Safety culture and reasons for risk-taking at a large steel-manufacturing company: Investigating the worker perspective
2015 (English)In: Safety Science, ISSN 0925-7535, E-ISSN 1879-1042, Vol. 73, 126-135 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 73, 126-135 p.
Research subject Social Medicine
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-240270DOI: 10.1016/j.ssci.2014.11.020ISI: 000348088600015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-240270DiVA: diva2:776098