An investigation of factors influencing employee participation in workplace safety programs : the case of ImproChem.
Mabele, Samukelisiwe Euphrasia.
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Background: There are a number of courses of for workplace accidents. These accidents may result in minor or major injuries, equipment damage, and fatalities. The current study examined different factors that influence employee participation in workplace safety programs at ImproChem. Method: A quantitative study was conducted and a sample of 395 participants was granted an opportunity to participate in a survey, with 124 participants completing the survey. An electronic questionnaire was administered via QuestionPro after which the results were analyzed. Results: The results indicated that there are environmental factors that are barriers to safety performance. From the results it was found that 23% of the participants felt that safe working procedures were often available rather than being always available. Among the participants 3.2% indicated they were unaware of some of the ImproChem safety improvement programs, while 7% indicated that they have not received adequate safety training. A difference in safety culture was noted across the ImproChem departments. A total of 15.32% of the participants indicated there were no rewards associated with achieving a good safety record while other participants indicated that it is rare for management to reward safety performance. 70% of the participants indicated that they are afraid of making safety related errors. This may be due to the culture of blame and punishment. One of the recommendations was to increase employee engagement on workplace safety programs aimed at making ImproChem a safe place to work in. Conclusion: Employee engagement will increase employee motivation and the extent to which employees take ownership of their safety. This will enable ImproChem to reach their goal of “No harm to anyone ever” and reduce incident rates within the organization.