A question of motivation

British HSE published a study, in which over 1,700 employers surveyed explained
what motivates them to comply with health and safety legislation. These results
will help formulate an interventions strategy.

The study found that a major motivator for employers is securing the business
benefits of good standards of workplace health and safety

  • 90% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that good health and safety is
    important for staff productivity and morale; many also felt that their
    reputation is very important;
  • 86% agreed or strongly agreed that damage to their reputation could cause
    them to lose business;
  • 82% felt that they must comply with health and safety regulations to
    protect their reputation;
  • 80% of respondents say they check their own health and safety standards if
    they hear about a notice or prosecution against a similar organisation.

Currently HSE uses what it perceives to be the best mix of

  • encouragement;
  • persuasion;
  • assistance; and
  • enforcement.

This latest research confirmed the need to apply a range of interventions
depending upon the degree of influence each lever might have, these varying
between organisations. HSE says it is more effective to match interventions to
the attitudes of organisations rather than adopt a 'one size fits all'
approach. It appears no single lever for promoting compliance is equally
needed, nor equally effective, for all organisations.

This research shows that many employers understand the benefits of good
standards of health and safety management and are well motivated to manage the
risks they face. We need to understand these motivators and how they vary, for
example according to industry sector, the size of an organisation and the
attitudes of the current management towards health and safety.

The research shows that combining interventions - including advice and
guidance, enforcement and persuasion - helps to reinforce the motivation for
improving health and safety. That confirms the approach set out in our

Further information

AplusA-online.de - Source: Health and Safety Executive