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Factors Influencing Australian Agricultural Workers' Self-efficacy Using Chemicals in the Workplace

  • Year: 2012
  • Author: Blackman, Ian R, RN, BEd, GradDip(HlthCouns), M
  • Journal Name: Workplace Health & Safety
  • Journal Number: 60.11
  • Published Location: United States
  • ISBN: 21650799
  • Country: Australia

A hypothetical model was formulated to explore which factors can simultaneously influence the self-reported ability of agricultural employees to embrace chemical safety practices. Eight variables were considered in the study, including the employees' gender, age, duration of current employment status, and whether they were employed full-time or part-time. The self-efficacy measures of 169 participants were then estimated by measuring their self-rated ability to understand and perform different chemical safety practices.


Models identifying employee self-efficacy pathways leading to worker readiness to engage in chemical safety were then tested using Partial Least Squares Path Analysis. Study results suggest that employees' self-efficacy to successfully engage in safe chemical practices in their workplace can be directly predicted by four variables, with additional indirect effects offered by one other variable, which cumulatively account for 41% of the variance of employees' chemical safety self-efficacy scores. The most significant predictor variables that directly influenced employees' self-efficacy in adopting chemical safety practices in the workplace were worker age, gender, years of employment, and concurrent confidence (self-efficacy) arising from prior experience using chemicals in the workplace. The variables of employees' prior knowledge and understanding about the use of administrative controls and personal protective equipment to protect workers from chemical exposure had no direct influence on self-efficacy to handle chemical emergencies. Employees' unfamiliarity with risk control strategies and reliance on material safety data sheets for information suggest that ongoing and targeted training are necessary if chemical safety issues are to be addressed.

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