To measure OHS management practices in manufacturing companies
2016 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Introduction: Manufacturing companies are bound to manage many different processes in their day-to-day operations. A systematic management of occupational health and safety (OHS) factors is necessary in order to comply with OHS legislation. Work environmental risks should be assessed and controlled, and if not controlled immediately, an action plan should be established and followed up on later. A successful OHS management should reduce hazards in the workplace and protect worker health and safety. But how can we accurately measure how well companies actually comply with OHS legislation? Earlier measures exist, but they often assess the perceptions of the respondent rather than the circumstance of the company. The aim of this study was to develop and utilize a way to measure OHS management practices, by using a self-report-questionnaire distributed to companies.
Methods: A questionnaire was developed in several steps. OHS legislation and earlier studies were read in order to identify different relevant indicators for OHS management compliance. These indicators were then compiled, sorted, and narrowed down in order to produce a manageable and relevant list of 13 indicators. A criterion for relevant indicators was that they together should provide appropriate information on whether a company has come far, or not so far, in arranging a systematic OHS management. A yes–no question was formulated for each of the indicators. Three examples of indicators were: whether the company has written routines stating how the OHS management should be carried out or not, whether written risk assessments have been conducted during the last 12 months or not, and whether the company has routines in place for reporting incidents that occur (near-misses and accidents) or not. The indicators and questions were chosen and formulated in order to measure as much of an objective circumstance at the companies as possible. The rationale is that, either the companies have an arrangement for these indicators, or they do not. Questionnaires were sent to a sample of manufacturing companies (n=238) in central Sweden, for one manager and one safety delegate per company to answer.
Results and discussion: Taken together, the 13 indicators formed an OHS management practices index. A yes-answer for each indicator was counted as 1 and no as 0, and the scores were summed together. Other measures were also collected for this study: companies’ safety culture, overall work environment priority, company profitability, and company size. The OHS management practices index will undergo psychometric testing for validity and reliability, such as test-retest and Cronbach’s alpha test statistic. The development process and usability of the OHS management practices measure will be presented in more detail at the conference. We believe that this novel measure of OHS management practices, as employed in this study, can be of interest for future research within the field of OHS. This approach provides a relatively straightforward way to measure companies’ OHS management practice using questionnaire items.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Occupational health and safety (OHS), Ergonomics, Survey, Legislation. Compliance, Index
Work Sciences Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-22845OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-22845DiVA: diva2:1049934
3rd International Conference on Safety Management and Human Factors, jointly with 7th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE), July 27-31, 2016, Florida, USA