An investigation into the key predictors of intention in workplace safety-Part 1
Wong, David Bingxiong
Date of Issue2015
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Workplace Safety and Health Institute, Ministry of Manpower, Singapore
This final-year project seeks to develop a workplace safety framework which identifies key influences on an individual’s intent to comply with safe work practices. Traditional top-down safety management focusses on procedural standardization and has been inadequate in reducing the number of major injuries over the past five years. This research adopts a complementary bottom-up approach by investigating workers’ perception of safety practices, demonstrating the appropriateness of embellishing Azjen’s (2001) Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) with Habermas’ (1981) Theory of Communicative Action. A survey questionnaire was administered to 341 out of a total of 413 workers in a Singapore steel fabrication company. The constructs measured were attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control (PBC) and habit. A TPB-based model was developed by path analyses using SPSS AMOS, revealing relationships among these predictors of intention to comply with safety procedures and protocol. Fit statistics of the model were good, accounting for 75% of the data’s variance. PBC and subjective norms were found to be key predictors of intention. The relationship between intention and its predictors are described in the following structural equation: Intention = 0.10 (Attitudes) + 0.56 (PBC) – 0.05 (Habits) + 0.31 (Subjective Norms). Further analyses substantiated the indirect influence of habit through PBC and attitudes, and imply that workers perceive safety compliance as largely attributable to factors within their control. The quantitative findings were supported with auxiliary qualitative studies comprising field observations and face-to-face interviews. The interviews revealed that the majority of Bangladeshi, Burmese, and Indian workers preferred instructions given with a directive voice, whereas Malaysian Chinese workers preferred instructions issued with a commissive tone. The findings draw attention to the important role of inter-personal communications in workplace safety, and were synthesized for the proposal of safety interventions. Although the participating company accepted the proposed intervention suggestions, the research team was unable to evaluate their effectiveness due to the FYP coming to a close in April 2015. Further research is also needed to evaluate the feasibility of extending the safety framework to other industries.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University