Safety climate and increased risk:The role of deadlines in design work

Daniels, Kevin, Beesley, Nick, Cheyne, Alistair and Wimalasiri, Varuni (2016) Safety climate and increased risk:The role of deadlines in design work. Human Relations, 69 (5). pp. 1185-1207. ISSN 0018-7267

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Abstract

Although much research indicates positive safety climate is associated with reduced safety risk, we argue this association is not universal and may even be reversed in some contexts. Specifically, we argue that positive safety climate can be associated with increased safety risk when there is pressure to prioritize production over safety and where workers have some detachment from the consequences of their actions, such as found in engineering design work. We used two indicators of safety risk: use of heuristics at the individual level and design complexity at the design team level. Using experience sampling data (N = 165, 42 design teams, k = 5752 observations), we found design engineers’ perceptions of team positive safety climate were associated with a less use of heuristics when engineers were not working to deadlines, but more use of heuristics when engineers were working to deadlines. Independent ratings were obtained of 31 teams’ designs of offshore oil and gas platforms (N = 121). For teams that worked infrequently to deadlines, positive team safety climate was associated with less design complexity. For teams that worked frequently to deadlines, positive team safety climate was associated with more design complexity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: safety climate,job demands,oil and gas industry,design work
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2016 17:00
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2020 21:03
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/57429
DOI: 10.1177/0018726715612900

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