A study of behavioural change in occupational safety in a metal works at Shenzhen, China

Wu, Hon-Fan

Industrial hygiene; Medicine, Industrial; Psychology
August 2001

Thesis or dissertation

© 2001 Hon-Fan Wu. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

The present study applied a combined behavioural and attitudinal approach in occupational safety in a Hong Kong-based metal house in Shenzhen, China in an attempt to modify the safety behaviours and attitudes of the workers by means of posted feedback plus goal-setting. To the best of the researcher's knowledge, this is the first study of this type to be attempted in a Chinese industrial setting.

A total of 142 respondents from the four departments, namely Heavy Duty, Small Press, Hand Press and Drilling were involved in the survey with a multiple-based line design for an environment where random sampling was impossible. Meanwhile, the study also intended to explore the underlying factors that affected the safety attitudes of the respondents. These factors included influences from traditional culture and religions.

A self-constructed observation checklist and a questionnaire adopted from the Health and Safety Executive Report No. 81 (HSE, 1996) on attitude investigation were the major research instruments. Percentaged analysis, ANOVA, T-Test and Fisher Exact Test set at 0.05 level were applied to determine the significance of differences in the workers' behaviours and attitudes before and after the intervention.

From the results of the research, it was found that

i) there were relationships between the workers' behaviours in occupational safety and posted-feedback plus goal-setting in the Heavy-duty Press, Small Press and Hand Press Departments;

ii) there were relationships between the intervention and the workers' attitudes in terms of -'Supervisor Satisfaction' in the Heavy Duty and the Small Press Departments; -'Shop-floor Training' with the Heavy Duty Press and the Small Press Departments; -'Safety Meeting' with the Small Press Department; -' Safety Working Procedures' with the Heavy Duty Press and the Small Press Departments;

iii) the results demonstrated that there were relationships between attitudes of the formally trained workers and those of their peer workers without formal training towards occupational safety in terms of -'Supervisor Satisfaction' with the Heavy Duty Press Department; -'Safety Meeting' with the Heavy Duty Press Department; -' Safety Working Procedures' with the Small Press department;

iv) there were relationships between workers with self-reported accident rates and those without in terms of their safety attitudes towards -'Supervisor Knowledge' with the Heavy Duty Press Department; -'Shop-floor Satisfaction' with the Heavy Duty Press Department; -'Shop-floor Environment: Hardware' with the Small Press Department.

Intervention was related to both the workers' attitudes and their behaviours in work safety in the Heavy-duty Press, the Small Press and the Hand Press departments.

Throughout the investigation, no significant change was found with both the respondents' safety behaviours or attitudes in the Drilling Department during the periods when interventions were introduced to other departments.

Concerning the controlling factors for the workers' attitudes towards work safety, cultural and religious factors could explain the workers' under-reporting of accidents and injuries.

These findings implied that researchers needed to be aware of the tremendous local cultural and religious concerns when applying western rationales to constructing a safety culture in developing countries.

Institute for Learning, The University of Hull
Wright, Nigel
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