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The Application of Human Factors through the Assessment and Improvement of Behavioural Safety to Improve Safety Performance in Small to Medium Sized Enterprises

Rose, William


William Rose


User-friendly systems of human factors (HF) analysis are not presently available to the managers of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). It is therefore difficult for such professionals to assess the safety culture within their own workplaces without the assistance of externally sourced experts.

Large companies have implemented methods of HF analysis with a significant degree of success using HF experts. The aim of this research project was to confirm that SMEs could also benefit from these methods using in-house personnel with a specially-created HF assessment tool.

Human error is often cited as the cause of accidents and incidents. A system of HF analysis was created as part of this research project to allow the technique to be implemented by non-experts within SMEs to identify human-related risks and thereby to assist in improving safety culture and safety performance by implementing measures to minimise those risks through HF methods.

This research project found that potential collaboration partners that were initially keen to take part soon withdrew from the research project after realising what was involved in terms of required resources.

For those companies that participated, the workforce was surveyed to determine the workplace safety culture. Some positive results were obtained but the overriding findings of this research project were that, of the majority of SMEs that were keen to collaborate, they did not actually want to change their safety culture; rather, they were content to continue to implement safety by enforcement of rules & regulations (antecedents) with little scope for implementation of behaviour-based safety systems of control. Although most companies approached knew of the potential benefits it was clear that they had no desire to allocate the resources necessary to achieve those benefits.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Feb 28, 2012
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords SME's; safety performance; human factor analysis; safety culture; risk;
Public URL
Contract Date Feb 28, 2012
Award Date 2012-01


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