Networks of influence: practising safety leadership in low hazard environments
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Safety leadership is increasingly espoused in guidance notes and safety standards to improve organizational safety. Furthermore, it has been the focus of much research. Nevertheless, two things still remain unclear: who are safety leaders? and what do they do to ensure safety? The aim of this research was to address these questions in the context of low hazard environments characteristic of service sector organizations, where the overwhelming majority of the UK’s workforce is employed and which have been under-investigated. In contrast to the high hazard environments, such as energy, construction and manufacturing industries, which have been the predominant focus of safety research and which often draw extensively on design and technical solutions to achieve safety improvements, service sector organizations rely heavily on communication and personal influence to change behaviours and attitudes towards safety and reduce accidents and injuries, typically caused by slips, trips and falls.