The results of the two year study show a connection to personality traits we all adhere to and provide insight on ways to reduce industrial accidents through selective hiring and proper training.
We’ve released a series of new reports, prepared by the late Dr. Rick Iverson and Rand Gottschalk, MA, Industrial Psychology, explore the relationship between common employee personality types and risk of incidents in industrial work environments. Our reports’ findings distinguish between individual and crew incidents, and provide a reliable figure for the average number of incidents and cost to companies that could be reduced through more careful screening of employee selections during hiring, and through the use of coaching to improve on-the-job safety records.
What’s the Data Based On?
Our study is primarily comprised of two sets of data – one is comprised of employee personality assessment results from the Safety Quotient™ employee assessment, which was performed on over 645 company employees. The other data set used in the research were existing safety incident reports provided by the industrial mining company in the study. A link to the report, with full definitions, takeaways, and notes about the collection of the data, can be found here. The study was based upon personality risk assessment collected on 645 employees, 71 personal incident reports, and 197 crew incident reports
Findings of the Research
The results of our study provide information that can be acted upon by nearly any company in industrial fields, showing statistically significant correlations between several common personality traits that many of us can identify with in our work life, from one time or another.
Using the standard Safety Quotient™ employee assessment, Dr. Iverson and Mr. Gottschalk found that personality traits play a large role in on-the-job safety. Among front-line industrial workers who are employed in the field (those whose day-to-day job involves the actual building, engineering, and working on industrial projects) four personality types were shown to be more likely to have accidents on the job, causing injury to themselves or others, as well as causing property damage to equipment or premises. Those personality types are Thrill Seeker, Impulsive, Reactive, and Resistant. Here is an infographic summarizing the study:
Based on the research, the following takeaways could be applied at the studied mining company:
- Screening employee hires for “Impulsive” personalities could result in 10 fewer personal injuries.
- Screening Foremen and Supervisors for “Resistant” traits could result in 19 fewer crew injuries.
- 25-50% reduction in annual personal injury rate.
- $76,000 average savings for 100 hires.
Screening out risky employees and screening in safe ones provides a safer workplace for everyone and provides measurable cost savings. Proper safety training of current employees can help reduce risks and their associated costs by as much as 25-50%. There is no better time to begin addressing safety in the hiring process.