Rock Products

AUG 2019

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132 • ROCK products • August 2019 Safety Aggregates Industry Almanac Tracking Communication as a Performance Measure The Industry's Health and Safety Requirements Are Evolving and New Tools Are Needed. By Emily J. Haas and Joseph McGuire Table 1. Perceptions of workers' supervisor and coworker communication Supervisor communication/support items Average (6-point scale) Agreement (%) My supervisor helps me do my job as safely as possible 5.08 91% My supervisor helps me if I have a health/safety problem at work 5.09 91% My supervisor reminds me to follow H&S rules 4.98 89% My supervisor closely monitors my H&S work practices 4.43 79% My supervisor takes action if I don't follow H&S work practices 4.84 88% My supervisor clearly explains H&S rules to me 4.86 87% My supervisor regularly informs me of work hazards specific to my job 4.63 81% My supervisor encourages communication about H&S problems 4.88 87% Coworker communication/support items Average (6-point scale) Agreement (%) Everyone in my general work crew has confidence in each other to work safely 4.97 90% Everyone in my general work crew helps each other with H&S prob- lems at work 5.05 93% Everyone in my general work crew informs each other about potential workplace H&S hazards 5.19 94% C onsistent communication that works well has been shown to contribute to financial gains of a company as well as enhance its reputation (Kaplan & Norton, 2004). Within many workplaces, communication has been continuously encouraged as an effective mechanism to enhance work- ers' awareness of safety and their appropriate response to risks (Clarke, 2003; Griffin & Neal, 2000). So much so that many health and safety management programs, such as the CoreSafety program developed by the National Mining Association (NMA), includes responsibility, accountability, communication and collaboration as core elements of prac- tice (NMA, 2014). Despite specific calls for more transparent communication in mining programs and trainings, research from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has shown a perceived lack of accountable communication between managers and workers (Haas, 2019). With little research being done in this area, it has been difficult to identify any sort of relationship between communication efforts and workers' performance. NIOSH Safety Climate Perceptions About Communication NIOSH recently completed a safety climate survey in the mining industry where just under 2,700 hourly and salary workers responded to a variety of questions using a six-point scale. Several of these questions probed the topics of super- visor communication and coworker communication. Along with 10 other constructs measured, both supervisor and coworker communication were statistically significant pre- dictors of workers' proactive and compliant work practices. A list of questions related to communication, along with the response average and percentage of those who agreed with the statements, is listed below. The responses only reflect those miners who work in the sand, stone, and gravel or industrial minerals subsectors (n=2,325 workers).

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