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Currently submitted to: Journal of Medical Internet Research

Date Submitted: Jul 24, 2020
Open Peer Review Period: Jul 24, 2020 - Sep 18, 2020
(currently open for review)

Warning: This is an author submission that is not peer-reviewed or edited. Preprints - unless they show as "accepted" - should not be relied on to guide clinical practice or health-related behavior and should not be reported in news media as established information.

Safe behaviour in the petrochemical industry: Evaluating the consistency between conceptual frameworks and factors reported by Iranian workers

  • Azita Zahiri Harsini; 
  • Philip Bohle; 
  • Lynda R Matthews; 
  • Fazlollah Ghofranipour; 
  • Hormoz Sanaeinasab; 
  • Farkhondeh Amin Shokravi; 
  • Krishan Prasad; 



Unsafe worker behaviour is often identified as a major cause of dangerous incidents in the petrochemical industry. Behavioural safety models provide frameworks that may help to prevent such incidents by identifying factors promoting safe or unsafe behaviour. A literature review was conducted to identify models of safe behaviour and determine which were most consistent with the experiences reported by workers in our qualitative study of the Iranian petrochemical industry.


The aims of the current study are to conduct a literature review to identify theoretical models that have been proposed to explain and predict safe behaviour in the workplace between 2000 and 2019 and then select the model that best reflects our findings and other evidence on the factors influencing safe behaviours among petrochemical workers.


Five databases (EBSCOhost, Google Scholar, ProQuest, Science Direct, Scopus) were searched for studies between 2000 and 2019 that evaluated antecedents and outcomes of safe workplace behaviours in the petrochemical industry or other industrial settings. After duplications were removed, 141 publications were screened and 31 that met the inclusion criteria were reviewed. Constructs described in each publication were assessed for consistency with themes derived from the interview responses from Iranian petrochemical workers in the qualitative study: poor direct safety management and supervision; unsafe workplace conditions; workers' perceptions, skills and training; and broader organisational factors.


The themes identified in the qualitative study most closely matched those in the model described by Wu et al. (2011): poor direct safety management and supervision matched with safety leadership and several subscales; unsafe workplace conditions matched with several subscales; workers' perceptions, skills and training matched with two subscales, and broader organisational factors matched with two other subscales. The model selected was the one that included the most constructs matching the themes identified in the qualitative study.


Valid behavioural safety models can provide a basis for more effective safety cultures and management systems in selected contexts. This study identified most consistency between themes elicited from Iranian petrochemical workers and the constructs described by Wu et al. (2011), providing evidence of the validity of their model. Intervention studies are needed to assess the effectiveness of safety models in improving safe behaviours in industrial settings. Clinical Trial: Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials: IRCT20170515033981N2. Retrospectively Registered 19 June 2018,


Please cite as:

Zahiri Harsini A, Bohle P, Matthews LR, Ghofranipour F, Sanaeinasab H, Amin Shokravi F, Prasad K

Safe behaviour in the petrochemical industry: Evaluating the consistency between conceptual frameworks and factors reported by Iranian workers

JMIR Preprints. 24/07/2020:22851

DOI: 10.2196/preprints.22851


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