Exploring safety behaviours in the Newfoundland fibreglass boat-building industry: a community based study

Wareham, Stacey (2007) Exploring safety behaviours in the Newfoundland fibreglass boat-building industry: a community based study. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The process of fibreglass boat-building (FBB) and repair requires the use of the chemical styrene, a known neurotoxin which contributes to a number of physiological and psychological problems. There have been concerns over the lack of self-protective behaviours among FBB plant workers. The objective of this study was to assess factors affecting safety behaviours in the FBB industry in NL from a social psychological perspective, using the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) as a foundation. A mixed methods approach was taken involving qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. Study 1 involved interviews with community members, managers, employees, and key informants. Qualitative analysis revealed several themes at the community, organizational, and individual levels that appear to affect safety behaviours in this industry. Study 2 involved the development of four surveys that were distributed to each group of interest (employees, managers, Occupational Health and Safety inspectors, and health care providers). Due to small samples sizes in three of the interest groups, subsequent analyses were conducted using only the employee survey data (N = 43, 80% response rate). Data from the employee surveys were used to (1) modify the survey instrument, (2) determine the factors that affect employee safety compliance, and (3) determine which of several potential factors (e.g., knowledge, safety climate, community attachment, perceived image risk, etc.) affect the proposed determinants of employee safety behaviour (e.g., attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control, perceptions of risk, and affective reactions to risk). Results suggest that exploring employee safety behaviour requires an investigation of cognitive, social, and cultural factors. Employee safety behaviours appear to be associated with social influence beyond the workplace; that is, perceived behavioural expectations of significant others (i.e., family members and physicians) was associated with safety compliance. Results of this study also suggest that several distal determinants of behaviour (e.g., employee knowledge of the health effects of styrene, safety climate, and community attachment) are associated with the proximal determinants of behaviour. These findings underscore the importance of understanding behaviour by incorporating broader social factors into the TPB. The implications of these findings are discussed from both applied and theoretical perspectives.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9176
Item ID: 9176
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 288-303)
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 2007
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Boatbuilding--Newfoundland and Labrador--Employees--Attitudes; Boatbuilding--Newfoundland and Labrador--Employees--Health aspects; Fiberglass boats--Newfoundland and Labrador--Design and construction

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