Age differences in safety attitudes and safety performance in Hong Kong construction workers
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PROBLEM:Safety in the construction industry is a major issue in Hong Kong, representing about 46% of all occupational injuries in 1998. This study explored linear and curvilinear relations between age and safety performance (accident rates and occupational injuries), as well as safety attitudes, in construction workers in Hong Kong. METHOD:A Chinese version of the Safety Attitude Questionnaire (SAQ by Donald & Canter) was developed and administered to a sample of Chinese construction workers (N=374, 366 males, 8 females) from 27 construction sites. RESULTS:Accident rates were not related to age. Occupational injuries were related to age in a curvilinear manner, with injuries at first increasing with age, then decreasing. Two safety attitude scales were related to age with older workers exhibiting more positive attitudes to safety. If age and tenure are controlled, some attitude scales are predictors of safety performance. IMPACT ON INDUSTRY:Management/supervisors, team leaders, and workers are all responsible for safety, and any negative bias toward older construction workers is unfounded.
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