Evaluating the consistency between conceptual frameworks and factors influencing the safe behavior of iranian workers in the petrochemical industry: mixed methods study
Background: Unsafe worker behavior is often identified as a major cause of dangerous incidents in the petrochemical industry. Behavioral safety models provide frameworks that may help to prevent such incidents by identifying factors promoting safe or unsafe behavior. We recently conducted a qualitative study to identify factors affecting workers' unsafe behaviors in an Iranian petrochemical company.
Objective: The aims of this study were to (1) conduct a review of the relevant research literature between the years 2000 and 2019 to identify theoretical models proposed to explain and predict safe behavior in the workplace and (2) to select the model that best reflects our qualitative findings and other evidence about the factors influencing safe behaviors among petrochemical workers.
Methods: This research used mixed methods. Initially, we conducted a qualitative study of factors that Iranian petrochemical workers believed affected their safety behavior. Four themes emerged from the semistructured interviews: (1) poor direct safety management and supervision; (2) unsafe workplace conditions; (3) workers' perceptions, skills, and training; and (4) broader organizational factors. Electronic databases, including PubMed, Embase, Scopus, Google Scholar, EBSCOhost, and Science Direct, were then searched for eligible studies on models to explain and predict safe behaviors, which were published between the years 2000 and 2019. Medical subject headings were used as the primary analytical element. Medical subject headings and subheadings were then extracted from the literature. One researcher conducted the search and 3 researchers performed screening and data extraction. Then, constructs described in each study were assessed to determine which were the most consistent with themes derived from our qualitative analysis.
Results: A total of 2032 publications were found using the search strategy. Of these, 142 studies were assessed and 28 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. The themes identified in the qualitative study most closely matched 3 scales included in Wu et al's model that measured safety behavior and performance, safety leadership, and safety climate in petrochemical industries. Poor direct safety management and supervision matched with safety leadership and its subscales; unsafe workplace conditions matched with safety climate and its subscales; workers' perceptions, skills, and training matched with safety performance and its subscales; and broader organizational factors matched with some subscales of the model.
Conclusions: This is the first literature review to identify models intended to explain and predict safe behavior and select the model most consistent with themes elicited from a qualitative study. Our results showed that effective safety leadership and management and safety climate and culture systems are the most frequently identified factors affecting safe behaviors in the petrochemical industry. These results can further help safety researchers and professionals design effective behavior-based safety interventions, which can have a more sustainable and persistent impact on workers' safety behaviors.
Publication titleJMIR Public Health and Surveillance
PublisherJMIR Publications, Inc.
Place of publicationCanada
Rights statementCopyright 2021 Azita Zahiri Harsini, Philip Bohle, Lynda R Matthews, Fazlollah Ghofranipour, Hormoz Sanaeinasab, Farkhondeh Amin Shokravi, Krishan Prasad.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Public Health and Surveillance, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on https://publichealth.jmir.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.