Consideration of future safety consequences: A new predictor of employee safety

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Accident Analysis and Prevention


Background: Compliance with safety behaviors is often associated with longer term benefits, but may require some short-term sacrifices. This study examines the extent to which consideration of future safety consequences (CFSC) predicts employee safety outcomes. Methods: Two field studies were conducted to evaluate the reliability and validity of the newly developed Consideration of Future Safety Consequences (CFSC) scale. Surveys containing the CFSC scale and other measures of safety attitudes, behaviors, and outcomes were administered during working hours to a sample of 128 pulp and paper mill employees; after revising the CFSC scale based on these initial results, follow-up survey data were collected in a second sample of 212 copper miners. Results: In Study I, CFSC was predictive of employee safety knowledge and motivation, compliance, safety citizenship behaviors, accident reporting attitudes and behaviors, and workplace injuries-even after accounting for conscientiousness and demographic variables. Moreover, the effects of CFSC on the variables generally appear to be direct, as opposed to mediated by safety knowledge or motivation. These findings were largely replicated in Study II. Conclusions: CFSC appears to be an important personality construct that may predict those individuals who are more likely to comply with safety rules and have more positive safety outcomes. Future research should examine the longitudinal stability of CFSC to determine the extent to which this construct is a stable trait, rather than a safety attitude amenable to change over time or following an intervention. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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