Research/studies Safety culture Leadership Injury prevention

Leading by example helps improve workplace safety: study


Fort Collins, CO – The type of leadership used in the workplace may have an effect on injuries and safety climate, suggests a new study from Colorado State University.

Using a survey of 1,167 construction pipe fitters and plumbers, researchers examined the connection between workplace safety and perceptions of leadership. The leadership behavior known as “idealized influence” – when workers admire their leader and emulate his or her behavior – was found to have the strongest link to safety.

Other leadership behaviors associated with a safe workplace were inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration and contingent reward. Researchers concluded that to reduce injuries, leaders need to be “holistically good leaders,” meaning they employ multiple leadership behaviors.

The study was published in the February issue of the journal Safety Science.