Workplace Health Saf. 2022 May 24:21650799221093773. doi: 10.1177/21650799221093773. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Nonresidential fires and resultant injuries and deaths have been on the rise the last decade in the United States. Although evacuation is a primary prevention method, people in the workplace still fail to evacuate when they hear a fire alarm. The current formative study applied the Reasoned Action Approach (RAA) to identify belief factors associated with university employees’ intention evacuate.

METHODS: Data were collected from employees at a large public university (N = 490) through an online survey. Multiple linear regression quantified the relative contribution of six RAA constructs that represent belief factors underlying employees’ intention to leave the office building immediately the next time they hear a fire alarm.

FINDINGS: Nearly 60% of the variation in employees’ intention to leave was predicted from the belief factors, adjusted R2 = 0.598, F(17, 472) = 43.80, p < .001. Controlling for demographic characteristics, five of the six RAA global constructs showed statistically significant independent associations with intention: instrumental attitude (B = .272, SE = .026, p < .001), experiential attitude (B = -.073, SE = .026, p = .024), injunctive norm (B = .210, SE = .075, p < .001), descriptive norm (B = .347, SE = .070, p < .001), and capacity (B = .178, SE = .077, p < .001).

CONCLUSIONS/APPLICATIONS TO PRACTICE: These findings show the RAA can be successfully applied to provide employees’ perspective on safety decisions like evacuation. The belief factors’ relative contributions can help safety professionals prioritize interventions to facilitate leaving immediately. Here the high weights for the two normative factors suggest addressing employees’ descriptive beliefs that others like them leave and their injunctive beliefs that significant others, like supervisors and safety personnel, approve of their leaving.

PMID:35611395 | DOI:10.1177/21650799221093773