Background Although men have a higher risk of occupational injuries than women the role of masculinity for organizational safety outcomes has only rarely been the object of research. Aim The current study investigated the association between masculinity and safety oversights, safety priority and safety violations in two male-dominated occupations using both a trait-based and a norm-based approach to masculinity. Methods Questionnaires covering trait-based (Bem Sex Role Inventory, BSRI) and norm-based (Male Role Norms Inventory – Revised, MRNI-R) measures of masculinity, three safety-related context factors (safety leadership, commitment of the safety representative, and safety involvement) and three safety-related outcome factors (safety violations, safety oversights and safety priority) were administered twice 12 months apart to Danish ambulance workers (n = 1157) and slaughterhouse workers (n = 920). Results Although the level of masculinity differed, the same general pattern of associations was identified across the two study populations. A high score on the MRNI was associated with a higher level of safety violations and a reduced propensity to report safety oversights to supervisors. A high score on the BSRI masculinity scale was associated with a higher propensity to report safety oversights, while BSRI femininity was not associated with any of the safety measures. Conclusion Norm-based aspects of masculinity are suitable for analysing the association between masculinity and safety outcomes, whereas trait-based theories do not show strong associations with safety outcomes. Implications The association between norm-based masculinity and safety measures might be used in tailoring and developing new preventive measures that specifically address masculinity and male role norms.
Safety Science, 2015, Vol 76, p. 82-89
Ambulance workers; Male role norms; Sex roles; Slaughterhouse workers