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Ajmal, M.; Isha, S.N.; Md Nordin, S.; Al-Mekhlafi, A. Safety-Management Practices and Occupational Accidents. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 24 June 2024).
Ajmal M, Isha SN, Md Nordin S, Al-Mekhlafi A. Safety-Management Practices and Occupational Accidents. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 24, 2024.
Ajmal, Muhammad, Shahrul Nizam Isha, Shahrina Md Nordin, Al-Baraa Al-Mekhlafi. "Safety-Management Practices and Occupational Accidents" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 24, 2024).
Ajmal, M., Isha, S.N., Md Nordin, S., & Al-Mekhlafi, A. (2022, April 27). Safety-Management Practices and Occupational Accidents. In Encyclopedia.
Ajmal, Muhammad, et al. "Safety-Management Practices and Occupational Accidents." Encyclopedia. Web. 27 April, 2022.
Safety-Management Practices and Occupational Accidents

Occupational accidents in organizations result in huge damages to employees’ lives every year. However, organizations have financial costs to bear in terms of productivity, compensation paid, and workdays lost. In addition, they also face the nonfinancial cost of occupational accidents, e.g., the psychological trauma of employee absence from work. In the last two decades, investigations of major industrial accidents pointed out leading factors, e.g., poor safety management. Therefore, attention to occupational accident prevention has been shifted from human and technical errors to catering employees’ safety with management practices. In this regard, safety management plays the most significant role in intervening in the caution process of occupational accidents. 

safety training safety communication and feedback safety compliance

1. Safety-Management Practices

The systematic activity of safety-driven management to protect employees and control hazards related to health and safety is called safety management [1]. Furthermore, safety management is more than investigating accidents and hazardous identification [2]. Typically, safety management is all about arranging safety training, safety promotion, accident-prevention practices, and the development of safety culture [3].
The actual role of safety management is associated with functions and practices in the organization to remain safe [4]. In addition, safety management is a subsystem of organizational management, maintaining safety via various safety-management practices [5]. The safety-management system in organizations is designed to prevent workers from workplace hazards and to prevent challenges to health and safety [1]. Moreover, safety-management practices include policies, strategies, practices, and procedures implemented to prevent employee injuries and lower the cost of safety [6].
The literature investigation on safety management shows that safety-management practices are essential tools to manage firms’ safety and reduce occupational accidents [7]. In addition, safety-management practices should aim to share the safety environment of the workplace [8]. The investigation of safety-management literature shows that top managements of companies need to improve safety performance through effective safety-management practices [9][10][11].

2. Safety Training

Safety training is the transfer of safety knowledge in order to perform job tasks safely without experiencing occupational accidents [12]. Safety training is one of the most important practices for enhancing safety performance [13]. In organizations, safety training is conducted by formal and informal training programs [14], and capacity-building programs provide an opportunity for employees to develop behavioral safety and safety skills [15][16]. Occupational training for employees to participate actively in safety programs is most important [17]. Safety training can be performed based on a proper assessment to improve employees’ behavioral safety and skills [18]. Proactive safety training plays a significant role in developing employees’ safety knowledge and safety skills [19]. Moreover, in the past, many studies have found a considerable impact of safety training on reducing workplace accidents and injuries [19][20].
The investigation of safety-management practices shows that safety training is one of the essential practices influencing safety outcomes in high-safety-sensitive organizations, e.g., the oil and gas, manufacturing, and construction industries. Moreover, the value of safety training is linked to improvement in the behavioral safety of employees and development of safety skills [21]. Furthermore, safety training programs are designed to train new recruits to shape safety attitudes, orientation, and succession-planning programs to improve occupational health and safety performance [22][23]. Numerous studies have found that effective safety training programs begin with training needs assessments, and that organizations with low rates of injuries and accidents have the best safety programs [18][22].

3. Worker Involvement

Worker involvement is a behavioral technique that allows workers to become involved in the decision-making process of the organization in order to provide suggestions for safety improvement [24]. It is the involvement of workers in safety-related decision making, comprising safety committees and management consultation with workers about safety matters [25]. It is also considered one of the vital safety-management practices, which plays an important role in reducing occupational injuries and accidents in safety programs [24][26].
The extent of worker involvement is one of the vital safety-management practices, which plays an important role in reducing occupational injuries and accidents in safety programs [27]. Further, it is the extent of worker involvement in occupational health and safety programs to resolve workplace safety-related issues and reduce workplace injuries [28]. In the safety-management process, worker involvement can take the form of upward communication, especially when new technology is introduced in the organization [29]. The investigation of safety literature shows that the involvement of workers in safety activities is also the most important component of safety culture, and helps to achieve safety ownership [30]. In organizational safety management, worker involvement is a fundamental practice that plays a most significant role in achieving the organization’s objective related to occupational health and safety [31].
The involvement of workers in the safety-related strategic decisions of an organization can reduce the rate of occupational injuries and accidents [32]. Similarly, to observe the unsafe behavior of workers and rate of occupational accidents, worker involvement was examined [33], and results of the study highlighted that a high involvement of workers in safety activities helps to report safety-improvement suggestions and reduce occupational accidents [34]. Worker involvement is upward communication; therefore, it is a behavioral technique that allows workers to be involved in the decision-making process of the organization to provide suggestions for safety improvement [35]. Furthermore, worker involvement can range from a low to high level of involvement, and finally, workers close to work are the best-qualified to suggest improvements in workplace safety [36][37]; therefore, worker involvement is considered a safety-management practice for the involvement of workers in safety-related decision making, comprising safety committees and the consultation of management with workers about safety matters [38].

4. Safety Rules and Procedures

In safety-sensitive organizations, it is usual to prepare safety rules and procedures and enforce them through safety supervisors to in order to maintain safety performance [38][39]. The prior research studies based on the construction field show a significant correlation between safety rules and procedures and occupational accidents [40][41]. In manufacturing and operation departments, safety experts and manufacturers of machinery visit for inspection, and these visits establish the safety rules and procedures for operating machinery in a safe manner [42][43].
In addition, all new machinery should have protective equipment and documented procedures for safe use [44]. In Malaysia, the OHS Act 1994 for Malaysian workers provides a legislative framework for occupational health and safety.
Zohar (2010) pointed out that safety leaders can play an important role in stopping workers performing unsafe acts by giving rewards and punishments. It was also stated that safety is the responsibility of all workers; therefore, workers need to comply with safety rules and procedures to achieve the required safety priority [45]. Furthermore, in situation where there is overconfidence and a difference in safety attitude, safety supervisors’ enforcement of safety rules and procedures achieves significant results in lowering the rate of occupational accidents [46][47].
Therefore, based on the above discussion, safety rules play an important role in lowering the rate of accidents; it is concluded that safety rules and procedures are the most important safety-management practices to prevent workers from occupational accidents that occur.

5. Safety Promotion Policies

In total-quality-management models, use of incentives and rewards to motivate employees for safety improvement is an accepted feature of organizational behavioral safety and management [48][49]. In addition, recognition and appreciation of behavioral safety can also increase workers’ interests in controlling workplace hazards for self-protection [50]. Therefore, a well-designed and visible rewards system is characterized to modify behavioral safety [51], and also emphasizes achieving the optimum level of safety by reducing workplace accidents [52]. Previous studies have also emphasized that incentives play a most significant role in maintaining workplace safety and positive behavioral safety of workers at the workplace [53]. Moreover, in successful organizations, it was also found that safety-promotion policies have played a significant role in reducing workplace accidents and injuries [54].
Similarly, organizational investment in safety-promotion policies creates employee loyalty and behavioral safety [55]. Based on the discussion, this study recognizes safety-promotion policies as one of the most important safety-management practices. Therefore, in the current study, safety-promotion policies are assessed based on recognition, incentives for safe acts and weekly celebrations, reporting unsafe conditions, and encouraging workers to make safety-improvement suggestions.

6. Safety Communication and Feedback

In an organization, various kinds of communication are used to enhance workers’ motivational levels in order to maintain workplace safety and development of behavior; for these purposes, two-way communication is important in order to change workers’ behavior [56]. The prior investigation of safety literature shows that two-way safety communication with managers and safety leaders plays a most important role as a safety-management practice to reduce occupational accidents and increase workplace safety [57]. Similarly, in the questionnaire survey, safety communication and feedback were included in order to check feedback from various forms of workers, and they showed that safety performance is influenced by the level of communication in the organization [56][58]. Therefore, feedback from managers and safety leaders is important because it provides an opportunity for workers to improve their behavioral safety [59][60]. Furthermore, when safety managers provide positive feedback [61], it motivates workers’ behavioral safety, and negative feedback reduces the frequency of behavioral safety in the future [62]. It has also been suggested that feedback on behavioral safety can be communicated through chats and discussion in safety meetings [63]. Based on the above discussion, this study also accepts that safety communication and feedback is an important safety-management practice.

7. Management Commitment to Safety

In organizations, top management is responsible for assigning safety-related assignments, tasks, and establishing work standards and policies to maintain workplace safety [64][65]. Although workers play an important role in improving workplace safety, top management’s responsibility is to achieve organizational goals and objectives [66][67].
The review of safety-performance studies shows that management commitment to safety plays an important role [68]. Moreover, in the safety-climate study of Zohar (2010), although other factors contribute to improving workplace safety, management commitment affects safety programs [69]. Moreover, in safety-commitment studies, it was found that management commitment to safety was an important component to the developmenrt of safety culture [70]. There are many ways in which management commitment to safety can manifest, e.g., participation in safety committees, investigation of accidents, review of safety-promotion programs, and safety in job design for employees [71]. Therefore, the investment of top management in safety-improvement programs helps increase employees’ loyalty and behavioral safety [72]. Management commitment to safety also changes employee perceptions of how priority is given to workplace safety in the organization [73][74]. Hence, based on the discussion, management commitment to safety plays an important role in workplace safety.

8. Safety Compliance

Safety compliance refers to engaging employees in core safety activities such as compliance with the organization’s safety rules and procedures [36][75]. Studies on workplace accidents show that a lack of safety compliance was one of the major factors that caused injuries and occupational accidents in the manufacturing industry [76]. From a behavioral-safety perspective, there are two dimensions of behavioral safety. In contrast, safety participation refers to voluntary participation in safety activities and supporting safety in the organization [77]. In the oil and gas industry, considerable attention is given to safety compliance because the investigation of workplace accidents was repeatedly noticed due to a lack of safety compliance. Therefore, noncompliant behavioral safety is considered one of the barriers to workplace accidents [78]. The discussion of the above studies shows the importance of safety compliance for safety-management practices. However, the present study seeks the mediating role of safety compliance for occupational accidents with safety-management practices in Malaysia’s oil and gas industry.

9. Occupational Accidents

Research shows that around the globe, 270 million occupational accidents occur every year [79], and millions of work days are lost because of poor working conditions. Therefore, most successful companies focus on workers’ safety training and safety-promoting activities to reduce occupational accidents [80]. Furthermore, the safety literature identifies the role of safety-management practices in controlling the rate of occupational accidents [81].


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