Analysing biographical differences on employees' perception of safety control measures with special emphasis on the cost thereof at a colliery
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Abstract: The purpose of this article is to determine whether biographical differences influence employees' perception on safety control measures and the cost thereof. A quantitative research approach was followed for which data were collected by means of a structured questionnaire from 151 employees at a colliery in South Africa. Exploratory factor analysis was used to reduce the employees' perceptions into nine factors. This was followed by an analysis of means using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and t-tests to determine differences between perceptions of these factors and the biographical groupings of the employees. Five biographical variables were included, namely (i) years of experience, (ii) English proficiency, (iii) qualification, (iv) gender, and (v) designation. Within a meta-theoretical conceptual scope, a cross-sectional analysis revealed the following statistically significant perception differences: Firstly, from a biographical variable view, English proficiency groupings differ significantly among six of the nine factors. Secondly, from a factor classification view, both direct and indirect cost of work accidents/injuries and perceptions in relation to direct and indirect cost of an unsafe work environment differ significantly in three biographical variables, namely years of experience, English proficiency and qualification. To be more specific, the most experienced group (21+ years' of experience), the poor/fair, and even to a lesser extent, the good English proficiency groups and the group with no tertiary training should be educated especially about the effect that work accidents, injuries and an unsafe work environment have on the direct and indirect costs of the colliery. The study recommend that the employees with higher qualifications, excellent English proficiency as well as those with relatively fewer years of experience should do higher risk jobs as they are more receptive to safety rules and procedures.