EFFECT OF SAFETY MANAGEMENT ON PERFORMANCE OF SELECTED MANUFACTURING FIRMS IN SOUTH – SOUTH, NIGERIA
The study investigated the effect of safety management on performance of manufacturing organizations in South- South, Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study sought to: determine the effect of regular safety audit on employees’ commitment to productivity, ascertain the extent to which risk management affects employee turnover, examine the effect of workplace design on corporate goal attainment, establish the effect of safety education and training on the implementation of safety programmes, assess the nature of relationship between workers’ perception of workplace safety and job satisfaction and assess the nature of relationship between demographic characteristics and employee safety attitudes. The study adopted survey design. The population of the study was one hundred and thirty-five (135) registered manufacturing firms in the South- South, Nigeria. From this, 20 percent was adopted to determine the firms sample size. A sample of twenty six (26) organizations was determined. Systematic random sampling technique was employed in the selection of twenty six companies from one hundred and thirty five (135) registered members of the Manufacturing Association in South-South,Nigeria. Staff sample size of 601 was determined using Freund and William’s statistical formula from the staff population of twelve thousand, two hundred and twenty six (12,226). Stratified sampling technique was used to select the respondents in each of the selected firms while Bowley’s proportional allocation method was adopted to determine the allocation of questionnaire to each of the participated firms. Data were collected through the use of the questionnaire and oral interview guide. The questionnaire was structured on a five – point Likert scale. A pilot study was conducted using test – retest method and tested with Spearman Ranking Order Correlation Coefficient. The result gave a reliability coefficient of 0.92, indicating a high degree of items consistency. Both the content and face validation of the instrument was done by research experts. Simple Linear Regression, Z–test, and Pearsron Product Movement Correlation Coefficient were the test statistics used for data analysis. The acceptable probability level of significance was 0.05. The findings revealed that regular safety audit positively affected employees’ commitment to productivity (r =0.984; t = 1.62; F = 23.63 p < 0.05). Risk management to a large extent significantly affected employee turnover (Zc=8.17 > Zt = 1.96; p < 0.05). There was a significant positive effect of workplace design on corporate goal attainment (Zc=8.17 > Zt = 1.96; p < 0.05). Safety education and training had a significant positive effect on implementation of safety programmes (Zc=5.25 > Zt = 1.96; p < 0.05). There was a positive relationship between workplace safety and job satisfaction (r =0.75, p < 0.05). There was positive relationship between demographic characteristics (age, gender, and levels of education) and safety attitudes (r =0.94, p < 0.05; r =0.79 p < 0.05 r =0 .83 p < 0.05). The study concluded that effective and efficient implementation of safety practices at the organisational level in manufacturing firms in South- South, Nigeria did not only provided a safer working environment but also brought about workers’ commitment, job satisfaction, decreased in employee turnover, better productivity, profitability, efficiency, good corporate image and innovative capacity. The study recommended that Continuous training/re-training of safety personnel and the entire workforce on safe work procedures should be judiciously carried out since the attitude of workers and management to industrial safety could be hindrance to efforts that might be made at safeguarding or protecting the workers from harm.