Objective: Occupational stress models suggest that the ability to understand, predict, and control stressful events minimizes their impact. This study examines the applicability of the stress antidote theory to the safety environment. Newly developed measures assess understanding why and how unsafe events occur, predicting the occurrence of unsafe events, and controlling unsafe events, and how these constructs relate to safety performance at work. In addition, the role of supervisor safety support is explored. Participants: 424 employees in the Facilities department at a large university. Methods: Measures were developed based on existing literature and focus groups, and participants completed a survey about their safety experiences at work. Results: Analyses conducted using structural equation modeling indicate that safety understanding, safety prediction, and safety control are related but distinct variables. Safety understanding affects safety performance through safety control, while supervisor support for safety affects safety performance both directly and indirectly through control. Conclusion: Lack of understanding of safety or inability to predict dangerous outcomes may be necessary but not sufficient to explain unsafe workplace behaviors. Employees' safety behaviors may be more directly influenced by the extent to which they have the power to control safety in their work environment.
- Workplace injuries
- decision latitude
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health