Personal Factors Affecting Health and Safety
Personal factors are those which relate to a particular individual and can have an effect on how they act and behave. This obviously has repercussions for overall health and safety as factors such as their attitude, motivation and ability to do the task will all influence the way they work and how.
Whilst some personal factors may be ingrained into the person's character and be extremely difficult or even impossible to change, there will be others which can be influenced. For example their knowledge of how to safely operate a piece of machinery can be changed and improved by providing them with health and safety training or attending courses to gain a qualification like the NEBOSH General Certificate, IOSH Managing Safely or SMSTS course. Similarly their motivation can be positively or negatively affected by a multitude of company-specific influences and policies, many of which can often be fairly trivial but have a cumulative effect on motivation and morale, such as the amount of breaks or policies such as no eating on the premises. Whilst the effect of these things on health and safety may not be immediately obvious, a more highly motivated workforce is likely to pay much more attention to what is going on around them and take the time to report issues such as broken personal protective equipment to management rather than just simply ignoring it because they cannot be bothered. This leads to a good health and safety culture within the business and subsequently a reduced chance of an accident occurring.