The Hierarchy of Safety Needs, Part 5

So far, we have discussed the inherent process of having a job, creating a safety culture, and creating a team culture. At this point, it would make sense to have a simple validation process of understanding needs based safety.

A reverse logic approach can be applied as part of a validation of the behaviors. If a company has a functional safety committee with good participation and ideas, then it can be implied that the company has fulfilled the obligation to provide a workplace that is perceived to be free from serious hazards. This process does not take the place of a strong physical hazard auditing system, but it gives indication of the culture, behaviors, and perceptions that are present among the members of the workplace. With all the behavioral tiers of the pyramid the same reverse logic can be applied to the needs below. If employees feel safe, then there is a perception of employment stability as is seen with workers’ compensation when layoffs are a potential. Safety can be affected when gainful employment is at risk. The lowest filled need is the one that behaviors gravitate toward. The perceptions drive the behaviors, as the behaviors are driven by a fundamental needs based approach as theorized originally by Maslow.

Published by Dr. Mark A. French

Husband, Father, Safety Professional, I/O Psychologist, Golfer, and Geek. BS from Murray State University (Chemistry and Occupational Safety). MBA from Bethel University. PhD in I/O Psychology from Capella University.

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