Factors affecting the health and safety behavior of factory workers name of Authors: Idirimannaias d

Download 108.86 Kb.
Date conversion29.01.2017
Size108.86 Kb.

11th Global Conference on Business & Economics ISBN: 978-0-9830452-1-2


Name of Authors:

1.) Idirimanna I A S D1

2.) Jayawardena L N A C 1&2 Email: chandanacj@gmail.com


  1. Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

  1. Faculty of Management and Economics, Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Czech Republic, and Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

Idirimanna I S A D, and Jayawardena L N A C

Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and Faculty of Management and Economics, Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Czech Republic
Health and safety (H&S) practices of an organization could be visualized through the employee safety behaviors. The study was conducted to analyze the factors affecting the H&S behavior of industrial workers in a fruit and vegetable processing factory at Biyagama export processing zone. Forty industrial workers were selected purposively based on five criteria viz; employee working experience, accident prone sections, previous incidents met, type of employment, and gender respectively. A self administrated questionnaire, observations, and key informant discussions were used to collect information. SPSS data analytical tool was used for descriptive analyses and correlation. Significant relationships were obtained between the workers’ contribution towards H&S, and organization’s safety focus, job requirements, and staff influence. Type of employment, previous incidents at work, workplace stress, and attitude towards H&S were the personal factors that were significantly related to workers’ safety behavior. One third of the employees showed a high contribution to safety practices, and 28% contributed moderately. Nearly 28% of employees had a low attitude of the importance of H&S at work. Limited offerings of safety trainings and medical tests, and ageing of casual workforce seemed to have lead to neglected safety compliances.

Key words: Behavior, Factors, Health, Safety, Workers


Health and safety of employees is vital in an organizational context. Some employees are involved in highly risky occupations like mining and construction. A well developed and continually improving health and safety system is not merely a responsibility of few employees. It is a shared obligation of each and every employee and, in return, all of them will be benefited from a safe working environment. (Guidelines on OH&S management system, 2001).

    1. Occupational Health and Safety in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan government and stakeholder groups focus on Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S). Factories Ordinance No. 45 of 1942 is the major statute ensuring a safe working environment for the workers in Sri Lanka. It has separate provisions for health, safety and welfare of the employees. Workmen’s Compensation Ordinance Act No. 19 of 1934 safeguards the employees who are eligible for compensation pay due to employment related injuries. Director General of National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in Sri Lanka (NIOSH) observed only 32% of the workforce were covered under the existing law of the country. Further, Sri Lanka has less statistical information on occupational health and safety, and there is a severe under reporting of such information.

1.11 SLS OHSAS 18001:2007
Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series, (herein after referred to as “OHSAS”) had been implemented by the OHSAS project group which consists members from International Association of National Standards bodies, certification and accreditation bodies, OH&S institutions, industry associations, consulting organizations, and government agencies. SLS OHSAS 18001 is a direct adoption of OHSAS 18001. SLS OHSAS standards specify requirements for an OH&S management system. It includes six main elements named, general requirements, OH&S policy, planning, implementation and operation, checking, and management review (SLS OHSAS 18001:2007).The level of complexity of this management system and the resources used for implementation, maintenance, and development vary with companies. OH&S reviews and audits assess the performance and the level of compliance to the standard (SLS OHSAS 18001:2007).

    1. Health and safety issues in the food industry

Most common safety concerns in the fruit and vegetable processing industry are injuries due to cutting equipments especially knives, operation of machinery, collision with objects, falls, and burns. Skin problems such as dermatitis and allergies are also common due to the chemicals used in the process such as the preservatives, fermenting agents, etc., and due to the natural latex of fresh fruits. Burns and scalds occur due to kettles, hot liquors, steams and pasteurizers (Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety, 1998). It is learnt that most of the slips, trips and falls occur due to unguarded openings in the ground which can be either bigger vats or small drainage lines, working at heights, slippery and poorly drained surfaces etc. Muscular skeletal disorder (MSD) is identified as another common ill health condition for automated factory workers in their repetitive movements at work. In lifting weights, the frequency, development of work related low back and shoulder disorders, repetition of the task etc., are of concern and the threshold values have been defined (Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety, 1998).

    1. The organization in which the study was carried out

Organization for the study (hereinafter referred to as the Company) was an established Sri Lankan organization belonging to a renowned and a well established conglomerate of business in Sri Lanka. Company had been formed in 1993, and is the biggest fruit and vegetables exporter in Sri Lanka catering to 30 countries worldwide. It was accredited OHSAS 8001:2007 certificate in 2008. The occupational health and safety management system of the company was operational from receiving of raw materials to the delivery of semi processed or finished products to the customers. Training, awareness programs, internal and external safety audits are conducted periodically with annual medical tests.

    1. Problem statement and Justification of the study

There are 76 occupational deaths, 26 permanent disabilities and 1,423 occupational injuries of more than three days absence from work in Sri Lanka. (Department of Labor, 2009). Nearly 72% of these injuries have occurred in manufacturing. These values could be higher due to under reporting of occupational incidents. Amount of compensation paid for settled accidents in year 2008 was LKR 66 Mn (Department of Labour, 2009). Psychological impact to the employees, industry, economy, etc., could make above figures higher. Effort to maintain an improved and continuous safety system will benefit the company. However, reasons for the non-compliance by factory workers may be many.

1.41 Research Objectives
General objective of the study was to examine the factors contributing to the factory workers’ participation in workplace safety and health practices.

Specific Objectives

  1. To identify factors influencing factory workers’ contribution towards workplace safety and health.

  2. To analyze the factors influencing factory workers’ contribution towards workplace safety and health.

  3. To suggest ways of ensuring factory workers’ participation in maintaining good health and proper safety practices at work.


2.1 Occupational Health and Safety
OHSAS 18001 (2007) has defined occupational Health and Safety as ‘conditions and factors that affects, or could affect the health and safety of employees or other workers (including temporary, and contract workers),visitors, or any other person in the workplace’. Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary (1988), has defined ‘health’ as a state of optimal physical, mental and social well-being. It is not merely the absence of disease and infirmity. Encyclopedia of occupational health and safety (1998) defines the term ‘job safety’ as the interrelationship between people and work, material, equipment and machinery, environmental, and economic considerations such as productivity. The terms ‘health and safety’ are considered together in the occupational context. Workplace is a physical location in which work related activities are performed under the control of the organization (SLS OHSAS, 2007). Occupation is the main job or profession someone is involved in (Oxford Advanced Dictionary, 1995).
2.11 Hazards at work
Proper occupational health and safety conditions can be maintained by identifying hazards at work and minimizing the risk. Hazard is a source, situation or an act with a potential for harm in terms of human injury or ill health or a combination of these (SLS OHSAS, 2007). A risk is a combination of the likelihood of an occurrence of a hazardous event or exposure(s) and the severity of injury or ill health that can be caused by the event or exposure(s) (SLS OHSAS, 2007). Research suggests that hazards depend on many factors such as country, industry, occupation, etc. Seixas et al. (2008) further categorised workplace hazards in to health hazards and safety hazards. Health hazards are categorized into a.) Biological hazards - bacteria, fungi, viruses b.) Chemical hazards - fumes, dusts, smokes, gases, vapors, heavy metals and c.) Physical hazards - noise, temperature, illumination, vibration, radiation. Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety (1998) has identified force and acceleration, repetitive motion, contact stresses like vibration tools, prolonged awkward postures, fatigue etc. as Ergonomic hazards.
2.12 Workplace Incidents and occupational diseases
In SLS OHSAS (2007) an incident is defined as a work related event, in which an injury or ill health or fatality occurred or could have occurred. It can also be defined as an act, not wanted, that could degrade the efficiency of an operation (Heinrich, 1931). Exposure to hazards leads to incidents which might cause accidents, ill health or near misses. Incidents are less visible to the others. Frequent incidents give a warning to a serious accident. A workplace with a possibility of occurring 300 accidents could lead to 29 accidents with injuries and one fatal accident. Most of the occupational diseases or ill health conditions arise due to the exposure to health hazards. SLS OHSAS 18001 (2007) defined ill health as an identifiable, adverse physical or mental condition arising from and/or made worse by a work activity and/or work related situation. Occupational diseases are primarily caused by work and only the workers will get affected from these. E.g.: Asbestosis, Silicosis, occupational cancers etc. Work related diseases are the most common forms of illness. There is a possibility of illnesses to be aggravated due to work.
2.2 Accident causation Models
2.21 Domino Theory – Sequence of events
Sequence of events listed in a chronological order is used to show the events that lead to an accident. As shown in figure 1, there are five stages in the accident sequence. Heinrich link these five stages in five dominoes in a way to knock down the second domino automatically when the first domino falls. If any one event is removed, the injury will not occur. Heinrich has suggested removing the middle event, here. The proximate reason for unsafe act is personal faults (Heinrich, 1959). In the updated Domino sequence (Figure 2) the influence of management was considered. The proximate cause of an accident according to this theory is the immediate cause, which in broader term includes substandard practices, conditions and errors. Effect of the accident is a loss or wastage of company assets (Bird and Loftus, 1976).
2.2 Multiple Causation Theory
Gordon suggested multiple causes for an accident which is equivalent to the third domino. It is an unsafe act or condition in Heinrich theory. Host or accident victim, agent or the injured person, and supporting environment are the three essential causes of an accident. There is a complex and random interaction between these three factors (Gordon, 1949).
2.3 Factors affecting the health and safety behavior of industrial workers
Occupational health and safety literature suggests that, effective worker participation depends upon a number of variables. Management cooperation and commitment, the presence of government in ensuring the organizational compliance with workers' rights and legal protections, training, and access to information offered by unions are the factors identified by Ochsner and Greenberg (1998); for workers’ active role in health and safety.
2.31 Personal factors
a) Demographic factors: Age of workers, level of education, type of employment, and gender were some of the commonly concerned demographic factors (Parker, 2007; Seixas, 2008; Carpenter, 2002). b) Knowledge and Awareness: Safety experts, Fleming, and Lardner (1999) have discovered the personal factors contribute to 80 – 90% of all industrial accidents. The main reason found was incorrect procedures in conducting jobs.

c) Work related Stress: The main causes for work related stress are work tasks, work roles, career concerns, management style, interpersonal relationships, environmental conditions, and home work interface (Koh et al., 2005). d) Worker’s Attitude: Accidents are caused by human element and human error (Atherley, 2002). These two can be reduced by changing workers’ attitude and behavior.

2.32 Influence of the Co-workers, Management and Organisation’s focus
Watson (2005) observes that co-workers’ safety norms have a significant influence on the at-risk behavior of an individual. Shannon et al. (2001) found the fellow workers’ perception on health and safety affects an individual’s level of compliance towards safety.

Management’s commitment to safety is an important factor in influencing the workers’ attitude to follow safety practices. In a study in 42 United States industrial plants; workers who perceived their management having a higher commitment to safety, had low accident rates (Smith et al., 1978 In Yule et al., 2007). Rundmo (1994) In Yule et al. (2007), found two important determinants of workforce satisfaction with safety viz; Management commitment to safety, and Organizational support provided by the management

2.33 Influence of the Supervisors and Working environment
Supervisor as the immediate hierarchical position for the worker, play a pivotal role in company health and safety practices. Majority of safety procedures, monitoring means which come from the senior management are implemented by supervisors. In a study conducted on employee attitudes towards safety, Cheyne, et al. (2002) found the physical working environment as a key factor contributing to safety activities of organizations.
2.34 Demands of the Job
Certain jobs require long hours due to the labor shortage and purposeful layoffs etc. Onset of fatigue is the result of working for long hours. It directly affects the safety behavior. Studies have shown that health effects arise with over 50 work hours a week. Numerous problems associated with stress such as gastrointestinal disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, etc., may also be associated with long working hours (Spurgeon et al., 1997).
2.4 Conceptual Framework
Factory workers’ contribution towards workplace health and safety was the dependent variable, with five independent variables (figure 3). Each of these independent variables was measured using several sub variables formulated through literature, and KID’s.
Study was conducted in the fruit and vegetable processing factory located at Biyagama Export Processing Zone. Company staff was structured at three levels, viz: executives, supervisory and clerical staff, and industrial staff. Industrial staff consisted of permanent and casual workers. Their period of experience at the company ranges from few weeks to over 10 years. Company had several sections as shown below in table 1. Ten major sections were identified for the study. Workers in each section were subjected to different hazardous conditions and the work tasks were different from each other. Population consisted of permanent workers, casual workers, and contract workers. The sample was selected from the industrial group who were available in the factory itself.
3.1 Variables and Measures

Variables of the conceptual framework were identified through key informant discussions (KID’s), focus groups discussions (FD’s), literature, and company records (OHSAS policy manual, accident records). The dependent variable and the five independent variables were measured using sub variables in table 2 and table 3. The dependent variable of the study was the level of workers’ contribution to health & safety. The five independent variables and the respective sub variables are given in table 3.

3.2 Sampling
Total Industrial staff (227) employed in the company was the population. Sampling frame (217) consisted of industrial staff members who were at the factory premises. Forty (40) industrial staff members were selected on purposive sampling as follows. Step 1: Workers (131) who were employed in the company for more than six months. Step 2: Workers (101) from most accident prone sections. Selection of these sections was based on the accident/ near misses register, non conformance report, KID’s, and FD’s. Jar, slicing, dicing, fruit processing, vat yard and warehouse were the six sections selected of the ten identified sections in table 1. Step 3: A proportionate sample from each section (6 sections) was obtained for the 40 member sample. Following three criteria were considered at this step. Injured at the workplace (injured and not injured), Type of employment (permanent and casual), and Sex (male, female)

    1. Data Collection and Analysis

A Questionnaire was employed. Variables used by Garcia et al. (2004), Walters and Haines (1988), Watson et al. (2005), Abdullah et.al. (2009), were perused. Data collection was done through interviews using the questionnaire. Content validity and respondents’ understandability were tested in pilot tests. (KID’s) were conducted with company HR Manager, Managers, and supervisors. Level of compliance to legal requirements and safety standards, and functioning of safety committee were tested through separate questionnaires. FD’s were conducted with the factory workers. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for descriptive and inferential analysis.

Respondents’ age ranged from 18 to 54 years with a mean of 29 years. Fifty percent of the sample was below 25 years. Sixty percent was male employees. Majority of employees above the mean age were females. Sixty eight percent of the workers had studied up to GCE Ordinary level. A high number of respondents (47%) had been in the company for 3 to 5 years. It had been the first employment for 48% of them. Majority (57.5%) was permanent employees. All the employees above 45 years were casuals.
4.1 Employees’ contribution towards workplace health and safety
Thirty percent of employees showed a moderate level of contribution to workplace health and safety practices. Seven variables were analyzed in measuring the workers’ contribution towards workplace safety. They were: repetitive injuries and near misses, reasons for previous incidents, accident preventive steps taken by workers, innovative methods of risk reduction, upward safety communication, safety practices, and aggravations of health problems. Fifty percent of the sample had repetitive injuries or near misses. Majority of the respondents had faced the same injury for 2 to 3 times, and some have experienced a maximum of six occurrences. The three main reasons identified for occupational incidents were, lack of attention at work, repetitive motions in long working hours, and workers’ poor compliances in wearing personal protective equipments. Great majority (90%) of the workers had practiced hazard and risk communication as an accident prevention method. Only 32.5% of the workers had taken initiatives to make improvements, changes to identified risk causing machines or operations. Actions taken by workers before the actual damage were given more marks at the analysis. Alignment of routine tasks had being negotiated and changed by workers based on mutual consent. However, many workers expected their immediate staff members to look for all the risks at work and make corrections. Upward safety communication was measured using the three actions; reporting of accidents and near misses, hazard and risk communication, and recommendations to improve safety practices. Reporting of accidents and near misses in the absence of the company nurse was poor. Nearly half of them had never recorded accidents and near misses by 87.5% of them. Higher under reporting of workplace incidents was notable. Workers’ perception on accident reporting was different from the company objectives. Company has not identified the importance of incident recording. Hazard and risk communication (95%) was higher among respondents. Suggestions to improve workplace safety (45%) were low. Workers communicated first with the co-workers, and less than 50% had informed their supervisor/s. Only 42.5 % was aware of the opportunity for kaizen suggestions in the company. Half of the employees had experienced aggravations of ill health conditions due to wrong work postures. Employees were sufficiently aware of correct ergonomics, yet they were reluctant to change certain practices. They perceived that tasks required more time and effort once it was done with correct bodily postures. Spearman correlation was used to measure the significance of relationships between five independent variables and the dependent variable. Probability value for each relationship is given in table 4.
4.2 Personal factors and workers’ contribution to health and safety
Influence of co-workers did not relate to the Factory workers’ contribution to workplace health and safety. Relationships were tested for the workers’ safety contribution with 13 identified personal factors. Relationships and their strength are shown in table 5 with correlation. Only five factors were related to safety behavior of workers. Though there was no relationship between the age and contribution to health and safety, respondents in the age group of 35 – 45 years showed a higher contribution to safety. Some sections showed a higher safety contribution compared to others. Working section was significantly related to employees’ attitude towards their health and safety (p=0.028), and with the level of workplace stress (p=0.000). Being a casual worker was a major reason for the workplace stress of 53% of casual employees. Casual workers in the age group of 30 – 50 showed that job insecurity was a reason for stress. Safety contribution was poor among those who have been ill or injured due to occupation. Previous incidents and attitude towards health and safety had a negative relationship (p=0.006). Under reporting of workplace incidents was observed. Back pains were the most common health problem, whilst allergies due to safety boot and brine was the next among the respondents. Majority (70%) had cut injuries, notably caused by barrels and plastic crates. Injuries due to fallen objects were also substantial. Workers’ level of stress and their contribution to safety was negatively related. The amount of work load, uncomfortable working environment, and less concern on career improvements were the highest stress causing factors. KID’s and FD’s highlighted the problem of labor turnover. A higher payment was given to those who had difficult work schedules/ targets. Respondents viewed that they had been given more responsibilities and authority levels, without promotions during the last few years. Two rewards, each for a permanent and a casual worker had been awarded once a month. Over 70% of the rewarded was permanent workers.
Personal attitude towards health and safety significantly related to the safety behavior (p=0.020). Attitudes on health and safety had decreased due to poor safety contribution of workers. Nearly 50% of the respondents showed a positive attitude and active involvement in enhancing the health and safety of themselves and family. Employees had been rarely appreciated for their safety behavior. Nearly 60% were not satisfied of the safety trainings. Frequency and the severity of accidents and injuries were said to be decreasing, and employees agreed that the staff (supervisors and executives), were available to discuss workplace problems or even the personal matters. Influence of the staff was a highly significant (p = 0.003) contributor for workers’ safety behavior. Workers with a higher level of contribution to safety perceived the staff influence was high. Nearly 90% of the sample, regardless of their levels of safety contribution believed the supervisors’ influence was high. Relationship and the mutual understanding between workers and their supervisors were very high. Workers had a fair understanding of the information dissemination from executives to supervisors. Safety behavior of workers showed a highly significant relationship (p=0.002) with influence of the executive staff. It was not significant with the supervisory staff. It was noteworthy that even a little influence from the executives could result in a higher worker contribution to safety compared to the supervisory staff. Respondents (47%) perceived a participative leadership in the company, which was also shared by the executives during the KID’s.
4.3 Organization’s focus and the workers’ contribution towards health and safety
A highly significant relationship existed between the workers’ perception of organizations’ focus on health and safety and the health and employees’ safety behavior (p = 0.005). Majority (70%) perceived that the company had a moderate level of compliance to safety standards. More than half of the respondents had not been given proper training and awareness on emergency preparedness. It was also found that the company has practiced the annual medical test for all the permanent staff and only for few of the casual workers. Majority (85%) perceived that there was a high level of compliance to legal requirements. Only 25% of the sample was well aware of the functioning of the safety committee. It was found that the safety committee had not been functioning effectively since last year. Perceptions of personal protective equipments significantly related (p=0.022) to the workers’ safety contribution. KID’s with the executive staff indicated corrective and preventive actions for incidents were taken immediately and majority (77.5%) of the respondents’ perceived the same.
4.4 Job requirements and workers’ contribution towards health and safety
The job requirements and workers’ contribution to health and safety showed a significant negative relationship (p = 0.054). When the requirements of a job get more difficult and complicated, workers showed a low contribution to health and safety. A majority of (65%) workers were employed for 11- 12 hours per day. This was extended by 2-3 hours during the high production season. Very few were found working for more than 14 hours during the normal production days. Total working hours had no significant relationship with the workers’ safety behavior. Continuous working of the same task, including the time for main intervals varied from 3 to 9 hours. A significant negative relationship (p=0.003) was found between working continuous hours and workers’ contribution to safety. Employees had been given the freedom to exchange their work with others. Those who had practiced a difficult task for many hours could exchange with another person for an easy task without informing the supervisor. When an experienced person was not available the responsible worker had to work the whole day. Exposure to hazards during high production season had a negative significant relationship (p=0.057) to safety behavior. This did not apply to normal production days (p=0.142). Employees getting exposed to high risk level increased at high production periods. Tasks had become more risky with increased work load. Increases in the frequency or length of exposure to hazards could increase the level of risk. All the respondents reported exposures to ergonomic hazards during some time of the production period. The lowest exposure was to chemical hazards. Co-workers have not shown a significant relationship to the safety behavior (p =0.763) of an employee. FD’s indicated that there was a good relationship among workers. But, the interaction among employees of different sections was poor.
Occupational health and safety system of a company is a joint responsibility of the management and employees. They showed different levels of contributions to maintain health and safety practices. There were many and varying factors affecting the employees’ safety behavior. Most significant four factors of the employees’ contribution to workplace health and safety were, influence of the company staff, organization’s focus and the level of concern on workers’ safety, personal factors of the workers, and the job requirements. From the three staff levels of the company (executive staff, supervisory and clerical staff, and industrial staff), influence of the executives showed a significant relationship with the employee safety behavior. There was moderate influence from supervisors, and hardly any form co-workers. Safety behavior of the industrial staff was highly dependent upon many factors. Executives and the company management were found to have a very high contribution towards the employees’ behavior in the health and safety context. Employee stress, previous incidents, working section, attitude towards own health and safety, and type of employment were the five personal factors that had contributed to the safety practices. It did not depend on the workers’ education, working experience, marital status, age, gender etc. Stressed employees had the least attention at work and contributed very little to the health and safety system of the company. High work load, uncomfortable working environment, and fewer opportunities to improve careers were the major stress causing factors. Repetitive incidents of employees indicated the unsafe behaviors they were used to. It showed a negative relationship with individual contribution to safety. Safety behavior of the employees varied significantly among the working sections. Jobs that required workers to be employed for continuous hours resulted in poor employee contribution to the organizations’ health and safety practices. Ergonomic hazards were the most common type of hazards at a manufacturing company. Automation of work had lead to repetitive motions and manual work handling lead to awkward, wrong postures at work. Risk levels of hazards exposure shifted from low or moderate level to high risk level with the increase in production. A negative relationship was observed between exposure to hazards and safety behavior. Most of the workers contributed for hazard and risk communication, but the active involvement in corrective, preventive, and mitigate actions were poor. Supervisors and the workers’ own experiences were the two important methods of getting safety information.
Reestablishing of the safety committee will be an opportunity to ensure workers’ active participation in health and safety. Committee could assign responsibilities for its members to aware the new workers, conduct trainings and other activities like competitions and progress reviews for the management etc. These activities will also give them a feeling of being “part of the process”. A significant relationship was observed between safety behavior and the working section. Some sections contribute more, whilst others having poor safety practices. Training on health and safety showed higher variations within sections. Those sections that were highly susceptible to accidents and health problems were the least considered sections for awareness programs. Addressing those with priority needs of health and safety awareness will eliminate poor attitudes and miss-behaviors. Arranging safety programs separately for each section will provide more space to discuss the application of safety matters and possible preventive means.
Abdullah, N.A.C.; Spickett, J.T.; Rumchev, K.B. and Dhaliwal, S.S. (2009), Assessing employees’ perception on health and safety management in public hospitals. International Review of Business Research Papers. Vol. 5 No. 4. Pp. 54-72

Bird, F.E. and Loftus, R.G. (1976), Loss control management. Georgia: Institute press. In Ridley, J. and Channing, J. (1999), Safety at work. 5th ed. Reed Educational and Professional Publishing Ltd.

Carpenter, W.S.; Lee, B.C.; Gunderson, P.D. and Stueland, D.T. (2002), Assessment of Personal Protective Equipment Use among Midwestern Farmers. American journal of industrial medicine 42:236–247

Cheyne, A.; Oliver, A.; Tomas, J.M. and Cox, S. (2002), The architecture of employee attitudes to safety in the manufacturing sector. Personnel Review, vol. 31, pp. 649 – 670.

Director General, NIOSH, Ministry of Labor Relations, Sri Lanka. Workshop on Occupational Health 28th June, (2010), Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

Dorland, (1988), Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary. vol 47. 27th ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Sounders Company.

Fleming, M. and Lardner, R. (1999), Safety culture – the way forward. The Chemical Engineer, 16 - 18.

Garcia, A.M.; Boix, P. and Canosa, C. 2004. Why do workers behave unsafely at work? Determinants of safe work practices in industrial workers. Occupational Environmental Medicine. 61: 239-246

Gordon, J.E. (1949), The epidemiology of accidents. American Journal of public health. 39 In Ridley, J. and Channing, J. (1999), Safety at work. 5th ed. Reed Educational and Professional Publishing Ltd.Guidelines on OH&S management system. (2001), Geneva: International Labour Organization.

Handley, W., ed. (1977), Industrial safety hand book. 2nd ed. UK: McGraw-Hill Book Company Ltd.

Heinrich, H.W. (1931), Industrial accident prevention. New York: McGraw Hill

Heinrich, H.W. (1959), Industrial Accident Prevention, 4th ed. pg 13-16. New York: McGrow-Hill In Ridley, J. and Channing, J. (1999), Safety at work. 5th ed. Reed Educational and Professional Publishing Ltd.

Heinrich, H.W. (1959), Industrial Accident Prevention, 4th ed. pg 13-16. New York: McGrow-Hill In Ritzel, D.O. (2003), Assessing definitions and concepts within the safety profession. The International Electronic Journal of Health Education. 6: 1-9

Koh, D. Siang, L.H.; Tin, L.L.; and Huang, K.Y., ed. (2001), Health at work, handbook for people who work. Armour publishing Pvt. Ltd.

Labour Statistics – 2008, Department of Labour, (2009), Sri Lanka

Ochsner, M. and Greenberg, M. (1998), Factors Which Support Effective Worker Participation in Health and Safety: A Survey of New Jersey Industrial Hygienists and Safety Engineers. Journal of Public Health Policy. Vol. 19, No. 3. pp. 350-366. Palgrave Macmillan Journal

Oxford Advanced learners Dictionary, (1995), 4th ed. Oxford University. Oxford, UK

Parker, D.; Brosseau, L.; Samant, Y.; Pan, W.; Xi, M. and Haugan, D. (2007), A comparison of the perceptions and beliefs of workers and owners with regard to workplace safety in small metal fabrication businesses. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 50: 999- 1009

Parmeggiani, L., ed. (1983), Encyclopedia for occupational health and safety. Vol 2. L-Z. 3rd ed. Geneva: International Labor Organization.

Seixas, N.S.; Blecker, H.; Camp, J. and Neitzel, R. (2008), Occupational Health and Safety Experience of Day Laborers in Seattle, WA. American journal of industrial medicine 51:399–406

Shannon, H.S.; Robson, L.S. and Sale, J.E.M. (2001), Creating Safer and Healthier Workplaces: Role of Organizational Factors and Job Characteristics. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 40:319-334

Spurgeon, A.; Harrington, J.M. and Cooper, C.L. (1997), Health and Safety Problems Associated with Long Working Hours: A Review of the Current Position. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 54, No. 6, pp. 367-375. BMJ Publishing

Stellman, J.M., ed. (1998), Encyclopedia for occupational health and safety. vol 2. 4th ed. Geneva: International Labor Organization.

Stellman, J.M., ed. (1998), Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety, vol. 3. 4th ed. Geneva: International Labor Organization.

Watson, G.W.; Scott, D.; Bishop, J. and Turnbeaugh, T. (2005), Dimensions of Interpersonal Relationships and Safety in the Steel Industry. Journal of Business and Psychology, Vol. 19, No. 3 pp. 303-318. Springer Stable

Yule, S.; Flin, R. and Murdy, A. (2007), The role of management and safety climate in preventing risk taking at work. International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management. Vol 7, no 2, 137-151


Table 1: Sections of the Company

Sections the company have:

Sections identified for the study:

  1. Jar

  1. Jar

  1. Jar labeling

  1. Slicing

  1. Slicing

  1. Dicing

  1. Dicing

  1. Fruit processing

  1. Fruit processing

  1. Dehydration

  1. Vat yard

  1. Vat yard

  1. Raw material warehouse

  1. Warehouse

  1. Finished goods warehouse

  1. Quality assurance

  1. Quality assurance

  1. Production control

  1. Production control

  1. Maintenance

  1. Maintenance

  1. Office

  1. Office

  1. Banderilla project (outside)

  1. Watagoda project (outside)

Table 2: Sub variables of the dependent variable

Dependent variable

Sub variables

Contribution towards occupational health and safety

  1. Repetitive accidents met

  2. Preventive steps taken

  3. Reasons for previous injuries, incidents, ill health

  4. Upward safety communication

  5. Innovative actions taken to reduce risk

  6. Safety practices

  7. Aggravation of any ill health due to work

Table 3: Sub variables of independent variables

Independent variables

Sub variables

  1. Personal factors of the factory workers

  1. Age, and Sex

  2. Marital status

  3. Level of education

  4. Section

  5. Working experience

  6. Type of employment

  7. Trainings received on

  8. Previous incidents

  9. Level of stress

  10. Employee knowledge and awareness

  11. Rewards received

  12. Attitudes towards health and safety

  1. Influence of the co-workers

  1. Safety behavior within the group

  2. Safety communication

  1. Influence of the staff

  1. Supervisory staff

  1. Executive staff

  2. Company leadership

  1. Organization’s focus on safety

  1. Level of compliance with legal requirements

  2. Level of compliance with safety standards

  3. Effectiveness of the safety committee

  4. Personal protective equipments

  1. Job requirements

  1. Total working hours

  2. Continuous working hours

  3. Shift works or rotations

  4. Exposure to hazards


P value

Personal factors


Influence of the company staff


Organization’s focus on safety


Job factors


Influence of the co-workers


Note: Correlation was significant at the 0.1 level

Table 4: Spearman correlation test results for the relationships between identified factors affecting safety behavior and the workers’ contribution to safety.

Personal Factors

P value



Marital status

Level of education

Working section

Working experience at HJS

Type of employment

Trainings received on H&S

Previous incidents

Level of stress

Employee knowledge and awareness

Rewards received

Attitudes towards health and safety














Note: Correlation was significant at the 0.1 level

Table 5: Spearman correlation test results for the relationships between r personal factors and workers’ contribution to health and safety


Figure: 1 Domino Theory – Sequence of events
Ancestry and social environment

Faulty of person

Unsafe act/ mechanical hazard



Figure 2: Updated Domino Sequence
Lack of management control

Personal and job factors

Substandard practices, errors



Figure 3: Conceptual Framework

Independent variables

Dependent variable

Factory workers contribution to workplace health and safety

Personal factors of factory workers

Organization’s focus on safety

Influence of the staff

Influence of co-workers

Job factors

October 15-16, 2011

Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

The database is protected by copyright ©dentisty.org 2016
send message

    Main page