Introduction This investigation focused on perceptions of control and its potential influence on engagement in occupational health and safety by industrial workers, and highlight the much needed attention to this important group of employees.The study aimed to address the main question of the research: to what extent do perceptions of control explain the engagement in occupational health and safety by industrial workers, and what are the perceived barriers to sustainable engagement experienced by this group of workers?
Methods The mixed method quantitative-qualitative approach aimed to identify how the value and impact of the locus of control external/powerful others versus the intrinsic values perceived to be held by an individual, can contribute to the perceived causes and barriers to sustainable engagement in health and safety by workers in a contemporary industrial setting
Two variants of the locus of control construct were selected as the measurement tools for the quantitative investigation.The multidimensional Internal-Powerful Others-Chance (IPC), (Levenson 1973) scale to assess the generic personality orientations, and the domain specific Work Locus of Control scale (WLCS), (Spector 1988) was selected to identify potential context specific criteria.
Following the results of the quantitative survey qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted to detect potential influences perceived by the workers to engagement in health and safety.
Results The quantitative findings (n=167) identified an incongruity between the inherent internality of the IPC scales and the internality variable of the WLCS suggesting an internal orientated workforce demonstrating less internality at the workplace. Interviews (n=10) provided in-depth perspectives including potential barriers to sustainable engagement in health and safety activities.
Conclusions The quantitative findings indicate perceptions of control amongst an industrial workforce could relate to the engagement in occupational health and safety, and the qualitative interviews allowed for identification of perceptions related to occupational health and safety as experienced by this group of workers
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