There is a wealth of information on workplace culture, interventions, capacity building and managing work health and safety risks. Less is known about socio-psychological factors, such as motivation, attitudes and perceptions that influence work health and safety policy, procedures, processes and outcomes. The main aim of the Motivations, Attitudes, Perceptions and Skills (MAPS) project was to collect information on the drivers of work health and safety behaviour and provide findings which will encourage policy discussion and inform the development and implementation of work health and safety policies and procedures.
To help achieve this aim, data were collected in 2009-10 from Australians aged 18 and over who worked in the five industry groups at high risk of occupational injuries, including Agriculture, forestry and fishing, Construction, Health and community services, Manufacturing and Transport and storage.
The Australian National University was contracted to conduct an in-depth analysis of the MAPS data. Several socio-psychological factors were found to have an important influence on work health and safety: leadership where managers value safety for its own sake, communication across levels of the organisation, formal structures in place within an organisation to ensure that safety issues are not overlooked and workers’ voices are heard, and an appreciation among individuals of safety issues and adoption of a personal priority for safety that is developed and nurtured within the work context.