• Open Access

A comparison of managers' and safety delegates' perceptions of work environment priorities in the manufacturing industry



This study investigated the attention and priority accorded to factors of work environment within manufacturing companies, as perceived by managers and safety delegates at small- and medium-sized enterprises. Representatives from 142 Swedish manufacturing companies answered a 43-item questionnaire covering seven areas of the work environment and a priority-ranking question of company interests. Respondents (n = 249) rated the present situation and the situation one year earlier, using a visual analogue scale. The findings showed that both managers and safety delegates ranked profitability as the main company interest. Respondents rated the priorities of the work environment currently as higher than one year earlier (p = <0.05). Managers rated the priorities of the work environment higher than did the safety delegates (p = <0.05). We conclude that the two professional roles, manager and safety delegate, differ in their perceptions regarding to what extent different work environment factors are being attended to. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.