Safety Behaviour in the Workplace 

Safety behaviour in the workplace is essential for preventing accidents and injuries. However, safety behaviour is not always intuitive or easy to maintain. There are several psychological factors that can influence safety behaviour, both positively and negatively.

Safety behaviour can be defined as any behaviour which reduces the risk of accidents and injuries. This can include things like wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), following safety procedures, and identifying and reporting hazards. 

Psychological factors that influence safety behaviour 

  • Risk perception: People are more likely to engage in safety behaviour if they perceive the risks to be high. However, people can also underestimate risks, which can lead to unsafe behaviour. 
  • Social norms: People are more likely to engage in safety behaviour if they see others doing it. This is because people want to conform to social norms and avoid being seen as deviant. 
  • Attitudes towards safety: People who have positive attitudes towards safety are more likely to engage in safety behaviour. 
  • Self-efficacy: People who believe in their ability to stay safe are more likely to engage in safety behaviour. 
  • Motivation: People who are motivated to stay safe are more likely to engage in safety behaviour. This motivation can come from different sources, such as a desire to protect oneself and others, a desire to comply with company policies, or a desire to avoid negative consequences such as disciplinary action or injury. 


Organisations can create a culture of safety by promoting psychological factors which support safe behaviour. This can be done by: 

  • Communicating the importance of safety: Organisations should communicate to employees that safety is a top priority. This can be done through training programs, safety briefings, and other communication channels. 
  • Creating a supportive environment: Organisations should create an environment where employees feel comfortable speaking up about safety concerns and reporting hazards. This can be done by fostering a culture of trust and respect. 
  • Recognising and rewarding safe behaviour: Organisations should recognise and reward employees for engaging in safe behaviour. This can be done via formal recognition programs or simply by expressing appreciation to employees for their efforts. 


Examples of psychological factors that can influence safety behaviour 

  • A worker may be more likely to wear / use PPE if they see their supervisor and other coworkers wearing it. 
  • A worker may be more likely to follow safety procedures if they believe that the procedures are effective and that they will not be punished for making mistakes. 
  • A worker may be more likely to identify and report hazards if they feel comfortable speaking up to their supervisor and if they believe that their concerns will be taken seriously. 
  • A worker who is motivated to protect themselves and their family is more likely to engage in safe behaviour. 


The psychology of safety behaviour is a complex and important topic. By understanding the psychological factors that influence safety behaviour, organisations can create a culture of safety and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. 

The iProtectU health and safety software provides: 

  • An inspection and Audit App which allows for safety inspection of the workplace and associated report 
  • eLearning on a wide range of EHS topics 
  • Scheduling functionality for managers to send eLearning, risk assessments and documents out to all staff via the software with tracks completion and compliance 
  • Risk assessment templates covering staff and student behaviour 
  • Management system to document control the policy on safe behaviour 
  • Method Statement module for the creation of working instructions 
  • Legal register that provides legislation guidance on safe behaviour at work 
  • Incident investigation module that tracks incidents involving staff behaviour both with an app and via desktop 
  • Hazard observation app where staff can report and record any concerns regarding unsafe behaviour to the organisation 
  • Asset management App ensuring assets are recorded in the software 



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