Study: Injuries a failure of management

Feb. 21, 2012 at 12:56 AM

ATHENS, Ga., Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Workplace management and organizational factors play a critical role in the number of worker accidents and fatalities, U.S. researchers found.

Dave DeJoy, a University of Georgia professor, and Todd Smith, a recent graduate of the UGA College of Public Health, examined the U.S. safety climate perceptions among a diverse sample of occupations and worker groups involving 1,525 workers.

"Injury is a failure of management," DeJoy said in a statement. "Organizations who blame individuals for injuries do not create a positive safety climate."

The study scheduled to be published in the print edition of the Journal of Safety Research found companies that run in a smooth and effective manner and have minimal constraints on worker performance decreased injuries by 38 percent as worker opinions improved.

In addition, a worker's perception of a positive safety climate can decrease injuries by 32 percent.

"We can design the best safety controls, but they must be maintained and that falls on management," Smith said.

The researchers found work-family interference was a significant risk for occupational injury.

"We used to think work was one thing and family was another, but now there is a realization that work-life balance affects performance and productivity," DeJoy added.

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