Safety attitudes in New Zealand forestry : a thesis presented to Massey University in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology

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Massey University
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This study examines the attitudes towards safety, held by workers, contractors, supervisors, and managers employed in the New Zealand forest industry. The study follows the framework offered by Purdham (1984, cited in Cox & Cox, 1991), which divides safety attitudes into safety hardware, safety software, people, and risk. After a review of the literature relating to these object areas, attitudes, and safety, a safety attitude questionnaire that was developed specifically for the study is described. The questionnaire was administered to 465 people working in the forest industry. The results suggested that the structure provided by Purdham, as well as Cox and Cox (1991) is not entirely apparent, however it can be used to evaluate safety attitudes. Attitudes towards safety hardware were very positive although a number of workers were unaware of the benefits of more recently developed personal protective equipment. Attitudes towards safety software were slightly negative. Many workers were unaware of safety policies and the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, and were of the opinion that there was conflict between safety and other job demands. With regards to people, all groups surveyed had very good attitudes towards responsibility, and realised the importance of safety. Attitudes towards risk were reasonable, but knowledge of objective risk was poor. Results also suggested that the safety climate is rather negative, with many workers not believing that management or their work-mates were committed to safety. Management were also of the opinion that workers would not believe they were committed to safety. The survey found no relationship between individual attitudes and accident involvement. Training, education, and experience were also unrelated to accident involvement. Finally, management appear to be making attribution errors with regards to the cause of accidents. The implications of these findings for the forest industry, and safety research are discussed.
Foresters, New Zealand Forestry, Logging Safety measures, Industrial safety, Forests and forestry