Something to Think About - Motivations, Attitudes, Perceptions and Skills in Work Health and Safety


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Safe Work Australia is conducting the Motivations, Attitudes, Perceptions and Skills (MAPS) project to focus attention on the socio-psychological factors that shape organisations’ and individuals’ actions and behaviours and, in turn, influence work health and safety outcomes.

This review brings together contributions from the psychology, sociology, anthropology, education and regulation disciplines. It pays special attention to empirical studies relevant to socio-psychological factors and work health and safety. It begins by examining four key socio-psychological factors: motivations; attitudes; perceptions; and, skills. These sections provide definitions for each of these factors and discuss some relevant literature for each relating to its potential influence on organisations’ and individuals’ willingness and capacity to address work health and safety issues. The review then examines the related concepts of ‘safety culture’ and ‘safety climate’, as well as a variety of compliance support strategies, inspection and enforcement mechanisms and approaches that regulators may use, and reviews empirical studies on their impact.

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Research and studies
Education and training
Leadership and culture
Workplace culture research