​Effective Safety Assessment During Recruitment Drives Safety Performance

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Anyone who has tried to change the way another person behaves or sees the world, will know how difficult it can be. People are by nature creatures of habit and are guided by their unique drivers, values and mindsets. This is certainly true when it comes to a person’s attitude towards safety.

Safety professionals are challenged daily to continuously improve procedures and equipment, and then influence their people to not take shortcuts with those procedures and equipment.

Ask any safety professional to describe their biggest challenge in their job and the vast majority will report influencing safety attitudes and behaviours. Unfortunately, it’s much easier to make changes to a procedure, write a risk assessment or fix a guard to a piece of machinery than it is to meaningfully influence attitudes. This is much the same way that it is easier to buy nicotine patches and throw that pack of cigarettes in the bin than it is to change a smoking habit that has lasted for many years. Changing attitudes and habits takes time, not to mention sustained focus, drive and the relevant skills.

So, why don’t we get people with strong safety attitudes to start with?

An accurate assessment of a candidate’s safety mindset during recruitment can reduce the likelihood of that person being injured at work or engaging in unsafe work practices. At Chandler Macleod, we regularly utilise safety assessments to assist our clients and ensure BestFit candidates are identified.

Safety psychometric assessments are relatively inexpensive and are a well validated method of assessing safety attitudes to predict the likelihood of a candidate being injured or involved in an incident at work. Many assessments are completed online and are quick to administer, taking as little as twenty minutes to complete. Safety assessments can also be used to identify key areas to develop in current employees.

In a site wide validation study we conducted with an ASX listed Mining Contractor, we found that employees who scored in the high risk category on a safety attitude assessment had the highest proportion of staff suffer injuries, followed by those in the average band. Those in the low risk group had the lowest proportion of injuries. In addition, employees who did not record a workplace injury, and were in the low risk group, obtained the highest average overall safety scores.

Safety psychometric assessments are a cost effective recruitment tool to drive safety performance. Effective selection of candidates at the time of hiring can save organisations’ money, whether through injury management, insurance premiums, damaged equipment or non productive time. This is also in the best interest of the candidate, as it allows the organisation to identify individuals that are more likely to injure themselves before they are even allowed to enter the workplace.

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