis of a theoretical model with three forms of motivation for safety compliance/participation: normative, social, and calculated motivations. The items are tested using baseline measurements from a case-control safety intervention study with a total of 532 workers from 22 small, medium, and large metal or wood manufacturing enterprises. Mean scores for each item are ranked in size, and the scales/items are validated and matched with a questionnaire scale regarding safety compliance, as well as interview and observational data. Results: Ranking patterns of the seven items are similar across all 22 enterprises, and six of the items fall into three factors: normative, calculative and social safety motivation. Workers are primarily motivated by normative safety motivations and only secondarily by social and calculated motivations. Questionnaire data, interview data, and observational data point to social motivations as being as important for safety compliance as normative safety motivations. There is a moderate, positive correlation between normative safety motivation and safety compliance and a weak but positive correlation between social motivation and safety compliance, but no correlation with calculative safety motivation. Conclusion: Normative motivation and social motivation are important for workers safety behaviour, and are positively related to safety compliance. These findings can be used to improve safety in designing more effective safety interventions. Further development of occupation


Pedersen LM, Kines PA. Why do workers work safely? Development of safety motivation questionnaire scales. Safety Science Monitor 2011;15(1):Article 10-.

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