Psychology, Risk and Safety: Factors Influencing Risk Perception of Ironworkers

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Psychology, Risk & Safety
In his article, Mr. Dominic Cooper highlights four important factors that influence the perception of risk. Risk perceptions are determined by people’s personality, behavior, attitude, and situations (Cooper, 2003). However, a person’s personality and the situation encountered directly influence risk perceptions while the other factors have a contributing role.
Personality, for instance, is considered by the author as one of the main factors influencing the way people perceive risk. There are several types of personalities and each has a way of dealing with situations. Personality types, in part, dictate people’s behavior and attitude. Risk perception is therefore heavily influenced by the way people think and act.
Comparatively, the situation encountered also influences how people perceive risk. When at work, people interact with their environment according to their experience, training and, interaction with coworkers. The employee seldom controls work related risky situations. Usually, the employer controls this factor of risk perception: what, when, where, why, and how. This is a great advantage when seeking to improve risk perception in the workplace. An employer can manipulate the employee’s surroundings in order to enhance risk perception. To accomplish this, employers can develop and implement a comprehensive risk reduction framework (Cooper, 2003).
Assessment of Risk Perception of Ironworkers
This article also studies the factors influencing risk perception of ironworkers. Irizarry & Abraham’s hypothesis is that perception of risk may be a root cause for accidents in the workplace. In fact, they determine that risk perception is influenced by three important factors: Worker ...

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...d poor safety attitude of the supervisor.
The Coast Guard can improve inspector’s risk perception by bringing back their safety management system to the drawing board and addressing the issues noted. Further development of the program concerning supervisor safety training and enforcement would help solve this problem. The focus should be in adjusting inspector’s behavior and attitude towards safety procedures by creating a more safety conscious work environment. Positive safety reinforcement and incentives could be some of the methods implemented under this program. As a result, higher risk perception would be attained among inspectors.

Cooper, D. (2003). Psychology, Risk & Safety. Professional Safety, 48(11), 39-46.
Irizarry, J., & Abraham, D. M. (2006). Assessment of Risk Perception of Ironworkers. Journal of Construction Research, 7(1/2), 111-132.
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