Results of the Finnish national survey investigating safety management, collaboration and work environment in the chemical industry

The aim of this study is to explore the effects of the OSH legislation, collaboration and management. These variables had an effect on the continuous improvement of OSH, the safety training, the safe use of chemicals, the use of personal protective equipments, the monitoring of the work environment and the arrangement of occupational health care. The respondents to the questionnaire survey were OSH managers (N = 85) and workers' OSH representatives (N = 120) working in the chemical industry. The present results found that workers' OSH representatives believed more strongly than OSH managers in the effects of OSH legislation, collaboration and activities of the management with respect to their practical values for improving OSH. Safety should be considered in the organizational context in which technical controls and work processes are applied. Effects of preventive measures should be followed-up better than is nowadays done. The top-level management in the plants should also promote the activities of middle-management and encourage collaboration in order to improve managers and workers' commitment to the goals of the organizations. Management should define the correct OSH goals and strategies signalling the importance of safety with respect to other organizational goals. With respect to OSH research design this study represents an opportunity for researchers to undertake longitudinal research in the safety in the chemical industry's leadership and process safety.

Source: Niskanen T, Louhelainen K, Hirvonen ML. Safety Sci. 2014; 70: 233-245.

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