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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

A day in the life of frontline manufacturing personnel: A diary-based safety study

Pickup, Sarah, Paton, Kevin, Hayes, Catherine and Morrison, Ben (2020) A day in the life of frontline manufacturing personnel: A diary-based safety study. Health and Safety Science, 132. ISSN 0925-7535

Item Type: Article


Recorded incidences of work-related illness and injury within the manufacturing sector remain significantly
high, therefore, an awareness of the aetiology of accidents remains integral to any realistic prospect of safety
improvement interventions within this complex industry. The epistemological stance adopted in safety behaviour development in research design and execution has largely focused on empirical outcome-based studies.
Using personalised individual diaries to record real time data of safety-related events, including social cognitive
contextual details, this study, for the first time qualitatively explores employee recorded incidents, permitting
the identification of perceived latent conditions belying cognitive errors. The study revealed the most frequently
occurring incident types were unsafe acts (38%) followed by unsafe conditions (28%), with a greater proportion
of near misses (N = 46) in comparison to actual accidents (N = 13). Also apparent were inconsistencies in
formal and informal reporting processes. Skill based errors were the most prevalent recorded human error type
associated with distraction, alongside incompatible work environments. Violations were evident, to a lesser
degree of recordable incidents. Across all human error types, qualitative accounts of safety climate concepts
including leader violations and quality of leadership were described. The study thus made possible the capture of
day-to-day safety behaviours and conditions, illuminating new perspectives on meaningful issues at both individual and systems levels. Adopting a systematically tailored approach to the exploration of suboptimal safety
behaviour aetiology, there is a greater likelihood of knowledge acquisition of incidents or symptoms at an
organisational level, which are then equipped to reflexively respond with a tailored address of these issues ‘in situ’.

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More Information

Depositing User: Ben Morrison


Item ID: 12561
Identification Number:
ISSN: 0925-7535
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Sarah Pickup: ORCID iD
ORCID for Catherine Hayes: ORCID iD
ORCID for Ben Morrison: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2020 09:22
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2021 12:00


Author: Sarah Pickup ORCID iD
Author: Catherine Hayes ORCID iD
Author: Ben Morrison ORCID iD
Author: Kevin Paton

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing


Psychology > Psychology

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