Risk and safety communication in small enterprises: how to support a lasting change towards work safety priority

Publisher's full text
Anders Pousette
Marianne Törner

The frequency of occupational accidents in Swedish farming is high. An intervention methodology aimed at influencing safety attitudes and behaviour was previously tested. The aims of the present study were to evaluate long‐term effects of the intervention and to assess these results in relation to a randomly selected comparison group.

The intervention was based on regular group discussions, focusing on dialogue and reflection in networks for social support. Eighty‐eight farmers and farm workers, divided into nine groups, participated. Each group gathered on seven occasions during one year, assisted by a process consultant, supporting safety communication and the change process. A questionnaire was used to evaluate the effects. The long‐term results of the intervention showed that safety activity increased significantly and risk acceptance (fearlessness) and work stress decreased. Measurements were made at T1, T2 and T3, i.e., pre‐, post‐ and long‐term, in the intervention group and at T1 and T3 in the comparison group.

The results of the present study showed a long‐term effect of the intervention on safety activity and risk acceptance (fearlessness) in relation to the comparison group. However, the comparison group also showed a decline in work stress, which indicates that the stress reduction may have had other causes than the intervention.

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