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Wiitavaara, Birgitta
Publications (4 of 4) Show all publications
Nordlöf, H., Wiitavaara, B., Högberg, H. & Westerling, R. (2017). A cross-sectional study of factors influencing occupational health and safety management practices in companies. Safety Science, 95, 92-103
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A cross-sectional study of factors influencing occupational health and safety management practices in companies
2017 (English)In: Safety Science, ISSN 0925-7535, E-ISSN 1879-1042, Vol. 95, p. 92-103Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Companies need to ensure a functioning occupational health and safety management (OHSM) system to protect human health and safety during work, but generally there are differences in how successful they are in this endeavor. Earlier research has indicated that factors like company size, safety culture, and different measures of financial performance may be related to the quality of OHSM practices in companies. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether these factors are associated with OHSM practices in companies. A postal questionnaire was used to collect data from a sample of Swedish manufacturing companies, and complementary data regarding the companies were retrieved from a credit bureau database. The statistical analysis was performed with ordinal regression analysis using generalized estimating equations. Different predictor variables were modeled with OHSM practices as the outcome variable, in order to calculate p-values and to estimate odds ratios. Company size, safety culture, and creditworthiness were found to be associated with better, as well as worse, OHSM practices in companies (depending on directionality). Practical implications for industry and future research are discussed.

Keywords
Occupational health and safety (OHS), Safety culture, Manufacturing, Work environment, Financial performance, Generalized estimating equations (GEE)
National Category
Work Sciences Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-264510 (URN)10.1016/j.ssci.2017.02.008 (DOI)000399852500009 ()
Available from: 2015-10-13 Created: 2015-10-13 Last updated: 2017-05-30Bibliographically approved
Nordlöf, H., Wiitavaara, B., Winblad, U., Wijk, K. & Westerling, R. (2015). Safety culture and reasons for risk-taking at a large steel-manufacturing company: Investigating the worker perspective. Safety Science, 73, 126-135
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Safety culture and reasons for risk-taking at a large steel-manufacturing company: Investigating the worker perspective
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2015 (English)In: Safety Science, ISSN 0925-7535, E-ISSN 1879-1042, Vol. 73, p. 126-135Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Workers in the steel-manufacturing industry face many safety risks due to the nature of the job. How well safety procedures and regulations are followed within an organization is considered to be influenced by the reigning culture of the organization. The aim of this study was to investigate and describe safety culture and risk-taking at a large steel-manufacturing company in Sweden by exploring workers’ experiences and perceptions of safety and risks. Ten focus group interviews were conducted with a total of 66 workers. In the interviews, the situation of safety at work was discussed in a semi-structured manner. The material was analyzed inductively using qualitative content analysis. The analysis resulted in a thorough description of safety culture and risk-taking at the company, based on the following five main categories: 1. Acceptance of risks, one simply has to accept the safety risks of the work environment, 2. Individual responsibility for safety, the responsibility for safe procedures rests to the largest extent on the individual, 3. Trade-off between productivity and safety, these are conflicting entities, wanting to produce as well as wanting to work safely, 4. Importance of communication, it is needed for safety actions to be effective, and 5. State-of-the-day and external conditions, an interplay between these factors affect risk-taking. In sociotechnical systems theory it is acknowledged that there are interactions between social and technical factors in organizations. The findings of this study are interpreted to be in line with a sociotechnical understanding of safety culture and risk-taking.

National Category
Health Sciences
Research subject
Social Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-240270 (URN)10.1016/j.ssci.2014.11.020 (DOI)000348088600015 ()
Available from: 2015-01-06 Created: 2015-01-06 Last updated: 2017-12-05
Hasse, N., Wiitavaara, B., Winblad, U., Wijk, K. & Westerling, R. (2013). A description of reasons for risk-taking at a large steel manufacturing company. In: Ergonomics for equality: Nordic Ergonomics Society (NES), Reykjavík, Iceland, 11-14 august 2013: . Paper presented at NES2013 Ergonomics for equality, Reykjavík, Iceland, 11-14 august 2013.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A description of reasons for risk-taking at a large steel manufacturing company
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2013 (English)In: Ergonomics for equality: Nordic Ergonomics Society (NES), Reykjavík, Iceland, 11-14 august 2013, 2013Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Risk-taking in an industrial work environment is a serious matter since it involves the risk for bodily injuries and in worst case death. The aim of this study was to investigate reasons for risk-taking at a large steel manufacturing company in Sweden which employs about 1000 people.

Methods: Ten focus group interviews were conducted, each consisting of about 6–8 workers. The situation of safety at work was discussed in a semi-structured manner, letting the employees themselves explain the reasons behind risk-taking. The interviews were analyzed with qualitative content analysis.

Results: Reasons for risk-taking were formed into the following six aspects: 1.Being new-at-work. 2.Being tired. 3.Being nonchalant to the safety risks. 4.Working on routine and being “blind-to-flaws”. 5.Too little staff to do the job. 6.To stress, hurry, and work faster in order to save time. Conclusion: One’s state-of-the-day and external work environment circumstances affects risk-taking.

Keywords
Metal industry, Steel manufacturing company, Work environment, Occupational health and safety (OHS), Ergonomics, Risk-taking
National Category
Social Sciences Work Sciences Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-289314 (URN)
Conference
NES2013 Ergonomics for equality, Reykjavík, Iceland, 11-14 august 2013
Available from: 2016-04-29 Created: 2016-04-29 Last updated: 2016-04-29
Hasse, N., Wiitavaara, B., Winblad, U., Wijk, K. & Westerling, R. (2013). En beskrivning av anledningar till risktagande vid ett stort stålindustriföretag. In: : . Paper presented at Arbetslivets föränderlighet: Individ-, organisations- och metodperspektiv (FALF), Stockholm, 17-19 juni 2013.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>En beskrivning av anledningar till risktagande vid ett stort stålindustriföretag
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2013 (Swedish)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Introduktion: Risktagande i en industriell arbetsmiljö är allvarligt eftersom det involverar risk för kroppsskada eller i värsta fall död. Syftet med föreliggande studie var att undersöka anledningar till risktagande, beskrivna av arbetare. Studien genomfördes i samarbete med ett stort svenskt stålindustriföretag med cirka 1000 anställda på den berörda orten.

Metod: Studien hade en kvalitativ och beskrivande studiedesign. Datainsamlingen bestod av tio fokusgruppintervjuer med ca 6–8 arbetare per grupp och deltagarna var anställda i produktionen. Deltagarna rekryterades från samtliga av företagets fem huvudavdelningar för att få ett urval med maximal variation, och det slumpades fram vilka skiftlag som tillfrågades att delta. Intervjuerna hade en längd av 75 minuter och spelades in digitalt med en diktafon. Säkerhet på arbetet diskuterades på ett semi-strukturerat sätt, genom att låta arbetarna själva berätta och förklara anledningar till risktagande. Under intervjuerna lades betoningen på följdfrågor där deltagarna ombads att utveckla sina svar och använda egna exempel. Därutöver samlades bakgrundsdata in om deltagarna genom att de fyllde i ett kort frågeformulär. Intervjuerna transkriberades ordagrant och analyserades med kvalitativ innehållsanalys.

Resultat: Anledningar till risktagande formades till följande sex aspekter: 1.Att vara ny på jobbet. 2.Att vara trött. 3.Att vara nonchalant inför riskerna. 4.Att arbeta på rutin och vara ”hemmablind”. 5.Att det finns för lite personal för att göra jobbet. 6.Att stressa, skynda sig och arbeta fortare för att spara tid. Ett incitament för anställda att riskera sin egen säkerhet kan till exempel vara att inte använda de avsedda verktygen för att snabbt få igång produktionen igen om ett stopp inträffar. Arbetarna upplevde att ledningen inte vill att produktionen ska gå långsamt, vilket dock användandet av rätt verktyg kan medföra. De upplevde också att ledningen inte vill att tillfälliga personalreduceringar skall påverka produktionstakten. Slutsats: Dels individens dagsform och dels yttre omständigheter i arbetsmiljön påverkar risktagandet.

Keywords
Metallindustri, Stålföretag, Arbetsmiljö, Säkerhet, Risktagande, Ergonomi, Fokusgruppintervju, Kvalitativ innehållsanalys
National Category
Social Sciences Work Sciences Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-289318 (URN)
Conference
Arbetslivets föränderlighet: Individ-, organisations- och metodperspektiv (FALF), Stockholm, 17-19 juni 2013
Available from: 2016-04-29 Created: 2016-04-29 Last updated: 2016-04-29

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