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Injunctive safety norms, young worker risk-taking behaviors, and workplace injuries

Injunctive safety norms (ISNs) refer to perceptions of others’ expectations of one’s safety-related conduct. Drawing on a sample of Canadian young workers (n = 11,986; M age = 17.90 years; 55% males), we study the relationships among four sources of non-work-related (i.e., parents, siblings, friends, teachers), two sources of work-related (i.e., supervisors, co-workers) ISNs, young workers’ self-reported work-related risk-taking behaviors, and workplace injuries. Structural equation modeling suggests that ISNs from parents, supervisors, and co-workers were related to less frequent work-related risk-taking behaviors, and with fewer workplace injuries via less frequent work-related risk-taking behaviors. In addition, ISNs from supervisors were directly associated with fewer workplace injuries. In contrast, ISNs from teachers and siblings were not associated with work-related risk-taking behaviors, but ISNs from siblings were associated with fewer work injuries. Finally, ISNs from friends were associated with more frequent work-related risk-taking and more frequent work injuries via more frequent work-related risk-taking. This study draws attention to the relative roles of non-work sources of social influence and provides some evidence of how ISNs might be related to young workers’ work-related risk-taking behaviors and their workplace injuries. It also contributes to practice by suggesting specific interventions that parents, supervisors, and co-workers could undertake to reduce young workers’ work-related risk-taking and workplace injuries, namely encouraging youth to be safe at work. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)