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Beliefs and attitudes associated with small business owners' intentions to improve workplace health and safety.

American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 10-15, 2003, Dallas, Texas. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2003 May; :57
Effecting improvements in small business workplaces calls for interventions targeted to owners, who are the single most important determinant of their company's health and safety. However, little is known about what motivates some owners and prevents others. Seven hundred owners of small manufacturing businesses (5 to 50 employees) in Minnesota were asked to complete and return a mailed survey of their intentions for improving workplace health and safety and underlying personal beliefs. Survey constructs were selected from expectancy-value theories, which postulate that (I) intentions are predictive of actual behavior and (2) three variables (attitude, perceived behavioral control, and subjective norm) are determinants of intentions. Each of these latter variables is, in turn, influenced by specific beliefs and the importance attached to each belief. The survey response rate was 51 % with a total of 347 surveys available for analysis. Attitude is most strongly associated with owners' intentions to improve workplace health and safety in the next six months. Perceived behavioral control is not related to intentions and subjective norm (influence of key individuals) is only weakly associated. Owners with high intentions are more likely to believe that improving health and safety will make their employees happier, make their employees healthier, show their employees 'they care, lower their workers' compensation costs, and increase the quality of their products. Owners with high versus low intentions do not differ in their beliefs that working on health and safety will increase costs, cause employees to complain, cut into profits, take too much time, or lower their business' productivity.
Behavior; Behavior-patterns; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-methods; Personal-protective-equipment; Quantitative-analysis; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Statistical-analysis; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Worker-motivation; Work-operations; Work-organization; Work-performance; Workplace-studies; Work-practices
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 10-15, 2003, Dallas, Texas
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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Page last reviewed: April 9, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division