Special Issue "Safety and Occupational Goal Conflicts: Cause and Effect of Work-Safety Tension on Safety-Related Risky Decision Making"

A special issue of Safety (ISSN 2313-576X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.
Submit your paper and select the Journal “Safety” and the Special Issue “Safety and Occupational Goal Conflicts: Cause and Effect of Work-Safety Tension on Safety-Related Risky Decision Making” via: https://susy.mdpi.com/user/manuscripts/upload/dceed4dddcd5d4c41f85ee01f2a34029?journal=safety. Please contact the guest editor or the journal editor ([email protected]) for any queries.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Annette Kluge
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, Ruhr-University Bochum, 44801 Bochum, Germany
Interests: skill acquisition and retention in high reliability organizations; human factors and safety management; organizational learning and forgetting; assistive MR technologies for spatially dispersed teams
Prof. Dr. Steven Mallam
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Technology, Natural Sciences and Maritime Sciences, University of South-Eastern Norway, 3603 Kongsberg, Norway
Interests: human factors; simulator training; virtual reality; interdisciplinary knowledge mobilization; user-centered design; organizational safety; maritime

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The idea of this Special Issue is to discuss and review the theory (e.g., in terms of reviews) and empirical evidence investigating the complex interplay between the person and the situation, which might lead to rule violations and unsafe acts.

In order to ensure safe behavior, organizations implement rules, which are intended to lead to safe acts. It is implicitly assumed that adherence to all safety-related rules leads to an accident-free environment, whilst deviations from established rules contributes to accidents within a system. However, workers often feel the burden of the overspecification of rules and overregulation, with consequences or rules that fail to align with accomplishing their work tasks, meaning that it is assumed impossible to adhere to all rules and still get the job done. This is also called the work–safety tension, or the productivity versus safety dilemma. Other reasons may be attributed to experience or gender stereotype-based overconfidence, the desire to appear “macho” or fit into work culture expectations and roles.

This Special Issue invites contributions addressing work–safety tension, which may lead to risky decision making in terms of rule violations, unsafe acts, as well as further reasons to violate safety-related rules. In contrast to human error, only recently have various works examined so-called procedural violations and unsafe acts in a targeted manner. Nevertheless, rule violations as objects of investigation and discussion are still confined to the shadows. With regard to risk-taking behavior, in this narrow field of existing work, little to no attention has been paid to the aspect of socialization in the context of safety-related decisions at work. Analyses of various accidents in the last few years point, however, to the relevance of rule violations in relation to accidents and incidents, which can cause considerable damage to people, companies and the environment.

We welcome papers that address aspects of:

  • person-related variables, e.g., personality, motivation, attitudes, decision-making strategies;
  • situation-related variables, e.g., types of rules, perceived production and time pressure, leadership aspects, safety climate, the implementation of audits and feedback;
  • HR and performance management strategies that lead to unintended unsafe behavior.

The challenges of changing risk-related attitudes should also be examined in the broader context of risk propensity, taking into account the values conveyed by gender stereotypes.

This Special Issue will focus not only on the emergence of rule violations in organizational contexts, but also countermeasures. We will focus on the question of how one can prevent rule violations or counter them on individual, team and organizational levels, as well as a guide on how to address risk-related stereotypes.

Prof. Dr. Annette Kluge
Prof. Dr. Steven Mallam
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Safety is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • safety-related rules
  • rule violations
  • risky decision making
  • experienced dilemmas
  • work safety tension
  • personality
  • gender stereotypes
  • leadership
  • organizational safety
  • safety climate and culture
  • HR practices
  • performance management
  • behavior-based safety management
  • high reliability organizations, e.g., civil and military aviation, process industry, maritime industry, transport, healthcare, construction

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
How Just Culture and Personal Goals Moderate the Positive Relation between Commercial Pilots’ Safety Citizenship Behavior and Voluntary Incident Reporting
Safety 2021, 7(3), 59; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/safety7030059 - 17 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1023
Abstract
Flight safety is consistently influenced by pilots’ self-inflicted incidents in routine flight operations. For airlines, pilots’ reports on these incidents are essential input to learn from incidents (LFI) and for various safety management processes. This paper aims to explain the voluntary reporting behavior [...] Read more.
Flight safety is consistently influenced by pilots’ self-inflicted incidents in routine flight operations. For airlines, pilots’ reports on these incidents are essential input to learn from incidents (LFI) and for various safety management processes. This paper aims to explain the voluntary reporting behavior of pilots’ self-inflicted incidents from an occupational safety perspective. We investigate how the relation between pilots’ safety citizenship behavior (SCB) and reporting behavior is moderated by pilots’ fear, shame, goals, and goal-striving when reporting, as well as the influence of a just culture on the decision to report incidents. In total, 202 German commercial pilots participated in an online survey. The results showed that reporting behavior can be considered a specific form of self-intentional SCB, but should be differentiated into subtypes depending on a pilot’s unsafe acts (errors or violations) that caused the incident. Reporting behavior-specific motivational factors influenced different subtypes of reporting behavior: Just culture moderated a positive relation between SCB and reported incidents caused by violations. Moreover, depending on the subtype of reporting behavior, the relation was moderated by different types of goals in relation to the pilots. No moderating effects of fear or shame could be demonstrated. Our findings highlight the value of a just culture for encouraging goal-oriented reporting behavior in the context of LFI and safety management. Full article
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Article
Analysis of the Safety Resilience Implementation in the Maritime Industry at Public and Private Companies (A Case Study in Indonesia)
Safety 2021, 7(3), 56; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/safety7030056 - 28 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1156
Abstract
(1) Background: The resilience concept shows performance improvement in four potential aspects consisting of the ability to respond, provide anticipatory action, control things that occur internally and externally, as well as the learning process of what is going right and what is going [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The resilience concept shows performance improvement in four potential aspects consisting of the ability to respond, provide anticipatory action, control things that occur internally and externally, as well as the learning process of what is going right and what is going wrong. This study aims to analyze the safety resilience implementation in the Indonesian maritime sector. (2) Method: This is a descriptive study using semi-quantitative methods, using interview guides based on the Resilience Assessment Grid (RAG). The sampling technique is purposive sampling. (3) Results: The level of implementation of safety resilience at the public company was 75.1%, while the private company was 70.2%. The score for each safety resilience element in the public and private companies are as follows: the ability to respond (80%), learning ability (74.62%), monitoring ability (70.77%), and the ability to anticipate (66.92%). (4) Conclusion: The safety resilience implementation in Indonesian sea transportation shipping has not been optimal in implementing the safety resilience concept. The focus of implementing safety is still on preventing and controlling accidents. The other orientation of ability improvement in the safety resilience concept has not been implemented. Full article
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Article
Masculine Gender Norms and Adverse Workplace Safety Outcomes: The Role of Sexual Orientation and Risky Safety Behaviors
Safety 2021, 7(3), 55; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/safety7030055 - 28 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1207
Abstract
The current study tested the proposition that higher conformity to masculine gender norms (CMGN) is associated with increased safety risk-taking behaviors, which in turn are related to more accidents, injuries, and higher levels of accident underreporting. Additionally, we proposed that sexual minority status [...] Read more.
The current study tested the proposition that higher conformity to masculine gender norms (CMGN) is associated with increased safety risk-taking behaviors, which in turn are related to more accidents, injuries, and higher levels of accident underreporting. Additionally, we proposed that sexual minority status would exacerbate the relationship between conformity to masculine gender norms and safety risk-taking behaviors. Using two-wave lagged survey data obtained from N = 403 working adults, findings supported the proposed moderated-mediation model. High conformity to masculine gender norms was associated with increased safety risk-taking behaviors, accidents, injuries, and accident underreporting. Moreover, the relationship between CMGN and safety-risk-taking behaviors was stronger among homosexual men compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Additionally, safety risk-taking behaviors mediated the relationship between CMGN and safety outcomes. Finally, this indirect effect was stronger among homosexual men. Combined, these findings suggest that CMGN adversely impacts employee safety outcomes via safety-related risk-taking. We discuss these implications as well as the need for interventions designed to decrease risk taking behaviors in light of CMGN, particularly among sexual minorities. Full article
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Article
Unintended Detrimental Effects of the Combination of Several Safety Measures—When More Is Not Always More Effective
Safety 2021, 7(2), 37; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/safety7020037 - 12 May 2021
Viewed by 1691
Abstract
To ensure safety-related behavior in risky operations, several safety measures, such as safety-related rules and safety management systems including audits, rewards, and communication, are implemented. Looking at each single measure, it is reasonable to assume that each one leads to rule compliance, but [...] Read more.
To ensure safety-related behavior in risky operations, several safety measures, such as safety-related rules and safety management systems including audits, rewards, and communication, are implemented. Looking at each single measure, it is reasonable to assume that each one leads to rule compliance, but how do they interact? In an experimental study, we varied (1) the salience of either safety, productivity, or both, (2) the reward for the compliance and punishment for a violation, (3) the communication of audit results (result- or process-based), and (4) the gain and loss framing of performance indicators. In a 3 × 2 × 2 × 2 factorial between-group design, 497 engineering students in the role of Control Room Operator participated in a five hour simulation of a production year of a chemical plant. Looking at single effects, salient safety goals led to a low number of rule violations compared to the salience of production goals. Interestingly, the interaction of several measures showed that particular combinations of measures were highly detrimental to safety, although altogether, they were assumed to reduce risks. For practice, this means that the effects of safety measures depend on their particular combination and can lead to unwanted effects. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Unintended Detrimental Effects of the Combination of Several Safety Measures—Why More is Not Always More Effective
Authors: Sebastian Brandhorst; Annette Kluge
Affiliation: Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, Ruhr-University Bochum, 44801 Bochum, Germany
Abstract: To ensure safety-related behavior in risky operations, several safety measures such as safety related rules and safety management systems including audits, rewards and communication, are implemented. Looking at each single measure, it is reasonable to assume that each one leads to rule compliance, but how do they interact? In an experimental study we varied the 1) salience of either safety, productivity or both goals, the 2) reward of the compliance and punishment of a violation, 3) the communication of audit results (results or process based) and the 4) gain and loss framing of performance indicators. In a 3 x 2 x 2 x 2 factorial between group design, 497 engineering students in the role of control room Operator participated in a 5-hour simulation of a production year of a chemical plant. Looking at single effects, salient safety goals lead to a low number of rule violations compared to the salience of production goals. Interestingly, the interaction of several measures showed that particular combinations of measures were highly detrimental to safety, although altogether they were assumed to reduce risks. For practice, this means that the effects of safety measures depend on their particular combination- and can also lead to unwanted effects.

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