Studies in Personnel and Industrial Psychology

By Edwin A. Fleishman | Go to book overview
accidents). On the other hand, this finding barely borders on statistical significance and similar study of another factory yielded a correlation of .00 between incentive system and departmental accident rate.4Obvious Danger Factor. Departments with a constant obvious danger present such as glowing molten metal have significantly higher accident rates (r = .35) than do other departments. An arresting finding by Mr. Huntington, the Safety Supervisor, on the nature of the accidents in these departments is that the accidents usually are not physically involved with the obvious hazard factor. For example, in molten metal operation departments, accident rates are above average but they rarely include burns. The obvious hazard seems to exercise an almost hypnotic effect upon personnel, delimiting their attention too much and facilitating their involvement in other hazards. When comfort of shop environment is held constant (this is a questionable procedure in this instance because "comfort" and "danger factor" may be regarded as almost synonomous in certain key departments), the zero order r declines to a partial r of -.04 between obvious danger factor and departmental accident rate.
SUMMARY
Against a criterion of five years of lost-time accident rates in the 44 shop departments of a tractor factory, ten possible explanatory hypotheses were evaluated by means of data from a special rating panel. Until more exacting and precise data are obtained, all conclusions of this research must be considered tentative; however, within these limitations, certain trends appear.
1. Results obtained on variation in production pressure and constant production pressure are inconclusive.
2. The hypothesis that promotion probability encourages safe behavior appears to be supported by this study.
3. Comfortable shop environment appears from this research to be a major determinant of safe behavior.
4. Degree of crew work is positively correlated with accident rates of the factory departments in this study. This is believed to be the result of more complete and continuous acceptance of individual responsibility in the noncooperative work situation.
5. Job prestige of typical job fails to correlate significantly with departmental accidents when certain other variables are held constant.
6. The greater the degree of manual effort involved, the higher, on the average, is the departmental accident rate.
7. Both degree of operational congestion and degree of incentive work fail to predict departmental accident rates when certain other variables are held constant.
____________________
4
W. A. Kerr, op. cit.

-570-

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