An empirical exploration of the presence of HRO safety principles across the health care sector and construction industry in Norway


Title:An empirical exploration of the presence of HRO safety principles across the health care sector and construction industry in Norway


Articles (Tidsskriftartikler)
Authors:Høyland, S.
Skotnes, R..
Holte, K.A.
Research group:Arbeidsliv, næringsliv og sikkerhet (Work and Safety)
Distribution restriction:Open
Published by:Elsevier / IRIS, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925753516304027#!

Additional information:
Safety Science, Volume 107, August 2018, Pages 161-172, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2017.07.003 Published by: Elsevier / IRIS, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925753516304027#!

Adverse events occur in one-third of all hospital admissions, and the construction industry has one of the highest accident rates across all industries. This background highlights the criticality of researching principles that can enhance current safety organization and practices in both sectors. Accordingly, this article explores whether, and to what degree, different HRO safety principles can be found in the health care sector and the construction industry in Norway. To assist in this exploration, HRO concepts and associated safety principles are operationalized and applied in a systematic content analysis of qualitative interview data from two Norwegian research projects. The presence of the explored HRO safety principles is found in both sectors, where they appear strongly tied to unwritten and informal safety mindsets and practices. The article also finds that safety principles may be subordinate to other day-to-day operational priorities and disruptions that can negatively affect the frequency of adverse events and accidents across the sectors. This situation could be related to the presence of some safety principles over others and an associated untapped potential for strengthening principles across sectors. The article suggests that this potential could be tapped through an organization’s expressed adoption of safety principles, with manager support, follow-up practical courses, and regular meetings. A practical recommendation is for organizations across sectors to conduct surveys and quantitative assessments to map the presence of the nine safety principles investigated in this article. Further research across sectors to map and understand the informal nature of safety mindsets and practices is recommended.


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