Next Article in Journal
A National Pragmatic Safety Limit for Nuclear Weapon Quantities
Previous Article in Journal
Ultralight Accidents in the US, UK, and Portugal
Article Menu
Issue 2 (June) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Safety 2018, 4(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety4020024

Why Do Workers Take Safety Risks?—A Conceptual Model for the Motivation Underpinning Perverse Agency

Mechanical Engineering, University of Canterbury; Christchurch 8140, Canterbury, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 May 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [2443 KB, uploaded 11 June 2018]   |  

Abstract

Exposure to chronic harm is difficult to manage and prevent in industry. There is a need to better understand the state of mind when workers disregard safety processes and expose themselves to this type of risk. This paper develops a theoretical model of the reason why workers voluntarily expose themselves to occupational health and safety (OHS) hazards. This Risk, Agency, and Safety & Health (RASH) model proposes that people willingly expose themselves to chronic injuries via a series of risk-taking processes. This causal chain starts with personal motivation and over-alignment with organisational purpose (including impression management). Ideally, that motivation would be moderated by an ability to predict future harm consequences from the task at hand, but that mechanism is weak because it is difficult to predict cause and effect, the consequences are too far in the future, and the opportunities for vicarious learning are few. The motivation then causes misdirected creativity, hence the development of personally novel ways of solving the problem, albeit with greater risk of harm. Perverse agency then sustains actions that exposure the person to harm. Original contributions are the provision of a detailed explanation for risk-taking, and the integration of multiple well-established psychological constructs. View Full-Text
Keywords: manufacturing industry; occupational health and safety; agency; motivation; short cuts; risk taking manufacturing industry; occupational health and safety; agency; motivation; short cuts; risk taking
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Ji, Z.; Pons, D.; Pearse, J. Why Do Workers Take Safety Risks?—A Conceptual Model for the Motivation Underpinning Perverse Agency. Safety 2018, 4, 24.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Safety EISSN 2313-576X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top