Mitigating variables in risk perception

Dec 7, 2023
Written by WR Communications


Safety managers are often frustrated that workplace incidents keep happening despite offering great safety policies, training programs, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to their workers.

It is important to recognize that employees’ follow-through with safety practices is determined by each individual’s risk perception and motivation.

Employees have different risk perceptions, and they subconsciously calculate the risk based on their unique perspectives. Their behaviors at work, however, are determined by each employee’s unique experiences, traits, abilities, and attitudes related to safety.

The roles of feeling and emotion also determine worker motivation for following through with safety practices. Workers who feel positive about their relationship with supervisors and management are motivated to follow through with safety.

These factors also help explain why younger workers incur more accidents than older workers. Younger workers do not have the same risk perception as mature workers, and they are more likely to break the rules than seasoned workers with more life experiences.

  • Management can help improve workers’ perception of risk by considering these questions:
  • What motivates your employees to choose risky behavior versus a safer alternative?
  • Are they even aware that they are making these decisions?
  • Are you using safety meetings to motivate and communicate safety information?

Re-evaluate your company’s safety messaging so it can be delivered in a way that ‘sinks-in’ better with the audience.

Our safety team is available to help members improve their safety program beyond compliance toward quality safety practices. Contact us at [email protected] to learn more.


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