Can the Physical Environment Play a role on Workers’ Safety Outcomes? A Brief Commentary on Restorative Design at the Workplace
Pasini M, Berto R and Brondino M*
Journal Title:Ergonomics International Journal
Physical characteristics of the environment directly affect psycho-physiological well being. Stress occurs when there is an imbalance between physical setting demands and human resources, because individuals cannot cope with in the proper way. One of the causes of unsafe behaviours and performance are physical and mental resources jeopardized by stress due to the workplace physical characteristics. Moreover, physical settings may impact on individual’s capacity to direct attention not only consuming it, but offering respite from mental fatigue (due to the overuse of directed attention) thorough the so-called “restorative design”. Inside a quite unanimously accepted general theoretical framework, which consider contextual factors - such as safety policies and practices, safety culture and safety climate, influence of leaders and coworkers, as distal antecedents of safety performance, this brief communication suggests an innovative perspective, adding the restorative qualities of the physical environment among these contextual factors which can enhance safety at work.