How to reduce resistance to working safely?

The goal of this Webinar was to understand what staff resistance to working safely is and to find the most appropriate solution so that we can improve organizations by starting with people. We discovered that it is essential to create a community of people who feel, within organizations, linked by values such as safety. This issue is of paramount importance: for a company to work, there must be certain procedures in place followed by good communication.

Thanks to the intervention of some RSPPs present at the Webinar, who brought their testimonies and experiences, we were able to discover the main critical issues encountered in the field of occupational safety.

Working safely: are we thinking right?

According to Raffaele Santoro, Safety Culture Facilitator, one of the most obvious causes of resistance to safe work is the perception of individual risk. It is therefore important to make an estimate to identify the risk that also determines the choice of preventive and protective measures that the employer must apply to workers, to eliminate it or at least significantly reduce it.

Therefore, it becomes critical to set up a plan for implementing prevention measures. Unfortunately, in the absence of directives from leadership, these steps are missed. It is up to the employer to carry out a review of the measures to ascertain whether the technical measures developed to limit the risks are actually feasible, or whether the previous assessment needs to be revised. In a company it is essential to identify those workers who, because of the tasks to which they are assigned, are in a situation of greater exposure. Through these procedures the various differences can be resolved.

The 3 possible causes of problems related to safety at work

In a situation like the one just described, it is clear that the critical issues with respect to working safely do not depend on the individual’s perception of risk, but instead arise from deeper causes. According to Raffaele, these can be encapsulated in three interdependent areas:

  • Leadership has little regard for safety
  • Procedure design is often difficult to apply in the field
  • Perception of risk is an individual factor

These macro-areas are not only interdependent: as Raffaele said and many present underlined, it is important to work on leadership (and therefore on managerial culture) so that the other two resistances can be overcome. Often in Italy, media attention is focused exclusively on the behavior of individuals (failure to use PPE or inappropriate personnel procedures), thus stigmatizing individuals without radically changing the culture.

Reduce resistance to working safely

The keystone, even in the area of security, therefore seems to be the concept of responsibility. A more careful analysis, however, would make us understand that the real issue is culture. The set of shared values and practices that every company should create internally, starting with leadership. If every person in the organization made working in safety a culture, the risks and consequently the accidents would decrease considerably.

Instead, staff often tend not to use the various safety systems that are provided to prevent various hazards, thus increasing the danger of an injury.

Engage everyone

The first step in reducing resistance to working safely remains to conduct a proper risk assessment. What we should learn to do is to carry out this assessment in a participatory way. Workers should be involved as early as the hazard identification and analysis stage, as well as in the development and implementation of the measures chosen. They should not only be competent in the tasks they have to perform, but also receive all the information and training they need to do their jobs safely. This includes obligations regarding health and safety information and training.


Therefore, it would be ideal to have a tool that allows RSPPs to:

  • Collect real risks, shortcomings and criticalities in a participatory manner
  • Analyze the data collected and group them
  • Consciously choose which actions to take to reduce resistance

Fennec allows you to collect critical issues perceived by employees anonymously, analyze them by grouping them according to importance and urgency, and present them visually. Free of charge.

Want to try it out?
Register for free at the link below. Or talk to us for a guided demonstration.

How to reduce resistance to working safely: the full webinar