Safety climate and health complaints in the Norwegian aquaculture industry
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Volume 74, November 2019, 102874 10.1016/j.ergon.2019.102874
Few studies have explored the potential connection between safety climate and health issues. However, some recent research findings indicate that a poor safety climate can be considered a stressor that may be associated with physical symptoms and musculoskeletal complaints. This link is further explored in the present study on the basis of a questionnaire study of 446 sharp-end workers in the Norwegian aquaculture industry. The analysis revealed that self-reported health complaints (musculoskeletal pain, headaches and fatigue) are negatively related to safety climate, i.e. the more positive the safety climate, the fewer the health complaints. The study finds that the following two safety climate factors are particularly important: work pressure and safety involvement. This means that self-reported health complaints are higher among workers who experience (a) a prioritisation of production and efficiency at the expense of safety, and (b) a lack of involvement in safety decisions. Regarding relevance to the industry, these relationships indicate the existence of a supplementary managerial pathway for the prevention of occupational health issues.