The Application of Human Factors through the Assessment and Improvement of Behavioural Safety to Improve Safety Performance in Small to Medium Sized Enterprises

Rose, William (2012) The Application of Human Factors through the Assessment and Improvement of Behavioural Safety to Improve Safety Performance in Small to Medium Sized Enterprises. PhD thesis, Edinburgh Napier University.

W_Rose_PhD_Thesis_E_version.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (2MB)


User-friendly systems of human factors (HF) analysis are not presently available to the managers of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). It is therefore difficult for such professionals to assess the safety culture within their own workplaces without the assistance of externally sourced experts.

Large companies have implemented methods of HF analysis with a significant degree of success using HF experts. The aim of this research project was to confirm that SMEs could also benefit from these methods using in-house personnel with a specially-created HF assessment tool.

Human error is often cited as the cause of accidents and incidents. A system of HF analysis was created as part of this research project to allow the technique to be implemented by non-experts within SMEs to identify human-related risks and thereby to assist in improving safety culture and safety performance by implementing measures to minimise those risks through HF methods.

This research project found that potential collaboration partners that were initially keen to take part soon withdrew from the research project after realising what was involved in terms of required resources.

For those companies that participated, the workforce was surveyed to determine the workplace safety culture. Some positive results were obtained but the overriding findings of this research project were that, of the majority of SMEs that were keen to collaborate, they did not actually want to change their safety culture; rather, they were content to continue to implement safety by enforcement of rules & regulations (antecedents) with little scope for implementation of behaviour-based safety systems of control. Although most companies approached knew of the potential benefits it was clear that they had no desire to allocate the resources necessary to achieve those benefits.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: SME's; safety performance; human factor analysis; safety culture; risk;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 500 Science > 500 Science > 506 Organizations & management
600 Technology > 620 Engineering > 620 Engineering & allied operations
Library of Congress Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
Item ID: 5022
Depositing User: Mr William Rose
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2012 13:56
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2012 13:56

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Edinburgh Napier University is a registered Scottish charity. Registration number SC018373