Safety Training Effectiveness: A Research Agenda

A special issue of European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education (ISSN 2254-9625).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2022) | Viewed by 19433

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical, Metabolical and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41125 Modena, Italy
Interests: occupational psychology; risk perception; safety training effectiveness; andragogy; non-technical skills; safe behavior; occupational health and safety; workplace well-being; safety performance

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Co-Guest Editor
Department of Education Science, University of Genova, 16124 Genova, Italy
Interests: occupational psychology; risk perception; safety models; non-technical skills; high-fidelity simulation; occupational health and safety; workplace well-being; safety performance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The International Labour Organization estimates over 6000 occupational fatalities per day around the world, corresponding to 2.3 million worker victims of work-related accidents or diseases every year. Overall, occupational accidents affect 160 million workers annually worldwide. To contribute to the improvement of interventions to ensure safety at work, Beus et al. (2016) proposed an integrated model of workplace safety, connecting different theoretical propositions in a multilevel perspective. This helps to identify antecedents of adverse events at both the individual and group/organization levels, distinguishing between distal (e.g., individual differences, contextual factors) and proximal factors (e.g., safety knowledge, skills, or motivation).

Safety training is considered an example of contextual factors, as safety leadership, safety norms, and safety climate. In this regard, Burke et al. (2011) show that safety training leads to a significant improvement in safety knowledge and behavior, in particular through the use of more engaging methods. Additionally, several studies suggest that safety outcomes can be influenced at both the individual and group level by contextual factors such as safety training.

As James Reason states, if we are not able to change the human condition, it is about changing the conditions in which people work, favoring the identification of errors and the recognition of their characteristics, to be able to manage them effectively. In this sense, safety training can make a relevant contribution.

Unfortunately, we still know too little about the characteristics of the safety training that is provided, and even less about the quality of this training and its effectiveness. Recent meta-analytical studies (Robson et al., 2012; Ricci et al., 2016) have made it possible to classify training outcomes on different levels (knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, health outcomes) and to identify valid measures and methods to detect safety training effectiveness. However, also due to a limited number of good quality primary studies, it is still not possible to clearly define which factors determine the effectiveness of safety training.

This Special Issue is aimed at publishing studies that, through the collection of original data (quantitative, qualitative, mixed-methods), as well as systematic reviews, meta-analyses, case studies and theoretical papers, make it possible to clarify the future directions of research in safety training. Namely, some core issues will be: how to measure the effectiveness of safety training at work; the effects of efficacy on one or more levels, detected through empirical studies (cross-sectional, longitudinal, randomized, controlled); and the definition of what is meant by more or less engaging training methods. Special attention will also be given to the presentation of interdisciplinary work and multinational collaborative research. In addition, methodological contributions about the investigation of the factors contributing to safety training effectiveness are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Federico Ricci
Guest Editor
Dr. Fabrizio Bracco
Co-Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • safety
  • health
  • training effectiveness
  • training methods
  • evaluation
  • prevention
  • workplace training
  • occupational safety and health
  • safe behavior
  • safety performance

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 399 KiB  
Editorial
Introduction to The Special Issue “Safety Training Effectiveness: A Research Agenda”
by Federico Ricci and Fabrizio Bracco
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2022, 12(10), 1518-1520; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe12100106 - 19 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1311
Abstract
This Special Issue, “Safety Training Effectiveness: A Research Agenda,” aims to address training as one of the many elements that play a role in determining so-called safety outcomes [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety Training Effectiveness: A Research Agenda)
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Research

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14 pages, 478 KiB  
Article
Development and Initial Validation of the Safety Training Engagement Scale (STE-S)
by Marco Giovanni Mariani, Gerardo Petruzziello, Michela Vignoli and Dina Guglielmi
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2022, 12(8), 975-988; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe12080070 - 2 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2321
Abstract
Safety training promotes safety at work, in particular through the use of engaging methods. This study introduces a newly developed measure of individual engagement in safety training, and aims to analyze the psychometric proprieties of the scale. The safety training engagement scale (STE) [...] Read more.
Safety training promotes safety at work, in particular through the use of engaging methods. This study introduces a newly developed measure of individual engagement in safety training, and aims to analyze the psychometric proprieties of the scale. The safety training engagement scale (STE) consists of five items pertaining to the trainee’s dedication and absorption in a safety training session. Two studies are carried out to analyze the validity of the scale. The first study focuses on the construct (internal) validity, to examine the scale’s internal consistency and dimensional structure. The second study seeks to provide further evidence for construct validity by testing the external validity of the scale. The sample consists of 913 (study 1) and 133 (study 2) participants in safety training programs in the field of the chemical industry who were invited to fill the STE scale after attending a safety training course. The results provide support to affirm the validity and reliability of the scale. The discussion describes the implication and the limitations of using the STE scale in practical safety training programs, and outlines recommendations for research to improve the scale’s robustness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety Training Effectiveness: A Research Agenda)
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14 pages, 787 KiB  
Article
Safety Compliance in a Sample of Italian Mechanical Companies: The Role of Knowledge and Safety Climate
by Federico Ricci, Chiara Panari and Annalisa Pelosi
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2022, 12(3), 281-294; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe12030020 - 4 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2303
Abstract
The accident rate in the Italian mechanical sector is still too high, and evidence-based interventions to improve safety performance are essential. To better address this, our study contributes to the understanding of how to promote safety compliance through safe behaviours by using a [...] Read more.
The accident rate in the Italian mechanical sector is still too high, and evidence-based interventions to improve safety performance are essential. To better address this, our study contributes to the understanding of how to promote safety compliance through safe behaviours by using a sample of Italian mechanical workers (n = 109). Before and after scheduled safety training, intervention data on organizational factors, as well as on individual factors affecting safety-related behaviours, were collected. Particularly, data were collected using multiple sources, including self-perception questionnaires (to measure the safety climate among the management and colleagues and the safety attitude), paper and pencil tests (to measure safety knowledge), and observations by personnel with experience in observation tasks (to measure safety behaviours objectively). A model class of competing general linear models was built to determine which of the models was best suited for predicting safety-related behaviours. The results showed that both knowledge and the management’s safety climate effectively promoted safety compliance. Crucial implications for the effectiveness of active teaching methods, along with the need for continuous training and the prominent role of the management team members in giving, through their actions, further relevance to the need to respect rules and procedures, were revealed. Finally, practical implications for researchers, corporate decision makers, government agencies, and international bodies are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety Training Effectiveness: A Research Agenda)
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18 pages, 768 KiB  
Article
An Evaluation of Safety Training for a Diverse Disaster Response Workforce: The Case of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
by Sue Ann Sarpy and Michael J. Burke
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2021, 11(4), 1635-1652; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe11040116 - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2759
Abstract
(1) Background: In this case study, we examined the safety-training-related experiences of individuals from six racial-ethnic groups (Asians (Vietnamese), Blacks, Hispanics, Isleños, Native Americans, and Whites) involved in the cleanup of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (2) Methods: We assessed, via a survey, [...] Read more.
(1) Background: In this case study, we examined the safety-training-related experiences of individuals from six racial-ethnic groups (Asians (Vietnamese), Blacks, Hispanics, Isleños, Native Americans, and Whites) involved in the cleanup of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (2) Methods: We assessed, via a survey, 495 disaster response trainees’ reactions to the design and delivery of training, learning, safety performance, and injury and illness experience. (3) Results: Our results showed statistically significant racial-ethnic group differences with respect to reactions to training, components of learning (i.e., cognitive, skill, and affective), and safety performance (i.e., use of personal protective equipment, engaging in safe work practices, communicating of safety information, and exercising employee rights and responsibilities). In general, Asians and Isleños group members had lower reactions to training, self-reported learning, and safety performance. Additionally, we found that the safety climate interacted with learning to positively affect safety performance. (4) Conclusions: We discuss the implications of our findings for improving the quality of safety training in relation to addressing language and literacy concerns, developing training that is useful and engaging for volunteer and other cleanup workers from the contaminated region, and promoting a positive safety climate to enhance training transfer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety Training Effectiveness: A Research Agenda)
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15 pages, 1188 KiB  
Article
The Community of Practice: A Method for Cooperative Learning of Occupational Health and Safety Inspectors
by Luisella Gilardi, Maurizio Marino, Lidia Fubini, Antonella Bena, Elisa Ferro, Silvano Santoro, Eleonora Tosco and Osvaldo Pasqualini
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2021, 11(4), 1254-1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe11040091 - 12 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2380
Abstract
Background: Workplace injuries in Italy still occur despite laws and safety norms. We need to understand the causes rooted in the context and social conditions, and need to improve the practice of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) inspectors of the Workplace Safety and [...] Read more.
Background: Workplace injuries in Italy still occur despite laws and safety norms. We need to understand the causes rooted in the context and social conditions, and need to improve the practice of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) inspectors of the Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) of the Italian regional health boards. The aims of this study were to describe the setting up of a Community of Practice (CoP) for the production of best practices for injury prevention and to evaluate the motivation of OSH inspectors for participating in the CoP and the effects of CoP participation on their professional practice. Methods: Two workplace injury stories underwent peer review during each CoP meeting. We evaluated the CoP using a focus group and a questionnaire. Result: Between 2014 and 2021, the CoP met in 18 workshops. Over the 8-year period, the CoP grew from 20 to 150 participants. Overall, 30 stories underwent peer review and were published on the institutional website. The focus group participants stated that the reasons why they participated in the CoP were the need to share experience and to tackle new challenges. Conclusion: The CoP was found to be useful for improving professional practice by strengthening professional identity and contributing to the production of new knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety Training Effectiveness: A Research Agenda)
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9 pages, 467 KiB  
Article
Safer Systems: People Training or System Tuning?
by Erik Hollnagel
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2021, 11(3), 990-998; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe11030073 - 31 Aug 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5142
Abstract
Safety is usually seen as a problem when it is absent rather than when it is present, where accidents, incidents, and the like represent a lack of safety rather than the presence of safety. To explain this lack of safety, one or more [...] Read more.
Safety is usually seen as a problem when it is absent rather than when it is present, where accidents, incidents, and the like represent a lack of safety rather than the presence of safety. To explain this lack of safety, one or more causes must be found. In the management of industrial safety, the human factor has traditionally been seen as a weak element; human error is often offered as the first, and sometimes the only cause of lack of safety and human factors have since the early days offered three principal solutions, namely training, design, and automation. Of these, training has considerable face value as an effective means to improve human performance. The drawback of safety training, however, is that it focuses on a single system component, the human, instead of on the system as a whole. Safety training further takes for granted that humans are a liability and focuses on overcoming the weakness of this specific component through simplistic models of what determines human performance. But humans may also be seen as an asset which changes the focus to strengthening how a complex socio-technical system functions. A socio-technical system comprises multiple functions that must be finely tuned in order to ensure expected and acceptable performance. Since systems cannot be made safer without developing effective ways of managing the conditions in which people work, system tuning offers an alternative solution to an old problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety Training Effectiveness: A Research Agenda)
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