A new University of Georgia study says a worker’s perception of safety on the job and the work-life balance established by businesses has a significant effect on safety.
A worker’s perception of a positive safety climate can decrease injuries by 32%, according to the survey. The researchers assessed worker perceptions of the importance of their safety where they worked.
One of the study’s authors, Todd Smith, says just having strict policies doesn’t create a positive safety climate. Those policies have to be acted upon to make workers feel they work in a safe place. And these actions have to be taken “at the organizational level.”
“Injury is a failure of management,” said co-author Dave DeJoy. “Organizations who blame individuals for injuries do not create a positive safety climate.”
In situations in which work interferes with family life or family demands affect job performance, the researchers found the risk for injury increased 37%.
“We used to think work was one thing and family was another,” said DeJoy, “but now there is a realization that work-life balance affects performance and productivity.”
DeJoy and Smith polled 1,525 workers for the survey. The results appear in the March issue of the Journal of Safety Research.